Food is Not Fuel
No, food is not fuel. Food provides our bodies with so much more than energy. It is ridiculous to oversimplify food's role in our existence as simply fuel.
The calorie dogma needs to be rethought, and the language and understanding of it all seriously upgraded.
The laws of thermodynamics DO NOT APPLY to the human body's energy consumption and output the same way. They only apply to linear, closed systems by definition. The living human body is an open, dynamic system.....it does not translate.
Calories intake has NEVER reliably predicted exact weight loss or gain when put to the test. With SO MANY calories in and calories out exceptions, how can this "LAW" apply.....it doesn't.
Food provides all the raw materials to build and run this amazingly complex, learning, adapting, and elaborate system of ours.
Some of the elements of food can be used to make units for energy production (ATP). The food we eat does NOT get burned literally as energy.
A lot of what we eat is used for building structures in our body, as in amino acids to make proteins for enzymes, genetic material, cellular mechanisms, muscle, and fatty acids to make lipids (fats) to build cell membranes, organs, and storage, and glucose to make glycoproteins, cellular micro-receptors, and storage. Not about making energy.
As important as the structural material found in food are the chemical components like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, and much more. Not about making energy.
Food provides and feeds the bacteria in our body. There are more bacteria in us than human cells. Not for making energy.
Food also supplies water. Not about making energy.
Most importantly, food provides information. Every bit you eat tells your body about the world around you...the season, temperature, quality of the air, land, water, health of the environment, and your ability to survive in it. Not about making energy.
This food-derived information sets up a tremendous cascade of bodily functions and changes all the way down to how your genes express and what info gets passed on in new DNA with new cells and future generations. Not about making energy.
In fact, if you eliminate genetic learning, your cells die or mutate instantly.
Lack of water kills you in a matter of days, independent of energy.
Severe nutrient depletion without renewal will drive disease and shut down your system, and cause a quick death independent of energy.
Not having the materials for repair will destroy your system, independent of energy.
Not having "food for fuel" will actually initiate great health benefits in the short term (days to weeks) and would take months to cause harm or death in the average person today.
Quality of food, amounts, meal frequency, and the resulting physiological impact take on a whole new meaning and importance when you STOP LOOKING AT FOOD AS JUST FUEL.
Here's to health 2.0 thinking, my friends!
We can do better.