Egg on Their Face

I apologize for not posting for a few weeks but I have been swamped with work and travel. Football, Balboa, Paleo Brands and a new project have been taking more time than expected and Talk To Me Johnnie has suffered. But that doesn't mean I haven't been working, reading and planning.


Recently, I was forwarded an article titled, "Eggs on Their Faces" written by Steven Malanga detailing America's changing perception of diet. It seems the "crux" of the debate stems around the quantity of fat and carbohydrates Americans are to consume and how it relates to cardiac health. It seems perplexing the media and our nation of so called "experts" are so confused by what is making America fat and causing many of the illnesses/problems that are plaguing us. Funny because the cause is sitting just a few feet from our faces. Nevertheless, with increasing health care costs, health insurance premiums rising 13%-15% per year and millions of people on prescription drugs we are in a bind. A diet rich in whole grains, high in high fructose corn syrup, devoid of quality protein sources like red meat and packed with 12 oz cans of soda are making us sick, fat and unhealthy. Coupled with high amounts of fructose and fast forward the scene below to :43 seconds to find your fate.

The author's last line speaks volumes about the state of the crisis, "The best advice that government can give citizens is to develop their own diet and exercise regimes, adapted to their own physical circumstances after consultation with their doctors". It seems the government is out of the advice business and grown weary of offering the wrong health prescription. And now they are heaping it upon the consumer to be proactive and find a solution. Imagine that...asking people to take personal ownership in their health and fitness.

The irony is...when people first come to train with us, we tell them, the cheapest and best health insurance is functional fitness and a Paleo diet. They always laugh and smile and then their expression changes as the statement sinks in. By showing up a minimum of three days a week for training and eating a diet based upon TTMJ's diet recommendations via Chuck Norris of meat, fowl, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, roots, tubers, bulbs, herbs and spices as well as animal fats, olives & olive oil, avocados, and coconut (meat, oil, flour). While limiting nuts, seeds, and fruit and making better choices in the nut category include macadamias, cashews, and hazelnuts. While almonds aren’t terrible, seeds are generally rich sources of linoleic acid because they can be eaten in large quantities (the serving sizes are typically in the tablespoon to 1/4 cup range and can be misleading). Sunflower and sesame seeds are a terrible choices in the seed category. And by reducing the serving size if you are going to pick a fruit that has a high metabolic fructose content. Complete avoidance of cereal grains including: all varieties of wheat (spelt, einkorn, emmer, durum), barley, rye, oats, triticale, corn (maize), rice (including wild rice), sorghum, millet, fonio, and teff and legumes. Grain-like substances or pseudocereals including: Amaranth, Breadnut, Buckwheat, Cattail, Chia, Cockscomb, Kañiwa, Pitseed Goosefoot, Quinoa, and Wattleseed (aka aacacia seed). Pseudocereals are the seeds of broad leaf plants whereas grains are the seeds of grasses...you to can take matters into your own hands.

"Every five years, the federal Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services revise their Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a publication that sets the direction for federal nutrition-education programs...Will a public-health establishment that has been slow to admit its mistakes over the years acknowledge the new research and shift direction? Or will it stubbornly stick to its obsolete guidelines?...The crux of the controversy is the quantity of fat and carbohydrates that we consume and how it influences our cardiac health. As a recent review of the latest research in Scientific American pointed out, ever since the first set of federal guidelines appeared in 1980, Americans heard that they had to reduce their intake of saturated fat by cutting back on meat and dairy products and replacing them with carbohydrates. Americans dutifully complied. Since then, obesity has increased sharply, and the progress that the country has made against heart disease has largely come from medical breakthroughs like statin drugs, which lower cholesterol, and more effective medications to control blood pressure...Researchers have started asking hard questions about fat consumption and heart disease, and the answers are startling. In an analysis of the daily food intake of some 350,000 people published in the March issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found no link between the amount of saturated fat that a person consumed and the risk of heart disease... A few weeks later, researchers at Harvard released their own analysis of data from 20 studies around the world, concluding that those who eat four ounces of fresh (not processed) red meat every day face no increased risk of heart disease...According to Scientific American, growing research into carbohydrate-based diets has demonstrated that the medical establishment may have harmed Americans by steering them toward carbs...And it doesn’t appear that the government will change its approach this time around. The preliminary recommendations of a panel advising the FDA on the new guidelines urge people to shift to “plant-based” diets and to consume “only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.”...The public-health establishment has been sluggish about reversing course before...In 2000, the AHA revised its restrictions on eggs to one a day (from a onetime low of three a week), but it also recommended reducing consumption of other cholesterol-heavy foods to compensate. Similarly, the federal government’s dietary guidelines still recommend intake of no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily, which makes egg consumption difficult unless one excludes most other animal products. To what purpose? A 2004 article in The Journal of Nutrition that looked at worldwide studies of egg consumption noted that the current restrictions on eating eggs are “unwarranted for the majority of people and are not supported by scientific data.”...As increasingly sophisticated medicine focuses on tailoring therapies to individual needs, sweeping public pronouncements on health have become outdated at best and dangerous at worst. The best advice that government can give citizens is to develop their own diet and exercise regimes, adapted to their own physical circumstances after consultation with their doctors."

