Created by: Eric J. Sodicoff, M.D.
Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine
Check out my latest podcast interview
I was interviewed by fellow Low Carb docs and pals, Tro Kalayjian and Brian Lenzkes for their Podcast, Low Carb MD Podcast.
Welcome to The Phoenixville Nutrition Guide. Doctor's office visits are really, really short. You're lucky to get 30 minutes with the doctor and there's lots to accomplish during visits. There are medications to adjust, forms to complete, body parts to examine....you get the idea. Nutrition hardly gets a mention. Doctors rarely say anything about diet other than perhaps, "Eat Less". On average, most of us medical professionals massively under-appreciate the diet's contribution to health and sickness. I have a different attitude. I have a lot to say about food and I require much more than 30 minutes to say it. This site was created so I could provide my patients expanded help with nutrition.
Why did I create my own nutrition website? Why don't I tell people to follow the standard advice from big organizations like the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association? Isn't their advice credible?
It has become apparent that the familiar diet & exercise advice best summarized as "Eat less & move more." has failed to prevent or reverse the modern obesity/chronic disease epidemic. Indeed, the official guidelines that have been created by well known professional organizations appear to be making the situation even worse. The expected lifespan of Americans has been falling the last three years. There seems to be a disconnect between the available science and advice they issue to the public. More about why that is later... Fortunately, there is a wealth of scientifically solid diet advice freely available; It's out there on the web, in documentaries, and in books. You just have to know where to find it. I'd like to make it easier for you to find the good stuff.
In addition to my own original content here, I have embedded links to other excellent and reliable websites, YouTube videos, podcasts, and books. If you want to know more about a highlighted item, clicking on it will take you to a related link with expanded information.
My nutritional philosophy might sound radically different from the conventional guidance you're probably expecting to hear from a doctor. Here's why. For decades diet authorities have advised everyone to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and, whole grains. We've been told to be wary of meat so we were told to stick with small portions of lean meat. Of course, the experts told us to not to eat too many calories and if we do eat fat it should be vegetable oil like corn or canola. You might be surprised to know that I don't think any of that is true.
I believe proper weight and good health depends on the correct the levels of hormones in the blood not calories on the plate. No one should be counting calories. Under proper hormonal control, the human body controls appetite and energy expenditure perfectly. No calorie math is required. Certain things we commonly eat send energy balance out of control, namely starches and sugars. They do so by overstimulating the fat storage hormone insulin and also by causing insulin resistance. Because fat and protein do not stimulate much insulin, I think most of the diet should come from healthy fats with a moderate amount of proteins.
There is a large amount of scientific evidence that supports these concepts. Shockingly, there is almost no reliable evidence supporting the conventional recommendations to eat mostly grains and starches and use fat sparingly. The modern obesity crisis may have been inadvertently caused by such advice. I don't like using medications to counteract the harmful effects of processed "food". Almost all of the chronic conditions which are commonly treated with daily pills rapidly resolve once the diet gets straightened out. It's time for a paradigm shift. It's time to turn the food pyramid upside down.
The food guidelines offered by our government and major professional organizations, unfortunately deserve some skepticism. For years their nutrition and exercise recommendations have been shaped by the influential food and pharmaceutical industries. Their primary goal is selling products and not your good health.
CLICK HERE to skip to the fat loss recommendations
Modern processed "foods" are making us sick. While they may be edible, cheap and tasty, they are slow-acting toxins that have been causing epidemics of many chronic diseases. Unlike like classic poisons which cause illness from one ingestion, processed foods cause disease insidiously with chronic and repeated consumption over a period of years. Most of the inner aisles in large supermarkets are devoted to such fake food. I don't like using medications to treat toxic food. Almost all of the chronic conditions which are commonly treated with daily pills improve greatly once the processed garbage is taken out.
