Avoid the Pig-feed Diet!

How the U.S. Government Got the Food Pyramid Wrong!

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Cute twin pigs playing in grassy field

Don’t be a pig!

Pop Quiz: What do farmers feed their pigs in order to fatten them?
Answer: They double their weight by taking them off grass and put them on a diet of grain and corn.

Quick fact: Grains are a relatively new addition to the human diet. Research shows humans first ate grains around 100,000 years ago, and bread was invented only very recently, 8,000 years ago, so certainly they can’t possibly be critical to our diets!

Diets that avoid high carbs: Roots and fruits, sweets, wheats and beets (we’re being silly here but there is some truth to this,) keep your weight in check. The Atkins diet and the Paleo diet highlight this idea of keeping carbs to a minimum.

Cute pet pig in green grassy field

Need to lose weight?

These days almost everybody wants to lose weight, but many find it quite difficult. Some manage to lose weight but then they gain it back. After a while the quest to stay fit and trim seems hopeless. Things don’t have to be that way. A solid understanding of the way different foods affect your metabolism and avoiding the most harmful foods will immediately get you on the path to easy and permanent weight loss. By the way, doing a lot of exercise won’t help you lose weight if you then eat bad foods which restore the calories you’ve lost while exercising plus much more. With the right diet you don’t need strenuous exercise to lose weight. Exercising to lose weight is a big myth. It’s good to get some activity like walking for about 40 minutes a day, even 20 minutes is beneficial, but not for losing weight. Even if you don’t need to lose any weight, daily walking is extremely beneficial to your well-being and long-term health.

Let’s take a look at the old food pyramid which recently has been replaced by the new and more health conscious food pyramid.

Old Food Pyramid
Old Food Pyramid

How did the Government get the food pyramid so wrong?

The problem with the old food pyramid as can be seen above, is that it recommends basing your diet on mostly grains, such as breads, cereal, rice and pasta! This is a recipe for disaster since these foods are loaded with carbohydrates, which do provide energy but are easily converted to sugars and fat which the body easily stores as fat. These highly starchy foods also have very poor nutritional value, lacking vitamins and important minerals. Grains, starches and high sugar foods promote weight gain and diabetes. This is rarely discussed or pointed out. The old food pyramid lists vegetables and fruits in the same category, but they should not be, because a healthy diet should consist of mostly vegetables, like leafy green vegetables and other vitamin rich varieties. Red vegetables are particularly healthy and are said to help prevent or even suppress cancer. This may come as a surprise to some who think that milk and dairy are the only sources of calcium, but vegetables are also very good sources of calcium. In addition they are a major source of iron and vitamin A, and help support the immune system. In other words they suffice as a base for a healthy diet, there is no need to concentrate on unhealthy amounts of grain carbs. Fruits should be eaten less than vegetables, particularly if they are very sweet because the fructose has the effect of causing weight gain and is converted to fat. It can promote diabetes. Fruits are great but only when used in moderation. Dairy, meat, beans, oils and fats should only be used in small quantities.

The USDA decided to change the old food pyramid as nutritionists realized that the emphasis on grains was killing people. Let’s look at the new guidelines, which are also not really ideal:

New Food Pyramid
New Food Pyramid

The new guidelines are still heavily weighted towards carbs. They make grains and vegetables more equal but still give a little advantage to the grains, and still a lot of fruits (with no mention of the differences between low and high carb fruits,) expanded milk products while stating that it should be limited to low fat or fat free products, and greatly reduced meat and beans (apparently because beans are high in carbs,) stating that it’s important to keep things lean and avoiding fried foods. This is an improvement but still overemphasizes carbs.

For people who are prone to obesity which seems to be most Americans, this diet plan is a total disaster. Diets that are successful in reducing obesity are mostly based on vegetables in order to provide most necessary nutrition and limit everything else to very small amounts. For example let’s look at a food pyramid by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. that emphasizes vegetables:

Fuhrman Healthy Food Pyramid
Fuhrman Healthy Food Pyramid

This is much better but mentions “unlimited” for vegtables, fruits and beans/legumes. However, this is misleading since portion sizes are critical in limiting excess calories which promote weight gain.

