Ask Fatty Felicity II

Welcome to Ask Fatty Felicity, the write-in column where you get to ask all your burning questions about Fat, Diet, and the Meaning of Life!

Today’s Burning Questions:

Fatty Felicity, I really have to know. Which is worse: sugar or flour?

–#Hashtag

#Hashtag, this is sort of like asking someone how they would like to be killed: by hanging or drowning? I mean, first you have sugar, which suppresses the immune system, makes you fat, causes triglycerides to rise, contributes to anxiety and difficulty concentrating, leads to tooth decay and premature aging of the skin, worsens arthritis and asthma by promoting inflammation, increases blood pressure, increases liver fat, triggers migraines and feeds cancer cells. It does other things, too, but we only have so much time.

Then you have flour. Today’s modern wheat flour is a commercialized hybrid stripped of much of its nutrition. But beyond that, modern wheat (quite a different thing from what your great-grandmother ate) has a different type of protein than the old stuff. And more of it. That protein doesn’t always digest very well–it tends to slip through the joints of your intestinal wall. Your body then attacks it as a foreign invader (increasing your inflammation along the way). If it gets really bad, you get celiac or some other nasty auto-immune disorder. The rest of us just get leaky gut, pain, anemia, bloating, and IBS.

Then, of course, wheat also makes you fat. A healthy wholegrain bagel, for example, does exactly the same thing to you, metabolically, as a bag of Skittles. Wheat also tends to block the absorption of minerals your body needs. That’s on top of already damaging the lining of your intestines, which interferes with nutrient absorption.  It also makes you burn through your Vitamin D stores faster.

Dwarf wheat is also closely linked to schizophrenia and the super-happy-fun ataxia (motor disturbances caused by lesions on your brain) is so closely associated to wheat consumption that there’s actually an official Gluten Ataxia. If you want to improve your ataxia symptoms, one of your best bets is a gluten free dietAutism is still not well understood: but we do understand that, for some reason, some autistic people improve a great deal if they get rid of the gluten. Ditto for epileptics.

Then, wheat will make your LDL cholesterol turn all tiny and dense–just the kind that gets stuck and clogs things up.

So, really, neither sugar nor flour is exactly awesome. But if you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I’d take sugar over wheat. That’s because sugar makes me tired and sometimes cranky in large amounts, but wheat makes me feel like I’m going crazy. Furthermore, sugar is mainly an issue when consumed chronically and/or in large amounts. If you just have a splash here and there you’ll probably be ok.

Fatty Felicity, I’m eating bacon and butter, yet I’m really tired. What’s the matter?

–Rysk

I’m really tired too after answering that first question. I’d advise having a nap and getting back to me later.

But what if bacon really will give me cancer? 

–Braxlee

Oh Braxlee. EVERYTHING will kill you! You can’t live forever no matter what you eat.

But let’s assume that you aren’t concerned with living forever. Let’s assume you really are just worried that you’ll get cancer at a ridiculously young age because you ate too much bacon. My opening sentence still stands. Everything can kill you. Just today there was a headline about a boy who died from drinking too much water after football practice.

Just for your interest, here is a complete list of all the things epidemiologists have been able to associate with an increased risk of cancer:

