March 27, 2021
Today’s show is less about physical health; instead it is more about social and emotional health at every weight. Listen in as two dietitians explore what health has to do with weight and how health really means much more than just a number on the scale. Listen in to learn more.
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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. This show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. All of you listening this morning are in for a little bit of a different twist when it comes to today's topic, so I do hope you stay with us the entire hour. Today's show is going to be a little less about physical health and a little more about social and emotional health. Our topic this morning is about “Health at Every Size”, or we could just as well call it “Health at Every Weight”. If you haven't recognized my voice, I'm Cassie Weness. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And I have the pleasure of co-hosting this morning with Teresa Wagner, who's also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And Teresa and I were visiting before we went on the air this morning about the fact that both of us back in our college days, when we were studying to be dietitians, we both learned that “calories in, calories out” theory to lose weight. And if you're not familiar with that theory, “calories in, calories out”, bottom line, it's just saying, if you want to lose weight, you simply need to take in fewer calories than what you're expending.
CASSIE: Right? Am I saying that right? So, you know, a simple theory, this seems to make sense, but now we know it's, it doesn't hold its weight. But because of that, I learned to drink diet pop. I bought the Snack-Well cookies. Remember those? Oh my gosh: those low-fat cookies. I was addicted to those low fat crunchy pretzels. And if I had a big exam coming up and I knew I was going to stay up into the night studying, I would buy a big bag of licorice; one, because I liked the flavor. And I knew it would help me stay awake as I'm studying. But also because it was fat-free. And looking back, those high sugar, low fat foods were not working in my favor. My energy highs and lows were pretty dramatic. And I struggled with some anxiety that I now can look back and see was a result of what I was eating.
TERESA: Oh, sure. Yeah. And I think that that idea of calories in, calories out makes a lot of logical sense. But you know, I say this all the time, we're biological beings. We’re not logical beings. So, so, you know, a linear math equation: it doesn't, it doesn't work when we're talking about physiology.
CASSIE: We're not that simple.
TERESA: Yeah. And you know, Cassie, when I was in school studying, we learned that in order to help people get healthy, they had to lose weight. Right? So the idea was that in order to be healthy, weight loss was first. Our clients often tell us that they're, when they're visiting with their doctors, that they're told in order to obtain lower cholesterol numbers, that they need to lose weight.
CASSIE: And, right. And, so on that note, here's a question for all of you listening. Have you ever been told that to be healthy you just have to lose a little weight? It's frustrating, isn't it? Because for so many people, the harder they try, the harder it is to get those numbers on the scale to go down. So I think we need to ask the question, what exactly does weight have to do with health? Well, the simple truth is that if we think in terms of health at every size or health at every weight, it shifts the focus away from dieting. And we all know that dieting and focusing on our waistline can bring about a lot of self judgment. We've had countless clients over the years at Nutritional Weight and Wellness that have told us, you know, if they get up in the morning and step on the scale and that number doesn't look good to them, they're going to have a bad day all day long.
TERESA: Right. And the frustrating part of that scenario is that having a bad day or a really emotional difficult day can cancel out all those self care habits that you've worked so hard to achieve, just because the scale didn't say what you wanted it to say. The practice of, and the habit of eating real food just goes out the window. It's like, well, why is it worth it? If the scale doesn't, doesn't cooperate, it's not worth it. Right? And so then we start eating sugary treats, which increases your blood sugar. It increases the inflammation in your body. It increases the pain. It increases your maybe your depression or just mood swings maybe. Your cholesterol can go up and of course your weight can go up as well.
CASSIE: Right. And you know, Teresa and I truly hope that by the end of today's show, all of you will come to the understanding and the acceptance that health is so much more than just a number on the scale or the size of your jeans. And maybe if we can communicate to our teenage daughters that the ideal weight for her is the weight that allows her to feel strong. It's the weight that allows her to have great energy and to be able to focus and be happy. Maybe we'll be able to turn around that irrational point of view that she might have of herself that can lead to a judgmental eating disorder.
TERESA: Right. And I think it's, focusing on just health with kids is very important. I have, my oldest daughter; she is nine and she is at the age where most women start their first diet. And I look at her and I'm like, she's just a baby. How does this happen at this age?
CASSIE: Right. They are, they should be playing and be carefree and yeah; not be worried about calories.
