Some Info to Chew On

I'm just going to come right out and say it: I'm not a fan of big government. The idea is nice, but the execution of said ideas is rarely successful, efficient, cost-effective, etc. In a nutshell, it seems like once the government gets its hands on an idea, it pretty much jacks it all up.

Even though the people complain against our government, they still want the government in charge of their safe keeping. They want the government to regulate against and protect against every possible mis-step for the "better" of the people.

One area we've turned to the government for advice is with our health. We have diabetes; give us new regulations! We see child hood obesity; add more legislation about school lunches! It goes on and on. I'm not quite sure why politicians should be charged with creating health standards, but they have been. And, we've gotten the food pyramid, the BMI index, school lunch regulations, etc.

And, we're still a nation of FAT PEOPLE!!!! There are many factors that go into the whys on that one, but one of them could be that we are working from a bad baseline.

What if the standard for caloric intake is wrong? What if the proportion recommendations are wrong? Considering that the tables we rely on to make judgements about our food are based on government recommendations, and we are all still fat and unhealthy, maybe (just maybe) the government hasn't created the perfect nutritional guideline for the people.

I've been chewing on the idea of sharing this for about a year. I hate to sound preachy, but this information was a game changer for me.

When I started thinking about my health, I also started educating myself. And boy, did I have a lot to learn. My ideas about what is really necessary to be healthy really changed. My thoughts on how much food a person really needs to be healthy were blown apart. I realized that what I'd been taught about nutrition (in school, on the labels in the grocery store, etc.) wasn't true for me.

I particularly liked a table I saw in a book (or manual, if you like) I'd purchased as part of the Medifast  program. The doctor who designed the program, Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson, had some new suggestions for maintaining healthy weight. The table compares the government's current recommendations to the his recommendations. In my (brief) experience, this updated set of data is way more likely to help a person maintain health than the government's current set of data. It's helped me, that's for sure.

Food Group Gov't rec.                    Dr. Anderson
Fat 30% of calories                           Less than 25%
Sat. Fat 10% of calories       Less than 5%
Carbs 60% of calories       45-60%
Protein (lean) 10% of calories       15-25%
Fiber 11.5 g/1000 kcal       20g/1000kcal

This isn't a plug for Medifast. I'm sure there are fitness folks and nutritionists out there who have been making these suggestions for years. But, it was the first time I'd seen it. It's made a difference for me. I can't eat 60% of my calories in carbs and maintain. I don't process carbs well. But, if I stick close to 45%, I easily keep the weight off. And, I feel better overall when I strive for the numbers on the Medifast side of this table. Instead of feeling frustrated because I wasn't successful following the labels of the foods I buy (as recommended by the FDA/government), I now feel empowered. I changed the parameters and have felt success. 

Who knows? Maybe someone else out there can apply this information and finally feel like the food world isn't conspiring against them anymore either. 

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.