Good luck!

John

John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and creator of Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year starter in the National Football League and NFL veteran. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early and retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL and other professional and Olympic athletes. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete and the CrossFit Speciality Seminar: Sports Specific Application. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie or at Power Athlete.

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Posted in Diet, FAQ, Talk to Me Johnnie | Tagged , | 13 Comments

13 Responses to Egg on Their Face

  1. Aaron Kutcher

    Interesting article. It reminds me of when I went to my Doctor for my annual checkup and blood-work, and after I got back excellent results she asked me what I’ve been eating. I told her I eat a paleo diet and on average thirty-six eggs a week. She was pretty shocked but wrote it down. Hopefully, she takes the time to research it.

  2. Petr

    Good to have you back Johnnie 🙂

  3. I saw that article in Sci. Am., and wondered how long it would take for people to realize that now, not only are the fitness weirdos (us) and modern cavemen (also us) pointing out the mistakes and missteps in the USDA’s recommendations, but even one of the most trusted science journals in the country is on board. I haven’t seen anything about this cropping up in the local NY papers, yet. They’ve mentioned Paleo from time to time, but usually in a “look at the freaks” kind of tone.
    It’s a shame how few medical professionals seem to read books like ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma’ or educate themselves on basic fitness and attempts to reach optimal health. Though, with the ever-present threat of malpractice lawsuits, I’m not all that surprised that their recommendations start and end with “30 minutes of light cardio a day.” Maybe you won’t get any healthier, but you’d have to try really hard to do any harm doing that, too. sigh. Hooray for CrossFit and Paleo and Zone, and guys like you, Johnnie, for doing what you can to educate and share. We appreciate it more than you can ever know.

  4. Great post as usual. John, this is a great website and, even in it’s infancy, has provided a tremendous amount of information, wisdom, and entertainment. I will never look to the Dept of Agriculture or HHS to provide guidelines for the way to eat or be healthy. People should take personal ownership for a lot of things in our society and it should start with our own well being. At my last physical the doctor inquired as to what I had been doing in regards to “eating and working out” as he reviewed my blood work results. I explained to him how I had changed my diet, and that I was doing CrossFit with an emphasis on strength. He stated that I should continue what I was doing because it was working wonders for me. Just like many others out there, I wish I would have figured this out years ago. I was raised in very small community in WV. Nutrition was never discussed or even considered as witnessed by obesity epidemic there. I’m in my mid-thirties now and my health and well-being is much better than when I was in my teens and twenties.

  5. JJ Krupka

    Strange…the Talk to Me Johnnie diet recommendations sound like they came from the mouth of one Mat “Chuck Norris” Lalonde. Either way, it works…and I like it!!!! Keep up the good work, John! Can’t wait to see what your new business venture is.

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  7. Eric K

    While I certainly agree with the concept of taking responsibility for yourself and learning about what your eating and how you’re training to make the most of both, the dietary guidelines set forth by the unqualified, ignorant and spineless politicians of the USDA adversely affect me and my Marines because it determines what they eat in the chow hall and in the field. Not to mention all the garbage that they teach Marines with their colorful flyers in the gyms telling them to eat lots of grains and limit their fat intake to mostly processed vegetable oils for their “health” and to stay fit. It makes me sick. That combined with the fact that I agree with just about everything that Major Long wrote about in his “Army Weak” article from the Starting Strength forum; it’s mind-numbingly aggravating… And now we have the “Forks Over Knives” movie coming out written by and starring the most obnoxious idiots of them all. I certainly hope that it changes soon, but I sincerely doubt it…

  8. CBOS

    Great stuff and glad to see you posting again John. People shit themselves when I tell them I eat two dozen eggs a week, bacon, red meat by the truckload etc. but I’ve improved my stats in every physical for the last three years. The Doc is amazed. The land whales eating Frosted Flakes for breakfast every morning can keep laughing at me in the market. This info is all great validation. Thanks again John!

  9. Jason

    I know this is probally a tin foil hat wearing kind of statement, but here it goes. Does anyone think that us having to move more towards grains and grain fed animals is due to the explosion of human populations. I belive that this is why the goverment pushes us more into carbs is that they can grow more weat and various other grains quickly and on less land then what it takes to allow cattle to roam on open grass pastures.

  10. Mitch

    Jason, i will take that one further. There are people that make an OBSCENE amount of money off of the world being fatties.

    First they get money from their stock in grains and petro-chemicals, then they get it from the hospitals and all the drug companies.

    You have drug companies now trying to peddle fish oil, theirs of course being the best.

    People need to learn to stop being so greedy.

    The argument I love is when people tell me the paleo diet will not feed the world. Even if that were true, if people would stop trying to emulate dogs and having so many kids, it sure as hell would.

    When the aliens come they will eat the fat ones first.

  11. Jason

    Mitch with your comment “When aliens come they will eat the fat ones first.” It reminds me of zombieland…when he says Rule#1 Cardio This one comes up in Zombieland and clearly makes alot of sense. How many fat people do you see at the end of the world when its zombies doing the ending?

  12. Lancaster

    Greed, the excessive love of money and other possessions. It drives us all. “We’re the bi-products of a lifestyle obsession”.

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