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Where Those Love Handles Really Come From

I never expected to be writing about anything like this. It's not my field. But I was so surprised and then relieved with a big ah-ha, I had to tell you.

I happen to be filming a university nutrition class.

The professor, nutrition consultant Dr. Heidi Dulay, got this question:

What foods should they recommend to their clients seeking nutritional help? And how to decide these things, anyway? (The students are health practitioners in-the-making.)

This Master's Program nutrition course is about different dietary approaches.

And I mean a few that are really different - like the raw milk diet, the coconut diet, the Inuit beast and blubber diet (meat, fish and fat which Dulay is personally testing for two weeks), along with the more well-known approaches such as Paleo, Mediterranean, and Atkins, among others.)

OK, good question, says Dr. Heidi. Here's a way to look at choosing foods for yourself and your nutrition clients...

A normally functioning body uses what you eat (specifically, uses the biochemicals in the foods you eat), in three ways:

Function (hormones, enzymes, make antibodies, etc.),
Structure (bones/muscles/teeth; Cells/cell membranes, hair/skin/nails)
Storage (fuel and excess fat)

No biggie, even I knew that (well, sort of).

Then came the surprise.

Guess what kinds of foods the body uses for these three things?

FUNCTION: Protein and Fat.

STRUCTURE: Protein and Fat. All except for connective tissue, which uses protein and sugar)

And then the bomb:

STORAGE BINS: Carbs, sugars (sweets) and fat. (Not the good fat you eat in say, butter. Stored fat is the sort the body makes from the excess carbs and sweets we feed it).

Yikes. Have you checked your storage bins lately? The love handles, the paunches, bulges and other lumpy places?

It's 4pm. About to have a quick snack fix? Are you considering...

Carbs, sugars or sweets: bread, rice, pasta, chips and crackers, cookies, cereal like corn flakes, corn, muffins, pizza crust, and all sweets, especially the big sweet caffeine drinks.

Right into the storage bin it goes. Arghh.

I'm ready for a snack lift. But I see my storage bins are already overflowing right now. So organic nuts or cheese this time.

For the nutritionally and technically interested, here's Dr. Schwarzbein's table. The Schwarzbein Principle II.2002 p.17.

[P=Protein; F=Fat, S= Sugar]

Antibodies (P)
Cellular products (P & F)
Enzymes (P)
Hormones (P & F)
Neurotransmitters (P)

Bones/Muscles/Teeth (P)
Cells/Cell membranes (P & F)
Connective tissue (P & S)
Glands.organs (P)
Hair/skin/nails (P)

Glycogen (S) (good reserve fuel in the liver = KK)
Triglycerides (F) (fat molecules from fat and carbs = KK)