Your nutrition science website, www.healthy-eating-politics.com, is quite frankly, one of the most comprehensive of its kind. It is in many ways a book in website form -- replete with great original research. What motivated you to make this effort? Where do you hope to take the site next?I grew up in the South in a family which was big in both girth and number. Food was a central topic at our house, but my parents didn’t know much about nutrition. We had seven people to feed, so the name of the game at our house was to save as much money as possible on the grocery bill. My parents didn’t pay much attention to the quality of the food, and it showed in their own state of health and in ours as we matured. In my late 30s and early 40s, serious health issues forced me to start looking for answers. Feeling bad most of the time, and dying young as my parents did was not the path I wanted to travel.
Over the past few years, I have really started to pay attention and identify which foods support my wellbeing and which don’t. In teaching myself, I became aware that many other people have health problems related to diet. I also realized through research that many health issues can be treated without using drugs and surgery. I’m sharing what I've learned in the hopes of assisting others in regaining a natural state of good health and avoiding the mainstream medical path of drug treatments, which I believe, in most cases, are a band aid, not a solution. As one naturopath I know says, “Illness is NOT the result of a drug deficiency.”
I think of my site as an educational resource, a sort of reference book for alternative, and sometimes hidden, sources of health information. I try to add new information as I discover it, and my most important desire is to make sure the site is a research supported fact repository. I want healthy-eating-politics.com to be a trusted source of information, so I do my best to research everything I write and make sure it is supported by unbiased, science based studies, and that I don't sensationalize any information. I'm not out to convince anyone of anything. My purpose is just to provide the alternative information I've found on health and food topics, so that people can consider it as well when making decisions about their own health and well-being.
Out of everything you have learned recently about diet and health, what has shocked you the most?
What shocks me the most is the fact that our mainstream institutions such as the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, the American Medical Association, the National Institutes of Health, and our USDA and FDA refuse to acknowledge the health benefits of a whole food, lower carb diet, even though those benefits have been proven in gold standard studies time and time again. It shocks me to see that these institutions, which were designed to protect the health and well-being of the American public, are actively subverting the truth about what constitutes a healthy diet just so they can advanced their own political or monetary agendas. As I've said in the past, change won't come from these agencies; it will come from an educated American public.
What sources do you trust for health/diet information?
I trust the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, the Weston A. Price Foundation, Dr. Jan Kwasniewski, Dr. Peter Langsjoen and the many authors who were willing to look at real, science based outcomes on food and diet when writing books and websites on these subjects.
I've listed my favorite sources on my Resources page on my website.
Now that you know what you do, what do you eat on a typical day? Do you ever "cheat" and eat sugary foods as a special treat; if so, what's your poison (so to speak!)?
My diet ratios normally come out to about 67% fat (mostly saturated), about 20% protein and 12% carbohydrate. A typical day’s menu might be eggs with bacon, onions and butter for breakfast, salad or greek yogurt and nuts for lunch, and steak, pork roast or fish with non-starchy vegetables for dinner. I also eat a little low sugar Lindt's 70% dark chocolate just about every day, and occasionally I have a dark chocolate Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar. That's my absolute favorite, and as long as I don't have one every day, I don't see any ill effects.
I test food by how it makes me feel. If I eat something, and feel awful afterwards, I don’t eat that food again. Bread, for me, is truly damaging. I feel like I've taken narcotics if I eat any kind of wheat product, so I just don't eat it. I also go by my blood tests. My HbA1c, C - reactive protein, blood sugar and lipid tests are all normal, so I feel what I'm doing is right for me. This may sound kind of crazy, but when I go to the dentist for a cleaning, the hygienist can never find any plaque on my teeth. That really speaks to me about the health of my diet, as I had lots of cavities as a child.
I pay attention to normal cravings, as I feel my own body is the best source of truth on food needs. Chemicals like white flour and high fructose corn syrup throw off your body’s normal metabolic awareness. Once I kicked these chemicals, I was able to clearly determine what my body really wanted to eat. If I get a craving for beef, I have beef, because I believe there's a biological reason for that craving. This method works for me. Others might feel better being a little stricter with themselves. I feel good about my diet, even though it isn't optimal at times. I’ve changed my diet almost 180 degrees, but I’ve found that it's unrealistic and difficult for me to eat to a severe idea of perfection every day. I use how I feel as a measure instead. And at 48, I feel very good, and certainly better than I did at 38.
What can we low carb/sugar people do to get our message out there better?I think it's just going to take time. I see indications daily that the message is reaching more and more people. The American public is not stupid. People see the health problems around them, and they are aware of their own health issues. Most will eventually realize the high carb, low fat advice they hear from uneducated doctors, the media and our government is part of the problem, not the solution, and they will take steps to learn the truth.
Do you think the low fat diet can ever be defeated? If so, what might a low carb future look like for America and the world?I think it can, but the push will have to come from a grass roots, public education campaign. I think that change will involve each American individual learning about what works for them health wise, and sharing that with neighbors, friends and coworkers. As people change what they know about health and diet, and then spend their money in support of that new information, (for example, buying whole, organic foods from the local producer instead of processed foods at the grocery chain store) the industrial food complex will have to change its offerings to keep market share. This is what the current food fight going on in our country is about. The US government is doing its best to shut down the local producers of clean, whole foods to protect industrial agricultural market share, and to protect the "image of authority" they currently have.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that you have a free monthly newsletter, Healthy Bites. (I have already signed up + am looking forward to it -- visitors can sign up here). What premium content do you offer here?
To be honest, I don't send these out monthly due to time constraints and because I feel like we are all already drowning in information. I try to use the newsletter to share information which I hope the reader will find really useful in choosing a better diet, or finding the truth about certain health issues.
I did just send one today about the Food Freedom fight we are in the midst of, because it's really starting to heat up. I felt that people should know their food rights are being targeted so that they can decide how they want to respond.