Go Kill the Cow

I am trained as a family doctor, and the journal called American Family Physician that is put out by my academy, American Academy of Family Physicians, ran a nutrition article this month:  Nutrition Myths and Healthy Dietary Advice in Clinical Practice.  Gasp!  I was shocked beyond Mars, I was!  And super excited.  The authors hammered home that we need to get our patients eating whole foods in a form that is as close to what occurs in nature as possible, and they dispelled several nutritional myths which people accept as gospel.

What myths are you hanging on to?  Let’s check

Nutritional MythAnswer true or false.

1.  Patients need to supplement or drink dairy products to get enough calcium for bone health.

Calcium supplementation and milk consumption don’t seem to offer much benefit to bone health.  They may cause detrimental effects, like an increased number of stokes, heart attacks, and even increased hip fractures!  What?  Yes!  Our studies are very conflicting, so we’re not sure.  But there is just no good evidence to support the use of calcium supplements or extra milk intake, despite what we have been told for years.

What then is a person to do, Terri?  Great “real” sources of calcium include kale, broccoli, sardines, salmon, almonds, unsweetened yogurt, and cheese with no additives.  Focus on food sources as close to nature as possible.  Calcium supplements, fortified non-dairy milks (soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, as well as others), and even cow milk dairy available at the grocery store are highly human-processed products.  (Grocery store milk has been pasteurized, homogenized, and fortified.  Fat-free dairy has been further violated.)

Bone health depends on a lot more than just calcium!  Bone strengthens with use, so move!  Bone needs vitamin D so play outside!  Bone loves vitamin C, magnesium, zinc (this is usually low in children and often low in adults), and silica (this is one of the first nutrients to go in processed foods), so please eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meats.

FALSE.

2.  Americans have some of the highest calcium intakes in the work, and some of the highest rates of osteoporosis (brittle bones).

Despite fortified orange juice and vitamin D fortified milk, Americans are still getting cracked hips and crumbled spines.  What we are doing with milk and vitamins just is not working, people.  How long do you bang your bleeding head against a wall before you decide to make the journey around the end of it?  Yes, eating and making whole foods is not as yummy as chocolate milk and ice cream, but osteoporosis is not a lack of calcium.  It is a deficit of all that goes into a bone:  zinc, boron, phosphorous, calcium, collagen (needs vitamin C), manganese, potassium, positive response to use (as in exercise), and more that I’m leaving out.  These are micronutrients in real food that is destroyed with processing.  Look at your food.  How much of it is as close to nature as possible?

TRUE.

3.  Patients need to cut down on saturated fat to help lower clogged arteries and heart disease.

We were wrong.  Saturated fats are probably not the culprit behind clogged arteries, heart attacks, and strokes.  Butter, cheese, and coconut oil are off the hook!  However, butter mixed with flour and sugar is NOT off of the hook.  Butter on your broccoli?  Go for it!  Here again, keep it real to keep it healthy.  Any oil or fat that has been tampered with beyond a heat and pressure you are capable of producing in your own kitchen is off-limits.  Could you churn butter?  You betcha’.  Could you stomp olives?  For sure.  Could you make a pot roast and skim off the fat to use for later?  Absolutely.  Could you mash a soybean or sunflower kernel to get its oil?  You’d be “hard-pressed,” so don’t use it.

FALSE.

4.  Dietary fat leads to obesity.

Fat does not turn into fat!  And eating fat can actually make the brain feel full because of the hormone cascade it brings about, so people eat less.  Eating carbohydrates, like whole grain breads or crackers, increases insulin–which then does pack on fat!  So the idea that in order to be skinny and healthy you need to cut fat from your diet is a myth.

FALSE.

