The Crappy Food Cycle aka Why The System is Rigged
It started two years ago. The confluence of both professional and personal factors that led to the voracious reading of academic papers, medical journals and physician-authored NY Times Bestsellers. I wanted to understand exactly how food impacts our health and whether or not, through an active choice of what we eat, we could actually reverse illness and disease. Can a certain type of diet strengthen our immune system, and if so, what is that diet?
Trained as a scientist many years ago, I was driven by the desire to understand as much as possible the biochemistry of the body and the resultant medical implications. What actually happens to our bodies when we eat different types of food?
It was a surprise to understand how the brain & body work together so fluidly to feedback how we feel before, during and after a meal, and that process is dependent and driven by what we eat. I learnt how fructose is metabolized in the liver, differently to other carbohydrates. I learnt how certain food types trigger a true mental dependency. I learnt how a calorie, as a unit of measure, is a valid one, but what the body does with that calorie, how it stores it or not, is completely dependent upon the source of that calorie. I learnt about The Crappy Food Cycle and why the mantra of "Eat Less, Move More" is doomed for failure because if what we are ingesting is actually triggering the brain response to "Eat More, Move Less" it's going against the body's biochemistry - those aren't great odds. The system is rigged.
The SIMPLE Science Behind the Crappy Food Cycle
The modern day, convenience diet, has introduced a ubiquity of refined/processed grains into our diet, which by definition of that process, have been stripped of their natural fiber. These grains have the impact of being very quickly broken down (because of the fiber removal during the refinement process) into glucose and quickly absorbed into the blood stream. As a response, the brain triggers the release of insulin which has the effect of quickly removing that glucose from the blood and storing it as triglycerides (fat) in the body. In absence of sufficient nutrients & fiber, the brain does not receive the appropriate nutrition, and so generates ghrelin, the hunger hormone, to prompt further food consumption. And so we have the typical post-prandial cycle of “Eat. Crash. Hunger. Eat More.”
This is The Crappy Food Cycle.
Furthermore, when you add sugar to this cocktail, which is 1/2 a molecule of glucose and 1/2 one of fructose, it is readily broken down into its component molecules. Glucose enters the blood stream and fructose is metabolized in the liver. The glucose component obviously triggers that same insulin response. The fructose is metabolized in the liver and largely stored as fat around the liver, until it is needed, if at all. And just to top it all, the sugar triggers a brain dopamine response which makes us crave it more and more.
We're addicted to Crappy Food.
The SOLUTION - THE Real Food Cycle
The outcome of reading all those books? Those physician-authored NY Times best-sellers, each with a slightly different spin to ensure they hit that number one NYT spot, have more or less the same punchline. Our moms were right. "Eat your Veggies!"
A whole grain, plant-based diet, is full of nutrients, fiber & protein. It reverses The Crappy Food Cycle. Now the digestion is slowed from the fiber and the brain receives the slow release of nutrients. The brain, instead of releasing ghrelin, releases leptin, the satiety hormone. Now a food cycle is no longer the dysfunctional 2-hour "Eat. Crash. Hunger. Eat More." but rather a functional four-to-five hour cycle because of true satiety.
Very quickly the body and brain readjust. Happy, satisfied brain = better feeling and looking body. And what happens to all those previously stored triglycerides from the Crappy Food Cycle? Wait and see this week...
No need for deprivation or diet. The brain is doing it for you, because the brain is getting what it needs. It's hard to argue with that.
Our Real Food
So, that’s what the meals in your boxes are all about. No magic. Just highly nutritious, balanced, real-food meals, oh yes...made very tasty :-)
Love Coach Euphebe xxx
Top Tip FOR THE DAY:
Drink LOTS of water, more than you normally would, as the water helps you with all that incremental fiber