Sunday, October 27, 2019

Retrospective #252: “400 Calorie Meals for Fall”

“400 Calorie Meals for Fall,” the email from FITDAY proclaimed. Exciting! Small meals. I’m always looking for ideas for small meals that are very low carb. The reason, besides the fact that I have been a Type 2 diabetic for 33 years, is that if they are very low carb, moderate protein and high fat, I won’t be hungry between meals. I will be able to eat just 3 small meals a day, without snacks, and always feel satisfied. And I will lose weight, which is what I need to do.
So, I opened the FITDAY link to find 10 more links to recipes that promised “delicious healthy meals.” “Try any of these low-calorie dishes and see just how great it feels to eat well while still staying healthy,” FITDAY urged. Not thinking, it seemed promising, since FITDAY is known for helping people, who need and want to lose weight, keep track of the macronutrients of the foods they eat. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein and fats; together, total calories.
 So, I started reading the FITDAY write-ups. And, sure enough each of the 10 small meals was 400 calories or less. I noticed, however, that only the total calories and fat grams were provided in the FITDAY narratives. There was no mention of carbs or protein. Okay, I thought, that’s “old thinking.” Most dieters still think that only calories count, and dietary fat makes you fat. But, for the broader readership, and the enlightened reader in particular, a fuller nutritional analysis is needed and surely would be included with the actual recipes. So, I looked further.
Each link opened to a different site that provided the ingredients and steps needed to make each meal. Of the 10 links, however, only 5 provided a nutritional analysis, usually as a sidebar. And of those, the carb counts per serving for these small meals were humongous, including 41grams for recipe #4; 45g for #5; and 47g for #10. Those numbers were so large that 1) “fat burning” (body fat) would be impossible (the body will burn dietary carbs first), and then 2) when the carbs were burned, the body would crave more calories (the “sugar burner’s” “hunger syndrome”). If I ate these meals, my blood sugar would spike like crazy and then crash (leaving me both tired and hungry).
Okay, not ALL FITDAY users are Type 2 diabetics, or even Prediabetics. But it’s safe to say that virtually all of them are overweight or obese, and overweight correlates very highly with Prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. It is the leading “risk factor” for a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Eighty-five percent of Type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese, and the percent of U.S adults (≥20 y.o.) who are overweight or obese is 69 percent. So, why would FITDAY advocate that its users “incorporate [these] delicious healthy meals into [their] daily diet”? That’s worth pondering about, isn’t it.
Well, FITDAY could still believe that only total calories and fat grams count. After all, the Dietary Dictocrats at the USDA still tell everyone to “eat less and exercise more.” The government is the last bastion of misinformation in the “diabesity” epidemic. And they will be preceded only by the AHA, the ADA and the AMA, whose leadership and sponsorship by agri-business and big pharma are nearly as corrupt and misguided as the Government’s approach to research funding. It’s this myopic and dogmatic attitude towards obesity research and public health policy that has plunged the U.S. into this 60-year-old dietary experiment, with the disastrous outcomes we see unfolding before us.
Besides, can we really blame FITDAY if their users believe that only total calories and fat grams count? So, until the pendulum swings toward using macronutrient distribution to determine whether a meal is “healthy,” we will continue to be blithely “misinformed” and not know that eating 400 calories meals that are low carb, not low fat, will lead to 1) losing weight easily, 2) feeling satisfied (full) longer, and 3) regulating blood sugar better with lower A1c’s.
But then, if we all learned to do that, FITDAY might lose members. We would have discovered what foods 1) cause us to gain weight (carbs, not dietary fat), 2) feel hungry a few hours after eating, and 3) spike our blood sugars. And that wouldn’t be good for FITDAY’s business model, i.e., their advertising revenues.
Ask yourself, when you learn “how great it feels” to eat “healthy meals” that are LOW-CARB, and you lose weight, and are full of energy, and your doctor is pleased with your weigh-in and lab reports, why would you need FITDAY?

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