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Originally published November 16 2004

Low-carb vs. low-fat diet debate distracts from the real weight loss solution

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

With all the focus on low-carb versus low-fat diets in the news these days, you might think those are the only two options to consider when it comes to losing weight and reversing obesity. Proponents of one diet or the other debate over the merits of their particular dieting strategy, but neither seem to recognize that the entire "low-carb versus low-fat diet" argument only serves as a distraction from the real solution to weight loss: shifting to a unprocessed, non-manufactured foods.

The real test about weight loss should compare diets consisting of processed foods versus unprocessed foods. What is a processed food? It's a food that is manufactured and typically sold in pretty packaging at a very high markup price over the cost of its basic ingredients. Breakfast cereal is a processed food. Most frozen foods are also processed foods. Dinner mixes, macaroni and cheese boxes, canned soups, lunch snack boxes, packaged meats, crackers, breads and many other grocery items are all processed foods.

So what's wrong with processed foods? First off, they are usually manufactured with heavily refined, processed ingredients such as white flour. This refined white flour has had virtually all of its nutrition stripped away during the milling process, leaving only empty calories that have been shown to promote nutritional deficiencies and chronic diseases like colon cancer.

Processed foods are also typically made with large quantities of added sugars or other sweeteners. Many contain high-fructose corn syrup or common table sugar to add flavor. Many such foods are also manufactured with hydrogenated vegetable oil, a dangerous form of dietary fat that promotes nervous system disorders end aggressively attacks the cardiovascular health of human beings. These are oils that have been artificially modified through an unnatural process that makes them foreign to the human body, and yet virtually every cracker product, cookie, margarine, or baked goods product contains hydrogenated oils. It's the mass-poisoning of America, brought to you by your local grocer.

That's not all: processed foods also contain chemical flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate as well as preservatives, artificial colors, and other chemical additives. Packaged meats, for example, are made with sodium nitrite, a highly carcinogenic chemical that promotes aggressive cancer in the human body.

Put it all together and you get a food product that's dangerous to the health of any human being, regardless of whether it's low-fat or low-carb. In reality, virtually all processed foods are unhealthy for human consumption, even if they are low-fat or low-carb. Thus, the argument about low-fat diets versus low-carb diets ignores the far more important question: processed foods versus unprocessed foods.

What is an unprocessed food? These are foods made from natural ingredients -- the way foods are found in nature. All fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, herbs, and fresh meat products are unprocessed foods. These foods are all high in fiber, high in antioxidants, and yet exhibit low caloric density which promotes healthy body weight and reduces the risk of obesity. These foods offer much higher vitamin and mineral content than processed foods, all while avoiding the unhealthy additives, oils and sweeteners found in processed foods.

So, as usual, the so-called health authorities in this country are arguing about the wrong thing. While Americans continue to debate the merits of low-carb versus low-fat diets, the real truth about how to lose weight never gets openly discussed: and that is to stop buying manufactured foods and turn to natural foods / whole foods the way they are found in nature.

Quiz time: can you guess why there is never a discussion about moving away from manufactured foods? Simple: manufactured foods are extremely profitable. Grocery stores make far more money on manufactured foods than fresh vegetables. And because these food products are so profitable, they are heavily advertised and promoted to consumers (who tend to blindly purchase whatever product is frequently advertised on television). Money from the manufacturers of such products provides financial support for virtually every newspaper, magazine, and television network in the nation. The mainstream press depends on revenues from food manufacturing companies, including junk food companies and soft drink companies that sell products strongly correlated with the development of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity. Thus, the business of selling disease-promoting, obesity-encouraging foods is extremely profitable to everyone in the industry. To openly discuss the strategy of moving away from processed, manufactured foods would alienate most advertisers who support these information publishers, and it would drain profits from grocery stores as well.

And that's precisely why you continued to see the headlines dominated by the rather worthless discussion of low-fat versus low-carb diets. It's a classic shell game deception, all orchestrated for your entertainment by the very same industry that's giving you chronic disease.


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