TERESA: Calories and their weight. And luckily at this point, my kids are at, they love to get on the scale and they love it when the weight increases.
CASSIE: Because they're growing. They're getting taller.
CASSIE: That's fun. I love that.
TERESA: Oh man. But back to our topic. So, you know, we all have different genetics. Let's face it. Every body is different. Think of it this way. Okay. So think of this scenario. Hypothetically, if I decide to do a research study for three months, so I'm going to choose some people to be in that study, right? Maybe I choose 20 people, say 15 women and five men, and they're all going to be 48 years old. All of them eat the exact same number of calories, the exact same food, the same fat grams, the same protein and carbs. They all do the exact same exercises for the exact length of time. Now some of these people in this research study could gain weight. Some could lose weight and others could be the exact same weight that they were when the study started.
CASSIE: That is so true. And I don't know if everybody realizes that, but because each of us has our own unique biochemistry, we have our own unique metabolism. Like you said, Teresa, even if everybody ate the exact same food, exercised the exact same amount and type of exercises for that hypothetical three-month study that you threw out there, at the end of those three months, there's going to be different results because each of us are different people. And you know, I think something that's even more fascinating to consider is that many of these study participants would also see different changes in their blood work. Now here's a little more tangible example of what I'm saying. Teresa, you and I could start today on the same meal plan, the exact same exercise regimen. We could do this consistently for several months. And then if we both went into the doctor and had him or her draw our blood and test our blood sugar, our triglycerides, our cholesterol, it very well could be that your blood sugar is nice and low and mine is in the prediabetes range. It could very well be that your so-called “bad cholesterol” is in a perfect range and mine is maybe uncomfortably high. So again, each person needs a diet, or I like to say a meal plan and an exercise plan that will work with their unique biochemistry. And that plan will differ from one individual to the next.
TERESA: Right. And if that hypothetical study that, that we're setting up here, it would seem that if, if how we think about diet and nutrition and lab values and things, it would seem like everybody's numbers should come out exactly the same. They should all weigh the same. Their cholesterol should all be, you know, the 200. You know, their triglycerides should be 50. Their blood sugars should be 85. You know, everybody should be exactly the same because they all did the exact same thing. And we know, thinking of our labs, how impossible would that be to have the exact same number, the exact same numbers or that profile to come out exactly the same.
CASSIE: We have our own, yeah, our own unique makeup. And we have to live our life and eat in a way that addresses who we are to be our healthiest selves. And I feel like we're almost in a philosophy class going here, but we're going to take a quick break and we're going to come back. Teresa has a really good book that she read that she's going to tell us some research from. If you're recently tuning in, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Cassie Weness. I'm in studio with Teresa Wagner. Teresa and I are both Registered and Licensed Dietitians. And we're discussing how people can have good health at every size. We're talking about how it's really about what you're choosing to put in your mouth day in and day out, not the number on the scale. And do stay with us because when we come back from commercial, we'll be giving you permission to stay away from the low calorie, low fat diets that let's face it, nobody enjoys, right? And you know, I have met some people that have lost weight on low calorie, low fat diets, but the truth is they're not good for us. They can be detrimental to our health and we'll be talking more about that. So stay tuned.
TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Have you noticed it is often difficult to stop working and cook yourself and cook for yourself? Hopefully you're not cooking yourself, but cook for yourself and have a nice lunch. We tend to grab and go at lunchtime or just skip lunch altogether. For good health though, we often need to practice better self-care. So what can you prepare for lunch? Well, if you need help, Marianne, our culinary nutrition educator will show you some simple lunch ideas to prepare and enjoy. Join Marianne for her Easy Weekday Lunches. It's a virtual cooking class, and it's going to be offered on Tuesday, April 13th, from 6:00 PM to 7:15. Or you could take it on Thursday, April 15th from noon to 1:15. Both of these classes are taught via Zoom, right from Marianne's own kitchen. And they're only $25. You can sign up for either class, for either of those classes, the Tuesday or the Thursday class on our website at weightandwellness.com or call us at (651) 699-3438. And we'll help you get signed up for the day that works best for you. So before we went to break, Cassie mentioned that I had read an interesting book and, and it was it's by Gary Taubes, who wrote The Case for Keto. And I think it just kind of, it tags onto what we were talking about prior to break as far as everybody's bodies are a little bit different. Our chemistry is a little bit different and what works for one person may not work for another. So Gary Taubes writes in his book, The Case for Keto, “Those who fatten easily are fundamentally, physiologically and metabolically different from those who don't.” He goes on to say, “This implies that those of us who fatten easily can get fat on precisely the same food and even the same amount of food as lean people.” What that tells us is that people who gain weight easily, or as Gary Taubes puts it, fatten easily, cannot be told to eat and exercise like lean people, because about 75 to 80% of the people who gain weight easily would be hungry and they would gain weight if they ate like those lean people, you know, those lean people who do not gain weight easily. And as a side note, just because a person is thin doesn't necessarily mean that they are healthy. The words “thin” and “healthy”: well, they're not synonymous. When I'm working with clients who want to lose weight, I hear this all the time, especially when we're strategizing ways to keep their home environment safe or easy to be successful in. I, they say all the time, “Well, I can't stop buying that and keeping that in my house because you know, my spouse likes that food and well, he can eat anything cause he's thin.” And it's like saying…
CASSIE: Oh, doesn't that just make you cringe?
