The Three White Devils of Nutrition
Nutrition can be confusing. There are countless plans and endless research at your fingertips. If you are wanting to make a change, where do you start? It’s overwhelming! Follow this one simple rule to begin eating better and feeling great this year: Avoid the Three White Devils – Sugar, White Flour, Milk (well, four if you are counting Ace Ventura)
Nutritional White Devil #1 – Sugar
I’ve written in depth about the consequences of sugar before (see Sugar, Cholesterol, and Plaque Explained). Sugar can be harmful to your organs, lowers your energy, rots your teeth, and makes you gain weight when it is present in your food on a regular basis.
We know that too much sugar is bad for us, but people desire sugar so greatly that land and laboratory have been scoured for substitutes that have all the taste and no negative consequences. Guess what? That doesn’t exist. These chemicals – saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, sorbitol, maltodextrin, dextrose, splenda – are so dangerous that if a sugar substitute is added to a product, manufactueres must put a warning label on the package!
Bottom Line: If the only sugar you are getting is from fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables then you are doing great. Fruits and vegetables deliver a small amount of natural sugar along with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water. That is a huge win in your eating lifestyle. If you need to use a sweetener, your best bet is raw local honey.
Nutritional White Devil #2 – White Flour
Flour is bleached. Dead. It is an empty food stripped of all nutrition where only compressed sugar remains. Flour does nothing for your health. No vitamins or minerals, just loads of empty calories. Still want to know why it’s bad for you? Go back and read White Devil #1.
The problem with sugar and white flour is that they are both incredibly calorie dense, nutrient deficient, and easy to eat a lot of. They are present in anything you buy in the middle of the grocery store (the outsides of a grocery store are produce, deli, meat, and frozen – shop the outside and you are off to a great start).
Refined carbohydrates like sugar and flour also increase the oxidative stress level in your body, which increases overall inflammation (if you haven’t read Sugar, Cholesterol, and Plaque Explained, now really is the time). Over time this leads to obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease.
Bottom Line: When you see flour, think compressed sugar.
Nutritional White Devil #3 – Milk
More specifically, pasteurized and homogenized milk. Here are two very interesting facts
- Humans are the only animal that drinks another animal’s milk.
- A calf cannot survive on pasteurized milk.
Make you think? Good. Let’s go deeper. All foods have purpose, the purpose of human breast milk is to add a couple dozen pounds to a child over a relatively short period of time. The purpose of cow’s milk is to add several hundred pounds to a calf in the same period of time! What’s the difference? Human milk has a much lower concentration of proteins that are smaller in size than that of cow milk. It’s no wonder dairy products are a leading cause of allergic reactions and immune problems, it isn’t made for humans!
Due to pasteurization, the calcium in milk and dairy cannot be used by humans for bone growth. In fact, consuming it does just the opposite! Milk depletes calcium from bones and increases fracture risk while creating an acidic environment inside your body. Read more here, here, and here.
Bottom Line: Stay away from milk, especially if it’s pasteurized. Almond milk and Coconut milk are great alternatives.
Do you have anything to add to the conversation? Did I leave out any White Devils? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Bonus Tip: If you see this guy coming your way, he’s scared of bats. Especially large white ones.
About Cole Bradburn
I'm a writer and doctor in lifelong pursuit of health, happiness, and adventure. I currently live in Raleigh, NC with the love of my life and our amazing boys.