Importance of whole foods, not single nutrients

Nutritional science in its quest to identify nutritional food and educate consumers on its benefits has unknowingly created a marketing monster. This has inadvertently steered consumers away from whole foods and towards consuming processed foods.

In 1970’s when the concept of nutritionalism gained a lot of popularity, health officials propagated how they could fight chronic diseases by using food components such as fats. This resulted in production of fat free or low fat products which had high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates. While this type of fat consumption has declined the obesity rate in the Unites States, it has lead to a dramatic rise in the number of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

The solution to this problem can be consuming whole foods which have a low cholesterol level and have rich fiber content.

Sugar is healthier to consume rather than high fructose corn syrup. Processed sugar is not healthy or natural as the packages claim. Therefore, it is necessary to truly understand what content of which food item we are consuming is good for our health.

We can improve our diets further by consuming adequate quantity of fiber-rich foods. Nutritionists also propagate the benefits of fiber in plants which include the process of fermentation and holding the water when passed through the colon. It is because of this that food giants such as Cargill have extracted fiber from the root of chicory and sell it as inulin to companies such as General Mills and Kellogg’s which then incorporate it as an ingredient in processed foods such as Pop-Tarts and cereal bars.

These companies then establish a marketing strategy which emphasize on it being the main ingredient in their products without knowing the actual benefits of it. However, some studies now reveal that inulin does not lower the cholesterol level in the way fiber in whole foods does. Not only this, it is packaged into refined carbohydrates which elevate triglycerides and reduce the HDL cholesterol which is the good cholesterol. These changes in triglyceride can also entail people from suffering from diseases such as diabetes.

Therefore, it is important that we eat a balanced diet which contains whole foods such as fibers and which helps to us maintain our sugar and cholesterol levels so that we do not suffer from diseases such as type 2 diabetes.