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You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the pizza-is-a-balance-diet dept.

Science 499

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Two prominent nutrition experts have put forth the theory that the current obesity epidemic is, in large part, the result of processed foods tricking our appetite control mechanisms. They argue that evolution has given humans a delicately balanced system that balances appetite with metabolic needs, and that processed foods trick that system by making foods high in fats and carbohydrates have the gustatory qualities of proteins. As the researchers put it, 'Many people eat far too much fat and carbohydrate in their attempt to consume enough protein.'"

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Oh well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865811)

I'm sure the leftists will have us proles all eating insects and vegetables eventually..at least until the aspca gets around to defending insect rights. Of course, the party elite will still be dining on the few cows and fish that are left..

Re:Oh well (3, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 months ago | (#46865989)

what about fruit and vegetable rights. you can just hear them scream as you rip the fruit from tree's. and the sound is soul-curdling as you put potatoes in boiling water.

Re:Oh well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866093)

what about fruit and vegetable rights. you can just hear them scream as you rip the fruit from tree's. and the sound is soul-curdling as you put potatoes in boiling water.

So reduce plant suffering by not post-processing them into meat before eating them. That way, only about a sixth of the plants die. You could feed six times the humans with the same amount of plants by cutting out the pig in the middle.

Re:Oh well (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866191)

Scientists have addressed this problem years ago by developing plants with no vocal chords.

Re:Oh well (1, Flamebait)

Cenan (1892902) | about 6 months ago | (#46866389)

The obvious solution is for OP to just stop eating. It can't be that hard, millions of people starve to death of their own free will every year.

Re:Oh well (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866369)

I'm sure the leftists will have us proles all eating insects and vegetables eventually..at least until the aspca gets around to defending insect rights. Of course, the party elite will still be dining on the few cows and fish that are left..

Amusing. Trying to derail a thread about how capitalism is fucking up people's diets by blaming "leftists"?

Ass time (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865827)

It's sedentary living. You will never get millions to eat so little that they avoid obesity while watching screens 16 hours a day.

Imaging elaborate "processed" food conspiracies suits malcontents and justifies more laws and regulations so there we go.......

Re:Ass time (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46865871)

It's not about a conspiracy. The facts are in the open, and no one is actually hiding anything. Fat and carbohydrates are cheaper than proteins, thus processing them and adding flavors to trick the metabolic system into taking them as protein ersatz is just the old art of cooking. And we got better and better at it, able to produce and process giant amounts of fat and carbohydrates and refining them into meals that taste to us just as good as a protein rich diet.

The food industry didn't need to conspire for that. It was just that the food that was cheaper while still tasting nearly as good sold better than the high quality one, and with enough processing and flavoring, the cheaper food actually tasted even better. If you want success in the market, you have to offer the prices and the tastes only processed, flavored food can offer. Providers of high quality foods with low processing just got outcompeted. That's the invisible hand of the market, combined with thousands of years of cooking experience: selling shit for food.

Re:Ass time (4, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 6 months ago | (#46865927)

the cheaper food actually tasted even better

A definite no. But then, I was not raised on industrially processed food; you tend to like the sort of food you were raised on.

Re:Ass time (5, Interesting)

rioki (1328185) | about 6 months ago | (#46866027)

Add to that the fact that basically you have the choice of buying raw food, processed food or paying someone to cook for you. Properly cooked food, starting with raw ingredients, without fail tastes better. The problem is either you have money and can dine out or you need the skill to cook. If you where raised, like me, on the concept of buying raw food and cooking it, you will have learnt how to actually cook. But as it turns a good few people's cooking skill stops with scrambled eggs and as a result they buy processed food.

Processed food in itself is not bad and you can buy quite good quality food, but that costs. Competition in the food industry means sacrificing quality for profit/lower price and they will continue to "optimize" until the product stops selling. The interesting bit is that in recent decades there is a gap between the sensory experience of the food and the actual nutritional quality.

If people would realize how easy it actually is to cook...

Re:Ass time (1, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 6 months ago | (#46866151)

You also need to live somewhere with access to those ingredients, have a high enough income that you can afford the ingredients, and a high enough income that you can afford to be not-working long enough to cook and eat them. There are thousands upon thousands of people too poor for all three. They don't live anywhere with access to fresh food ("food deserts"), can't afford to travel to where they could buy fresh food, couldn't afford the food itself even if they could get there, can't afford to take the time out of their multiple jobs to go even if they could afford it, and can't afford to to take the time off to cook or eat it.

Re:Ass time (-1, Flamebait)

Larryish (1215510) | about 6 months ago | (#46866209)

And how many of those "poor" people have cable television?

Re:Ass time (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 6 months ago | (#46866405)

How many of them have working refrigerators, ovens, or microwaves seems a more relevant question. I'm puzzled why you are asking about cable television?

because the american "poor" aren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866461)

If you have calbe, you're wasting money that could be spent on food, and time that could be spent cooking. Yes, almost everyone has access to some reasonable cooking facilities. They might not be your giant 6 burner stove, but you can cook with a hotplate and a 1 mile walk to the grocery in any urban environment. Any.

Re:Ass time (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866485)

You missed the point. The poster is hinting at how some people would claim they don't have enough money for healthful food, yet they can "afford" cable TV, cell phone plans, going out drinking, going overboard buying the latest fashion clothing, etc. Upside-down priorities, if you will. (Although a cell phone is pretty much necessary these days, there are ways not to have to pay $100+/month/person.)

