Photo courtesy of thepinkpeppercorn's photostream
I am slowly, albeit it kicking and screaming, coming to some real truths about my nutrition. I thought I had it all figured out a few weeks ago when I wrote about my thyroid and soy/food additives, and then again on the concept of soaking grains and beans overnight to destroy the phytates (which keep us from absorbing vital minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, etc.).
I was wrong! That was just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
Nutrition is sufficiently complex all by itself, but when you add in all the ‘research’ touted over the years to ‘educate’ us on the ‘proper diet’, it is no wonder we have increasing confusion about what's good for us, plus health problems, and increasing obesity (even in our children) in the United States, and spreading elsewhere.
Little by little, I have been able to locate research that is not skewed/paid for by big financial interests (can you say ‘Big Pharma’ and ‘Big Ag’?), but even when I found non-biased data, it often is not published, and usually ridiculed because it flies in the eyes of ‘conventionally accepted dietary guidelines’ aka 'conventional wisdom'.
Why am I willing to adopt research that is contrary to what we have been told for years? Is somewhat hard to articulate the 'how and why' it makes sense to me. First, what I am reading is based on unbiased, proven science about how the human body works. And it’s logical. Second, once I allowed myself to look at different viewpoints, and put aside my preconceived notions, it started becoming easier to accept radical changes to what I eat. Third, and most important is how much better I feel already!
Most of what I have been reading has resonated deeply, making it really hard to deny. (Usually we know when someone is lying to us face-to-face, but when something is ‘approved’ and published by supposed authorities, we tend to blindly accept it.)
Let me be clear: I am NOT saying all medical research is false, nor that all doctors deliberately lie to us. Au Contraire, I think most doctors believe what they tell us. I think most doctors who see patients believe what they are told by other medical doctors/authorities engaged in research.
Personally, I suspect some basic beliefs started near the beginning of modern medicine where some tenets were accepted even if largely unproven by research of the time. Thus laying an accepted cornerstone that now looks to be built on sand.
No physician I know with a busy family practice or a specialized practice, has the time to see and treat patients AND do research on the scale that research grants permit. Those physicians must rely on others in the field. That gives me just one option: blindly accept the ‘prevailing conventional wisdom’ even if it is killing me, or do my own research into the research work of others.
I’ll be posting more of what I am learning and changing as time goes on. Meanwhile to illustrate my point above about 'conventional wisdom', I am posting this commentary from the Spring 2010 Weston A. Price Foundation Journal below.
ANTI-BUTTER FORCES FOILED AGAIN
A recently published meta-analysis looked at almost three hundred fifty thousand subjects in twenty-one studies to assess the correlation between saturated fat consumption and cardiovascular disease.
The conclusion: intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of heart disease or stroke (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 13, 2010). The authors noted that studies showing a significant association of saturated fat with heart disease “tended to be received more favorably for publication” than those studies showing a negative correlation or no correlation.
Did you read about this study in a newspaper; was it featured in the health section; was it reported on TV? Not at all; mainstream media response has been one of complete silence.
Meanwhile, the voices demonizing saturated fat have become ever more shrill. A study published in the September 2009 Journal of Clinical Investigation accuses saturated fat of interfering with brain chemistry and making people eat more. The title of the accompanying press release: “Ice Cream May Target the Brain Before Your Hips” (Science Daily, September 19, 2009). Dr. Gabe Mirkin claims that a study on mice shows that a high saturated fat diet prevents the building of muscle mass. Among many details about this study Mirkin neglects to mention, is the fact that the “high-fat” diet was only about 25 percent saturated fat, with almost half the fat as omega-6 fatty acids.
For a blatantly industry-oriented anti-saturated fat website—sponsored by Unilever—visit www.satfatnav.com . Unilever’s public relations company helped UK physician Shyam Kolvekar declare that butter should be banned, with headlines in the Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1244048/Ban-buttersave- thousands-lives-says-heart-surgeon.html).
Fortunately, public cynicism about the anti-butter forces surfaced with a vengeance, with hundreds of sarcastic comments posted after the article. Journalist Clarissa Dickson Wright countered with an article in the same publication, noting that she enjoys toasted crumpets “absolutely dripping with unsalted butter. . .”