By Mike Thayer
Let's see, the U.S. Government diet gurus 'recommend' that you take in about 130 grams of carbohydrates a day which includes 6-8 servings of breads/grains. But in order to lose weight, advocates of low-carb diets subscribe plans targeting between 20 and 40 carb grams a day....... Hmmmmm....... And aren't those government diet gurus the same people that complain about the obesity problem in this country?
At issue: The government recommended 130 grams of carbs per day vs. 20-40 carbs per day to lose weight and about 60 grams of carbs per day to maintain a healthy weight according to successful, proven diet plans. Who is right?
What the government recommends is A LOT of carbs! Contrast what the government 'recommends' to how successful low carb diets are, people losing 108 pounds, 80 pounds, 60 pounds and so on....... After dropping so much weight, a person just has to ask, "What gives with the government's daily recommendation?
A National Institutes of Health report showed that from 1962 until 2006, obesity in adults age 20-74 more than doubled, increasing from 13.4 percent to 35.1 percent.
The average adult weighs more than 26 pounds more than they did in the 1950’s, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
So why is it that when this whole country pretty much ate Wonder Bread, people were skinnier? There wasn't any '12 Grain Whole Wheat' specialty breads on the grocery stores shelf back in the day and there certainly wasn't any 'whole grain' pasta to be found anywhere. And have you ever seen a fat cowboy? They eat steak and jerky, two high-in-fat-calorie items on the top of the so-called diet guru no-no list.
A lot of factors weigh-in (yes, pun intended) to the greater rate of obesity problem. There are more restaurants, particularly fast food restaurants these days than back in yesteryear. People today eat out more vs. preparing a meal at home or brown-bagging it to work. Meal portion sizes are larger than they were back in the day. As a couple of readers have pointed out, there also wasn't the saturation of processed foods 50-60 years ago. And many people just aren't as active these days compared to their 1950's and 1960's counterparts. At work, technology has replaced physical activity and the same goes for entertainment - action on a screen rather than action in a park or backyard.
So with today's much more technology driven lifestyle, a.k.a. more sedentary lifestyle for many Americans being the case, why on earth does the government and those dietary elites recommend 6-8 servings of carbs daily? And why the push for "Whole Grains?"
In the 1950's and '60's, people ate Wonder Bread. Check it out - Classic Wonder Bread: 100 calories a slice, 1 gram of fat, 23 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein......
A slice of your typical whole grain, whole wheat bread: 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 21 carb grams, 3 grams in sugar, 5 grams of protein.
And so the government and dietary elites 'recommends' whole grain because?.............
And yes, in all fairness, there are some 'specialty' whole grain breads out there that contain fewer calories and fewer carbs, but they taste like cardboard or worse yet, they're not regular slices, they're far thinner. We're being marketed folks.
Understand that I'm not advocating Wonder Bread, my point is that we're being marketed. The so-called "healthy breads" aren't as healthy for us as we're told they are and we've been brain washed into thinking they're staples for the diet. Our bodies don't need bread and pasta. It tastes great, don't get me wrong, but breads and pastas and to a lesser extent rice should be treated, well, like a treat, not a staple. But that's not what we're told, that's not what is recommended/preached to us.
And here's more marketing at work:
Classic, traditional spaghetti noodles, 1 cup: 221 calories, 1.3 grams of fat, 43.2 grams of carbohydrates, 0.8 gram of sugar, 8.1 grams of protein........
Typical "Whole Grain" spaghetti: 200 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 41 grams in carbs, 2 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein.
Tell me again why the government and dietary elites push "whole grains"? And look at what the typical food manufacturer does to make the whole grain variety taste better.... they added fat and sugar...... so what's the point?
We're told we should eat more foods such as lentils, rather than white rice......
Lentils, 1 cup: 226 calories, 0.8 grams of fat, 38.7 grams of carbs, 3.6 grams of sugar, 17.9 grams of protein............
White rice: 242 calories, 0.4 grams of fat, 53.2 grams in carbs, 0 grams of sugar, 4.4 grams of protein.
Now granted, the lentils have slightly fewer calories per cup than white rice, has fewer grams of carbs and is higher in protein..... But does white rice deserve to be poo-poo'd by the government and diet gurus?
In that push to get us to eat more grains, it's like some elites - government food officials and diet 'professionals' alike, treat certain foods as if it's a fashion faux pa, call it a food faux pa - which really means some people are just acting like arrogant assholes. White rice is just fine in moderation, but some of these people feeding us advice treat foods such as white bread and white rice and the people that consume them like they're diseased.
We need quality information, not agenda driven information. We're told, "Don't eat white bread!"... "Eat whole grain bread instead." When the truth is whole grain breads aren't really much better at all than classic white bread in nutritional value. Why the propaganda?
We're told "Whole grain pasta is better for you than regular pasta." That's really not very true at all, it's very marginally true at best and frankly negligible over the course of a day. So why are people trying to brainwash us into believing whole grain spaghetti is SOOOOOOOOO much better for us than regular spaghetti?
Don't buy into the hype.
Don't accept lines like "Eat whole grain breads instead of white." Such advice doesn't really address the problem. Here's what the government and those so-called diet gurus SHOULD be telling us: "If you had pancakes for breakfast this morning and a deli sandwich for lunch.... then you probably shouldn't have bread/grain with dinner." But NOOOO..... The government recommendation (USDA) for breads/grains is 6-8 servings per day. Granted, the portion sizes we consume are bigger than they should be and many people are eating 2-3 servings in a given meal thinking it's only one (Did you know for example that a package of Ramen noodle soup is really two servings?), but people don't think in terms of servings per day, they think in terms of meals per day. They don't say, "For breakfast I had two servings of grains, one serving of fruit, one serving of dairy and a serving of protein." They say, "I had a breakfast burrito and some strawberry yogurt." The government and diet gurus need to get back to speaking layman's language, relate-able language. They need to quit telling us that whole grains are SOOOOOOO much better for you than the regular stuff when that's really not the case.
The government recommendation of 130 grams of carbs a day with a focus on "whole grains" is bogus.
Know that you don't need to eat breads, pastas and grains to get the fiber and carbs you need to function properly. You can get everything your body needs with vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Sure, breads, pastas and rice are tasty, but you don't really need any of it to maintain health. It's too bad the government and those diet elites can't be honest with us about that.
Oh, and most of the whole grain stuff just doesn't taste as good as the regular stuff our grandmothers' made for us.