Re:Ass time (4, Insightful)

ruir (2709173) | about 6 months ago | (#46866493)

Cooking is more a test to your capability of organisation and laziness than having the time.Many meals are simple to cook, or then take your ipad or TV to the kitchen, and cook while you watch idols or Game of thrones. The problem with cooking real food is that many are lazy, and others the parents already didnt do that, and they dont really are not used to do it. The culture of buying everything already made is very pernicious when we are talking about what we eat.

this is fucking bullshit (-1, Flamebait)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#46866199)

this is fucking bullshit.
go to some a littler poorer asian country and shop around.

what kind of meat they prefer, even if they've never been close to entering mcdonalds? well, the meat that has as much fat as possible. whereas in my country of origin I can find low fat pork & beef fairly easily finding it in thailand is not that easy. I hope you like your pork slices to be 50% fat - or enjoy pork skin fried(in lard) and dried as a snack. and a packet of weird sugar+salt+spices concoction when you buy a portion of fruits because that's what you get.

yeah some fucking trick of the processed food industry.. nope. it's just that sugar and fats are delicious for hungry people. it's the fat people they have to come up with tricks because just eating plain lard is so fucking boring, especially if you're not working hard.

(I mean, I applaud the scientists who've managed to convince their big food employers that they're doing magical food engineering but really they're not)

Re:this is fucking bullshit (2)

telchine (719345) | about 6 months ago | (#46866261)

well, the meat that has as much fat as possible

I don't think you understand what processed food is. It's not the same thing as food that's naturally high in fat.

Re:this is fucking bullshit (0, Flamebait)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#46866409)

*I don't think you understand what processed food is. It's not the same thing as food that's naturally high in fat.*

and I'm saying that it being processed or not doesn't enter the equation. look man, you can say it all day that natural lard is like eco-mega-good for you but really it's not. and the lard eaters get fat the same as westerners. what I'm saying that special tricks are unnecessary. only thing you need for people to get fat is for them to have enough money to buy all the food they want - no need for evil food mega corps to do any tricks(except that that mega industry started the trick of selling healthier food, in a decades going ongoing process. people who aren't obese - and even most obese people in the west! - are healthier than ever - and they didn't die of malnutrion as a kid, like a staggering percentage of farm kids did before the evil food industry started putting additives in food...).

Re:this is fucking bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866519)

I was a vegan for four years subsisting on 70% carbohydrates and none of it was processed foods. I put on weight like a MOFO (to compensate I had to exercise 2 1/2 hour per day) to maintain weight good body weight. Turns out carbohydrates were the culprit.

Now eat a mostly fat based diet with low carbohydrates. I eat as much fat as possible. My weight is easy to maintain. In fact, I sometimes have to raise my carbohydrate intake just to make certain I don't lose too much weight. I still only eat whole foods and quality proteins.

Don't lump sugar and fats into the same category. High carbohydrates and fat will cause problems. High carbohydrates and protein cause problems. Meat that has as much fat as possible is not an issue. Protein and fat with low carbohydrates work just fine. Let your metabolism to enter low ketosis and fat will become your body's main energy source. The problem is refined sugars and high salt like bread. Most other processed foods are loaded with cheap, highly processed carbohydrates. You will get fat eating a diet composed of these ingredients. You do not get fat by eating fat. The opposite.

Re:Ass time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866225)

"It's sedentary living. You will never get millions to eat so little that they avoid obesity while watching screens 16 hours a day."

I sit at a screen 16 hours a day and I am not obese. I am slightly underweight for my height. My secret is: Energy In = Energy Out

Re:Ass time (2)

jandersen (462034) | about 6 months ago | (#46866307)

It's sedentary living. You will never get millions to eat so little that they avoid obesity while watching screens 16 hours a day.

And then again ...

It's true that sitting still in front of a screen all day long means we burn less calories, just as it is true that we get fatter because we eat more than we need. There is a long chain of causes and effects, and perhaps there is no real, fundamental reason; but if we want to fix the problem, I think the best place to start is by removing the very powerful, economic incentive that certain industries have to produce a lifestyle in which everybody are passive consumers of light-weight entertainment and heavy-weight food.

And don't give the tired old crap about "nobody forces you to overeat" etc, because it is hardly the whole truth. You just try to work up an appetite, then go to any average supermarket; what are you most likely to buy? The healthy options, which are generally a bit grey, tasteless and expensive (and difficult to find), or the cheap, sugary and fatty stuff that you can find easily and wrap your face around quickly?

90% or so of what is on offer in most shops is unhealthy, and a lot of the things advertised as healthy are just as unhealthy, so how much of a real choice does the average consumer have? The only real solution is to stop the production of crap food at its source.

Re:Ass time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866503)

It's sedentary living. You will never get millions to eat so little that they avoid obesity while watching screens 16 hours a day.

There is more to it than that. I bike a dozen miles a day in a hilly area to commute to work, work a job where I am on my feet 90+% of the time and away from a computer. I even have a hobby at home that keeps me on my feet for another hour or two a day, and like too cook stuff from scratch. Yet stuff like the biking only shifted by weight by about 10 pounds instead of causing me to become thin. Short of athletic training or spending a whole day hiking, activity can't make up for poor diet. Eating healthy meals shaves off some, but in the end it doesn't take much junk food between meals or occasional fast lunch to mess things up.