TERESA: Yes, because junk food is junk food. It does not matter the person's size or shape. Right? It's still not…
CASSIE: It's harming you some way. It might be that it's inflaming his blood vessels. Right? And as he gets older, that might be heart disease or stroke, even if he's thin.
CASSIE: So it, yeah, it will catch up to any of us at some point. So just stop buying it.
CASSIE: He'll be fine. Oh yeah. So I just want to repeat that what you said earlier, that sentence Teresa: thin is not synonymous with healthy. That is so true. And it makes me think of just a quick little personal story I want to share. Shortly after my husband and I got married, well, I suppose it was a year or two after we got married, my mother-in-law had a heart attack. And it surprised us all, one because she was the perfect weight for her height. So I think even, even you and I probably on some subconscious level, we look at someone like that and think they're healthy. And she wasn't even 60 years old yet. So that really floored us too. But you know, there were some improvements in her diet that she could and now has made to get that heart healthy. But again, like I said, she was, and always has been the perfect weight for her height. So we pretty much all thought she was healthy, but there she was having that heart attack at, I think she was 59 years old. So thin is not synonymous with healthy. But let's get back to this book that you're talking about, because I'm really intrigued: The Case for Keto. And I haven't read it cover to cover, but I know, I know a little bit about it. And if you're not aware for you listeners out there, we interviewed the author of this book, Gary Taubes back on January 9th. If anybody wants to go back and listen to that podcast: January 9th of this year. And the title of that Dishing Up Nutrition program was “The Case for Keto”. So I just wanted to share that because it makes it easier to search for it in case you want to listen. And Gary Taubes, if you're not aware is an investigative and health journalist.
And so in his book, what I do know is that he talks about research backing up the fact that that old theory I mentioned right at the top of the hour, that theory of “calories in, calories out” just doesn't work. And he talks in his book about how we need a different approach. We need something that is truly based on good science. And something else that I found intriguing that Gary Taubes talks about in this book is that the American society is plagued by that old belief that people become overweight because they eat too much. And certainly, you know, there are some people that become overweight because they simply eat too much, right? But there are many other people that are really restricting their calories and yet they're really struggling. We've both had clients, haven't we Teresa, who come in and they're overweight and they tell us what they're eating on a daily basis. And we look at that and say, oh my goodness, you're not eating enough. You're not eating enough to keep your energy up, let alone to keep your metabolism working properly, but still there they are. They're overweight. So again, we all have our own unique biochemistry. And the exact meal plan that works for me, for example, probably isn't going to work for Teresa. We're just all different.
TERESA: That's right. And that's why it's really important, you know, when we are doing our nutrition counseling is that we just, we really get to know the person to see what will work for them. We come up with a plan A. If plan A isn't doing what we want, then we, then we move on to plan B because you know, we don't come with, we don't come with an instruction manual.
CASSIE: Yeah. And there is no cookie cutter diet that's going to work for everybody through our doors. And we know that.
TERESA: Yes. And you know, while weight can be one indicator of health, it's not the only indicator. Now, it is interesting to note that an estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year to lose weight. We Americans also spend $33 billion each year on weight loss products. That's billion with a B.
CASSIE: That's a lot of money.
