Dietary Dogma

Some Dietary Dogma & My Dietary Logic

Following extensive reading I’ve come to the conclusion about the following generally accepted common knowledge:

Saturated fat is bad for you – UNTRUE

Cholesterol is bad for you – UNTRUE

Grains are good for you – UNTRUE

Low fat diet is healthy – UNTRUE

A plain and simple fact is that protein and fats are essential (i.e. we can’t live without them) whereas carbohydrates aren’t we don’t strictly need them. This was known at the turn of the last century but since governments (backed by big business lobby) have decided to give us “advice” on diet it seems to been forgotten. At the turn of the last century two fellas subjected themselves to a one year experiment in Bellevue Hospital, New York to prove it.

My layman’s logic on this one follows a Paleo approach. How have we evolved? Ignoring recent times (in evolutionary terms) how often could we have got carbs. At one time of the year in general and we couldn’t have stored them so it would be an evolutionary pressure to be able to store excess carbs as well as a desire to overeat them. Ever noticed how if you’re going to overeat it’s generally a carb rich food. In winter we could probably have stored meet by drying / curing or could have hunted it. In these times where there was shortage it would be an evolutionary advantage to feel satiated quicker on these foods.

As such a high protein / high fat (hence low carb) diet is the more natural way to eat and it a diet that is difficult to overeat following. The converse is that a low fat / low protein (hence high carb) diet is unhealthy and also does not make you feel satiated so quickly thus making it more likely for you to overeat.

Thats a brief outline of our natural diet. The one that’s come about due to evolution within an environment of uncertain food availability. An environment that in recent years (centuries) has change beyond recognition. Unfortunately, thats not enough time for us to evolve to adapt to the new environment. Thus, today we can’t just go eat what’s easiest to find.

What’s unhealthy about the typical ‘healthy diet”

High intake of carbohydrates is associated with Syndrome X diseases. Carbohydrates cause your body to release insulin. High carb diets mean we are producing insulin much more regularly and in larger amounts than we’re evolved to do. From what I’ve read this ultimately results in insulin resistance and Syndrome X diseases. We regularly here that out metabolism slows as we age and getting heavier is a natural progression. I firmly believe this is not inevitable but is a result of poor nutritional choices through our 20s and 30s. I know that I now put on weight very easily, far more easily than in my 20s and 30s, and I believe it’s due to my excessive diet of carbs in my 20s.

A focus on carbs as being bread, rice, potatoes, pasta ignores the colourful carbs – veggies and fruit. Those high density colourless carbs are nutrient void. Having bread, rice and the like inevitably means less of the veggies and fruit.

The low fat dogma results in increased sugar intake. Look at typical low fat foods and you’ll see sugar is regularly added. In fact, adding a spoonful of sugar to any food makes it “lower fat” … that fact makes a mockery of low fat.

Associated with low fat tends to be an avoidance of saturated fat. This is because of further dogma about it’s association with cholesterol and heart disease which is furthered by the massive marketing budgets of the drug and food industry. From my reading there is no real evidence that saturated fat is bad. Again it’s part of our natural diet.  What makes this worse is it pushes people to use unnatural plant based fats. Fats that require huge amounts of processing to produce and certainly something our ancestors could not have produced. Just look at the ingredients on margarine verses butter and decide which is more natural.