Skip to main content

View Diary: New York City bans food donations to homeless shelters (48 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Bloomberg's aiming at the wrong targets anyway (0+ / 0-)

    I'm something of a nutrition geek and have been shaking my head for some time at Bloomberg's paranoia around salt and fat.  My head, in fact, is just about to topple off.

    It is true that there are some problematic fats, but they're not the ones most people are thinking of.  Mainstream nutritionists, the feds, and the public believe the problem lies with saturated fats and trans fats.  It's true that industrially synthesized trans fats cause health problems (there are a few natural trans fats in dairy that are actually very good for you, so says the research), but no study has shown that saturated fat does.  Every study ever cited as "proof" of the dangers of saturated fat has been confounded out the wazoo or has been an observational study asking participants to remember everything they've eaten in the past year.  Not terribly accurate and only supposed to be used for generating hypotheses rather than being the last word on anything.

    So what fats are we supposed to avoid, if any?  Good question.  The food police have pointed us in entirely the wrong direction as far as which fats to avoid.  It's been known for decades that synthetic trans fats were dangerous and that was ignored.  Now all of a sudden it's terribly, terribly important.  Well, it's also known science that polyunsaturated fats are dangerous in the human body.  I wonder how many more decades it'll be before the seed-oil purveyors and their toadies in Congress will 'fess up on that one.  Anyone who's curious as to why PUFAs are bad needs to look up Dr. Mary Enig's work on the subject.  This has been her area of expertise for her entire career.

    And... you guessed it... there are lots and lots of PUFAs in potato chips.

    As for salt, the reason salt is ever a problem for anyone is because so many of us have hyperinsulinemia now.  In other words, rather than peaking during a meal and then dropping to almost nothing between meals, our insulin is almost always chronically elevated.  What does this have to do with salt?  Well, insulin signals the kidneys to hold on to salt.  Insulin also, separately, causes blood pressure issues because it messes with the ability of the arteries to gauge the pressure within them.  So your insulin's high, so your blood pressure elevates, and your kidneys are holding on to salt which causes you to retain water, which just bumps the blood pressure up higher.  This is also, by the way, true of African-Americans, and probably more so, because they've been shown to be more susceptible to insulin resistance and at earlier ages than white people.

    There's a simple fix, though.  Change your dietary habits so that your insulin is not constantly elevated.  Then you will be able to eat normal levels of salt and not suffer for it.  Your body needs sodium, so this approach makes more sense than not eating sodium at all.

    Other than that, Bloomberg sort of has his heart in the right place.  I'm appalled at people's tendency to donate things to the poor that the poor can quite well afford on their own, and that are terrible for human health.  The next time you get it into your head to donate your extra noodles and rice?  Please don't.  The poor need MEAT most of all (and not just for the protein!)--anyone can afford a couple of bucks for a bag of noodles!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site