Skittles Fatten Cows! Wait a Minute! We Give Those to Our Kids Too!

Skittles to Fatten Cows?

You bet! It is well-known that cattle (and pigs) are fed all  kinds of things to fatten them up–grain is a great example. Now we learn they also eat Skittles. The problem is not that they eat Skittles but the reason why they do so and that requires a pause! A very serious pause about what YOU eat and what happens to you!

So let me preface this note on our most recent scientific understanding: carbohydrates (refined or the most fiber rich) are fattening while the fat you eat is not fattening since it is nutrient dense. The choice of words is wrong here since “fat” can mean that one is eating fat, or one has fat (fatty acid) in her tissues, or that one is actually fat (as in overweight); but these all mean very different things.

Fat (as Fatty Acid)

Fat as a fatty acid in one of three essential main macro nutrients we must eat. The other two are protein (amino acids) and carbohydrate. There are very big differences in what these macro nutrients do but I will not get into the details since the focus now is on fat. However, I want to point out one very important fact: eating fat (as in fatty acids in food) will not make you fat (as in overweight). The thing that gets you fat (as in overweight) is carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates

As noted earlier, there are several types of carbohydrates of which we are most familiar with the categorization of “refined” and “complex”.

Examples of carbohydrates (both refined and complex): Skittles, table sugar, honey, all kinds of bread (including whole wheat), anything made with corn (including popcorn), vegetables (all vegetables including spinach and broccoli that are pushed on us like there is no day without them), fruits (all fruits without exception), all juices (even your morning orange juice squeezed from your own oranges grown on your own tree in a non-GMO organic manner), all pastas, all bakery goods, rice, cereal (let’s face it, some of those are candies), and oh yes… all candies as well. I may have left some items out so be to clear, if it is grown on a plant or under ground or on a tree, or it is a plant, it is carbohydrates.

This doesn’t mean you cannot have some fruits or vegetables, obviously, but watch how much and which kinds you eat. There are many Low carbs High Fat (LCHF) groups and books to guide you.

Carbohydrates as Fat (meaning overweight)

The metabolic process of carbohydrates is conversion to glucose and fructose–all carbohydrate types have at least one though most both. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not essential to life.

Carbohydrates are not necessary building blocks for other molecules, and the body can obtain all its energy from protein and fat. Thus you could leave out carbohydratefrom you diet provided you get enough protein, fat including essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and water.” (source)

The body cannot use fructose for much of anything (the gut bacteria can but only if you eat fructose with insoluble fiber still bonded to it); fructose intolerance is quite common, particularly in children, which makes me think it is something we didn’t used to eat and now need to adapt to. Fructose causes lot of troubles, among which one is that it makes perfect triglyceride (the bad type cholesterol). Glucose can be created from protein (and even from fat) so there is really no reason for us to eat a single fruit or vegetable let alone pastries, cakes, or Skittles. But since many people and particularly children eat Skittles, let’s see why they feed them to cows.

You all are familiar with the term “grass-fed” cows. They are priced at a premium because they are not grain or Skittles fed. The difference is three-fold.

  1. Grain (and Skittles and starches like tapioca) make for fatter cows!
  2. Grain fed cows get those people sick who have gluten allergy or sensitivity or otherwise don’t eat grains at all. There are many of us out there!
  3. Grain fed cows are cheaper and more efficient to grow. If you noticed, most cattle farms have no grass under the cows at all only dirt. They are fed grains because, just like in people, carbohydrates make cows fat.

Skittles: probably few people are allergic to Skittles but Skittles does the same to people as it does to cows: Skittles makes cows and us fat too! Are you or you child eating Skittles?

Carbohydrates and Heart Disease

The most controversial subject about nutrition of this century has been that eating fat doesn’t clog your arteries with fat. Carbohydrates clogs your arteries up. Eating fat doesn’t raise your blood pressure but eating carbohydrates does. Eating fat doesn’t cause type 2 diabetes since fat doesn’t use insulin but eating carbohydrates does and it can cause type 2 diabetes. Eating fat doesn’t cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease but eating carbs does–particularly if the carbohydrates are fructose rich.

So Let’s Get Back to Skittles

Skittles are made of a ton of sugar (carbohydrates) that is a combination of glucose and fructose of mass destruction to the body. Are you going to eat those cows that were fed Skittles?

Comments are welcome, as always

Angela

About Be Healthy

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines - An Insider's View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles: "Migraine Cause and Treatment" Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access "Functional Prodrome in Migraines" Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access "Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?", Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access “A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, subscription is required to read it. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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