Friends who follow this blog likely were wondering how I would react to the latest dietary guidelines that came out last week. My basic reaction: are you kidding me????
Sugar came out as the big demon now, specifically added sugar, as if our body can tell the difference between added sugar and the sugar that is naturally in fruits and other things we eat. Sugar is sugar, I saw my mother’s diabetes worsen because she was eating too many mashed potatoes which essentially produce sugar in our systems after we eat them (the science is more involved, but I’m not a scientist). The main reason a nutritionist told me not to eat simple carbs was because of the sugar implications. So there’s a lot more to worry about than added sugar.
Salt got a pardon from the food police in these new guidelines, which also stunned and angered me. I know from personal experience that wringing the salt out of my diet has helped my blood pressure and my weight, so I’m not going to go back to more salt in my diet as the new guidelines suggest, I think that’s absurd for anyone over 55 and especially anyone over 55 with heart troubles like I’ve had.
Fat also got off relativity easily, although there is a directive to eat less red meat to help save the planet! Please, not only does that have nothing to do with nutrition, it’s a dubious link at best. Eat fish instead? The oceans are over-fished already and fish farming, aquaculture, has its own environmental issues to answer for.
Oh, and don’t worry about ingesting cholesterol anymore, that whole cholesterol worry was a mistake!
All these new guidelines tell me is that we really know very, very little about how what we eat affects our health, and in my case, our heart health. I will continue to avoid foods high in salt, sugar and fat. That means making more of my own meals and avoiding processed foods and most restaurant dishes.