Interviewer: All right, the obesity rate in the United States is increasing in epic proportions. In 1990 one state had an obesity rate over 14 percent, but by 2010 no state was under 20 percent. Our next guest says calorie counting is actually to blame for this huge increase. Here with few myths about calories is nutrition expert and author of the book The Calorie Myth, Jonathan Bailor. Good morning to you, Jonathan. Thanks for being with us.
Jonathan: Thank you so much.
Interviewer: Very timely as a lot of folks are waking up thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and taking off the pounds. The first myth you have for us is that our body is a math problem. You say it’s not a math problem; it’s actually a biological organism. Explain what you mean by that.
Jonathan: Calorie counting is a little bit like the flat earth theory. It intuitively makes sense. Look out the window, it looks like the earth is flat, but it’s wrong. Our body is much more complicated. It doesn’t mean eating has to be complicated. It just means that the focus on calorie quantity rather than food quality has caused so much unnecessary confusion and a lot of sickness.
Interviewer: Right. Probably the best news that I heard all day is that eating fewer calories will make you burn fewer calories, eating more calories will make you burn more calories. How does that work?
Jonathan: When you stop eating — starvation isn’t healthy. The fact that we have to remind ourselves up this show is how odd our approach to health has become in the country, but eating less, just makes your body slow down. We have all experienced this. You get tired, cold, and hungry and that’s no way to live. You have to actually heal the body, not starve it to lose weight long term.
Interviewer: Okay our second myth is that all calories are created equal. So, if I want to eat 500 calories of potato chips that’s not the same thing as eating 500 calories of salmon and spinach to say.
Jonathan: That’s why calorie counting is so not the right approach because if we think that way then — for example a can of soda is actually better for us than an avocado because it has almost the 100 percent fewer calories, but it’s obviously not better for us. So, a calorie is not a calorie.
Interviewer: Does that mean it’s because of how we feel when we are eating it or drinking it?
Jonathan: There are actually four factors. There is how satisfied it makes us feel. There is also the hormonal impact on our body. There is how many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it provides and there is how likely the calorie will be stored as fat in our body.
Interviewer: Okay, finally all foods are okay in moderation, you say this is also a myth.
Jonathan: If you want to sell anything in this country and call it healthy, you need to convince the American population that everything you put in your mouth is fine in moderation. You and I know that’s not intuitively true. We don’t say drink anything in moderation. Drinking kerosene is not a good idea in any quantity or breathe anything in moderation. We don’t tell people to smoke in moderation. We just say smoking causes lung cancer; to the extent that you can avoid it, you will be healthy, but that’s not what we hear about food. We hear everything in moderation; that can’t be true.
Interviewer: Yes sometimes when we have [indiscernible 02:52] makes us want even more of it too. Jonathan Bailor thanks for being with us. You are going to be here again at 8:45 with part two of this calorie myth helping out all of our viewers and you are helping us out with our weight control in 2014. Thank you so much Jonathan Bailor.
Jonathan: Thank you.