Today, farms produce twenty percent more food than the entire global population of 7.5 billion people require. In countries with the highest standard of living, like the United States, forty percent of food is wasted by non-consumption while more people than ever are overweight, obese and morbidly obese. Our children suffer from this emerging crisis more than we do.
Frightening global trends reveal that people are eating emotionally, sparked by their stressful lifestyle. High-speed living combined with fast-food choices are a lethal combination for both individual and societal health. When taken to the extreme, disorders like anorexia and bulimia arise. Eighty-five percent of the people suffering these maladies (5 million in the US alone) endured some form of psychological concern during childhood with the most common being anxiety, social phobia and post-traumatic stress. Internationally, the ratio is a shocking five women to one male suffering from these acute disorders.
The future wellness of society looks grim due to the multinational food companies’ greed and lack of compassion. These ruthless companies have poured chemically latent genetically modified, high-sugar, low-nutrition and synthetic, opiate enriched products into the marketplace. There are a plethora of reasons for weight gain. Eating foods with little nutrients that are high in fat and sugar, a lack of exercise, stress and the absence of healthy fats, all combine to put on pounds. Stress factors such as the American workaholic culture— where fifty five percent of workers do not take vacations— is a pinnacle example of how we literally run ourselves into the ground. Our reptilian brain (first evolving 500 million years ago) primarily works in encouraging reproduction fight or flight response and, or complete shutdown, producing individuals in our high-speed societies that perpetually run their bodies under high intensity stress. This single factor is a major increase in weight gain. Over-and under-eating, fast-food consumption and absence of movement and exercise, pile up added unhealthy weight.
In the U.K, weight problems were investigated, researched and published in the British Journal of Medicine, expos-ing that the main culprit is genetically modified fructose consumption contained in junk foods, especially soda. In the United States more than 1/3 of the adult population is obese (more than 5% morbidly). In the UK, more than ¼ of the adults is obese (2% morbidly). Children that are obese in both nations border around 20%. This data comes from the World Obesity Organization.
Under normal conditions, when an infant is born their first and foremost food is mother’s milk. Their small bodies are, in great part, brown fat, which is supported and nurtured by the cholesterol from the mother. This extraordinary food contains an enzyme that helps to break down and utilize this cholesterol in the process of growth, energy and brain development. Our formula fed children begin their life with a major deficiency, weakening their overall anatomy and enhancing their vulnerability to diseases. This formula is, in great part, processed sugar that forces the child’s body into producing excessive white-fat; which sparks excessive weight and potential for obesity. We now know the overweight child’s anatomy is conditioned to produce weight, they will struggle throughout life to maintain balance.
Oleic Acid or Omega Fatty Acids are the major building blocks of the body, a source of energy and part of the membrane that surrounds cells within the system. These fatty acids are required for weight management. Vegetables oils that have been hydrogenated, so that oils would not spoil and become rancid, destroy essential fatty acids and increase cholesterol.
Animal meat consumption, including fi sh, generally contain 20x less omega 3 than algae and land based plants. You should be receiving these essential nutrients from them.
Mistakenly, fish has been falsely raised to a place of prominence: Fish like other animal based foods contain high saturated fats which feeds inflammation, excess weight and disease causing elements.
Sprouts and wild plants (edible weeds) are the best source of health building omegas. A century ago, soil was rich and crops were filled with health benefit ting omega oils. Today, wild plants mimic what all crops previously contained. For example: purslane (a weed) has 8x more omega 3 (alpha-linoleic acid) than cultivated plants.
These essential fatty acids are required for your body to maintain a healthy balanced weight. When consuming this high saturated fats, animal food diet, the body attempts to use these unwanted lipids, increasing weight.
A Kings College, London, England study concluded the following: “After 10 days of consuming McDonald’s ‘food,’ 1/3 of gut bacteria was gone. This increased inflammation potential in the intestines, which dramatically reduced serotonin which relaxes the muscles fiber throughout the body. In addition, this defect could lead to depression.” If you have yet to view the documentary “Super-Size Me” you may want to take the time to see how rapidly these poor choices of fare can destroy your health.
Unhealthy saturated fat consumption adds pounds by raising unwanted white fats throughout the anatomy.
White fat has 3 functions: Heat Insulation, Mechanical Cushioning, and Energy Source. In addition, it harbors body fat. Brown fat deposits use triglycerides to produce heat, synthesizes healthy building of omega 3, a net producer of DHA, and is central for weight control as it burns fat.
In addition, exercise and sleep can convert white fat into brown fat. A hormone (irisin) released from muscle cells form white fat into healthy brown fat. This process helps you burn unwanted weight. Your thyroid gland is also a powerful agent in the production of healthy body fat.
As the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism states: “The effect of high animal diet on the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis is similar to chronic stress.”
Stress activates our fight or flight response, evolution created this so we could either run or defend ourselves quickly, raising cortisol levels which reduces leptin, the hormone that balances our appetite. This provokes us to continually be hungry, resulting in over consumption.
Belly fat, the most stubborn of all, as described by Dr.Lustig University of California, occurs when we are under constant pressure. The abdominal weight, close to the liver, has the ability to feed this organ providing extra energy.
The brain is composed of up to 60% fat and to maintain clarity and mental health, it requires daily intake of healthy essential fats (EFA).
Information is transmitted from nerve cell to nerve cell by chemicals called neurotransmitters. The effect of the neurotransmitters are regulated by chemicals called prostaglandins. Nutrients like: B12, B1, B3, B6, etc. are needed to transfer an EFA into prostaglandins that support neurons, enhancing memory, energy and imagination.
Vitamins: A, B, C, D, E, fiber and all the minerals, not only support the brain, but all organs and glands like the adrenal and other parts of the endocrine system. This glandular network produces, adjusts, and regulates hormones, which are central in maintaining balanced weight.
How fat riddled nonfoods produce weight is by inducing insulin sensitivity rapidly. This fat antagonizes the action of insulin and decrease glucose uptake in tissues.
Unwanted weight leads to heart disease, tumor growth, cancer, diabetes, etc. This occurs since the weight lowers interferon neutering the immune system, your protector.
Coffee, chocolate, and sweets sky rocket cortisol, producing destructive stress, provoking more body fat and food consumption. Cold dark climates, workloads, disharmonious relationships and eating junk are the gateway to disease and death.
A National Public Radio (NPR) recent poll revealed that nearly 50% of the American public is chronically stressed. Carnegie Mellon University discovered that such stress compromises the body’s ability to regulate dangerous information. All major disease greatly sources its fuel from unhealthy lifestyles and the inflammation that it causes.
Article by Anna Maria Clement PhD, LN