Myth or Fact?

Because weight and nutrition are so poorly understood, there are a lot of die-hard myths around the topic. I hear them often from my patients.

You might recognize some of them from your own life. The problem, as chapter 7 of The Food Tree points out, is that if you believe them, they might get in the way of the weight and life quality you want.

Let us visit with some of them in light of our improved understanding and knowledge:

Myth: "Thin people are naturally thin."

Fact: This is a favorite myth. Only some ten percent of thin people can eat what they want and stay thin. This is genetically determined and sometimes catches up with some of them with time. While we wait for this to happen, the rest of us are better off creating our thin life every day rather than waiting for equalizing day!
Recent research shows that thin people who eat badly are not necessarily spared metabolic illness. A quarter of them are afflicted with anything for high blood pressure to diabetes. The story of my brother Roald in chapter one of The Food Tree speaks to this in terms of genetics.

Myth: "A calorie is a calorie."

Fact: Nothing could be farther from the truth as far as our bodies are concerned. The reason is that different calories do different things when they hit our metabolic engine.
The same amount of calories can be good or bad. If you look at chapter 3 you will see that your metabolic thermostat is not run by calories, but by the amount of refined sugar you eat.
This is basic to understanding food.

Myth: "My weight setpoint is determined by my genes."

Fact: While there are variations in our genetic make up, genes are not destiny. Your weight set point can be reset to normal in a short time by changing your behavior. This is another key to weight loss. If you don't believe me, read chapter 3 and do The Food Tree for a couple of weeks and see for yourself. The proof is always in the pudding. (Make it the right kind, though!)

Myth: "Diets, supplements and pills make me thin."

Fact: The unfortunate truth is that over time they make you heavier. Every time you lose your weight without learning what went wrong and how to change it, you end up raising your weight thermostat instead of lowering it! Understanding what makes you thin will make you thin and keep you there, if you use that knowledge.

Myth: "Diabetes is a chronic illness."

Fact: Diabetes type 1 or juvenile diabetes is. Diabetes type 2 is not necessarily so.
It is chronic exhaustion of your pancreas from sugar overload and comes from failure to understand what sugar is and how to stop diabetes by eating your way out of it.
Every patient who has done The Food Tree with us has either reversed diabetes or improved it to where they don't need medications. Again, I refer to the true story of my brother in chapter 1 and to the testimony of patients we have worked with.

Myth: "It's my age. My metabolism has slowed down."

Fact: Our oldest patient was 82, and lost thirty some pounds. She was my model at a talk I gave some years ago. She looked beautiful, not to mention how she felt.
Age is not a diagnosis, your health when you enter you later years is.


Let's do a couple of favorite food myths that might get in your way of good nutrition:

Myth: "Too much protein is bad for you."

Fact: Too much of anything is bad for you. I would not put protein on my short list of "bad" since this has been debunked by science. But the myth lives on.
Finally, we should not eat "high protein", we should eat the protein our body needs to cope with our current requirements. The formula for that can be found on page 118 in The Food Tree.
The same holds true for the other nutrients.

Myth: "Nuts are a good source of protein."

Fact: When you squeeze a nut, you get oil, not protein.
(For each gram of incomplete protein, you get three grams of good fat.)

Myth: "The lower fat, the better."

Fact: People who practice this favorite myth of 1990's weight loss may do harm to themselves. Fat free is downright dangerous. The right fats are crucial to good health.
Think olive oil and omega three.

Are you overwhelmed with information? I hope not, because the more you know, the less it leaves you open to the diet industry that is finding customers at the tune of some 50 billion dollars per year. Information is your best defense.