As most of you know by now, many of my recommendations are at odds with “conventional wisdom”.
I believe grains are a poor food group to base a diet upon. I believe red meat is one of the healthiest protein sources if the animal is raised naturally. I do not believe in fortified foods, multi-vitamins, and pharmaceuticals as a first-line of defense.
Why do I believe these things?
Because science can be conducted, or reported, in a way that distorts or completely ignores facts and truths.
For example, the Seven Countries Study suggested that saturated fats from animals are unhealthy. However, the researcher excluded many countries that consumed a high-fat diet yet had superb health, and also compiled meat consumption statistics during lent.
Years later, The China Study had a similar conclusion – that all animal protein is unhealthy and causes cancer. Upon examination of the research methods, it was revealed that the researcher first exposed rats to cancer-causing toxins and then fed them a diet high in casein (an inflammatory protein isolated from dairy). The rats being fed the most casein experienced a growth in their cancer cells, leading to the final conclusion that all animal protein, and particularly meat, causes cancer.
How could these faulty and weak studies possibly guide public policy and became the basis for our nutritional guidelines? Unfortunately, the explanation is well beyond the scope of this single blog post. But I will say that the emotional fear of a cardiovascular epidemic, along with lobbying, special interests, and potential profits, all played a role.
The real point of this post is to bring the faults and manipulations of science to light. Take a quick look at the following graph:
This charts the number of medical studies showing what foods cause cancer or protect against cancer. For example, 6 studies suggest wine protects against cancer while 3 claim it causes cancer. Further down, 4 studies “prove” coffee protects against cancer, 4 studies show the exact opposite, and 1 study concludes that coffee doesn’t affect cancer risks.
Since these studies are flawed to begin with, we need to stop relying upon science done by others.
Instead, educate yourself on a topic, whether it’s a macronutrient, food group, or specific food. If something seems beneficial, or at the very least non-threatening, try incorporating it in your diet and track your results.
For myself, I discovered eating 4-6 eggs a day drastically raised my HDL (good cholesterol) while having no affect on my negative blood markers. Conversely, if I eat grains multiple times a day, my digestion suffers and blood sugar levels become erratic.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the newest headline or study suggests. Science is conducted by humans and therefore is not infallible. Explore the chemical makeup of certain foods, which cannot be misrepresented, and then rely upon experiences that you can see, feel, and track in your own life. And remember there are always professionals, such as myself, that are eager to help!