"Enough protein" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865837)

"Enough protein" is a difficult concept. There is no recommended daily intake for protein. In an experiment they put some male students on a very-low-protein diet and found no ill effects.

missed the point (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865915)

The experiment you mention is irrelevant. The TFA does not discuss how much protein is good for your health. You can surely reduce your protein intake and have no ill effects, as long as your caloric intake/outake are balanced.

The TFA simply says that our bodies are tuned to crave for protein. Overprocessed foods have been tweaked to contain less protein because protein is expensive to produce.

So, if your diet consists of overprocessed foods, you need to consume a disproportionately large amount of calories to satisfy that craving. This led to an obesity epidemic.

Re:"Enough protein" (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 months ago | (#46866073)

There is no recommended daily intake for protein.

1-2g/kg. The range from 1 to 2 being dependant on total calorie intake; which is itself decided by calorie consumption, indirectly setting the optimal position between 1 and 2 by daily activity.

Re:"Enough protein" (5, Informative)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 6 months ago | (#46866135)

The CDC recommends 56g of protein for adult males, and 46 for females. The British Nutrition Foundation's RNI is 0.75g per kilogram of body weight. Proteins in diet provide essential amino acids which cannot be synthesized by our organism. Most people get more than enough protein, but getting too little is very very bad [sfgate.com] . See also [wikipedia.org] . Now show us what you've been reading.

Re:"Enough protein" (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 6 months ago | (#46866469)

Well no wonder we don't know the recommendations. The CDC is dabbling in metric.

Not possible. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865839)

Our diet contains more meat than any other point in history, even before factoring in the abundance of nuts and beans.
While much fast or junk food is low in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, our protein intake is far from deficient.

Humans are anything but carefully balanced, besides. Living organisms are very adaptable and self-correcting - if they weren't, we'd all be long dead.

Possible. (2)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 6 months ago | (#46866145)

I agree, no one should claim that our diet is deficient in protein. But the idea that increasing the proportion of protein in our diet might help with appetite regulation does not sound outlandish.

Re:Possible. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866341)

Anyone on a low-carb diet can tell you, though, that it is fat that makes you feel full. Protein provides the fuel, but the fat is what decrease appetite (in the absence of carbohydrates).

But I like being tricked into eating yummy foods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865841)

I know not all Anonymous Cowards love being plump but when I walk around in my Muumuus, I'm proud of my high energy demands and need for a Suburban SUV to transport me to my destinations, like the library across the street or the grocery mart two blocks away. I mean how else do I get around to acquire all my treats and other sugary food needs?

Exercise? I get that on the toilet each day, and I mean why else would I get off the couch? I have a Nintendo Wii but I haven't used it in a couple of years.

Also, I have a question for you smart computer folks, is there an internet site that will send me food? I keep hearing about Amazon's drones but I live in an urban area outside of those nice delivery services from Safeway... Purhaps, you could help me by searching google for me and give me good links?

Re:But I like being tricked into eating yummy food (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 6 months ago | (#46866257)

Purhaps, you could help me by searching google for me and give me good links?

You want me to Google for links? [lmgtfy.com]

lol (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865851)

Give the fatties something else to blame, god knows it's never their fault.

Re:lol (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865889)

Yes, the parent post is trolling, but it's the best kind of troll - the truth. Too many people want to blame others for their faults. If you want to lose weight, eat less, eat better, and get off your ass more often.

Re:lol (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46866015)

That can be good advice for individuals, but as health policy it's terrible. Humans are largely unable to resist their instincts for long by willpower alone - that's why abstinence-only education fails.

Re:lol (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46866049)

It's not even good advice for individuals. On the basis that very few people who are overweight manage to make any lasting change to their weight with that advice.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866133)

They have to actually follow the advice. That's how advice works.

And this one definitely works. Eat less, move more. If that doesn't make you lose fat, apply for Randi's supernatural million-dollar challenge, because you're either creating mass or energy out of nowhere.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866143)

That's because diets aren't supposed to be temporary. If you're overweight it's because there's something wrong with your eating habits. Only permanent change will bring about the desired results.

Re:lol (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 6 months ago | (#46866235)

That's because diets aren't supposed to be temporary.

How does that work? To lose weight from a diet, you need to consumne fewer calories than you use. To stay at the same weight once you've lost enough weight, you need to consume the same amount of calories that you use. These aren't the same thing.

An overweight person would need to make some change to his eating habits, but that change wouldn't consist of making the diet permanent--if he did, he'd just keep losing weight down to nothingness (or at least down to where his body just uses fewer calories because it's thin, which would not be the same as his target weight).

Re:lol (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 6 months ago | (#46866359)

Your math is true for a balanced diet. If you eat an unbalanced diet, then you can eat much more and still remain thin. That is the magic of Atkins.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866423)

Except that's not true.

Re:lol (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46866163)

I said 'can be' good advice. Some people have the self-control for it to work. Many more do not. There's a tendency to shame those who lack control and assume it's a personal weakness, rather than admitting that it is just human nature.

Re:lol (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#46866141)

Give the fatties something else to blame, god knows it's never their fault.

