I watched Mad Men for the first time. Just the first episode. It was interesting. I don’t think I’m hooked. It struck me, though, which no one could miss, that the cigarette industry of that time is like the food industry of today. If you haven’t seen it, there is a haze of smoke throughout the episode and it is the theme of the show. The cigarette industry guys are really mad that people think there could be a health risk to smoking. Later on Hulu I saw a commercial for Raison Bran cereal claiming to be heart healthy. Well, if you have tuned in to any of the podcasts that I like to listen to, you will know that it is grains and sugars that produce insulin in the body. This is actually what is causing damage to arteries, and clearly contributing to the inflammation that is leading to heart disease. We cannot rely on the food industry to police itself, because like the cigarette companies of a few decades ago, they really don’t want to believe that their products are hurting anyone.
I was very surprised not long ago to listen to Nina Teicholz, who wrote “The Big, Fat Surprise.” She talked about how the American Heart Association expanded beyond being a handful of cardiologists to a leading educational group after a large grant from Proctor and Gamble, because they wanted to get people to switch to Crisco. Our parents used this stuff forever to make piecrust and fry chicken in, until not too many years ago when we realized that Trans Fats were one of the nastiest things we could eat. Because of the dietary guidelines, we all switched to vegetable oils, which are now suspected of causing a variety of inflammatory processes in the body. I have switched to good butter, olive oil, and coconut oil.
If you walk through any grocery store today, you will see fruit, vegetables and meat labelled “Gluten Free.” Since gluten is a component of grains, why do you think these labels are out there? Educate yourself, because you will not get much help from food labels or commercials. There are Mad Men coming up with this stuff.