Yes, you read the title right! Dr. John McDougall recommends salt, sugar and fat! But before you run to the nearest store to load up on the double chocolate cream pies, please continue reading! This, of course, will be the only time you will see Dr. McDougall recommending salt, sugar, and fat! Salt Sugar Fat is actually an exceptionally well-written book by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Michael Moss.
Salt, sugar, and fat - the three most desired of all flavors. In fact, given the choice, few people would choose a plate of broccoli over a bag of salty potato chips. The processed food industry loves to capitalize on this. For this reason, Dr. McDougall recommends that we read "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us." This informative and well-written book exposes how large food industries "use and manipulate science to sell the maximum amount of food to consumers."
Dr. McDougall highlights a few of the business practices used by these corporations which fuel our current epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes:
"When health concerns about salt, sugar, or fat in their products arise, food marketers respond by dialing back on one ingredient and then pumping up the other two. They advertise the new food line as 'no sugar added,' 'fat-free,' or 'low-sodium.' These taglines attract new customers and lower 'the guilt factor,' which helps keep the most loyal patrons, called 'heavy users,' buying their products."
"People naturally love salt and sugar. We crave sugar because this is our primary source of energy, and our love for salt insures adequate minerals for our body. Nothing is going to change our basic human physiology. Meat and cheese contain almost no sugar or salt. To entice people to eat these bland-tasting foundations they must be infused and coated with large amounts of salt and/or sugar. Breaded with a batter made of flour, salt, and sugar, unappealing chicken becomes a national bestseller."
Dr. McDougall says that after we read this book, we "will be left asking yourself how human beings can possibly survive on the chemical concoctions created by food companies." Although this book gives an excellent and detailed historical account of what led us to become an overweight and sick nation, Dr. McDougall says that it doesn't offer any solutions.
"The basic problem," Dr. McDougall states, "is that our primary sources of calories are now coming from fats found in meat, dairy, vegetable oils, and refined sugars, with an overpowering load of salty flavor added. Over the past century the human diet has been transformed from primary starches (rice, corn, potatoes, and beans) into meals based on meat and cheeses followed by desserts fit for a king (all effortlessly served to the consumer as if prepared especially for them by a full court of servants). More manipulation of these unhealthy ingredients (Salt Sugar Fat) can never result in good health. Rather, the simple solution is to exchange them for rice, corn, potatoes, and beans with whole fruits and vegetables."
Taste, convenience, and low cost are a few reasons why we typically prefer processed foods over whole, natural foods.
Dr. McDougall believes that manipulation by the food industry has led to a "massive epidemic of food poisoning created by a half-century of unregulated food industry practices." "The food giants," he says, "need help to change their customers' buying and eating habits in order to resolve this massive epidemic of malnutrition." Remember what Dr. McDougall says, "The fat you eat is the fat you wear!"
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