The summary said:

Many people eat far too much fat and carbohydrate in their attempt to consume enough protein.

They could have just left it at:

Many people eat far too much.

Weight control is all about self control. Fat folks simply don't want accept that.

Fat folks have it tough in life, though. If you think about our ancestors as simple hunter and gatherers, who communally shared all the food they had . . . a fat person sticks out as someone in the group who is eating more than his fair share of the rest of the food. That would breed bad feelings in the group towards that person. Maybe that trait has been passed along to us down through evolution . . . ?

On the other hand, when your airplane full of soccer team players crashes in the snow in the Andes . . . that fat person is going to look very tasty to the rest of the group!

Re:lol (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | about 6 months ago | (#46866249)

How does that make sense? The soccer players are all lean muscle. How is that not better for survival than pure fat?

not only that (1)

Ingcuervo (1349561) | about 6 months ago | (#46865855)

Yes, basically proteins have bee always of high nutritional value and not that easy to find, hence, accepted anytime its possible to get them, also right now we are used a much slower pace of life (physically speaking), which makes the body save reserves for the "bad days" that it was used to instead of only discard them.

sumary: its too much food to little activity, so to lose weight shut your mouth and walk more (im myself overweighted and have lost gained several pounds back and forth obesity, because my will power doesnt last too much but when i find it, it really works)

Re:not only that (1)

Threni (635302) | about 6 months ago | (#46865883)

It's always amused me, as a vegetarian, how the first thing people often say is "how do you get enough protein" like it's a constant struggle. "How much do I need" I'll ask. They don't know. But, you know, a LOT - enough that they'd worry about it!

Re:not only that (1)

Ingcuervo (1349561) | about 6 months ago | (#46865945)

Im never said enough or not enough, im just saying that is not common and important, thats why its always well received by the body (you always want them no matter the way they are provided).

I never said vegetarian diet with enough protein is not possible, dont take it personal, i just said that our brains still see protein as a big reward independently of the needs.

I'm not vegetarian because like the flavor of meat, but if you dont... well thats great, if your reasons are different.... also great! i hope you enjoy your food as much as i enjoy mine.

Re:not only that (1)

Threni (635302) | about 6 months ago | (#46866037)

My comment was more about people's ignorance about protein than about what you like to eat (the latter being rather off-topic).

Re:not only that (1)

rioki (1328185) | about 6 months ago | (#46866045)

I actually know a few long term vegans and they take great care to eat sufficient proteins. "how do you get enough protein" sounds like a stupid question, until you talk to people that not do this as a fad but for the rest of their life. It is a real issue they need to consider. They start to eat things, like tofu, that you would not consider part of a normal diet. Becoming a vegan does not mean removing meat, eggs and cheese from your diet, it also means finding substitutes. Vegetarians on the other hand, no big deal, a few chicken eggs and some cheese will do the trick.

Re:not only that (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46866125)

They start to eat things, like tofu, that you would not consider part of a normal diet.

What, so it's an abnormal diet? Tofu sounds like a pretty normal thing to me, even if I eat it quite infrequently.

Re:not only that (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#46866105)

The problem for vegetarians (and more especially for vegans) is not getting enough proteins, it's getting all of the required amino acids (for some reason, the term 'a whole protein' is used to mean 'all of the essential amino acids'). For future reference, by the way, you need around 25g of protein per day, but it has to be balanced among 9 amino acids that the human body can't synthesise (the other 11 can be synthesised from those 9). It's not particularly hard to get all of them - in fact, if you're meeting your calorific quota and not starving then you probably are. Unfortunately, a lot of hippy-vegan recipes that seem to be closely associated with vegetarianism have a terrible mix, so you end up with 3-4 times RDA for some amino acids but only a small amount of others. This led to a lot of vegans in the '60s suffering from amino acid deficiencies, which has led to a belief that it's hard for vegetarians to get enough protein.

Re:not only that (4, Interesting)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about 6 months ago | (#46866377)

The problem for vegetarians (and more especially for vegans) is not getting enough proteins, it's getting all of the required amino acids

What problem? Rice and beans [cdc.gov] in combination contain all the amino acids you need.

Re:not only that (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 6 months ago | (#46866515)

This is part of a nutritional myth that was widely believed in the 60's. It is true that you need to get 8 essential amino acids (not 9), but in the 60's people believed you had to get 8 amino acids in every meal, so "protein complementarity" was a big deal with vegetarians in the West (not so much in ancient vegetarian cultures). What we now know is that while it's true you need to get your protein from different sources to get the amino acid coverage (other than some complete plant-based proteins like soy), it is not necessary to balance them in each meal. So if you have whole wheat toast (without peanut butter) for breakfast, and peanut butter on apples for lunch, that's a complete protein. Or if you eat red beans for dinner Tuesday and rice noodles for dinner Wednesday, that's also a complete protein. In the 60s you might have been taught that the peanut butter and bread had to be paired into a delicious sandwich or that the rice and beans had to be eaten together or you would risk catastrophic health consequences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]
Unless you are a spreadsheet addict, it is a waste of time to study protein complementarity. It turns out if you eat a plant based diet of varied sources (ie not only eating 1 thing all of the time), there is no protein problem whatsoever. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

Re:not only that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866149)

> It's always amused me, as a vegetarian [...]

