Carb Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat
Directed by Lathe Poland (2014)
Carb Loaded follows the personal journey of a 40 something male (one of the filmmakers) who suddenly develops type II diabetes, despite being physically fit and follow a “heart healthy” diet. What he discovers is that the low fat, high carbohydrate promoted for fifty years by Food Inc, the USDA, and the American Dietetic Association is responsible for a global epidemic of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and most likely Alzheimer’s Disease.
The Food Pyramid was an Experiment and Americans the Guinea Pigs
The documentary begins by tracing the history of the “food pyramid,” which the FDA and corporate cronies foisted on the unsuspecting American public in 1977 – without a single clinical trial supporting its safety and effectiveness. With the adoption of the “food pyramid,” doctors and dietitians induced hundreds of millions of patients to drastically reduce their intake of protein and fat and to increase foods previously associated with weight gain (bread, pasta, potatoes, high carb snacks, etc). in other words it was a vast experiment and Americans – and citizens of other industrialized nations – were the guinea pigs.
Statistically the prevalence of diabetes, obesity heart disease and Alzheimer’s began to take off in the late seventies, the widespread adoption of the low fat, high carbohydrate diet. Over the last decade the researchers have identified the mechanisms by which a high carbohydrate diet causes these conditions.
A high carb diet causes diabetes by triggering excessive insulin production, which over time leads to insulin resistance, a physiological condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin, leading to higher blood sugar levels.
It causes obesity by reducing brain sensitivity to leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells that notifies the brain when we’re full.
It causes heart disease mainly by triggering an inflammatory response in our blood vessels that increases cholesterol production. Contrary to popular belief (driven by relentless corporate marketing), most cholesterol is produced by the body in response to inflammation and is totally unrelated to diet.
Alzheimer’s: Type III Diabetes
Most ominous of all, high carbohydrate diets can cause the accumulation of “glycated”* proteins in the brain. These are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, which doctors and researchers have begun referring to as Type III diabetes.
The film goes on to explore numerous lifestyle changes which have led many residents of the industrialized world to cook less and rely more on cheap, carbohydrate-rich fast foods. It also explodes the myth that fast food is cheap, with a recent study that the average American spends $3,000 a year on fast food and $8,000 on doctors visits for medical problems caused by fast foods.
The filmmakers finish by reviewing a range of possible solutions at the government, community and individual level. High on the list of policy changes are an end to the US corn subsidy (responsible for the ubiquitous presence of damaging high fructose corn syrup in most processed foods) and a tax on sugary beverages similar to those enacted by Mexico, Denmark, Hungary and France.
On a community level, they talk about what activists can do to eradicate food deserts and increase the availability of fresh, unprocessed food.
On a personal level, they explore the importance of understanding the addictive effect of sugar and specific behavioral changes people can make to gradually wean themselves and, most importantly, their children off sugar and other refined carbohydrates.
I wish that I could say that I am surprised, but that would be a lie. As a Black person, I have always been leery of whatever is being thrown in my direction because we’ve been guinea pigs, like forever! Tuskegee Experiment, anyone? And listed below are others.
“During slavery days, when they were recognized in law as only three-fifths of a man, African-Americans were thrown into burning hot pits by white physicians seeking a cure for sunstroke and had boiling water poured on them by white doctors determined to develop a cure for typhoid and pneumonia.
Free to use and abuse African-Americans as they pleased, white surgeons cracked open and probed the brains of black children and operated on the genitals of enslaved black women, all without Anesthetics . One white physician even pressed hot pokers onto the legs and arms of enslaved African-Americans to discover “how deep black skin was.”
The exploitation of African-Americans for medical research did not end with slavery. It continued long afterwards.” – See more at: http://newafricanmagazine.com/medical-scandal/#sthash.fPNsbeeL.dpuf
Yeah! I am just SO shocked!
But thanks for the heads-up Dr. Bramhall!
Thanks for the link, Shelby. The stuff they describe is an absolute abomination and disgrace on a par with Nazi experimentation. The Tuskegree syphilis experiment (in which the US Public Health Service deliberately withheld treatment from African Americans so they could study the natural course of the disease) went on for 40 years and lasted until 1972. That was the year before I graduated from medical school. I had no idea then that I was living in the Dark Ages, but clearly I was.
