An interesting article by Dr Mark Hyman in the Huffington Post on how the Western diet with 'empty calories' may confuse the metabolism:
Americans are overfed and undernourished. That's right, the most obese children and adults in the country are also the most nutritionally deficient! How can those two things possibly co-exist?
The mistake is to think that if you eat an abundance of calories, your diet automatically delivers all the nutrients your body needs. But the opposite is true. The more processed food you eat, the more vitamins you need. That's because vitamins and minerals lubricate the wheels of our metabolism, helping the chemical reactions in our bodies run properly. Among those biochemical processes greased by nutrients is the regulation of sugar and burning of fat. The problem is that the standard American diet (SAD) is energy dense (too many calories) but nutrient poor (not enough vitamins and minerals). Too many "empty calories" confuse the metabolism and pack on the pounds.
A Nutritionally Deficient CultureAfter reviewing the major nutritional research over the last 40 years and doing nutritional testing on over 10,000 patients. I can tell you that Americans are suffering from massive nutritional deficiencies. What I see in my office is reflected in the scientific literature. Upwards of 30 percent of American diets fall short of such common plant-derived nutrients as magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A. More than 80 percent of Americans are running low on Vitamin D. And nine out of 10 people are deficient in omega-3 fats, which are critical for staving off inflammation and controlling blood sugar levels.
So, Why Are We So Undernourished?
Food Is Less Nutritious.
Processed foods, stuffed with high fructose corn syrup, refined flours and trans fats-are a modern phenomenon. These foods crowd out more nutrient-dense foods because they are inexpensive and convenient. Your grandmother wouldn't recognize most of the foods filling the center aisles of our grocery stores today. Imagine what early humans would think of Lunchables!
Soil Is Being Squeezed.
Because those foods contain fewer nutrients, the servings we do eat don't deliver as much nutrition as they once did. Fewer nutrients means lowered immunity and increased vulnerability to chronic disease and obesity. When your body doesn't get the right nutrition, it just keeps asking for more food. The endless cycle of craving a Catch-22; people are eating more, getting fatter, but still not feeling satisfied - it's a nightmare from which they can't escape.
Refining Kills Nutrients.
2. Prioritize healthy plant-based fats: The best way to eat most of your fat is in the form of extra-virgin olive oil, flax, nuts, and seeds with minimal amounts of properly processed (expeller-pressed) vegetable oils. Avoid oils that do not state the method of extraction or have a bitter aftertaste or rancid flavor.