Animal foods or refined carbs?
Why are so many people overweight or obese these days? Probably a combination of four things; two of which are far more important than the other two:
- Not enough whole, plant-based calories
- Too many calories from meat, dairy, eggs, oil, sugar and other highly-processed carbohydrates.
- Not enough physical exercise
- Bad luck a.k.a. bad genes
I have ranked the four “fat culprits” in the order of importance — in my opinion. And, we designed our 4-Leaf Program to take care of #1 — which will pretty much negate the fat-producing qualities of the other three. You see, the typical American these days gets far less than ten percent of his/her daily calories from whole plants.
And when they move from 7% to over 80% of their calories from whole plants (on the 4-Leaf Program), they will be getting ten times more whole plant calories than they did in the past. Hence, they will be getting at least five times as much fiber and, unless they’re loading up on avocado, olives and nuts; they will be satiated long before they eat too many calories. Without even trying — meaning they can eat all they want — they’ll be consuming far fewer calories in total.
Yesterday, I received an email from Bill K. on the topic of obesity while traveling. He was thoughtful enough to provide photos of early 20th century cruising along with modern-day cruising about one hundred years later. The first photo is from 1901 and he writes:
I have this photo set as my background on my computer and probably looked at it 10-15 times before I realized something. None of the people in this photo are overweight. I blew the picture up and looked at as many people as I could view and only found one guy who might have a small belly. (Pictured walking toward the camera holding his lapels) Now either this was a convention of thin people on a boat cruise or something has happened to our diet (and possibly exercise routine – note bicycles in picture) in the last 100 years. Compare this to the people who are loading onto a Carnival cruise ship today – Yikes. (Photo provided here in full size so you can check out the picture — Scroll down to the next picture for Bill’s photo of the modern day cruiser.)
Bill goes on to make the point that most people in the 1901 photo probably ate some meat, dairy and eggs but had far fewer calories from highly processed carbohydrates loaded with sugar, fat and oil.
It is likely that the people in the 1901 photo ate meat and drank milk so that probably is not the big difference. My guess is that it is mainly the processing of our foods which has made the biggest difference as most of the foods eaten in 1901 were straight from the garden and their cows were still raised on grass instead of corn. Not really sure what the full answer is but would be interesting to see what the average diet was in the beginning of the last century. Personally, I still believe that animal foods are not correct for humans but I am not sure that they represent our biggest threat to obesity. Regards, Bill K.
I agree with what Bill is saying about the animal foods not being the correct foods for us to eat. That’s because there is a preponderance of scientific, clinical and physical evidence that suggests that we have strayed far from what Nature intended for us to eat. We covered all of that evidence in our book and then designed the 4-Leaf Program to make it real simple for people to at least know what a near-optimal diet looks like. And, it’s even got a little flexibility built in — which makes it far more likely to be even considered by the masses; most of whom would never even consider becoming vegetarian or vegan.
As we know, many vegans and vegetarians eat a very unhealthy diet — loading up on anything that they can find that is NOT meat, dairy or eggs. Unfortunately for them, many choose the highly-processed carbs over the whole plant foods. They they try to fight their obesity by going to the gym.
With shows like Biggest Loser, Michelle Obama’s primary emphasis on exercise, and the common belief that working out is the answer to weight-control; it’s no wonder that people are missing the main point. Quite simply, we’re eating the wrong food. We were designed to eat whole plants, and when we do, controlling our weight becomes a thing of the past — along with diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, most cancers, and a host of other problems. We also do some marvelous things for the environment, world hunger and the very future of life on this planet as we know it.
Yesterday a reader posed the question, “Is it better for a very few to eat a pure diet or for billions of people to eat a mostly healthy diet?” I think the latter and actually made an attempt to quantify it in this recent post: “All or nothing” doesn’t fly for most people.
If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page.
And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. Blogging today from sunny Naples, Florida – Be well and have a great day.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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