By HANS DUVEFELT
Everybody knows how to operate smartphones and understands complex modern phenomena, but many Americans are frighteningly ignorant about basic human nutrition.
I am convinced this is the result of a powerful conspiracy, fueled by the (junk) food industry. Here are just a few examples:
Milk has been advertised as a healthy beverage. It is not. No other species consumes milk beyond infancy. Milk based products like ice cream and yogurt are on top of that often sweetened beyond their natural properties.
Fruit juices make it possible to consume the calories of half a dozen pieces of fruit faster than eating just one. Naturally tart juices, like cranberry, are sweetened the same way as soft drinks (high fructose corn syrup), and therefore no healthier than Coca Cola.
Things made from flour—like bread, crackers, boxed and instant cereal, pasta and snacks like pretzels or chips other than plain potato chips—raise blood glucose levels faster than eating table sugar: The breakdown of flour starts in our mouths because of enzymes in our saliva while sucrose doesn’t break down until it reaches our small intestine.
Sugary foods, even candy like Twizzlers, are advertised as “fat free”, which is a relic from the days when fat was believed to be bad for you. Many fats, like those in olive oil, salmon, tree nuts and avocado are extremely healthful.
Another example of tangential descriptions is when flour based snacks are promoted as “baked, not fried”. Flour is bad, no matter what you do with it and, in fact, the presence of fat slows down the blood glucose rise from highly processed carbohydrates.
Serving size is still used to deceive people. A small bag of chips may seem to have a modest amount of calories until you realize it is supposed to be two servings. Fortunately, some packaging now states how many calories are in the whole