5.  There are many kinds of fibers.

Fiber implies something that you eat that you cannot break down and absorb.  There are so many types found in nature, and please, it goes WAY beyond soluble and insoluble fiber.  These different kinds of fiber feed the bacteria in your gut which make LOTS of important nutrients for you!  When you eat “fiber,” you’re eating for “two.”  (Actually, you’re eating for billions!)  They don’t just like the outer shell of seeds or the peel on fruit, they love all kinds of humanly indigestible products which are abundant in vegetables, fruits, seeds, and truly whole grains.  Eat plant matter for two (or billions).

TRUE.

6.  Fat people just need to cut calories to lose weight.

A body responds to food and weight loss by changing its hormone production.  These hormones can change the body’s metabolism, preventing further weight loss and promoting weight gain.  Losing weight really is tough!  (But life is tough–you CAN do it!)  Help reset the body with lots of whole, real food.  Don’t cave to its sugar or grain-laden demands.  That is what prompted the problem in the first place.  To keep our kids from obesity with healthy eating habits is the best cure for obesity.  Once obese, it really, truly is harder to lose weight.

FALSE.

7.  Supplements are not a substitute for picky eating.

The list of micronutrients that we need for the chemical reactions in our bodies to proceed is unbelievable.  Processed food is stripped of these fine, little nutrients, and adding back in only certain ones upsets the balance.

TRUE.

Go Kill The Cow

When I shop, my goal is to have nothing in my cart with a label.  I usually don’t have 100% success, but my goal puts me a lot closer to eating as close to how the food was found in nature as I can.  I like to call it my “Go kill the cow” rule.  I know that’s brutal and I apologize to vegans, vegetarians, and sensitive spirits, but it evokes the image of nothing processed.  That’s the goal.  Whole, real food of the kind that makes YOU feel and function best.

You can do this!  Nothing worth doing in life is easy.  Easy paths lead to hard falls.

~~Terri

 

Source:  Nutrition Myths and Healthy Dietary Advice in Clinical Practice.  Lesser L, Mazza M, and Lucan S.  AFP.  May 2015.  Volume 91, Number 9.  pp 634-637

21 thoughts on “Go Kill the Cow

  1. mommytrainingwheels

    I absolutely LOVE this article. It’s crazy how many of these myths persist especially #3 & 4. I love the imagery of “killing the cow”. Ok, maybe not, but it makes a point. We try to have as little processed foods as we can, but there are some eating habits that are harder to cut out than others.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. Number 3 and 4 ARE persistent, stubborn myths regarding fat. People always tell me, “I won’t give up butter.” And I say, “You don’t have to!” I hope the “Kill the Cow” thought wasn’t too abrasive…

      Have a great rest of the week and best wishes always for keeping the grocery cart “honest.” 🙂

      Terri

      Reply
  2. Libby at ditchthecarbs.com

    What a fabulous article and lets hope everyone really gets to hear those myth busters. I have seen how prescribing has changed over they years with regard to calcium. It used to be in our Top 20 shelf and we would pre pack 3 month supplies because almost every elderly women would be on it. Almost overnight it stopped. It will be interesting to see when the statins will come off that shelf too. Maybe I should restock it with broccoli and butter (tongue firmly in cheek there). Calcium is a cheap drug so left quietly, the statin companies will fight and fight #3 as there is so much $$ to be made. And I hear a prominent ‘natural vitamin’ company are now sponsoring research and a University building – hmm wonder why? They will be fighting #7.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Libby, How are you today? Broccoli and butter–ha! I think I like your pharmacy! You’ll put yourself out of business. Somebody will need to take you out to dinner more and take you on nice trips to listen to some drug talks. Maybe a prominent vitamin company–they’re natural, so you can rest your conscience.

      Wouldn’t it be great to see patients put these bashed myths aside? These myths are a part of our being now. Low-fat. High calcium. Take a multi-vitamin. Calorie in/calorie out. Darn it, people. Just stick with whole, real ingredients. I don’t think people really, really know/believe that these processed foods/high sugar loads are responsible for our surge in disease. So glad I know, at least!