There has been an explosion in the incidence of obesity and chronic metabolic diseases over the last 40 years. Obesity was once thought of as a problem of the wealthy. It is, in fact, more prevalent amongst the poor because sugary and starchy "foods" are so cheap.
Like everywhere else, the obesity rate in Pennsylvania has been climbing fast. It more than doubled from 13% in 1990 to over 30% in 2014. Adults of a healthy weight are now the minority. The epidemic of obesity is expected to cause a decline in average life expectancy. Meanwhile, health care costs have become unmanageable, due in no small part, to the medical illnesses which invariably accompanies obesity.
What is making the world fat and sick? Has everyone simply decided to become slothful gluttons? Even babies? Of course not. We have been given poor nutrition guidance by the government and influential health organizations for decades. Meanwhile, inexpensive toxic "foods" and beverages invaded the grocery stores. The lean meats, grains and, polyunsaturated vegetable oils that the experts say we should be eating to avoid weight gain and disease are actually causing the opposite to occur.
Here's how the current obesity epidemic arose: Inexpensive and plentiful high fructose corn syrup was introduced in the late 1970s. Before then, sugar was a relatively expensive imported luxury. Corn syrup made it cheap and easy to add sweetness to foods that rarely ever contained sweeteners before. Americans now consume more sugar than at any time in history. Also in the '70s, Congress passed the farm bill which caused fattening commodity grains to become much cheaper than meat and fresh produce. Lastly, In 1980, the authors of the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans wrongly concluded that dietary fat and cholesterol caused heart attacks. Since then, Americans have been urged to cut down on fat and instead eat more refined carbohydrates. We are now seeing the disastrous consequences of the low-fat era. Since food without fat tastes dry and flavorless, food processors have added sugars and starchy fillers to compensate. Snack Well's cookies, rice cakes and, fat-free yogurt are typical examples. With the dramatic rise in the incidence of diabetes and obesity, it is now evident that going low-fat was a colossal mistake.
WHY STARCH AND SUGAR ARE PROBLEMS
Foods rich in grains and refined sugars cause a hormonal change in metabolism which promotes fat cell growth. Did you know that farmers feed grains to livestock to fatten them? Grains fatten humans too. (even "healthy" whole grains)
Americans now have average insulin levels that are double of what it was before the obesity epidemic. Starch and sugar cause the pancreas to secrete insulin. INSULIN IS THE FAT STORAGE HORMONE; when there is too much of it, a greater percentage of food gets converted to body fat for storage in the fat cells. Insulin also sends fatigue signals to the brain.
Simple carbs (food made from flour, potatoes and white rice, etc.) cause insulin levels to spike and then crash 2-3 hours later. In contrast, dietary fat has no effect on insulin or blood sugar levels. Dietary fat promotes stable energy levels. Insulin acts like a prison guard for triglycerides (fat molecules), preventing them from being released from the fat cells. Insulin causes some cells to starve because the fat cells are being overstuffed. This produces the conscious sensation of hunger. Lastly, excess Insulin also promotes high blood pressure, salt retention and build-up of artery-clogging plaques in the heart.
If your diet isn’t yet as good as it should be, it's time to start making some changes. It takes a long time before the damage becomes evident. It's never too late to make a change. I encounter many patients are overweight or have metabolic syndrome despite "eating healthy" by following the conventional advice and cutting calories. They are puzzled and discouraged When the whole grains/lots of fruits and vegetable/lean meats/ approach doesn't help avoid weight gain and health troubles. It's not bad genes or lack of exercise. It's not bad luck. It's bad food. Keep reading to learn how to turn it around.
The Macronutrients Basics: Sugars/Fats/Proteins
What foods should be eaten and what should be avoided:
Three easy steps to get started on the path to a healthy diet today
LEARN MORE WITH THESE AMAZING RESOURCES:
Packaged food: Low-fat usually means much more carbs & sugar
Low-Fat High carb products
Which falsely imply health benefit
Why too much insulin is a bad thing: