by Dr. Art Ayers
The medical industry is slowly pulling away from diet advice that has contributed significantly to disease in America. It promoted or at least tolerated, the shift from butter to margarine and polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and from saturated fats in meats to starches and grains. The medical emissary, Dr. Oz, still supports medical advice that is not based on medical research.
Dr. Oz's Five Food Felons and Why His Choices Are Unhealthy:
"1) Trans fats raise lousy LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower your healthy HDL cholesterol level and fuel disease-triggering inflammation." Trans fats are inflammatory and should not be eaten. New labeling has permitted substantial amounts of trans fats to be added to processed foods and still be labelled "No trans fats." LDL blood levels reflect inflammation, but artificially lowering the LDL with statins has no impact on heart disease. Lowering LDL, by lowering inflammation with fish oil and/or repair of gut flora, diet and exercise is effective.
"2) Saturated fat in red meats, poultry skin, full-fat dairy products and palm and coconut oils fuels cancer risk, coronary artery disease, dementia, obesity and diabetes." Linking saturated fats with heart disease, etc. was never supported by medical research. Elimination of red meat, removing skin from chicken, avoiding egg yolks, etc. and replacing them with omega-6 polyunsatured vegetable oils has been a major contributor to inflammation and disease. Full fat milk is the healthful choice, especially for children. The change was dangerous and is being reversed with new emphasis placed on omega-3 fish oils.
"3) Added sugars and 4) sugar syrups cause the proteins in your body to be less functional and age your immune and cardiovascular systems and your joints. Plus, they disrupt your metabolism and contribute to almost every lifestyle-related malady, including some cancers." Oz got this right even though they initially promoted high fructose corn syrup (half glucose/oligos) and its evil and even higher fructose sister agave nectar (all fructose/oligos.) Equally bad, however, are the hyperglycemic starch in breads (including whole grain!) and over cooked pasta.
"5) Refined and processed grains don't contain the fiber or nutrients (contained in 100 percent whole grains) that you need to keep the bacteria in your guts happy, glucose levels regulated, immune system strong and digestion running smoothly." Dr. Oz and company fail to understand the basics of vitamins, soluble fiber and gut flora. Grains are not healthy for most people, because of the toxicity of gluten and hyperglycemic starch. Ultra fine milling and fast commercial bread making eliminate the resistant starch. "Whole grain" processed foods just add back the insoluble fiber that is considered toxic, because of its phytic acid content. Grains should just be replaced with whole foods, such as vegetables that contain the soluble fiber that feeds the gut flora that provide all of the needed vitamins and are required for immune system development.
Why Does Dr. Oz Make Health Mistakes?
Dr. Oz has been criticized for promoting foods, supplements, medical treatments, etc. that are not supported by medical research. While that is true, I think that he is just following the general views of the medical industry and simply doesn't know any better. Sadly, most doctors don't have the background to read scientific research papers, let alone their own biomedical literature that is rife with scandals of nonreproducibility and inappropriate industry influence. Doctors find it hard to give valid dietary advice, because nutritionists have false information and celebrity doctors, and their research teams, don't do their homework. The result is the mix of ancient orthodoxy, industry promotion, alternative medicine and unscientific fads that appears in the media. Doctors need a scientific background sufficient to answer the essential question posed to health claims, "Does it make sense?"
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