TERESA: That’s a lot of money. With numbers like that, thought, it’s hard to comprehend. So let me try to put it in perspective for you. That's enough money to buy 1,100,000 people a car valued at $30,000. So I was looking for a place that had a population of close to 1,100,000.
CASSIE: And let me tell you Teresa, we talked last night and she thought maybe North Dakota did, which is my home state. And I just laughed because I knew we don't have that many people in our state.
TERESA: Nope. It wasn't North Dakota, but it was their neighbor, Montana. So that is like buying every person, whether they're driving age or not, a $30,000 vehicle.
CASSIE: Man. And I mean, think of the hungry people that we could feed in this country instead of spending it on weight loss products that aren't working in the long run.
TERESA: Right. Yes. With, effective, what is the diet success rate is in the, like the single digits I think.
CASSIE: Oh, I think it's 10% at most.
CASSIE: You know what? I'm going to cut you off. I know you have another good statistic to tell us, but I'm getting a signal here. So we’ll be back and tell you another statistic that you'll find interesting. If you're just joining us, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before we break though, I want to let the listeners know that last night I was looking ahead. I was curious at what radio show topics are coming up, what Dishing Up Nutrition topics are coming up. And I see there's a show that I want to be sure to listen to. And some of you might as well. So I wanted to let you in on this. On April 10th, Dar Kvist, the founder of Nutritional Weight and Wellness, and Leah Kleinschrodt, a fellow dietitian, are going to interview a special guest. They're going to interview Dr. Leslie Korn on the topic of nutrition and mental health. Dr. Korn is a well-known psychologist who teaches and incorporates nutrition into her therapy appointments for people with mental health challenges. This is going to be a great show; a licensed nutritionist, a registered dietitian and a psychologist, all talking about how important eating well is for good mental health. So I'm going to be tuning in and I hope you do as well. We'll be right back.
TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If the number on the scale is not the most important number to watch, what is the number everyone should watch? Well, being a dietitian who loves to read research, I believe a great number to watch is your fasting blood sugar number. Another very important number to watch is your A1C number. So the difference between A1C and fasting blood sugar is A1C is a picture of how your blood sugar does over about a three month period and fasting blood sugar is just a snapshot in that moment that they take your blood. So one's immediate and one's over time. So a normal fasting blood sugar number is between 70 and 99. And the A1C is, or that number is more in a percentage. And that should be less than 5.6%. I really encourage you to know your numbers. All of the dietitians and nutritionists take this recommendation very seriously. So they help their clients to eat right to have good blood sugar control. I suggest setting up several appointments with one of the nutrition experts at Nutritional Weight and Wellness to learn how you can keep your numbers in a healthy range. Because we are now conducting nutrition appointments either by phone or by Zoom, we can help and support you with your health needs from our office right into your home. Remember, high blood sugar feeds cancer. High blood sugar feeds pain. It feeds inflammation. High blood sugar feeds diabetes. High blood sugar feeds depression and high blood sugar results in low energy. So call (651) 699-3438 to set up your appointment.
CASSIE: And you can stay in your pajamas when you have your appointment if you want. Right?
CASSIE: I mean, there are a few good things that came out of the pandemic.
TERESA: Right; and your appointment is legitimately just an hour or just whatever that time slot is, because you don't have to worry about commuting and…
TERESA: And getting ready.
CASSIE: And getting ready; exactly.
TERESA: And not that you have to get ready to come in to see us but people generally do change out of their pajamas. Okay. So before we were talking about some statistics. I've got another statistic for you. One in three Americans is likely to develop diabetes sometime in their life. So one in three. That's, that's, that's pretty sobering.
CASSIE: There’s three of us here. Hope you and I, I mean, when you start counting out that every third person you know, wow.
TERESA: I think most people are aware that diabetes is a disease that doesn't happen just overnight. It's caused by consistently eating too much sugar and processed carbohydrates, which then leads to too much sugar in the blood. And something that is somewhat unknown is that not all people with diabetes are overweight. Thin people who eat too much sugar can also develop diabetes. The unfortunate reality is most people who have diabetes have a shorter life expectancy than people without the disease. And this is regardless of what their weight is. So whether they're overweight or thin, if they have, you know, prediabetes, diabetes, life expectancy tends to be shorter.