That's a contradiction right there.

Poppycock (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865859)

Many people eat far too much fat and carbohydrate in their attempt to consume enough protein.

It would turn out that many people eat far too much protein in their attempt to consume "enough" protein. Meat consumption is far higher than healthy, leading to arthritis and circulatory system problems.

In general, people in the "civilized" countries eat far too much, period. While it's nice to blame food consistency for it, it's just lack of movement and overavailability of food that's totally suitable for explaining the balance between effort and intake to be so far off-whack that evolutionary grown organisms are not able to cope reasonably long-term. For now.

But that's where things are pointing right now. Would an attractive woman rather mate with a 250lb 6ft2 well-off millionaire with some height/weight induced back problems exacerbated by the office hours holding up his empire demands, or with a 90lb 5ft2 marathon runner from Kenia? I mean, the latter looks like a stick figure. A bit frail to feel well=protected when around. He's probably just going to run away when there is a problem rather than wheeze threateningly.

Re:Poppycock (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 6 months ago | (#46865895)

In general, people in the "civilized" countries eat far too much, period. While it's nice to blame food consistency for it, it's just lack of movement and overavailability of food that's totally suitable for explaining the balance between effort and intake

I'm sure that the point of this study isn't that simple. (If I could be bothered to read it, that is) Your point would be pretty obvious for a conclusion, it's probably the starting point that led to that study. Like: WHY are people in "civilized" countries overeating? And why is this happening even more with processed foods? Then that study finds with which bio-chemical stuff the food industry manages to trick our body to accept junk food as "valueable"

Re:Poppycock (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865959)

The problem seems to be anything but simple, though people seem quite content to advocate simple solutions (kilojoules out > kilojoules out, for example).

Say you eat foods that digest primarily into glucose, but are eating the correct amount of kilojoules for your body composition. That's probably too much glucose, resulting in your body raising insulin levels in the blood to compensate. Over time you get insulin resistance, which leaves you with high blood sugar levels. Then you get leptin resistance, which leaves you feeling hungry even though you have more than enough energy available.

Suppose you're eating foods containing sucrose instead, which is half glucose and half fructose (or high fructose corn syrup, which is 45%/55%). The fructose is digested and results in uric acid, which apparently [youtube.com] might be the root cause of hypertension (high blood pressure) and related pre-diabetes symptoms.

So you're consuming the correct amount of energy initially, but the result of leptin resistance causes you to feel hungry. So you eat more - raising blood sugars higher and increasing leptin resistance - which makes it harder for you to feel full.

Guess what the majority of the energy contained withing processed foods digests into, without that pesky fiber getting in the way?

There seems to be other things that may impact the issue as well, such as preservatives; they inhibit bacteria, and most of the digestion in our bodies occurs with the help of bacteria. The whole thing's a bit of a mess, with ongoing research. It's interesting.

Re:Poppycock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866121)

Would an attractive woman rather mate with a 250lb 6ft2 well-off millionaire with some height/weight induced back problems exacerbated by the office hours holding up his empire demands, or with a 90lb 5ft2 marathon runner from Kenia?

Ah, but you're forgetting something... Once they go black, they never go back.

Mantra (4, Informative)

clard11 (468002) | about 6 months ago | (#46865887)

"Eat Food. Mainly Plants. Not too much"

You're doing it wrong (1, Interesting)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 6 months ago | (#46865935)

Plants are an important part of a healthy diet, but they tend to lack in the protein and fat intake we need. Yes, we need fat to live. You can live without carbs for many months, but if you don't eat any fat, you're dead within three months. Even vitamins usually can be abstained from for longer periods of time without you dying. Carbs mess up our blood sugar and are proven to be one of the main contributors to the amount of diabetes type 2 we have today, as well as the enormous amount of obese people ( http://ds9a.nl/new-consensus/ [ds9a.nl] ) . Carbs are addictive (they have bacteria in our guts produce "happy hormones") so even if you can afford to buy food that doesn't have carbs, you most likely don't want to, but you should seriously consider drastically reducing your intake in carbs. You can get your energy from fat and protein, no need for grain products at all.

New mantra: "Don't eat carbs, mainly fat, protein and plants". If you do it that way, the "not too much" will be easy.

Re:You're doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865993)

Plants are an important part of a healthy diet, but they tend to lack in the protein and fat intake we need.

Oh good grief. And that from the land of large-scale peanut and soybean farming. How do you think the "vegetable oil" gets into its bottles? Where do you think your farm animals get all the proteins from that they mold into steaks for you? By magic?

Really, get some clue about the basic composition of your food groups.

Re:You're doing it wrong (4, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about 6 months ago | (#46866201)

Almost everything you said there is wrong. Broccoli has more protein per calorie than steak does [drfuhrman.com] , and there are plenty of plants with tons of fat. In fact, healthier fats (mono and poly unsaturated) mostly all come from plants. Try some nuts or an avocado if you don't think you're getting enough fat. This is exceedingly unlikely though, since you don't really need much fat to get by. The recommended minimum is 15% of your calories, but it's not like you're going to die within three months if you don't eat any fat - this guy [bmj.com] didn't consume any calories at all, including fat, for 382 days with no ill-effects.

