Monday, September 15, 2008

Sabotage by.....Meat...?

Okay, now this isn't a rally for everyone to go vegetarian. And coming from me, I guess that is kinda saying a lot. I was a vegetarian for 11 years, before I married "Mr. Meat and Potatoes," and in my pursuit to be a good, compliant wife, abandoned ship. But anyway, that isn't really the topic of this blog. (Although, if you're an extremist, I guess you could say it could be.)

Today Jeremy went for his follow-up appointment to have his cholesterol rechecked. He was supposed to go about a year and a half ago, but you know how men can be. Adam Corolla (though I can't stand the guy) puts it best: Women are about their bodies as men are about their cars. Women do all the "routine maintenance" on their bodies (yearly paps, mammograms, weight checks, mole checks, etc.) but won't bother with routine car maintenance and don't have thier car looked at until its practically on fire. In contrast, men don't bother with their bodies until there is a major problem, and even then may not go, but darned if their cars don't look and run great! That SO describes me and my husband!

When Jeremy turned 30, I strongly requested (okay, yeah, I nagged) him to schedule a physical, just to be on the safe side, so that he can make any necessary changes now, rather than wait until he is halfway in the grave. Unfortunately, his family is wrought with people with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer... So you can understand my worry. While we already knew he had elevated blood pressure (he has since his early 20's), much to his surprise, he also had elevated cholesterol levels. The doctor told him to change his habits and come back in 3 months. "3 months" fell at the holidays, so of course, his habits were terrible (afterall, who can say no to mashed potatoes and pie?), and he was too embarrassed to go in and have it rechecked. And he has continued to put it off until now.

In addition to giving a blood sample, he and the doctor reviewed his eating habits, and the doctor suggested some changes. Cut out soda (he LOVES his Dr. Pepper!), less fast food (he eats burgers for lunch a lot), cut out things made with corn syrup....

But here is the one that surprised us. Don't just cut down on the fatty meat consumption, change the quality of the meat you eat. Apparently, "mainstream meat" comes from cattle that haven't been able to graze (I already knew that), and have been fed a high-corn diet, making them far too fat and unhealthy. (Basically, couch potato cows.) And when consumed, fat, unhealthy cows produce fat, unhealthy people. Now this is just my guess, but I would venture to say that the reason corn in mass quantity is so bad for cows, has to do with glycemic conversion. When I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Seth, I was told the worst veggie to eat was corn. It naturally has a high level of natural sugar, plus its starchy (carbs), so it can send your blood sugar through the roof. And what happens to sugar in a body? It converts to fat. So...too much corn = too much sugar = too much fat, compunded by no exercise = unhealthy cow. Unhealthy cow, eaten by human = fat human. Now, corn in its raw form is fine. But corn that has been processed and refined is bad - for cows, and the humans that eat them.

So the doctor suggested getting privately-raised cattle and/or poultry. The slight problem with that is, we live in the boonies. Our access to things like that is slim to none. But we're looking into it.

I guess I just never realized how the meat we eat can sabotage our diet and overall health. I knew it was full of growth hormones, saline solutions, and all that nasty stuff, but I had no clue that the massive amounts of corn they are fed, and lack of proper grazing, can ultimately make us fat. And while we aren't ready to abandon our meat-eating ways, this has definitely got us thinking!

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