CASSIE: Right. You know, and just hearing you talk; it reminds me of many years ago when I was teaching our class titled “Reducing the Risk of Diabetes”. And after the class, a lady came up to me. She was probably in her, I don't know, mid to late fifties. And she told me the story about how she had been just diagnosed with diabetes the week prior. And she was just lamenting to me about how, how could this be? She was saying, “How is this possible? I'm not overweight. I've never been overweight in my life.” And as I visited with her, it became clear that she had a huge sweet tooth. She loved all things sugar. So it certainly didn't surprise me that she'd been diagnosed with type two diabetes. But again, she had that mindset of, oh, only overweight people get type two diabetes. But it is not just overweight people. You know, and I think we'd be remiss if we didn't talk just a little bit about pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes, if you're unaware is basically just a health condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but they're not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type two diabetes. To me, when you have pre-diabetes it's your body waving this big red flag saying, hello, you better make some changes here, or you will have type two diabetes soon. We know that one in three people in the United States have pre-diabetes. And what I think is just as scary is that many of these people are walking around undiagnosed. So if you don't know you have a problem, how can you address it, right? So be sure you're getting in to the doctor on a regular basis to have that blood sugar tested. Now, if you look at the National Diabetes Prevention Program, they say that the first cause, or the first risk factor of pre-diabetes is being overweight. So let me ask our listeners: after all you've heard Teresa and I talk about today, do you believe that? I just want to make it clear that that's not always the case. You don't have to be overweight to get diabetes.
TERESA: You know, and before I worked for Nutritional Weight and Wellness, I actually, I worked for the Diabetes Prevention Program. So I'm pretty familiar with the program, although some things are a little bit fuzzy. But the main purpose of the prevention program, so this is people with prediabetes, not diabetes, is weight loss. The focus is to lose weight in order to get out of that prediabetic range. And the way that they focus on losing weight is by focusing on fat grams. And what we know, Cassie, and I know, and probably some of you out there too, is when you take the fat out of your diet, you have to replace it with something. And what you replace it with generally speaking is carbohydrates.
CASSIE: Sugar, right?
TERESA: What we know, right. What we know is that carbohydrates turn into sugar, and sugar is what's responsible for prediabetes for the vast majority.
CASSIE: Oh, that's so frustrating. You know, the, the intention is probably good of that program, but like you said, yeah, if you're focusing on low fat, you're inevitably taking in more sugar.
TERESA: Right. And I don't want to like totally dog on the program. I mean, there was a lot of really good information that came through it, but that weight loss through reducing fat was a big focus.
CASSIE: Well, that's not what we're telling you at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. We have a bit of a different approach, you know, and really whether we have a client in to see us for prediabetes or for diabetes, or maybe they're in to see us because they have knee pain, we teach people to look at their food choices and change the food choices that are increasing their blood sugar level. So when we think about food choices that would increase blood sugar, we could put them all under one big umbrella, pretty much of processed carbohydrates. So think of things like cold breakfast cereal. I don't care if it's Fruit Loops or Raisin Nut Bran. All cold breakfast cereal will spike your blood sugar too high. Bread is another high sugar food; crackers, chips, pancakes. I don't think everybody realizes that pancakes spike your blood sugar; French fries spike your blood sugar too high. And there's so many more, but just to kind of get your head thinking about what high sugar foods might you need to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce in your diet. And if you go back to understanding that health at any size or health at any weight can occur, it helps to take that focus off of the number on the scale and put it back on the blood sugar numbers. And on that note, wouldn't it be great if nutrition programs taught people how to test their blood sugars? Diabetes or no diabetes, if we all tested our blood sugar numbers now and then, we would see what happens when we eat a bowl of Cheerios, what happens when we eat some potato chips or what happens when we eat a plate full of fries. Or how about this one? We can't forget about what we're drinking. What happens when we drink that mug of beer? Our blood sugar levels go up too high, right? And then it becomes a health risk if we're doing this day after day, week after week.
TERESA: You know, and, and we're doing a little bit more of that in the, in, at Nutritional Weight and Wellness where we are doing more testing blood sugar and watching blood sugar levels in, in our clients, even people who don't have prediabetes or diabetes. And what I find that so interesting about testing blood sugar… Well, first of all, people are a little nervous because drawing blood is a little anxiety causing for some people, but once they get over that aspect of it, if they decide to go this route, is that they get that immediate feedback where it's, “Oh, I didn't realize when I ate that particular food item, that this is what happens to my blood sugar.”
