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Blanket Diet Recommendations Need to Stop Now!

OK, so I’m sick of it… my email inbox is constantly bombarded with various publications sprouting all of these “studies” that make claims on how Americans should eat to get slim and stay slim.
Most of them contradict one another and with each passing decade there seems to be a new “belief” fad or “evil foods” that “MUST” be avoided to arrive at the holy grail of thinness…

So, today’s fad is “CARBS ARE EVIL” and bacon and eggs are back in fashion.

This morning, I opened up my email inbox and saw an article [hidden among the many articles on the best ways to pleasure your lover in the sack] that was asking the question of whether carbs are really “evil and bad for me?” The author’s main thesis was to explain how it is that we have become so carb “addicted”.

In the discussion, he outlined an argument that I have seen more than once, and each time I read it, my blood boils…. [I’m Italian, we are passionate people]

He talks about some Colorado State professor’s theory about “how modern society, as we know it, all arose out of carbohydrates.”

Wait?…What? …. So the theory goes something like this, before 10,000 years ago humans were hunter gatherers, eating primarily a meat based diet, but as the animal world dwindled, humans turned to agriculture and cereal grains were born.

The agricultural revolution then was the “cause of all evil”… and here is my absolute favorite line from the article “he believes that discordance between humanity’s genetically determined dietary needs and its present diet is responsible for many of the degenerative diseases that plague us today.”

So, here’s where I go nuts… 10,000 years ago humans were dead by the time they were 35… how many 35 year olds do you know with severe degenerative diseases? There are some, I acknowledge that, but not the “epidemic” the professor is alluding to.

In addition, on the one hand, he believes in the agricultural revolution, but on the other he completely ignores the “evolution” revolution!

What do I mean by that? Humans have adapted to their environment genetically during these past 10,0000 years… so how can one simply ignore this in their argument. It’s ridiculous, unless of course you are an evolution denier.

But even if you are a religious person who believes that man magically appeared on earth because of god’s intervention, rather than evolving from apes…. How can one possibly deny that sickle cell anemia is the direct result of a genetic adaptation to the high rate of malaria killing a large segment of the population? Or the adaptation whereby human skin has increased its number of melanocytes (cells that make the colour brown) for humans living in countries that had more UV light? Both of these are beyond the scope of this discussion, rather… the point I am making is that all species either evolve in response to their environment or become extinct.

So, rather than just read about the latest diet craze and decide that you “MUST DO” whatever it is that the craze is telling you “MUST DO”… it makes more sense to have a simple test where a sample of your cells [often from a swab of the inside of your cheek] are used to sequence your DNA. DNA is the blueprint or list of instructions for how your body will develop and function.

Surprising as it may sound, not every human will be healthy and slim if they just “cut out the carbs”.

To illustrate my point, I had this testing done, and lo and behold, rather than the standard recommendation that 40%* of the my diet come from “healthy carbs”, my gene sequencing has informed me that I should be consuming a diet lower in fat instead of a low carbohydrate, Mediterranean or other diet. The goal for me, based on my DNA is to aim for 50-55%.

Given that I originated in the Mediterranean, my initial response was one of “you’ve got to be kidding?” OF COURSE the test was going to tell me to follow a Mediterranean diet. But the more I thought about it, I started to realize that it did explain why my hunger center is satiated much sooner if I have carbs in my meal, than when I just eat protein and fat. The end result of that is with the addition of the extra carbs, my portions are smaller and I stay full longer. It also explained why I just didn’t really lose weight or gain muscle by following a low carb, high protein diet. Initially, I might lose some weight, but it usually was muscle loss and not fat loss, which defeated the whole point of the diet. My goal was to build lean muscle and lose fat, not the other way around.

So, the next time you read something that makes you feel bad about yourself and how you are eating, think about getting the information that you really need to determine what path you really should be following.

At FreshSkin Medical Spa & Wellness Center we offer the Healthy Weight DNA Insight® test which not only defines what diet you should follow, but also provides your eating behavior traits, information on specific nutritional needs, how your body responds to exercise, how your body type and weight (or tendencies towards obesity) contribute to your metabolic health, and outlines any special risks for specific diseases. The test will even outline if there are any added risks to some commonly prescribed medications.

One final note, I also overhear many people refer to certain foods as “poison”… not only is that inaccurate, it’s harmful. The human body needs a balance of foods to provide it with the nutrients that it needs to function fully. Provided you don’t have any life-threatening allergies or food sensitivities, I am a huge believer in “everything is fine to eat and drink” in moderation. Eating this way, leaves one feeling like they are not ever deprived and tends to create a much healthier relationship with food, with the added side effect of being consistently leaner.

Happy Eating!

*The “general” recommendation that is made by most nutritionists is to strive for 40% of their diet originating from carbohydrates.

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595 Elm Place, Suite 208
Highland Park, IL 60035