Acetaldehyde, acrylamide, acrylonitril, abortion, agent orange, alar, alcohol, air pollution, aldrin, alfatoxin, arsenic, arsine, asbestos, asphalt fumes, atrazine, AZT, baby food, bacon, barbequed meat, benzene, benzidine, benzopyrene, beryllium, beta-carotene, betel nuts, birth control pills, bottled water, bracken, bread, breasts, brooms, bus stations, calcium channel blockers, cadmium, candles, captan, carbon black, carbon tetrachloride, careers for women, casual sex, car fumes, celery, charred foods, cooked foods, chewing gum, Chinese food, Chinese herbal supplements, chips, chloramphenicol, chlordane, chlorinated camphene, chlorinated water, chlorodiphenyl, chloroform, cholesterol, low cholesterol, chromium, coal tar, coffee, coke ovens,  crackers, creosote, cyclamates, dairy products, deodorants, depleted uranium, depression, dichloryacetylene,  DDT, dieldrin, diesel exhaust, diet soda, dimethyl sulphate, dinitrotouluene, dioxin, dioxane, epichlorhydrin, ethyle acrilate, ethylene, ethilene dibromide, ethnic beliefs, ethylene dichloride, Ex-Lax, fat, fluoridation, flying, formaldehyde, free radicals, french fries, fruit, gasoline, genes, gingerbread, global warming, gluteraldehyde, granite, grilled meat, Gulf war, hair dyes, hamburgers, heliobacter pylori, hepatitis B virus,  hexachlorbutadiene, hexachlorethane, high bone mass, hot tea, HPMA, HRT, hydrazine, hydrogen peroxide, incense, infertility, jewellery, Kepone, kissing, lack of exercise, laxatives, lead, left handedness, Lindane, Listerine, low fibre diet, magnetic fields, malonaldehyde, mammograms, manganese, marijuana, methyl bromide, methylene chloride,  menopause, microwave ovens, milk hormones, mixed spices, mobile phones, MTBE, nickel, night lighting, night shifts, nitrates, not breast feeding, not having a twin, nuclear power plants, Nutrasweet, obesity, oestrogen, olestra, olive oil, orange juice, oxygenated gasoline, oyster sauce, ozone, ozone depletion, passive smoking, PCBs, peanuts, pesticides, pet birds, plastic IV bags, polio vaccine, potato chips, power lines, proteins, Prozac, PVC, radio masts, radon, railway sleepers, red meat, Roundup, saccharin, salt, sausage, selenium,  semiconductor plants, shellfish, sick buildings, soy sauce, stress, strontium, styrene, sulphuric acid, sun beds, sunlight, sunscreen, talc, tetrachloroethylene, testosterone, tight bras, toast, toasters, tobacco, tooth fillings, toothpaste (with fluoride or bleach), train stations, trichloroethylene, under-arm shaving, unvented stoves, uranium, UV radiation, Vatican radio masts, vegetables, vinyl bromide, vinyl chloride,  vinyl fluoride, vinyl toys, vitamins, vitreous fibres, wallpaper, weedkiller (2-4 D), welding fumes, well water, weight gain, winter, wood dust, work, x-rays.

So really, why bother? But if you’re still worried about bacon, maybe this analysis of what cancer and risk really is will put your mind at ease.

(Aren’t you tempted to buy an apartment right next to the Vatican’s radio masts and start smoking and using weedkiller just to see what happens?)

Now that TIME has completely reneged on their anti-fat message, will either the government or the medical community assume any responsibility for ruining the health of millions, Fatty Felicity?

–Wellon

What a difference a little actual research makes...
What a difference a little actual research makes…

No.

 

Do you ever get tired of eating real food, Fatty Felicity? Doesn’t it get boring?

–Kaylee

Why no, Kaylee. Do you ever get tired of feeling good? Do you sometimes think to yourself: What I wouldn’t give for a headache and a little lethargy right now! That’s what you are asking me. It’s one thing to have something less than ideal for a celebration or a special occasion. It’s quite another to ask if you should just eat garbage because you’re bored. That’s what video games were invented for.

But there’s another issue at play, and that’s simply ignorance. I don’t mean that in a bad way, so please don’t be insulted. (Although if you haven’t been insulted by this time on this blog, I suppose there’s little chance you will be now). What I mean is, do you actually know how to do anything with real food?

Take a look at this cookbook from 1906. Just in the egg section there are fifty-six different recipes. Do you know fifty-six different things to do with eggs? I certainly don’t. How about Eggs Mornay? Or Eggs Farci? Granted a few of those recipes use flour, and a few are repeats of each other with different seasonings; but you’re still talking about at least thirty-five completely different recipes for eggs. There are about fifty recipes for using different parts of beef.

Or there’s this fine old specimen of a Southern cookbook which includes the following very insightful poem from a collection called The Bandanna Ballads, published in 1899:

‘Cause Cookin’s like religion is

Some’s elected, and some ain’t,

And rules don’t no more make a cook

Then sermons make a saint.

Once I know fifty-six different ways to cook an egg I’ll start worrying about getting bored.

Fatty Felicity, do you ever get tired of making jokes?

–Julissa

Just what exactly are you implying, Julissa?

 

Well folks, that’s all the time Felicity has today. Be sure to come back another time for more insightful genius from Fatty Felicity.

 

Plato says he’s hungry

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