So what’s happened is humans used to eat this way, this ancient times, not much fat, not much sugar, not much refined flour, mostly whole plant based carbohydrates. Animal product was very small in intake and in some areas, for example, rural China they’re almost bacon unless once in awhile they have access to animal products. Today we eat nearly 40% fat, a 400% increase; sugar is way out of whack. We eat a record amount, over 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. That translates to 35 teaspoons of sugar per person per year. And personally I hardly use any sugar, so somebody’s eating 70 teaspoons of sugar. And most of our flour is refined. So what used to be our main food whole unprocessed plant based foods is now little side dish, right? And we eat a huge amount of animal product. And the problem with this is if you change a body that’s been eating this way for millennia and over in the last 100 years you start eating this way, something is bound to go wrong. You’d be a fool to not think that.
Why is it so important? This is heart disease rates in different countries. You see Finland, such a high rate. Japan and Greece both have rising rates of heart disease. But if you look at how different the heart disease rates among different countries are, you can see that most of it is preventable. And in terms of life expectancy, Japan has the longest life expectancy for males and females and it has a lot to do again with coronary heart disease. The other thing is today we are deluged with misinformation and I’m so glad that the whole Atkins thing has wound itself down because I think it was doing a great deal of harm in this country, so much misinformation which I’ll try to dispel in tonight’s lecture. I flunked my nutrition test. I thought the four food groups are canned, frozen, light and instant. No wonder people think that because if you walk into a supermarket, if an alien being walked into a supermarket, that’s what they would think. 80% or 90% of the supermarket is packaged, is processed. It sits on a shelf in a box or a bag. And the real food is just the produce section pretty much, and the whole grain section. These are very small sections in the supermarket.
Protein Carbohydrate Controversy
And there is this protein carbohydrate controversy which I’ll try to dispel as well. Let me just throw this one in there just so that people don’t get put an end to this. We have a trend in obesity that’s going up. And the part of the controversy occurred because sugar as I mentioned to you is rising out of control. It’s actually at an all-time high. And so you know what they were saying, right? They’re saying carbohydrate causes obesity, because sugar and carbohydrate intake is way up. How many have heard that? Carbohydrates make you fat. Well, they started then recommending. First of all, that’s nonsense because the slimmest countries in the world are the ones that eat the most carbohydrates; just think about it. If carbohydrate made you fat how come – let’s look at China, they eat lots of carbs; are they fat? No, they come to the U.S. and do exactly what Atkins would have said eat more meat and fat. And you know what do the Chinese people come to Hawaii gets skinnier or fatter? It’s pretty obvious. The native Hawaiians in the old days were slim. Today you know what they’re doing, they’re eating just what Atkins said: more meat and more fat. Are they getting skinnier or fatter? Well, we already answered that question.
Well what the protein proponents never told you is even though sugar is at an all-time high, so is meat and fat at an all-time high. Well if they’re saying don’t eat carbs because of obesity, they should also say don’t eat meat and fat because of obesity. If they were being honest in terms of statistics, because this is what I’m saying. Don’t eat too much meat, don’t eat too much fat or sugar. And if you can eliminate all of these, I mean when I say fat, I mean added fat, you will be better off.
Role of Cholesterol in Heart Disease
So let’s talk about heart disease now. This is what the doctors say – 20,679 physicians say luckies are less irritating. Urethral protection against irritation and cough. And actually if you could read this, it says this figure was audited by the Lybrand Corporation. This is a smoke-free environment; it was in a restaurant. But isn’t this kind of amazing that the physicians would recommend this? And this is my lead into heart disease because of course cigarettes are one of the worst risk factors for heart disease, just goes to show you doctors don’t know everything. But this was the punchline, right around the corner this is a smoke-free environment; it was in a restaurant.
Well, besides smoking, of course cholesterol is the most important risk factor for coronary heart disease. Now they’re saying there are other factors like C-reactive protein, insulin, homocysteine. I mean they’re understanding coronary heart disease much better these days but still cholesterol is the most important factor, which is why they tell you to keep your cholesterol levels low et cetera. And this is the reason – when you measure coronary heart disease compared to cholesterol levels, there is really a direct correlation between cholesterol levels. This is so well documented, nobody ever questions this. For every 1% increase in cholesterol, you have a 2% increase in coronary heart disease. And if you measure this epidemiologically, you see the same thing: higher the cholesterol level, the higher the heart disease rate.