- Ada, Oklahoma

August 19, 2013

A diet warning siren that rings true

Lone Beasley Publisher

Ada —

There is a science more unpredictable than forecasting the weather. It is forecasting what we should or should not be eating. At least in meteorology we have two assurances: a tornado is bad for our health and it will be preceded by a warning siren. Neither is true regarding food we consume because what is bad for us keeps changing and the alerts we hear often turn out to be false alarms.

Coffee is good for you. Sorry, coffee is bad for you. No wait, coffee is good for you. 

Eating eggs will eventually find you staring up at someone wearing a white surgical mask preparing to split your chest open to work on your heart. No wait, eggs are actually okay. No surgery required!

Chocolate is only for those engaged in Satanism. Oops! Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, whatever that is, and you want them working on your behalf. Eat all you want. 

Stocking your pantry with low-fat foods will keep you slim and trim. That this might not be true first dawned on me years ago when my sister-in-law exclaimed in frustration, “Everything in my kitchen is low-fat except me!”

It was a true statement. And as America’s obesity and diabetes epidemics worsened it became obvious it wasn’t only true for my sister-in-law. It was true for the rest of us, too. 

Comes now a heart surgeon who admits he and other medical professionals were wrong in their pronouncements regarding heart attack causes and preventatives. Dwight Lundell, M.D., in a article writes that the true culprit is inflammation. 

Cholesterol, he says, is not the bugaboo. It is inflammation in artery walls that makes cholesterol get trapped in places it would otherwise move freely and harmlessly by. Inflammation of artery walls is akin to repeatedly scrubbing your skin with a brush to the point it turns red and is on the verge of bleeding. After additional brushing, it does start bleeding, becomes infected, and gets worse with each repeated brushing.

Who would do that? According to Dr. Lundell, when it comes to inflaming arteries involving the heart, you and I do that when we consistently feast on low-fat, polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrate-laden foods. 

Processed foods like sweet rolls, potato chips and fries taste great going down but eventually result in inflammation. Nor is Dr. Lundell a fan of other processed foods and for the same reasons. They lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. He is equally disdainful of processed foods made using corn oil or soybean oil. 

What he does promote is consumption of grass-fed beef and colorful fruit and vegetables, i.e., complex carbohydrates. Therefore, if you want to avoid heart trouble and all the ailments associated with it, Dr. Lundell’s advice is to stop eating so-called low-fat fare and stick to more natural foods. 

When it comes to food warnings, this one rings true. Will America respond to his warning siren? 

Time will tell.