Your statements about carbs are a little difficult to deal with, "one of the main contributors" is a hard statement to disprove. Really, type 2 diabetes is (mostly) caused by obesity and certainly you can get fat by eating carbs. But you can get fat by eating too much of anything. It's how much you eat (calories), not how you eat it [googleusercontent.com] , that determines how much weight you loose. Fad diets, like a low carb diet, do work, but they work by restricting your calories, not by some special voodoo.

Re:You're doing it wrong (4, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 6 months ago | (#46866329)

The word is ketosis. It is spelled totally different from voodoo. http://www.medicalnewstoday.co... [medicalnewstoday.com]

If you restrict carbs, you force your body to process fat, which is the whole idea.

it's the carbs, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865911)

Atkins was right 40 years ago, and he is still right today. People get fat when they eat too much carbohydrate, which is what everyone's grandmother knew in the 50's and 60's. Is it just an amazing coincidence that the obesity epidemic got started at the same time US nutritional guidelines told everyone to stop eating fat? And now we serve lowfat milk in schools, but the kids don't want to drink it so we put strawberry flavored corn syrup in it, and Michelle Obama is worried that children are getting fatter.

Re:it's the carbs, stupid (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46866353)

Atkins said basically what the article says too: Switch carbs for protein (NOT fat!) and you're golden.

Of course that is NOT cheap. You can't eat cheap crap and expect it to be healthy.

Evolution has given humans the following: (5, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 6 months ago | (#46865933)

1. If there's food, eat it.

That's it. Humans with exactly this strategy were most likely to survive the periods of hunger that were very much normal until a few decades ago.

Of course, this strategy fails completely if food is always available and hunger periods never occur. Constant availability of food is a relatively new phenomenon, too new for humans to have adapted to it.

Re:Evolution has given humans the following: (2)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 6 months ago | (#46865987)

Actually, humans have done a good job of surviving famine and other food stresses by adopting long term storage strategies. It's fundamental to agriculture -- usually your crop is not producing 365 days of the year. Humans unable to ration and protion themselves would be less likely to survive because food availability is rather variable. We're not just eating machines. And there are plenty of places historical and contemporary places with high food aviailability and no significant obesity problem. Compare America to Japan. It really is the content of the diet which is at issue (as well as a more leisurely lifestyle) not simply the availability of the food.

Re:Evolution has given humans the following: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866029)

That's not really true according to studies conducted by Professor Paul Kenny. If you give rats all the sugar they want they will only eat as much as they need and not get overweight. Same thing if you give them as much fat as they want. But if you give them something with both sugar and fat they will eat too much and become overweight.

Re:Evolution has given humans the following: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866051)

I forgot to add that food with high levels of both sugar and fat does not occur in nature. Humans have created that. So it seems evolution has not prepared us for handling that combination in food.

Re:Evolution has given humans the following: (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 months ago | (#46866061)

Fortunately, evolution has also given some humans the following:
- A functioning brain.

Re:Evolution has given humans the following: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866161)

Fortunately, evolution has also given some humans the following:
- A functioning brain.

Are we still talking about the U.S.A. here?

Re:Evolution has given humans the following: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866129)

1. If there's food, eat it.

That's it.

Nope, not by a far stretch. That's the couch potato credo. The real equation evolves balancing hunger, effort, and the tastiness of food also measured with cultural metrics.

For example, cannibalistic societies have turned out to not provide the best overall survival strategy, both because of the drawback of a higher danger of getting eaten as well as human meat being "overprocessed": too similar to the actual dietary needs to be healthy, and also prone to facilitate prionic diseases (we've seen how turning rumivores into cannibals can backfire fast with the spread of mad cow disease).

Anti-fat culture could be the cause of obesity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865991)

After going on a very low carb diet for a few months last year, I discovered that main-stream, "low fat" pushing dieticians really don't know shit about losing weight.
If you've tried all the traditional diets and they haven't worked for you I can highly recommend a ketogenic diet. By eating less than 100g of carbs per day your body will go into ketosis after a few days, and you'll be burning fat like nobodies business. You can eat as much fat as you want on ketosis, but you'll find you won't overeat because the fat in your diet satisfies your hunger. Once your body is using fat as it's energy source it can't store it at the same time. Drink lots of water and the fat will fall off.

Re:Anti-fat culture could be the cause of obesity (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 6 months ago | (#46866309)

Yup. The easiest way to lose weight is with an unbalanced diet and the best unbalanced diet, is the high protein diet of Dr Atkins / Paleolithic. The worst way to lose weight, is with a balanced diet, since then you have to eat almost nothing and you'll feel terribly hungry all the time.

Re:Anti-fat culture could be the cause of obesity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866445)

Then why does all the diets have the same result?

Basically every metastudy of different diets show that Atkins, LCHF, calorie counting, points, or GI perform equal over time.

But yet you claim that high protein diets are better. How much better? 0.5%? Studies?

Re:Anti-fat culture could be the cause of obesity (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46866333)

Just please make sure you eat the right fats. Else you're switching a heart attack from obesity for a heart attack from LDL cholesterol.

Re:Anti-fat culture could be the cause of obesity (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46866501)

The problems with high-fat diet is that it is uncomfortable for your digestive system, and simply expensive.

