One of my favorite organizations for quality information is the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit organization that has a mission to dispel food myths, especially those spun by the FDA and corporate agriculture. Their site gives great info and almost too much food for thought. I came across this article on their site regarding the 2010 changes to the USDA guides, and thought it very interesting.
When I was between the ages of 10 and 16, the whole low-fat high-carb craze was sweeping the nation like wildfire. if one wanted to be healthy, just consume as little fat as possible each day, and get the majority of your daily calories from carbohydrates. I was even learning this in health class, as we would study the food pyramid and talk about needing 400 grams of carbohydrates a day in our 2000-calorie diet. following this advice left me with 20 percent bodyfat, no lean muscle mass to speak of, and a whole host of stomach and digestive issues. And please keep in mind that I was an extremely active child and played every sport there was to play.
Well, finally, after years of chronic indegestion and gastrointestinal distress, I went in to the doctor thinking I must have somehow developed an ulcer or something more serious. After a barrage of expensive and invasive medical testing, the docs told me that my stomach just produced more acid that normal, and that indigestion was just something I was going to deal with, and sent me packing with a prescription of prilosec. Keep in mind that I was 18 years old and couldn't leave the house without a container of antacids.
Very discouraged with the constant burning pain of indigestion, I went on about my daily routines thinking this was just the way things had to be. Until one day when I went in for a chiropractic visit over some neck pain I was having... Dr. Greg Bierly in Louisville, KY. It was my first visit to his office, and I walked in to a warm welcome by dr. Bierly himself, since it was after hours and he was kind enough to stay later and accommodate my schedule.
After asking me to expound upon my reason for seeing him, and watching me like a hawk as I'm describing my symptoms, he patiently waits for me to stop talking and said, "What's going on with your stomach?" My jaw fell open in disbelief that he would know something of my ongoing digestive issues, and I began wondering how he got ahold of my medical history, as I had never mentioned any of this to him. "what do you mean," I asked. At that point, the neck issue fell to the wayside as he began taking a detailed medical history, asking me questions about everything except my neck. This went on for well over an hour as I gave him a detailed account of my lifestyle and dietary habits. Upon completion of this detailed history, he looked at me and said, "Quit eating your oatmeal in the morning and I bet your indigestion will stop. It's the Gluten, the grains in your diet; I believe you have a mild allergy to gluten that is the cause of your indigestion. Let's try to take all of the grains out of your diet for two weeks and see what happens."
We had gotten so far off track that we had almost forgotten about my neck pain, which I mentioned, and he put me on the table and made a few adjustments in about 5 minutes. So, 1.5 hours of history for a couple of adjustments. When I walked out of his office, I was just baffled over the amount of time I spent there, how much time he spent just talking to me like an old friend, and by his suggestion to quit eating grains for two weeks. But at this point in my life, the indigestion was so out of control and painful that I was willing to try anything, so even though i thought the doc off his rocker, I decided to follow his advice.
My indigestion was gone by day five. By the end of the two weeks, I had noticed some other changes, too. My skin had cleared up to almost flawless, my energy levels were through the roof, and my pants were fitting a bit loosely around my waist. This kooky old chiropractor had just changed my life - only now do i realize how much that visit changed the course of my existence. And all I could think was: "But I was eating healthy! Just like I was told in health class! Just like the USDA Guidelines spell out!"