      Terri

      Reply
  3. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

    The vegetarian here…I think of you almost everytime that I go to the store! That no label plan is crazy tough!! We have made some good strides but some things I definitely caved on. I tried making our own almond milk which was awesome and then I could use the pulp to cook with as almond meal, but OMG, it added a lot of work to the day. 🙂 We are still working on our whole foods but we are making terrific strides which I gladly thank you for! (of course, tonight I bought frozen root veggie burgers and fries to make for dinner!!! Some days convenience wins too!)

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hello, Vegetarian: I’m glad you’re still speaking to me…
      …after making homemade almond milk. (Okay. And the title.)

      Seriously, though. I agree, to be 100% compliant with this is not possible (okay, it is possible, but not really) for my family of six. But, at least it makes me makes me scrutinize my choices very closely, making sure the labels show pure ingredients and/or that I really, really have thought about if we need that particular item this week to keep things smooth and happy at home.

      Adios. Can you believe it’s Thursday already? Go pick some peppers. 🙂

      Terri

      Reply
  4. claredue

    Heartening that the tide might be on the brink of turning Terri. Let’s hope so. If only people knew how easy it is to shop for food as you, and I, do. Subject to availability of course but no problems where I live.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Clare, I know! It is! I just wonder if any doctor besides me read the article. LOL. Shopping became easier after I figured out the best place to get things. Some things I have to special order due to availability and price, and some things I go to one store for or another. It’s no different than what I do for toilet paper, paper towel, or trash bags, though. Now, it’s simple and even my husband will shop for me. May today be a great day for you!

      Terri

      Reply
  5. FitMomPam

    It’s so nice to see nutrition myths debunked! Try explaining to a 7th grader why their mom is wrong for labeling bacon as unhealthy. So maybe processed meat shouldn’t be a staple of your diet, but the saturated fat in bacon is not bad.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      It is nice! In my family practice journal! (Never mind I was seeing them debunked in airplane magazines 2-3 years ago…) And, Pam, I can’t even imagine trying to get those kids to understand why what their moms think is healthy or unhealthy is not right. What you do is truly a gift! My health teachers didn’t (do this).

      Enjoy summer coming up!

      Terri

      Reply
  6. EmilyMaine

    Progress! Yay! We had our DNA tested recently and the Dr had heaps of really interesting nutritional advice. I’m going to do a post about it all but her thing with calcium was that fortification doesn’t work as it is calcium carbonate which cannot be easily absorbed. She is all about broth. Boil up some broth and either drink it or reduce it and make it gelatinous and then use formed squares in cooking and just swallow a glob of it down the hatch every day. Really interesting! I’ll try and get to a post on it while my head still has it all fresh.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I can’t wait to read a post on it! You know I love to read all this stuff! Broth is good stuff. When I did GAPS, I had it nearly daily. Now, I just try to incorporate it frequently. Looking forward to hearing the recs of your doc!

      Reply
  7. andthreetogo

    This is awesome! I have started to be more diligent about all of this recently. We now have green leafy veggies with every meal, meat without additives, and have lessened our intake of processed carbs. I still eat out often, but strive to stick with my new goals as much as possible. 🙂

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Oh, oh, oh, oh–this is great! I know eating out is a treat and just a part of what you guys do! Maybe the thing to watch for when you eat out there is not ordering things where they’d use “cheap” oils rather than a true honest fat (like coconut oil, butter, cream, bacon drippings, etc). Those oils are rancid in the bottle (and only become more so with high and/or prolonged heat) and incorporated into your cells’ membranes in their broken state. Then your body is in fix mode all the time, using up its anti-oxidants to fix broken fats it uses. Make sense? So that’s why it’s a good idea to skip French fries or make them at home in “honest” oil. Sorry for the ramble, just excited! Good luck!!!

      Terri

      Reply
      1. andthreetogo

        That’s great information! Thanks so much for the help Terri! What we mostly eat out now is BBQ chicken and pork, Papaya salad, fish, curries and occasionally a burger 🙂 we
        Are not completely there yet, but are on our way to eating more and more healthy! I’m excited!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s