I went to a conference last weekend, one of those all day affairs that starts with coffee and bear claws, is followed by a high caloric lunch and ends with coffee and cookies in the late afternoon. To my right, at my table, sat a portly woman with a pleasant face. She was biting into a large pastry as I began our conversation.
“My that sweet looks good,” I said mindlessly, only to see how quickly my remark clouded the woman’s expression. Looking at the crumbs cascading down the front of her blouse, she murmured what seemed to be an apology.
“I’m supposed to be on a diet, but I can’t resist bear claws.”
Stung by my thoughtlessness remark, I struggled to put her at ease. “Better to yield to a little temptation than to feel deprived. Otherwise, no one could stick to a diet.”
The woman’s body relaxed, as if she was glad I understood, and took a second bite of her pastry.
Losing weight is seldom easy, and conferences like the one I attended can play havoc with the waistline. But fats and sugar aren’t the only enemies. Recently, scientists have discovered that what we once thought was good for us can undermine our metabolism.
We’ve known for some time about the dangers of taking too many antibiotics. Overuse has produced superbugs that have become resistant to treatment. But that antibiotics can make us fat is a new negative
We might have guessed their effect because meat producers have long dosed their cattle with these drugs, hoping to beef them up by sale time. Now a study at New York University tells us how it works. The problem lies in the gut. When antibiotics reach the stomach, friendly microbes send out distress calls. White blood cells then mobilize to defend the body and in the ensuing battle, tears can occur in the intestinal lining. These tears allow food molecules, like fat, to be pour directly into the blood system and then stored without being fully processed. (“Food + Health,” by Kiera Butler, Mother Jones, March/April, 2014 pgs. 66-67.) Weight gain is the consequence.
So, here’s something to consider the next time you visit your doctor. If you’re offered a pill for what ails you, consider a bear claw, instead. The bear claw, like the pill, will make you fat but it will taste better.
(Courtesy of chickensintheroad.com)