Eat that, not that!
It’s no news that processed foods, whether you eat salty snacks or sugary treats, aren’t good for your waistline – especially if you eat them in place of fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods like legumes and nuts. More worrisome, however, is the ability of processed foods to damage your health significantly later on. In his new novel, Metabolical, which recently hit bookshelves everywhere, Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD, MDL, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist explored the many ugly truths of our current food system and modern medicine. Delving into the depths of eight pathologies in cells that believe in all chronic diseases, he argues that drugs are not an adequate solution to preventing or treating them. Instead, it shows how the food we eat is the real cure (and enemy) for conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Ultra-processed foods like potato chips, candy bars, cheese, and even sausages are often full of added sugars, partially hydrogenated oils, and nitrates. In “Metabolical”, a title that combines the functioning of the body (metabolism) with that of mass products, Big Pharma and Big Government (devilish), Lustig shows how all these components in processed foods can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease regular and prolonged consumption. Even more petrifying is the idea that these foods can contribute to cancer growth. How can consuming processed foods lead to cancer? “In the gut, nitrates are first converted into nitrites and then into nitrosoureas, which are known to be carcinogenic and cause colon cancer,” Lustig said in an interview with Eat This, Not That! Recent research has even suggested that nitrates alone, found in cured meats like pancetta, ham, salami, and other processed meats like bacon, beef jerky, and sausages, could increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease . “And refined carbohydrates lead to insulin release and insulin resistance,” he says. “Insulin is a growth factor that makes cancer cells grow, and glucose is their main fuel.” Some cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, feed on fructose (which makes up 50% of table sugar or sucrose), which makes them stronger and more harmful. “While sugar is not a specific cause of cancer cell differentiation, it is a major driver of cancer cell growth,” adds Lustig. How has the mass production of food ruined society’s health in the past few decades? With the exception of 2020, Funny If you look at what people have died from in the past 50 years, it has changed dramatically from an infectious disease (like influenza) to a chronic non-communicable disease that includes heart disease, cancer, and dementia. “These are the diseases we now have evidence of how ultra-processed foods – especially sugars, but also trans fats – disrupt the mitochondria to cause these chronic diseases,” he says. “In other words, food has gone from providing health to disease. The point is, it’s not the food, it’s what was done with the food that makes it toxic.” What do you suggest we do to improve our own metabolic function and avoid chronic and inflammatory diseases? It’s easy. Funny says the answer can be found in three words: Eat real food. “Real food is anything that came out of the ground or any animal that ate that came out of the ground,” he adds. When the animal is fed something processed or the plant-based products have been stripped of nutrients and fiber (think whole wheat versus white bread), or chemicals are added to the animals’ feed and growing plants. The feed becomes a threat to our health. “We have a limited capacity to metabolize these chemicals, and we are well over our limit,” says Lustig. For more information, see 26 Worst Habits That Slow Your Metabolism Down, Science Says.