According to the Pew Research Center, a nationwide polling firm, only 20% of U.S. adults say they trust the government to “do the right thing”, but when it comes to their trust as to how well the government “ensures good food and medicine”, 62% trust the government. Ratings for mainstream media aren’t much better: the Reuters Institute at Oxford states that the U.S. ranks last in a survey of 46 countries in their trust of the media — about 29% trust the media in general. Yet the Pew Research Center ranks the trust of Americans in the scientific media at 57%. When either the government or media makes a medical or nutrition-related statement, the majority of us tend to believe them.
In the 1980’s, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines listed dietary fat as a “nutrient of concern” and suggested that fat intake be limited to less than 30% of total calories. Fat was considered to be a danger to cholesterol levels and weight gain. Then the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) introduced the “Food Pyramid” in 1992, which suggested our largest food consumption should be of breads, cereals, rice, and pasta, and somewhat less of fruits and vegetables, and somewhat less milk, meat, eggs, and nuts, and then minimal amount of fats. Popular science magazines hailed the value of the Food Pyramid and the Guidelines, and even today the Food Pyramid is cited by many as the proper way to eat. Yet in 2015, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAG) suggested dropping the term “nutrient of concern” from the Guidelines, and any limitations on fat intake. Have you heard that? Most likely you are still hearing that “fats are bad”.
One of the most valuable foods on the planet nearly faded from public knowledge, thanks largely to what we were being told about fats. What is now called the “avocado”, which is a high fat food with tremendous health benefits, could not catch on across America in the ’80’s and early 90’s because of the bad press about fat. The California Avocado Commission hired a public relations firm to advertise avocados, and they pitched the “Guacamole Bowl” campaign in NFL Super Bowl ads, eventually boosting avocado sales 70%. That’s when avocados caught on with the public.
The government didn’t get this right, nor did the consensus of scientists, nor the popular media. Without clever advertising, we might have difficulty even finding avocados in grocery stores today. Yet you would be hard-pressed to find a single more healthful food anywhere!
The fat argument doesn’t carry much weight
Dietary guidelines tend to lump all fat types together. Saturated fats often refer to animal fats, which is where the trouble is found. Saturated fats tend to raise “bad” cholesterol. Saturated fats may partially inhibit the LDL receptors on liver cells which are responsible for the liver taking LDL cholesterol out of the blood, this inhibition by saturated fats allows LDL levels rise and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Regardless, the avocado fat is mostly non-saturated. Avocado’s fat profile is 71% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) — only 16% saturated fats. So the majority of the fats in avocados are not controversial.
Fat doesn’t promote fat. It is a very dense energy source, so you simply don’t need as much high-fat food as other foods to get plenty of energy for the day. High carbohydrate intake has been repeatedly shown to be the culprit in weight gain, as well as promoting high LDL levels. Published in The Lancet, researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada surveyed 135,335 individuals to determine the impact of fats and carbohydrates. They found that a high carbohydrate diet meant an increase in mortality risk, but that intake of each type of fat, and higher overall fat intake, was associated with a lower mortality risk. They also found no link between unsaturated fats and cardiovascular disease. This is probably not what you have heard from the science media.
Avocado — the superfood
Many foods claim to be “superfoods” these days, but the avocado really deserves the title. Its high monounsaturated fat is mostly oleic acid, which tends to reduce inflammation. The high soluble fiber content of avocados feeds good gut bacteria, and avocados have a great vitamin profile — particularly vitamins C, B5, B6, E, K, and folate. Avocados are also high in potassium, and a source of magnesium. They contain the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health. All this should be enough to deem them a superfood, but there’s more: they are also a valuable companion food. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins, so avocados help absorption of these vitamins from other foods. Published in The Journal of Nutrition, research studies showed avocado added to salsa or a salad can increase absorption of antioxidants from 2.6 to 15 times the rate of absorption without avocados.
Avocados have valuable phytonutrients, and since the normal and accepted way of eating an avocado is raw, those nutrients remain available. Most likely some of those nutrients have yet to be discovered: for instance, a recent avocado discovery shows promise in fighting leukemia. Published in the medical journal Blood, researchers at the University of Guelph studied how leukemia cells get energy from an enzyme called “very long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase” (VLCAD) — this is a vital energy pathway for leukemia. The researchers found only one substance — a fat molecule called avocation B— which can inhibit the VLCAD enzyme. And that comes only from avocados, making them uniquely anti-cancer. What other special nutrients might avocados be hiding?
Here are some you might find interesting. The D-manno-heptulose in avocados boosts collagen formation and can help your skin look younger. Avocados contain lots of the antioxidant L-gluthathione, which vital for your immune system and for repairing tissue — it is also known to support liver function, combating fatty liver disease and aiding detoxification. Avocados have low carbohydrate levels, which pared with their high fiber content make them anti-diabetic by slowing absorption of sugar. Switching from a carb to a fat energy source diet is key to conquering or avoiding diabetes, and avocados give you an easy way to make that change.
Who is in charge?
Like it or not, you are in charge of your own health. If you find it easier to just let the media “experts” decide for you, let’s hope you are listening to the right ones. Better to do your own research and decide what choices make the most sense. In the choice of eating avocados, you’ll find plenty of evidence that they are an extremely healthful food, and could be a big part of turning your health for the better.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Avocados are the perfect fat burning food. They not only kick in the fat burning metabolism but they shut down carb or sugar burning and craving. Eating avocado balances blood sugar, which is key in countering pathogens, including cancer. The real key in eating fat is to kick in fat burning by eating living and raw plant fats, never cooked or animal fats. If you eat living raw plant fats, you will be full and not crave carbohydrates. Remember fats have twice as many energy units as carbohydrates or proteins. Living/raw plant fats do not make you fat — they help you to burn fat for fuel. The uniqueness of avocados are that they are classified as an oily fruit, so because they are a fruit, but have no sugar, they digest extremely well. They also stimulate the liver to secrete more bile so they are detoxifying to the liver, and because they are a source of glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant, they support your liver health. When you get off of carbs and off of animal products, you must eat a staple for energy that is also filling in addition to all the vegetables and salads — this is the avocado! Simply put: avocados are the best fuel to put into the tank. So the next time you crave bread or fish, eat an avocado or two instead. Then you will be on the road to a better level of health.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.