So, based on more current information, we feel the following is an improved and ideal version:

TekTimes Food Pyramid for Weight Management
TekTimes Food Pyramid for Weight Management

What’s great about this is that you can eat low-carb vegetables, low-carb fruits such as Strawberries, low fat fowl, fish and egg whites all day, fat-free plain yogurt mixed with strawberries, cinnamon, vanilla, till you feel full, and you don’t need to worry about excess fat, carbs and calories. We’re unique here because we recommend avoiding grains and high sugar anything in the morning. Grains, juices, whole eggs don’t really give you energy and don’t make you feel full. They require a lot of energy to digest in the first place. The farm industry doesn’t want you to realize that.

So how do we know what kind of diet is best for people? We can take a hint from Mountain Gorillas who base their diet on vegetables:

Mountain Gorilla Vegetable Diet
Mountain Gorilla Vegetable Diet

The Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) subspecies consumes parts of at least 142 plant species and only 3 types of fruit (there is hardly any fruit available due to the high altitude). About 86% of their diet is leaves, shoots, and stems, 7% is roots, 3% is flowers, 2% is fruit, and 2% ants, snails, and grubs.

If a diet based on mostly vegetables is good for them, why wouldn’t it be good for us? They consume a small amount of fruit, and some insects for protein and fat.

It’s always important to remember that the most important factor in any diet is limiting your daily calorie intake to a level where your body doesn’t have an excess of calories it can store as fat. You can eat almost anything as long as you don’t exceed the amount of total calories you should take in for the day. You should be sure to eat nutrient rich foods such as various vegetables in abundance. Vegetables have low amounts of calories, very little fructose, and virtually no fat. Keeping your diet consistent, well controlled and regular helps you control hunger and cravings.

We know that people don’t normally count the amount of calories with every meal or bother to measure and weigh precise portions. This is why we recommend sticking with foods that have low fat and low carbs by weight. This way you can eat larger portions which make you feel full and at the same time you’re not taking in too many calories. Chicken breast has a lot of protein which doesn’t give you any calories, has no carbs at all, and just a small amount of fat, which means you can eat more of it. Green leafs have very little of anything so you can really eat a lot and get vitamins and minerals, and they help satisfy your appetite. Certain beans are low in carbs as well, for example, at 100 grams they contain the following levels of carbohydrates:

Green Beans: 7g
Navy Beans: 13g
Green Peas: 14g
Fava Beans: 18g
Lentils: 20g
Cowpeas: 21g
Lima Beans: 21g

Other bean are very high in carbs, from 30g to the most popular beans weighing in at over 60g!

Legumes such as lentils, peas and beans have a low glycemic index which means they are digested slowly, and don’t cause a fast rise in blood glucose. They are also great for healthy bowel bacteria, and have a lot of disease-fighting phytochemicals. They are said to be highly nutritious and enhance longevity.

It’s also very important to remember that to stay healthy, it’s also important to some daily activity, particularly walking, which helps you burn calories.

In conclusion we’d like to provide you with a sample diet which should help you get rid of those extra pounds very easily if you are strict in keeping to it:

Breakfast

Mostly some type of leafy vegetables of some sort and some low fat chicken or turkey breast. Eat till you feel full, no need to starve, and you can be confident you’re not gaining many calories.

Lunch

More leafy vegetables which would be most of it, limited amount grilled chicken or turkey. Maybe a low carb yogurt, and some nuts.

Dinner

Still leafy vegetables, maybe a chicken burger, some cheese, some ice cream, or chocolate cake, or whatever you feel like, but be sure to keep it to carefully measured portion.

After sticking to this type of diet for a couple of weeks, your body will get used to it and you’ll be losing weight for sure!

Weight loss tip: Instead of coffee creamer which contains a lot of unhealthy sugar and harmful chemicals such as gums, non-fat dry milk powder can be added to coffee and can be added in higher concentration to simulate the taste of thick creamer.

This article is not meant to treat, cure, diagnose any disease. The views expressed in this article are not the views expressed by TT. Before embarking on any special diet please be sure to discuss it with a healthcare professional first. We are not responsible for any effects that might be caused by any information in this article.

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