Re:Anti-fat culture could be the cause of obesity (2)

Bongo (13261) | about 6 months ago | (#46866507)

Same here. Tried it and found it works really well. Closer to hunter gatherer ancestors 300,000 years ago who ran down a large animal and then ate practically the whole thing, supplemented with berries and tubers or whatever. Lots of meat, lots and lots of fat, very little carbs.

Actually, it was the right balance of carbs, as was found before agriculture, and later, the vast industrialised agribusiness, made carbs so cheap you could fill half the plate with them, and then a long advertising campaign convinced everyone that this was the "right balance".

You only have to do low carb for about 3 days to realise what a massive public health shot in the foot we've had. And that's before we even get into any of the various other chronic conditions people may be suffering due to a unnaturally high carb diet combined with an unnaturally low fat intake.

Grains are cheaper to store and process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46865999)

The shelf life of grains and getting them into a product that is stable for a longer time is easier with grains than for high quality proteins too.

A much more reasonable explanation is... (5, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 6 months ago | (#46866079)

... food companies have scientists working 24/7 to hack human tastebuds for profit.

Much of this problem simply comes down to the fact that bad food is engineered to taste better than natural food we found in our environment over evolutionary history. The problem is our bodies aren't designed to deal with this new food environment and hence obesity. The environment that kids are raised in by clueless over stressed parents and shitty school environments doesn't help either.

Last but not least, human beings are not free. Probably one of the biggest myths that go along with the myth of responsibility.

Sam harris on free will

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:A much more reasonable explanation is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866123)

It's certainly a comfortable excuse for fat people.

"It's not that I lack any self-control or willingness to move more and eat less (on nom). It's those evil food companies (on nom nom nom). They force me to do it (om nom)."

If you want to be fat, by all means be fat. But if you don't want to be fat, you know how to prevent that. So stop trying to blame it on other people.

Re:A much more reasonable explanation is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866219)

"If you want to be fat, by all means be fat. But if you don't want to be fat, you know how to prevent that. So stop trying to blame it on other people."

Yo dumbass, what controls peoples 'wills'? oh yeah their physical brain which is driven by natural laws, not human freedom.

High Fat Low Carb, Paleo/Primal (5, Interesting)

Bongo (13261) | about 6 months ago | (#46866087)

Also known as Banting.

The LCHF Paleo Primal Banting community, the people who have been reading Taubes' review of the literature going back pre-war, and so on, and who have tried this stuff for themselves, the basic insight is that it is the carbohydrates that are the problem.

The grain growers wanted to mass produce and sell the stuff, and some politicians liked a "heart healthy" message (despite scientists protesting that more research was needed before jumping to conclusions) and so the whole "heart healthy" movement was born, which emphasised high carb foods like cereals, by demonising fat.

Well after some decades, and people trying it for themselves, people are now realising that it was pretty much completely wrong. And manufacturers, because fatless food tastes of cardboard, knew they had to increase the sugar content to make up for the lack of taste. Low fat yoghurts loaded with sugar. Healthy smoothies, loaded with sugar.

The carbs create cravings, signal the body to store fat, and overwork your insulin production until it breaks.

But dietary fat? Good natural fats are good for you. They are good for the guts, the heart, and the brain. Well, you can read books and various docs on this, and try it for yourself. See if their claims seem to work out. It isn't a short term diet, it is a lifestyle.

Re:High Fat Low Carb, Paleo/Primal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866239)

If food is your lifestyle your doing it wrong.

I prefer to eat meat (chicken, fish, beef, pork in about equal amounts) and lots of raw vegetables, nuts and milk products, nice sandwich and pasta now and then. Actually anything, but never the same thing to excess.

Re: High Fat Low Carb, Paleo/Primal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866383)

If ensuring you eat a healthy and appropriate diet today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life ISN'T your lifestyle, then it's you that's doing something wrong.

Re:High Fat Low Carb, Paleo/Primal (-1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46866317)

The whole low carb crap is about as bad as the high carb crap was before. Because now carbs are bad and fat are good, so let's saturate. Pun well intended, in both ways.

So now you have people whose carb intake is back to normal levels but their LDL cholesterol level is through the roof because they only heard "fat good" and not "CERTAIN fats good". Which is actually the case, but of course it's cheaper to pump food full of saturated fats, so that's what you get in the ready-to-eat low carb crap.

The problem is not that carbs are bad or that fat are bad, but that the RIGHT carbs and the RIGHT fats are what you should eat. The food industry is not your ally in this, though. They'd sell you motor oil as fat if the FDA allowed them. I won't even say "they'll sell you X as long as it doesn't kill you", because the FDA is actually a bit stricter than that. Not by a lot, but it is.

Trans fat, I trust, is something I need not explain. They're unhealthy, they're high on LDL cholesterol, they're basically a heart attack waiting to happen. But we're still waiting for the FDA to finally swing that ban hammer, even after they already do not "generally recognize them as safe" (took 'em a while to get to that level...). That stuff KILLS you. Ok, not outright, but slowly but surely, not unlike smoking.

But that shit is cheap to make. It cuts costs. And since sugar won't carry the taste in your low carb food, fat is great at transporting tasty stuff and trans fat are dirt cheap, take a wild guess at just how healthy your low carb stuff is.

Bon appetit.

Re:High Fat Low Carb, Paleo/Primal (1)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46866403)

From what I've read, high carb diets, specifically those high in sugar, suppress the leptin response, keeping you feeling hungry, eating more carbs that get turned to body fat instead of being consumed.

