Sort of funny, the US Government came out with a “Food Pyramid” in 1992 and it highly recommended eating plenty of Breads & Grains along with encouraging plenty of Fruits & Vegetables (though the “Pyramid” has changed, it hasn’t changed that much).
Basically, the Government was and is encouraging citizens to eat about 11 to 20 servings of carbohydrates while only digesting 2 to 3 servings of protein while eschewing oils as much as possible.
This is where the funny part comes in, we have learned through science that carbohydrates, and we mean all carbohydrates, create glucose in the body when consumed.
How does this happen and why is this important?
Well we asked Mark Sisson of Marksdailyapple.com about Insulin & Carbohydrates and here is what he had to say;
“Every type of carbohydrate you eat is eventually converted to a simple form of sugar known as glucose, all the bread, pasta, cereal, potatoes, rice (stop me when you’ve had enough), fruit, dessert, candy, and sodas you eat and drink eventually wind up as glucose. While glucose is a fuel, it is actually quite toxic in excess amounts unless it is being burned inside your cells, so the body has evolved an elegant way of getting it out of the bloodstream quickly and storing it in those cells.
It does this by having the liver and the muscles store some of the excess glucose as glycogen. That’s the muscle fuel that aerobic exercise requires. Specialized beta cells in your pancreas sense the abundance of glucose in the bloodstream after a meal and secrete insulin, a peptide hormone whose job it is to allow glucose (and fats and amino acids) to gain access to the interior of muscle and liver cells.
But here’s the catch: once those cells are full, as they are almost all the time with inactive people, the rest of the glucose is converted to fat. Saturated fat.
Insulin was one of the first hormones to evolve in living things. Virtually all animals secrete insulin as a means of storing excess nutrients. It makes perfect sense that in a world where food was often scarce or non-existent for long periods of time, our bodies would become so incredibly efficient. How ironic, though, that it’s not fat that gets stored as fat – it’s sugar. And that’s where insulin insensitivity and this whole type 2 diabetes issue gets confusing for most people, including your very own government.”
So a diet high in carbohydrates plus a sedentary lifestyle will most likely lead to high glucose or insulin production in an individual, which can directly lead to Type II Diabetes
As we can see from the chart, 1993 was a turning point for the explosion of Type II Diabetes, about the same time that the US Government put out the original “Food Pyramid”. Since then the number of people in the country with Type II Diabetes has just about tripled and there seems to be no end in sight.
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And what did we get from the American Diabetes Association?
Their “Food Pyramid” without a whole lot of changes, actually it was identical to the US Government’s at first
Again we have plenty of Carbohydrates with very little protein which equates to a whole lot of glucose and what does that mean to you?
The higher risk of having Type II Diabetes especially if you happen to have a sedentary life style and that will lead to a whole lot of other financial issues in retirement.
Since then the ADA has distanced themselves from their “Food Pyramid” and has adopted the “Plate Method” where an individual will split their plate into 3 sections with two being equal & the third being the largest. The largest section is for “non starchy vegetables” then the other two are for starchy foods like pasta & bread and the last is for protein.
Once again, with their change, they are recommending a plate tilting towards more glucose & insulin with little protein and where will this all lead?
Just by looking to HealthView Services’ RetireMark software we can calculate what the out of pocket healthcare costs will be for a male & a female both ages of 55 who will retire at age 65, plan on living until age 100 while having Type II Diabetes.
For the male, he can expect to incur close to $ 1.6 million in health care costs in those 35 years
For the female, she can expect to incur close to $ 1.35 million in health care costs in the same time frame.
The wakeup call; Using the RetireMark software a user will see that Type II Diabetes is the most expensive disease state when a user out lives their actuarial life expectancy.
So as our population ages and the Baby Boomer generation increases their life expectancy (see a report from the CDC), the costs to treat Type II Diabetes will become their most expensive burden in retirement and this can all be stopped by just understanding carbohydrates, glucose, lack of activity and diet.
Dan McGrath is a founding member of HealthView Services, a firm dedicated to helping individuals plan properly for their health care and its costs throughout retirement
Food Fun Discovery Day
Image by Rapid City Public Library Sharon Guthmiller talks about the food pyramid during the No School Discovery Day Food Fun program at the Downtown Library.
Image by james.swenson13 Food groups for healthy eating.
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