How appropriate that the Weston Price Foundation orchestrated a very interesting press conference on Valentine’s Day (the day of the heart) in Washington DC. to publicize and refute the newly revised USDA Food Guidelines. (Watch the video here). After all, for the past thirty years we have been following their low-fat advice in order to decrease the risk of heart disease, and yet, sadly, heart disease, as well as obesity and diabetes, have risen at alarming rates. In response, the USDA, in it’s wisdom, has issued stricter guidelines when it comes to fat and salt. Americans are good, obedient people and they have suffered through these guidelines for way too long. One day, and I hope it will be soon, they will wake up and smell the bacon and say “give me more!” One day they will revolt against having become a triangle, because when you eat according to the USDA food pyramid, you are condemned to morphing into a triangle.
There is no science behind the food pyramid. What is behind it is a pyramid-like marketing scheme that involves politics and economic gain for giant food corporations without regard for nutrition at all. The “experts” at the USDA who are on this committee hide themselves away behind closed doors. They are not nutritionists, doctors, scientists or dietitians. They are politicians manipulating dietary principles for the gain of Big Ag(riculture). This has led to the epidemic of illness in this country, which in turn, leads to gains for Big Pharma. One hand washes the other.
Now the USDA wants Americans to eat only 7% of their daily caloric intake as saturated fat (reduced from 10%). They also recommend that the other fats in the diet be polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils), which are highly processed, rancid and cause oxidative damage to cells. Saturated fat has been given a bad rap much like eggs were. At least, at this point, the USDA “allows” 3-4 eggs per week. The Weston Price Foundation believes that eggs are fine every day as they are a nutrient dense food. (That will be the subject of another post). But saturated fat is denigrated and disallowed. Not too long ago in this country people were still regularly eating animal fats and certainly they were healthier for it. In France, they eat plenty of fats and are healthy—the French Paradox. If it is paradox, perhaps the original hypothesis is incorrect (that all saturated fat is bad). And it is a hypothesis. In fact, the Framingham study which was supposed to show that saturated fats caused more heart disease, actually showed the opposite. The people who ate the most saturated fat and cholesterol had less heart disease. (Link to the source). That should have told the USDA something. But the USDA bases it’s decisions on politics—so scientific evidence would not matter anyway.
Additionally, the USDA wants to be sure that Americans eat under 300mgs of cholesterol. That is less than 2 eggs a day. This, in spite of the fact that it has been shown over and over that dietary cholesterol has no influence on serum levels. The body will make as much cholesterol as it needs. And it needs a lot. Cholesterol is the basic building block off all hormones and it is an essential part of all cell membranes and the brain. Children need cholesterol for brain development.
The USDA wants Americans to add less salt to their food. According to the new guidelines, there should be no more than 2300 mgs daily for some and only 1500 mgs daily for others (those with known risk factors). Salt is not the enemy. It is the extreme over usage of cheap processed salt in packaged food that is the enemy. If someone ate only home cooked foods, they could liberally use a good quality sea salt (with all the important trace minerals) to taste. No need to count milligrams. The salt substitutes that food manufacturers use are also a problem because of their unnatural chemical composition.
The USDA is promoting lowfat milk and the use of meat substitutes (this means a soy based substitute) in school lunches. And yet, there is no stated restriction on refined carbohydrates and sweetners! So, in complete compliance to the USDA guidelines a child should drink low-fat flavored milk, flavored because the low fat milk tastes terrible and children don’t like it. The flavorings are all artificial chemicals and sweetners and/or high fructose corn syrup. Why not sell real food like a glass of whole milk? Clearly, the USDA supports the food manufacturers of these food replacements, and cares not for the children. These guidelines mainly affect school lunches because the government gives schools money for lunches as long as they are in compliance with the guidelines. Sadly, these new guidelines are going to further the health problems of this generation of children even more. The solution? Eat your meals at home, and definately have your child bring their own lunch to school!