CASSIE: I think that's such a great visual, right? That's so much more likely to instill change in you if you see that, oh my gosh.
CASSIE: Eating that sandwich spiked me up to 130 or whatever for your blood sugar.
TERESA: Right. And so a lot of times it's a lot higher than that even. It's, you know, so it's, it's really interesting. And then I don't have to be the bad guy there, you know, and I, and I really try not to be the bad guy any way.
CASSIE: I so get what you're saying though. Yeah.
TERESA: But it's just that their body is telling them, you know, it's your own personal feedback that you get from monitoring your blood sugar and just, and just seeing, oh, that's how that actually works. It's not just somebody telling me. It's not just a theory.
CASSIE: That this is what my body does.
TERESA: Yeah. It's so it's, it's really interesting. And honestly, what I find is that is kind of fun, which people are probably like, well, that's a sick kind of fun.
CASSIE: We are kind of sick here.
TERESA: But it's actually, it's my clients that are saying it too. It's not just me that thinks, oh, wow. That's super interesting. People get really interested in that automatic feedback that they're getting or that instant feedback that they're getting from their body. And it's, it's really kind of fun to watch it. And then it's like, well, I'm not going to have that because I know that this is going to spike my blood sugar. And when they keep their blood sugars level over a period of time, then hopping on the scale isn't that big of a deal because they're getting these, these data points. Right? But then it's like, oh, look at this. Weight loss is starting to happen because my blood sugar is stabilized.
CASSIE: Connecting all those dots. That is so awesome. All right, we're going to take, oh my gosh, can you believe it's our last commercial break? You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. But before we break, as I often do, I have a little pearl of information to leave with you. There are now several major health insurance companies that cover the cost of nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian or a licensed nutritionist. So knowing this, maybe now is the perfect time for you to focus on your health. And if you need help understanding exactly what your blood, we're talking blood sugars. If you need help understanding what your health insurance covers, give us a call at (651) 699-3438, and we'll do our best to answer your health insurance questions. And we'll help you get set up with an appointment or two. We often like to schedule a series of appointments for our clients right from the start, because we know that changing your nutrition to achieve your best health usually takes some time. So we like to spread those appointments out and get them on the schedule right from the start so we can do our best to help you be successful. And we'll be back in a minute.
TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We just talked about how to manage your blood sugar numbers. And now we want to talk about another set of numbers to manage: your cholesterol numbers. Many of our clients choose to manage their cholesterol by eating real food because of the side effects that cholesterol lowering medications may have. You know, people don't want to be spacey. They don't want to feel achy. And these things can be a direct result from taking cholesterol lowering medications. So they make a nutrition appointment to learn how to control their cholesterol through eating real food. We know that sugar raises our cholesterol and refined oils such as soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil: they also raise your cholesterol. If your cholesterol numbers are a concern, call (651) 699-3438 to set up an appointment so you can get your cholesterol numbers in a healthy range. All right. So before the break, we were talking about testing blood sugar and, and how some of those data points are very interesting and really motivation can be, can come from that, you know, as, because you get immediate results. So you see the number, you see a direct effect on what you ate to how your body's responding, whereas the scale, it just doesn't reflect it that quickly.
CASSIE: It takes, it can take a lot of time, right, depending on how much insulin resistance you have, or other factors; it can take time for that number on the scale to move. But I get it; what you're saying, Teresa, if you can see that blood sugar number, you know, move according to your food choices, that's that immediate motivating factor.
TERESA: Yep. And so getting back to our topic about health at every size, this is a belief that promotes acceptance and appreciation of the body that you have, even if the number on the scale tells you that the number is more than the charts indicate as ideal. Here's a question for you. In fact, you can raise your hand if you want, if you, if the answer is yes. Have you ever put off a medical appointment because you did not want to be weighed or you wanted to delay the appointment until the number on the scale would be lower? My guess is…
CASSIE: A lot of people are raising their hands. Yeah.
TERESA: The acceptance of your health at every size shifts the focus from losing weight to habits that promote health, such as measuring your glucose numbers, drinking a glass of filtered water in place of that can of soda that has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it. It's cooking a meal at home rather than picking up an order of chicken nuggets with French fries at the nearest fast food restaurant.