Reducing/eliminating carbs helps with the leptin response by causing you to not be hungry and less interested in food.

My experience was that it worked exactly like this,

If only... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866101)

If only humans had any sort of control over how much they eat, or the ability to decide to eat less if they're getting fat. But, sadly, these evil "food processors" also shove the food down out mouths whether we want to or not.

Oh, wait...

Re:If only... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46866283)

It's fairly easy to say that, but it gets a bit more complicated when you look at it closely. Your argument follow the logic "if people don't want to be drug addicts, they just need to say no to them". Hey, I remember even that there has been a campaign for that!

And? How well did that work out for your country? You don't have any drug addicts anymore now that you've explained to your people that drugs are bad for them, right?

Of course, we're looking at a different underlying problem here but simply saying "it's their own fault if they're so dumb" is a bit easy and shows very little insight into the core of the problem.

Re:If only... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 6 months ago | (#46866419)

Your argument follow the logic "if people don't want to be drug addicts, they just need to say no to them". Hey, I remember even that there has been a campaign for that!

Yes, and that campaign was actually quite successful. It was not an overnight panacea, but drug use among teenagers dropped rather significantly over the course of that campaign. This despite the fact that it was routinely reviled in the press and by educators.

True (2)

prefec2 (875483) | about 6 months ago | (#46866153)

This has been found out over and over again, but the food industry will always lobby against anything which would reduce their market. They even lobby against labels. In the EU, there was an initiative which wanted to color code the amount of fat, sugar, salt and other carbohydrates with (green = low, yellow = medium, and red = high) together with numerical values. It was stopped after massive lobbying. So now these labels are all white or black, require reading, and the values are distorted in different ways.

So this is an uphill battle. What helps, is buying at a local market instead of a supermarket. And do not watch TV adverts.

Re:True (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 6 months ago | (#46866323)

These labels are colour coded in the UK, with both a numerical value and a percentage of your Guideline Daily Amount (Or Recommended Daily Intake, whatever is the current popular phrase). I've no idea what the criteria are for the labels, though; I've seen some which just didn't make sense (5% of salt intake, red label? I'm not going to eat 20 bags of this a day!)

Proteins are expensive, fat and carbs are cheap (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46866267)

That's basically the deal here: It's way cheaper to squeeze out kibble made of carbs and fat rather than creating something that contains protein. Protein can be found in animal based food (fish, meat, eggs, cheese) or a few vegetables (mainly certain nuts and pulse). And neither of them is easy or cheap to cultivate in large quantity.

It is, though, fairly cheap to produce fat, especially since we found out how to turn dirt cheap crap fat into shortening. And carbohydrates are a staple for pretty much any culture in existence anyway, and we managed to perfect its production.

Fat and carbs, carbs and fat. We excel at producing them and we can do it for cents per ton. Ain't that easy for protein. So processed food will contain as much fat and carbohydrates and as little protein as we can get away with.

But our bodies are not fooled that easily. They know what stuff should be in our diet, and if you don't eat what you're "supposed" to eat, you'll stay hungry. Now the vicious cycle starts because we're hungry, so we eat. The wrong crap again, so we stay hungry.

A solution is probably only possible if we simply forgo processed food and actually start cooking and eating sensibly again. But, and this is the next problem, can we still afford that? You, me, we probably can. We have money to "waste" on internet access, obviously. But how about people who're not as well off? Can they?

Bread and Circuses (4, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 6 months ago | (#46866289)

The problem is that we metabolize bread just as fast as sucrose. Even Coca Cola gives less of a 'sugar rush' than bread (because Coke contains fructose).

So, if you are big, fat and lazy, just stop eating wheat, potatoes and rice products and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the result. This is otherwise known as the Caveman diet, Paleo diet, Atkins diet, High Protein diet, or any number of other names. It works and there is no need to buy and read a book about it, though it won't hurt if you do.

Protein leverage theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46866363)

This sounds like the protein leverage theory. While it's been known for a while that protein is more satiating than fat or carbohydrates, it's been hypothesized that diluted protein content drives greater total consumption. A reasonable idea, but there's not a lot of support for it. And, coincidentally, new research was just published that does not support the theory:

Protein leverage effects of beef protein on energy intake in humans [nutrition.org]
Higher protein diets reduced total calorie intake, but lower protein diets did not lead to higher intake.

Marbled steak (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 6 months ago | (#46866407)

So when I eat a fatty steak, I enjoy it because it's processed food?

Sure (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 6 months ago | (#46866481)

I eat fast food regularly, I never eat whole wheat, I live at a desk. I'm 5'9", weight 145 pounds and can bench press 175, not great but acceptable. Maybe I have a better metabolism that most everyone else or I just eat when I need to and no more.

wow (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46866497)

Processed foods, fat and carbs are bad for me? What a revelation!

Cigarettes... (4, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46866505)

....used to be made with paper and tobacco leaf. That's it. That is how it was grown and manufactured for hundreds of years.

Today's cigarette contains hundreds of ingredients. And they sure as hell weren't added as flavor enhancers.

Anyone "tricked" over the concept of addictive chemicals being added to fast food that make you want to crave more of their product is rather ignorant of the world we live in, and the greed and corruption that built it.

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