Most physicians I personally know have a limited understanding of nutrition, other than citing the food guide to healthy eating. Some colleagues of mine also eat what I would call a questionable diet. But there are some foods that even these doctors won’t eat.
I think it’s important to understand that just because someone is in the healthcare delivery business, it doesn’t mean that they are healthy people. Doctors don’t always practice what they preach. (Have you ever seen a doctor smoking?)
The following are some examples of foods doctors just don’t eat. These foods are generally considered to be a bad choice for health reasons and if consumed, they may influence your own individual risk factors for disease.
Trans fat is a by-product of either the commercial production of solid fats from plant oils or the deep-frying of foods. Trans fat is produced when plant oils, which are liquid at room temperature, are heated and mixed with hydrogen under pressure. This hydrogenation process turns the liquid oil into a solid, which may be used to make margarines or the stabilizers added to many types of food. Normally, trans fat does not appear in our food, as these fats are chemically altered.
Trans fats are particularly toxic to humans because they alter the fatty structures of cell membranes, and they cause a great deal of inflammation, immune activation, oxidation, and the production of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The link between atherosclerosis and trans fat intake has been firmly established.
Deep-frying at high temperatures can alter a vegetable oil chemically, turning some of the fatty acids into trans fat. This is more likely if the oil is polyunsaturated and used continually at high temperatures, which is common practice in the fast food industry.
Yes, it’s best to avoid all trans fat regardless of your profession. Most commercially produced foods have the trans fat content marked on the labels. However, since this information is not always readily available to consumers (e.g., fast food), it’s best to avoid these foods altogether and opt for healthy, whole foods instead.
Saturated fat is a solid at room temperature and mostly found in animal meats and products. High concentrations of saturated fat can be found in meat, organs, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, and cheese. Prepared meats and deli products are quite high in saturated fat, as well. The feeling is that the intake of saturated fat can increase inflammation and LDL (low density lipoprotein) production in the liver, setting the stage for the development of atherosclerosis.
But not so fast…
Although the intake of saturated fat in the U.S. is too high (it has not been conclusively shown that the overconsumption of saturated fat can cause the development of heart disease), research has indicated that the intake of saturated fatty acids from certain sources may be more harmful than in others. In fact, one good example may be that the intake of saturated fat from dairy products can actually reduce your risk of heart disease.
Overall, eat foods containing saturated fat in moderation and be conscious of the foods you choose (e.g., eat more yogurt instead of a bigger steak).
Sugar in any form is quite harmful to human health. Most sugar is consumed in foods and beverages, and it rapidly increases blood sugar and insulin secretion in the body. It provides little with respect to nutritional value and its continual intake often leads to accelerated fat gain, insulin resistance, inflammation, gout, fatty liver, food addiction, and high cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. High-fructose corn syrup, frequently added to processed foods and drinks, is associated with a greater degree of metabolic dysfunction, which can lead to diabetes. The majority of sugar consumption is associated with the intake of soda, confectionary products, baked goods, fruit drinks, and cereal.
Next to trans fat, sugar is a food whose intake we need to work more to limit in our diet, regardless of profession.
Sources for Today’s Article:
de Oliveira, O.M.C., et al., “Dietary intake of saturated fat by food source and incident cardiovascular disease: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis,” Am J Clin Nutr. August 2012; 96(2): 397–404.
YouBeauty.com, “6 Types of Foods Doctors Never Eat,” Yahoo! Shine web site, July 14, 2014; https://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/healthy-living/6-types-foods-doctors-never-eat-162300696.html.