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‘Wellness Reporter’ At The Guardian Encourages Readers to Eat Chips for Dinner

Growing waistlines show Americans are obviously struggling with where to go for proper diet advice, and it’s not hard to see why.


Growing waistlines and an epidemic of chronic diseases show Americans are obviously struggling with where to go for proper diet advice, and it’s not hard to see why. Supposed health reporters across legacy outlets have spent recent years trying to convince an increasingly sick public that obesity is healthy, exercise is white supremacist, and red meat is as bad as cigarettes. Enter The Guardian in January, when a “lifestyle and wellness reporter” authored a column arguing “the best dinner is chip dinner.”

“Chip dinner is exactly what it sounds like: chips for dinner,” wrote Guardian reporter Madeleine Aggeler. “Ideally, there’s a dip too. Store bought, of course, because no one has the energy to whip up a pimento cheese dip on chip dinner night. Maybe there’s a little beverage treat involved too. But that’s it.”

Well, no, actually. Chip dinner is not the best dinner. There is not a single occasion wherein a dinner solely of chips and store-bought dip, whether to celebrate or cope, is the optimal menu pick. Of course, in the context of health, Aggeler knows this. About 500 words later, she acknowledges “meditation, exercise and connecting with friends” as “healthier ways to recharge.”

“But every once in a while, a person just needs to tuck into a bag of original Cape Cod chips, settle into the couch, and see what the gentle folks of the Great British Bake Off are up to now,” she added.

Chip dinner is not about loading up on essential vitamins and minerals, it’s about loading up on essential cutting loose and relaxing time. Nor is it something one does all the time. Chip dinner is a special occasion, and the occasion is that you are celebrating the freedom that comes from not having to make a decision about a meal or prepare any food.

But let’s also examine the biological chain of events that occur when you substitute a well-rounded dinner with a pile of industrialized carbs soaked in seed oils and drenched in “store bought dip,” whatever nightmare mixture of incomprehensible ingredients that might be. Those chips, by the way (plus the dip), are designed to hook consumers into turning a one-time occasion into a newfound lifestyle.

To start, the body releases a hormone called insulin even before the first bite in anticipation of the spike in blood sugar that is about to occur from the mountain of carbs. Insulin is widely understood in the context of regulating blood sugar (or, more precisely, “blood glucose”) to influence fat storage, but this key hormone is far more important. Insulin affects every cell in the body, with significant effects on how our cells grow and harness energy. As Dr. Benjamin Bikman outlines in his book Why We Get Sick, our cells become insulin resistant over time, and the hormone will begin to wreak havoc on the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, skin, bones, muscles, and even reproductive organs, while proliferating obesity. Erectile dysfunction, for example, could be an early sign of insulin resistance. Fun stuff.

When the body digests carbohydrates, insulin is secreted through the bloodstream to counteract the toxic effects of excess sugar. Glucose can be used for energy in the short term, but so can dietary fats, without all of the nasty metabolic side effects of so much glucose over the long term. The starches in potatoes are digested as glucose, with the body secreting a flood of insulin to counteract the invasion of sugar. So even if those chips are sugar-free (and sometimes they aren’t!), the liver can’t tell the difference. It’s effectively just a bag of sugar.

A standard-size bag of Cape Cod chips, one of the kinds specified in The Guardian, is about 7 or 8 ounces, which comes out to between five and six whole potatoes. One medium potato is about 150 grams or more — or the equivalent of approximately 9-plus teaspoons of sugar in the context of blood glucose. Multiply that by five, and you’re looking at some 45 teaspoons of sugar.

Your brain will recognize those chips as sugar, too. Enjoy your $5 bag of dopamine on “chip night” and prepare for the hangover tomorrow night. Yes, that hangover. All of those chips were chemically engineered to be maximally addictive, down to the texture of the crunch, activating the same reward centers in the brain as drugs and alcohol. Depending on how close “chip dinner” came to bedtime, your sleep probably also suffered. Sugar right before bed is an absolute sleep killer.

One night of “chip dinner” might not spiral into insulin resistance, but the creation of a regular habit certainly will. Big Food and Big Pharma count on it. Junk food corporations are built on repeat users (one might even call them “junkies”), while pharmaceutical empires are being created to treat the epidemic of obesity and chronic disease. Such is the case of Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical giant “reshaping Denmark’s economy” with the wonderdrug Ozempic, the type 2 diabetes injections marketed as an anti-obesity elixir with a jingle parody of the band Pilot’s “Magic” from 1975. The company just replaced “magic” with “Ozempic,” so you get the point. The jolly tune of “Oh! Oh! Oh! Ozempic!” became the anthem to sell a treatment for a preventable problem that already has a cure.

[LISTEN: The Nutrition ’Myths’ Fueling The American Obesity Epidemic]

The next step in our digestive journey of nacho dinner leads us beyond the bathroom. The carb (sugar)-loaded dinner is devoid of any substantive fiber to help the body actually absorb what little nutrients are available, leaving the gut microbiome hungry. Roughly 95 percent of the body’s serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter for happiness and mood regulation, is produced in the gut. You can starve your gut, but you’ll also starve your sanity.

Any true “wellness reporter” would put to rest the nonsense that “chip dinner” is the “best dinner” in the name of self-care. The outcome of that habit is a population of addicts left chronically fat, sick, and depressed. But here’s the deal: We all matter, so we should take care of ourselves like we think we do.

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