CASSIE: And when we talk about the dangers of eating too many processed carbohydrates and other high sugar foods, let's not forget our kids or for some of you listening, your grandkids. As I was preparing for today's show, I was shocked at a couple of statistics I came across and I want to share these with the listeners. First of all, I found a statistic here: one in five, and this is just from last year. So this is the most recent statistic I could find. One in five adolescents in the United States has prediabetes. That is obnoxious. I mean, that's so sad. And when we look at young adults, it's one in four who has prediabetes. You know, it makes me think if you don't make changes, that prediabetes is going to turn into diabetes. And it reminds me of when I was in college studying to be a dietitian, type two diabetes was called adult onset. And the average age of onset was 60 years and older. And now we're seeing adolescents getting it. This is so diet related. I mean, I think the question here is where are these kids getting all of their sugar? And there are several different answers to that. But one connection that I was thinking of leading up to the show today is school food service. And, you know, first off, I just want to say, I love the school food service ladies at our school. They work hard, but I also know that, you know, in terms of what they can order, their hands are a little tied. They're on a tight budget and they also have to supply food that the kids will eat and they won't end up dumping in the garbage. So just want to say, I love the ladies in school food service, but I can also see where big corporations are making a lot of money from public school meal programs and often to the detriment of the students and to the detriment of their health. You know, when you look at school cafeterias, they're using a lot of heat and serve items like the pizza, the chicken nuggets. And so the food companies make big benefits, make big profits from the school lunch program. And what's even more disheartening is that the big food companies are also then able to influence the taste preferences of our children. So when our children get older and they're out spending their own money, they've already become lifelong consumers of the, you know, the, the breaded fast food types of items, the sugary beverages. They have a taste for those junk foods.
TERESA: Yes. So then what we do is we teach people to follow an individual eating plan based on preventing future health problems. And that should be our focus. It is more important to follow and enjoy an eating plan that promotes balanced blood sugars and feeds the brain the necessary protein and fats for good neurotransmitter production, so that people have good mental health and memory, an anti-inflammatory meal plan that promotes strong bones and healthy joints, a plan that promotes good energy, a sense of wellbeing and happiness. It seems when the focus is on weight management or weight loss, it is always a focus on less than more, deprivation and restriction, on what not to eat rather than on what fantastic real food options you actually can have. In reality, most people need a plan that provides more nutrients. They need nutrients for their brain, for their joints, for their energy. They need it for their bones, they need it for their heart, and they need it for their blood vessels. I think you get the picture here.
CASSIE: Right. Yeah, no, you're, you're saying so many good things and you know, maybe it's helpful too to look at one of the major past nutrition fads that has in my mind plagued our society. And I think it just helps us better understand what we really need as a population in order to be in our best state of health. So if we go back to the 1970s and certainly this spilled over into the 1980s, the fad was to reduce fat consumption. And the thinking was that this would decrease our cholesterol levels and help to, you know, take down the number of people with heart disease. The advice sort of seemed logical at the time, but it wasn't based on good science. And now we know that it was bad advice because as you were talking about earlier in the show, Teresa, when food manufacturers remove fat, they have to add something back in to make up for the loss of the flavor of that fat. And so they usually add sugar. And all that sugar that's been added into these processed foods that Americans buy is actually killing us. It's killing us with diabetes. It's killing us with heart disease. It's killing us, us with strokes. It's really the over consumption of sugar that's responsible for so many chronic health conditions.
TERESA: As dietitians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we realize to switch away from these high sugar processed foods and to make wise choices is difficult when the vast majority of our food sources have, have sugar as a prominent ingredient. Sugar is everywhere: grocery store aisles, vending machines, gas stations, movie theaters, restaurants, schools, churches, sporting events at every level from Pee Wee to professional. It's even at the pumpkin patch and the apple orchard. And I'm not talking about the pumpkins and the apples.
TERESA: It’s everywhere. We're so conditioned to seek out sugar everywhere we go.
CASSIE: Isn't that true? And, but if we can get back to eating real food and get the processed foods out, you're going to feel better. You're going to have more energy, better moods. You can lower your blood pressure. You can lower your blood sugar. You can get out of that prediabetes range. As our show draws to a close today, I just want to remind our listeners that our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. Yes, it's a simple message, but it's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us and have a healthy day.