Sunday, April 13, 2014

Breakfast Cereal Diets- Really??

Can You Lose Weight by Eating Special K?

There have been ads for years by Kellogg's that promote their product by claiming weight loss when you eat two bowls of the stuff a day. Is this for real? These ads always come out in force in the spring when people are trying to take off the winter weight.

If you check out my post The Science of Weight Loss, you can see that there is no way on earth this could possibly work long-term. How people lose weight on this program at all is completely beyond me because all their products are loaded with carbs. The breakfast cereal is obviously nothing but carbs, and sugar is the number three ingredient. The protein bars are basically carbs, they have flatbread sandwiches (more carbs), and their snack food line is nothing but carbs- brownie bites, cracker chips, snack bars, pastry crisps, shall I go on??

Then to top it off, they recommend that you drink beverages as you normally do. For the vast majority of the population, you know full well this means carbonated drinks. And I haven't decided which is worse- the sugar-laden kind or the diet kind. The chemical garbage used to sweeten our food supply is just plain dangerous. I know first-hand what a steady diet of Splenda will do to your digestive tract, and it ain't pretty.

Cereal image is free photo from Wikimedia.

A Grain Based Society

Our diet has been taken over by grains for decades, partly because they can be produced very efficiently, and partly because they store well. You can eat stuff that's been on the shelf for a year and never know the difference. Grain-based foods are cheap and abundant, and we've been told forever that grains are healthy, a vital part of our diet.

We are just now beginning to find out how wrong this is. It is getting easier and easier to find information online about the virtues of low carb diets. The detrimental effects of a diet heavy on carbs is becoming more and more well-known as chronic disease continues to run rampant in spite of our national obsession with "fat-free".

Information is now coming out about how deeply wheat flour affects our health. The wheat we now use has been altered drastically from the wild version of our ancestors, and these alterations have created components in this flour that create inflammatory and allergic responses in many people. According to Grain Brain and Wheat Belly, anything made from flour can trigger disorders that go way beyond just celiac disease, but can trigger conditions from arthritis to Alzheimer's. Both of these authors have done their due diligence in research and have all the technical information that shows the effects of this hybridized, altered product in just about everything we eat. They make a very compelling case with loads of personal stories of people whose health has turned around after going gluten free. After reading about people who found relief from arthritis pain, I decided to go gluten free, and can confirm that it does work. The information in these books is truly alarming.

Combine is free photo from Wikimedia.

Where Fat Comes From

Carbs convert to glucose, and glucose causes insulin to rise. Insulin is the primary hormone involved in energy balance; insulin is what moves fat into fat cells. The more carbs you have in your diet, the more apt you are to gain weight. It's simple, but so very contrary to what we've been trained to believe all our lives.

I can tell you from personal experience that a diet heavy on carbs leaves you hungry about two or three hours after eating. You get the sugar spike, then the backlash- the crash- when you fight sleep the rest of the afternoon until you get another glucose fix in the form of cereal, crackers, cookies, whatever. When I started pulling back on all that and eating eggs and bacon for breakfast and a big ole salad for lunch with lots of turkey or ham with olive oil and spices for dressing I found I feel full much longer. The fat satisfies, and no, saturated fat is not evil, and there's no sugar low later. With blood sugar levels much more stable, I feel much better all day. And I lost weight in the process.

The ONLY effective way to lose weight and keep it off is to quit eating the way we've been trained to believe we should. The carbs have to be greatly reduced. Healthy fats are what will fill you up- eat your eggs, use olive oil generously, find sugar-free peanut butter, etc. You can check out my post on weight loss to find out more information and find links to what works and what doesn't.

Another post that will help is "Healthy" Foods that Aren't.

Breakfast cereal diets? That's a joke. Don't be fooled- you have to cut the carbs.

Sugar cubes is free clip art from

We Need

Pinterest Boards

I am collecting useful websites that can help you in your journey to taking control of your own health. See them here:

Healthcare Watchdog Groups
Functional/Integrative Medicine
Nutrition, Prevention and Staying Healthy
Great Books- Health

Recommended Reading

Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes

This book is the first one I found that explains the body's response to glucose and how fat is managed. Great book and a real eye-opener.

Fat Chance by Robert Lustig

This one takes Why We Get Fat a step further with lots of explanation about the chemical responses to glucose. Rather technical in places, but a very entertaining and informative read. You can skim over the geeky stuff and get the bottom line pretty easily. Lustig is a good writer- he kept my attention through the technical stuff and makes his points very effectively.

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD

Perlmutter makes the connection between wheat gluten and mental function.

Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD

Davis shows the wide ranging effects of wheat flour and its protein, gluten, on the body.

Great list of research links by Zoe Harcombe linking sugar to  chronic disease of all types:

Banting, Paleo and Others

The Low Carb High Fat way of eating is becoming more and more popular as people are finding out about the way carbs affect your body. LCHF sites abound. Here are a few:

Diet Doctor-  "The idea to eat less fat and less saturated fat was certainly a mistake. Inadvertently that advice may be the biggest reason behind the epidemics of obesity and diabetes. More and more people realize this. It’s time for a health revolution."

LCHF, Paleo and Health- explanations of low carb and Paleo, recipes and a blog

Eat Like a Swede- LCHF- by Jimmy Moore with links to his books, blogs, videos, etc.

The Harvey-Banting Diet- William Banting was a British undertaker who lived from 1796 to 1878. He went on a low-carb diet on the advice of his doctor, Willliam Harvey and subsequently published a pamphlet called Letter on Corpulence, available online. "Banting" is a term often used for an LCHF diet.

For more information, just do internet searches for LCHF, Banting Diet and Paleo Diet.

LCHF logo taken from Eat Like a Swede

Blog Posts

A Healthcare Revolution-  Science and research are making advances in diet and health, but the medical institution isn't. We need a revolution.

The Science of Weight Loss- Find out why the standard advice won't work and what will.

Challenging the Concept of White Coat Authority- Your medical treatment is based on a system fraught with bias and flaws. Assuming your doctor knows what he's doing may not be smart.

Real Food Creates Real Health- Change WHAT you eat, not how much, and change your health.

Sugar- The Real Villain- This was my first blog post on this subject; some information is repetitive, but there are other points made, as well as links and a list of sugar substitutes.

"Healthy" Foods That Aren't- Several foods that are perceived as healthy but really aren't.

They Told Me He's a Quack- Several people I have found out about that have gone against the tide of public opinion and "expert" advice and have given thousands of people help and hope.

Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins- Statins are dangerous drugs that cause memory loss and muscle damage.

Cholesterol- Mother of All Scams- The whole cholesterol scare has been based on faulty research and has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies to keep an otherwise healthy population on their drugs.

Water for Health- Why we need water to stay healthy.

Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms- My experience with RLS and what has helped me.

Why You Can't Trust the Medical Industry- The entire medical industry has been corrupted by greed.  It pays to be skeptical.

Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance- Regularly prescribed HRT has serious side effects; there is an alternative.

Phonics and Dyslexia- Information that can help dyslexic adults as well as children, and a post about the phonics-whole language wars and why phonics wins every time hands-down.

Quill pen is free image from Wikimedia Commons.