Many people will answer this question with a simple “NEVER,” but the more you study and tinker with the human body the more you realize that there is a lot more going on than can be explained with a simple nutrition-centric view of health.
By junk food I mean basic, standard, yummy stuff. Breakfast classics like french toast, waffles, pancakes, and pastries. Snacks like chips and cheese and crackers. Lunch bombs like cheeseburgers and fries or pizza. Dinners like pot pie, pasta, or what have you. Drinks like bubbly soda, lemonade, chocolate milk. And rich desserts like ice cream, cheesecake, cookies, and pie. This is what I’m talking about when I say “junk foods.” What I should really say is, “the yummiest stuff.”
So when can the yummy stuff actually be used as a health-promoting tool? In lots of circumstances, and in lots of ways. This has created much confusion lately for those who are new to the site and have recently read the book, Diet Recovery. That book is really intended for a mainstream audience (the audience I haven’t been able to attract, but one day hope to figure out how to), not necessarily a group of alternative nutrition cultists and former cultists like most who have congregated here – including myself. A normal person eating a junk food diet really just needs to eat more nutritious food, and lots of it for it be satisfying enough to compete with modern foods, and to ensure adequate calorie consumption so as not to trigger starvation symptoms and set up a major binge. Few people that have ventured here so far fit the description of “normal person eating a junk food diet.”
I am becoming more and more open about the use of these highly-palatable foods for the process of increasing metabolism for starters. I’m now seeing several people increasing body temperature from the 95′s and 96′s to 99 degrees F in as little as 3 weeks by abandoning a spartan whole foods diet and diving straight into the chronic. The breakfast foods especially seem to be the most useful, as they provide rapid delivery of concentrated calories with a low water content just when people need them the most – in the morning hours.
The morning hours are pivotal as most people tend to be colder, with higher stress hormone levels and lower metabolic rate during the first half of the day than the second half of the day. Foods like pancakes with tons of maple syrup, a side of some salty, cheesy eggs, washed down with a glass of full-fat chocolate milk – now that will snap your average person out of their morning coldness pretty well, sending an almost uncomfortable rush of warm blood into the hands, feet, nose, and ears (a sign of the adrenal glands relaxing, peripheral circulation increasing and blood vessels in the extremities dilating, and the metabolism powering up). While you may want to fall back into bed and sleep after a breakfast like this (at first), I do believe this physiological state of warmth and relaxation is powerfully therapeutic and can rebuild metabolic rate and also give the adrenal glands the break they need to build back their strength and restore normal function. I think of this as the “fast track” to metabolic recovery. And since it only need last for a few weeks in most cases, it’s hard to think much harm could be done during this time period eating foods that normal Americans eat every day for close to 80 years. It’s at least worth being open-minded about.
These foods are also lower in water content, which, combined with their high calorie density and often high levels of salt as well (certainly a complete yummy meal will include lots of starch, sugar, salt, and fat), are a godsend for those who are really struggling to rebuild their cellular energy supply. The best outwardly indicator of this being the concentration of the urine. Usually urine is very clear when cellular salt and sugar concentrations are too weak. Truly yummy meals and yummy foods are the ultimate for restoring some color to the urine and keeping the energy levels in the cell from tanking, as a general rule.
It’s also quite therapeutic to eat yummy things when you have a long-standing phobia, particularly about carbohydrates. Former low-carbers often see dramatic health improvements from eating this kind of fare, especially when used as a kickstart. Others have lifelong weight struggles and have looked at such foods with fear of weight gain, and have dealt with decades of temptation, discipline, guilt, and other emotions that shouldn’t enter into our relationship with food for best health in the modern eating environment. Being able to eat these foods, to appetite or even beyond appetite, to the point where body fat levels are stable or are even decreasing is the ultimate feeling of liberation. I wish it upon all chronic dieters, and don’t really think that anyone is truly free of a weight problem until they can eat whatever they want without gaining an ounce just like someone in an optimal metabolic condition can do.
And while it seems like one of the dangers could be developing addiction to such foods, I find eating beyond appetite of these foods makes them very unappealing and unstimulating very quickly. If anything, my personal experience is that eating an uncomfortable amount of all these foods is a great way to break the addictive grip that such foods have on you.
And finally, as we will discuss in the next installment – the yummy foods are unmatched when it comes to gaining muscle, which is unanimously agreed upon in the elite portion of the fitness world as an important first step in any attempt to improve the physical appearance of your body. This may have nothing to do with health, but it certainly works better than anything else for most people.
At the end of the day, the ultimate form of ingestible medicine for many health conditions, especially in the modern dieting, exercise-obsessed, meal-skipping, calorie-counting era is the calorie. And the tastier the food, the more powerful the dose.
I will be trying to faithfully post a new video on my youtube channel every week on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting this week. Some, but not all of the videos will be posted here on the blog, so subscribe to the 180DegreeHealth channel on youtube to follow along there. Here is Saturday’s video on the topic of junk food.