Underneath the surface of the American food industry is a sickening pattern of large companies lobbying to promote highly addictive, unhealthy foods. Consumers beware - we must fight back and take back our health.
A Real-Life Horror Story
When you can't even trust Harvard food scientists
It was a dark and stormy night…
Inside a castle on a hill, with lightning flashing across the sky, an evil conglomerate of sugar corporations met to discuss a recent challenge they were facing.
“Master, master,” the servant-slave Igor proclaimed, “People aren’t buying as much sugar anymore. They say it makes them fat, and sugar is to be avoided! What do we do, master? At this pace, we may not have enough money to keep the fireplace lit through the winter!”
“Simmer down, Igor,” the Sugar Meister chided, “Gentlemen! We’ve seen a recent drop in sales due to a changing public perception. We’ve sat around this table for weeks trying to figure out what to do about this problem, to no avail. Well gentlemen, I finally have an answer.”
“You see,” he went on, “Everyone has a price, even Harvard academics. And after some work behind the scenes, I’ve figured out that price….”
Fades to black.
Ok, so it probably didn’t go exactly like that, but after stumbling upon an article from the NY Times(1), it sure seems like it did.
To give you some background, what happened is that in the 1960’s a nutritional war was raging between fat and sugar. People weren’t sure which nutrient was leading to a rise in heart disease.
Worried about their profits, the sugar conglomerates funded Harvard professors to downplay the dangers posed by sugar, and play up the dangers of fat.
As we have seen, the sugar lobby’s devious and greedy strategy worked in a big way, and the course of American nutritional policy was changed for the next half a century.
This was no white lie. The high-sugar diet that the American population adopted has been a major contributor to an incredible rise in obesity and diabetes that has become a major epidemic in the USA and around the world. It’s estimated now that 1 in 4 adults in America have diabetes, and the number is rising alarmingly!
It’s time for us as consumers to get well-informed and take action. You’re either a part of the solution or the problem. The good news? It is never too late to get informed and make healthy changes.
Cutting through the noise
It’s a confusing nutritional world out there. Not only do the experts wildly disagree, but there are outside forces aiming to manipulate research and public perception.
We do our best at BestMe to cut through the noise to the truth, but it’s notoriously hard to draw conclusions from nutritional studies.
An article from Vox(2) does a thorough job of explaining this difficulty. To summarize:
It's not practical to run randomized trials for most big nutrition questions.
Instead, nutrition researchers have to rely on observational studies — which are rife with uncertainty.
Many nutrition studies rely on (wildly imprecise) food surveys.
More complications: People and food are diverse.
Conflict of interest is a huge problem in current nutrition research.
Getting informed and smart
NY Times published an articles(3), which shows you which foods are considered healthy by nutrition experts vs. the general public respectively.
This data although not surprisingly is quite shocking. Public consensus leans heavily towards the idea that conventional granola, weight-loss shakes, orange juice and granola bars are are healthy, but that is completely wrong.
It’s extremely difficult to find a granola bar that isn’t made with poor or unrecognizable ingredients, that’s nutritious, tastes good and not filled with junk. 99% of all of traditional granola bars provide little to no positive nutritional value at all.
Perhaps just as shocking, or perhaps even more startling, is about half of nutritionists considered products like granola ‘healthy’ as well as orange juice, but only about a third considered coconut oil to be healthy, as compared to nearly three in four public respondents.
Find the right solution
It starts with you. You are either a part of the problem, or part of the solution.
Sometimes, being your own doctor can seem like the best option when we are overloaded with data and you don’t know who or what to trust and where to find reputable information. However, being your own health advocate, or not knowing where to turn can be difficult and lead to serial dieting that causes more harm than good.
Instead of going it alone, speaking with a mentor, a holistic medicine doctor, or a perhaps a coach who knows and understands can make all the difference. The good news is that BestMe has you covered. Our team has experience helping people improve their health and can help you navigate the health jungle and improve your long-term health.