Welcome to the United States of Diabetes - here's your preview of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines
On Thursday, January 27, 2011, the federal government will release the long-awaited revised low fat 2010 Dietary Guidelines, 70-plus pages of bizarre nutritional advice that, in the midst of a diabetes epidemic, do not include the words, “elevated blood sugar.”
Please remember, elevated blood sugar is a marker for type 2 diabetes. Only carbs elevate blood sugar, particularly sugary, floury products and processed grains – whole and refined. How, can federal nutrition guidelines that do not mention “blood-sugar-raising foods” solve diabetes?
Don’t expect any new warnings about sugar. During the 2010 deliberations, carbohydrate chair Professor Slavin from the University of Minnesota testified that even though sugar has no nutritional value, it is perfectly okay to consume up to 25 percent of our calories as sugar!
Nor will the 2010 Dietary Guidelines warn Americans away from consuming high fructose corn syrup – now 10 to 20 percent of American calories. Why? Because Joanne Slavin testified that high fructose corn syrup and white sugar are “no different than any other type of calorie – a calorie is calorie is a calorie!”
I wonder if Mike Huckabee would testify that “all calories are the same?” A recent Washington Post article noted: “The Republican Party’s resident obesity authority Mike Huckabee famously shed more than 100 pounds in part by cutting out processed sugar and white flour.” (He also reversed type 2 diabetes.)
Like all guidelines since 1980, however, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines will emphasize carbohydrate consumption – including processed sugars like HFCS – without “grading” those carbohydrates as “good” or “bad.” During DGAC meeting one, October 2008, Professor Slavin testified that grading would be “too controversial” and “served no purpose.”
Did she mean too controversial to the millions of people dealing with diabetes – or too controversial to Minnesota-based Cargill and General Mills, big food companies who have donated millions of dollars to Joanne Slavin’s employer – the Nutrition Department at the University of Minnesota?
In October 2008, during the opening session of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meetings, USDA Secretary Ed Schafer said, “The guidelines advise Americans from ages two to 102 about how to make food choices that will promote their health and help reduce their risk of chronic disease.” [italics mine]
Given the magnitude of the carbohydrate-related diabetes epidemic, can we afford to wait five more years to warn Americans about blood-sugar-raising foods? Is Professor Slavin’s reluctance to grade sugar and HFCS in conflict with the very purpose of the guidelines themselves – to reduce chronic disease? Is this a case of follow-the-money, where the interests of big food companies override the health and welfare of ordinary people?
We must ask, why is the federal government – already facing trillions in health care expenditure – overlooking a spate of recent evidence suggesting that the overconsumption of “bad” carbohydrates – not cholesterol and saturated fat – is the root cause of our ever-growing obesity and diabetes epidemics.
(I wonder, have they seen the February 2011 issue of Reader’s Digest?)
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