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A good article and film. Governments will finally have to do something. Australia, apart from being the world’s largest poluters per capita also rank high in obesity. Leaving it to personal dietery choices don’t work against the might of the food industry and their advertising.
Perhaps sugary products should be sold behind locked doors and in plain packaging?
I think the first step will be for the government and doctors (who are licensed by the state) to give out correct information about healthy eating and what’s in our food. Most of the sugar people eat is invisible. Manufacturers load up processed food with sugar to make it more “addictive” – even people who think they’re avoiding sugar are getting heaps of it if they eat processed food.
“It causes obesity by reducing brain sensitivity to leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells that notifies the brain when we’re full.”
Not to mention they put chemicals in food, especially fast food, to get the same criminal effect.
By the time this particular diet was being pandered as the next savior of the chubbies, I was already through with diets, dietitians and the diet industry. I am overweight and have been since a child, and yet my blood tests always manage to shock the docs: no diabetes, no high levels of bad cholesterol or triglycerides etc, and I’ll soon be 66.
In this country, you can measure the obesity “epidemic” by income/class: well off/wealthy equals thin, beautiful and healthy, while poor equals sickly and extremely thin or obese. It’s a class more than a health issue in this mess I exist in.
What will it take for people to wake up to all of this. It’s simple, if it’s being pandered by “experts” in the mass media, then it’s either a manipulation of some kind or outright lie. And this diet was being pushed on every channel for ages. One born every minute!
Chronic obesity seems to be largely determined by epigenetic factors (environmental effects on gene expression) during pregnancy. Most of the overweight people I’ve worked with suffer from insulin resistance, stemming from maternal stress and exposure of the fetus to high steroid levels. This, in turn, is directly linked to income level.
This can be aggravated by an imbalance in intestinal bacteria and a high carbohydrate diet.
It can be controlled somewhat by a high fat low carbohydrate diet, especially if it’s combined with probiotics and lots of fermented foods.
However to the best of my knowledge, there’s no cure for insulin resistance.
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High steroid levels? Do you the mothers were taking steroids?
My mother was overweight as was her mother and grandmother. And my mother was always stressed out, so she was most likely so when pregnant with me. My father and family were all thin and yet had heart disease. I got the overweight from mom, but so far, my heart is more than holding its own.
I’ve always wondered about this.
Dr. Bramhall, does the fermented grape count? I am being totally serious here. I have developed quite a taste for the fermented grape and I was just wondering, if imbibed in moderation, is it a good thing or is that too, loaded down with unwanted sugar?
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For all you fellow chubs out there, here is a documentary and review you should check out!
Am posting this in the next day or so:
Thanks for the link. The whole problem with science and technology under capitalism is that it’s mainly used to control people when it should be used to improve their lives. This is where the Citizen Science Movement comes in – science for people instead of social control: http://www.wfs.org/futurist/2013-issues-futurist/july-august-2013-vol-47-no-4/rise-citizen-science
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Thanks! I will check this out! And I agree, everything is about controlling us these days. They could care less if we live or die!
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Bit off topic but same BS that where fed that more is better for your wellbeing. http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/news-and-events/teeth-reveal-lifetime-exposures-to-metals-toxins
Great link (from my alma mater). Thanks Gerry.
I meant to say, Do you mean the mothers were taking steroids?
No. Endogenous steroids automatically increase when people are under stress – and poverty is nearly always associated with high levels of stress.
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Ah! I didn’t know this. Well, my parents were not poverty stricken when mom was pregnant with me, but I know they were struggling, financially. So this could have been a factor in my case.
I just read a portion of the Mercola article and a few of the links.
This entire gut bacteria scenario makes sense to me. There are many times I feel bloated after a meal, even though I have not eaten a great amount of food. And I would imagine this has to do with the quality of food I am eating.
Thanks for the info!
Shelby, the health benefits of fermented grape depend on the alcohol content. Alcohol content above 18 or 19% kills the yeast responsible for the fermentation process. If you’re drinking fermented grape to improve the bacterial balance of your intestine, it’s probably not that helpful. However it’s been shown to have other positive health benefits.
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