We occasionally raise pigs in the summer for 4H (fair showing). A few years ago our pigs were the heaviest and fattiest at the fair and it wasn’t the most fun to cook with. As we looked at ways to have lean pigs vs fat pigs it was shocking to see that the foods listed to fatten a pig looked a lot like our food guide pyramid. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1 Don’t eat low fat dairy
Low fat dairy and low fat foods in general have been proven to fatten pigs and humans for a long time. Taking out the natural fats in foods requires additives to be put back in to make it taste good, and these additives are things our bodies were not created to use or recognize. This causes our bodies to become confused and inflamed (internal stress response)
The low Fat fad has done a lot of damage to not only our bodies, but generationally as well. According to a report called Fattening Pigs for Market, skim milk was said to not only be a good supplement for growing pigs, but also for fattening them.
Food needs fat, our bodies need fat, our brains need fat…! There are hundreds of studies now that show that healthy fats (grass-fed, organic oils, butter, avocado…) lead to improved mood, increased energy, lower body weight and increased focus.
Fat also helps curb cravings, keep you fuller longer, and improve overall heart health, just to name a few.
2 Don’t Eat Corn and white Foods
Corn is cheap feed and is used to fatten up most livestock animals that aren’t being raised on pasture. In addition to corn, white potatoes, breads (fake whole wheat, white….) are also being used to fatten up livestock. These same foods are also proven to do the same to us.
These foods are everywhere when it comes to convenience and corn is especially over utilized. You can find a corn related substance on the back of so many different foods in the from of high fructose corn syrup, acetic acid, alpha tocopherol, artificial flavors or sweeteners, dextrose, ethyl acetate, food starch, fructose, glucosamine, hydrolyzed vegetable protein…. it’s kind of scary how corn is hidden in so many of our foods and that it is proven to increase weight. (and we wonder why we have an obesity epidemic!!)
Even if you’re avoiding high fructose corn syrup you’re most likely having corn in your diet if you eat processed foods. On top of corn being bad for our weight, it can also cause us to crave more food and eat more as a result. (and, again, we wonder why we have an obesity epidemic!!)
To truly avoid corn you’d have to avoid all packaged food, all bottled juices, all candy bars, all salad dressings, canned foods… and if you do eat a mostly unprocessed food diet filled with lean meats, fruits and veggies.. unless you buy them organic of from a local farmer – they are probably coated in wax which is made from corn.
Don’t worry though, there are plenty of ways to avoid corn. You’ll want to know and buy the clean and ‘dirty’ foods according to this list. And avoid as much processed food as you can. Moderation is key!
3 Don’t Eat Sugar
We always hear we should avoid sugar and we all do the best we can to stay away from cake, cookies… however, the scary part is that sugar is in more things that corn is! Pigs are fed sugar type products to increase their chewing behavior. Have you ever felt the need to chew something even if you’re not hungry? You’ve probably been eating too much sugar.
Not only will sugar increase your likelihood of gaining weight, but it also decreases your mental clarity, deplete you of energy, keeps you eating to stay alert, makes you want to eat more, increases anxiety and irritability, feeds disease in your body and weakens your immune system.
4 Exercise, Get Sun, Get outside
Pigs become fat when they don’t move, don’t get sun and stay in dark confined spaces. Sound anything like your current work situation?
People who live sedentary lifestyles, don’t get enough vit. D and spend much of their day in confined spaces at a job are more likely to be obese. To overcome this, take breaks often and go outside even for a couple minute stroll in the sun. Find ways to stand up at your desk and work and after work avoid screen time as much as you can.
The preferred Food guide pyramid
During a lecture the other day the following food guide pyramid was shown. This is the way that our eating patterns should be, not with grains as the base, but of vegetables.
Personally, I’d change a few things. I’d switch beans and beef because my body prefers clean and lean meat over beans. I, also believe that not all beef is created equal and that grass-fed is the only way to go. You are what your food eats! This goes for both meats and fruits and veggies. Know where your food is grown as often as you can and we sell grass-fed beef if you’re in the market for real and delicious steaks, roasts, ground beef…
- Know where your food is coming from by visiting your local farmers market, getting to know local farmers…
- Reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet
- Don’t eat like a pig
- Reduce sugar – A LOT
- Stop eating corn based foods
- Respect yourself and put the foods in your body that fuel your spirit, mind and boyd!