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Excellent TED video, and my hypothesis

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I really should watch more videos on TED.

This was an excellent video. It's 17 minutes, but please find time to watch it. Skip the LOLcats and the PHD webcomic and watch this.

Further, I've been thinking to myself about how highly polarized nutrition is. Every side is too busy arguing about who's right that no one wants to come together and see what's right about each idea, and put it all together to build something better.

Vegans are constantly citing the latest research that says eating meat will promptly skyrocket our cholesterol, stop our hearts, and give us cancer with just one more bite.

Raw foodists claim we can't cook anything or risk turning the most nutritious foods into nutrient-poor blobs.

Paleos cite all the evidence that grains will kill us all immediately and without remorse.

CW's like the calorie counters and the Weight Watchers are too busy chanting about moderation to bother with any of it, and everyone else (the vegans, the veggies, the raw foodies, the cavepeople) is fairly convinced the calorie counters are wrong anyway. I know I am, and that's a personal bias I have to square with.

THEN we have all the people interspersed between these groups for medical or personal reasons. I can't even name most of them. And what about the people who eat a whole food diet in general and do seemingly fine, like the Clean Eaters?

Who's right? Are any of us right? Are we all right? And most importantly, why isn't anyone asking this question and sitting down with biochemists and biologists to figure out the how and the why?

The answer to the second part of that is money... no one wants to fund anything that will reduce our dependence on big companies, agencies, and the like. But that doesn't explain why we aren't having Vegan-Paleo mixers at the local sushi bars. The rest boils down to being really terrible scientists about the whole thing. We all do it. I do it. You've done it. We've found The Way, and seek out anything to support The Way and anything to debunk, defray, and destabilize The Wrong Way. Vegans do it to us. We do it to them. CWers do it to everyone. And we're all guilty of bias, when the truth is that there's a grain (heh) of truth everywhere.

Cavepeople acknowledge we're omnivores and debunk all that silly heart disease talk.
Vegans admit we need to eat way more plants than we currently eat.
Rawists know that some things are meant to be eaten as they're found.
CWers, as much as I knock their psychologically damaging pound-loss calculations and merciless mathematical torture, acknowledge that food is not just fuel. It's also the common denominator of all people, and this life is way too short to deprive yourself of enjoying food prepared with love just to stick to a rigid nutritional doctrine. (Some people use it as an excuse to eat crap "in moderation" every day, but we're talking about the healthy ones here.)

I know healthy, vibrant vegans, striking rawists, and gorgeous cavepeople (one of my dance teachers went Paleo through her Crossfit box so I have a local buddy now!) and despite the differences we're all the same.

Whole food.

Real food.

Less chemicals.

Less food-related stress.

Hunger, not numbers.

Joy in eating.

So I have a hypothesis (not a theory, we're using the scientific definition here!), and I plan on (when I have time) reading up on actual legit science on metabolism and cell biology, physiology, and biochemistry, and learning about what it is we need to function optimally. This will take a while because I'm enrolled in cell biology and biochemistry for the fall and won't be matriculating medical school until 2014, but stick with me.

My hypothesis is this:
The cavepeople are right: humans are omnivorous. There are compounds and nutrition we need from both plants and animals, and without it all, we will miss something.
The vegans are right: we don't eat enough plants, and the cavepeople need to remember that not every day brought a successful hunt for our ancestors.
The rawists are right: there's a time and a place for cooking stuff, and soaking is awesome for eating the stuff the cavepeople call toxic.
The overarching hypothesis: Every single person is different. Each body requires different things at different times, so if Kelly eats steak four times a week and no fruit, but Bob eats steak once a week, Jim eats steak and dairy, and Jill eats steak, fruit, and soaked buckwheat, and everyone keeps his or her body in prime condition that way, then who is doing it "wrong?"

It MUST be brought to bear with actual scientific information. Not an agenda, not a philosophical battle of wills, but pure scientific fact regarding physiological function, cellular metabolism, and chemical synthesis.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have been thinking the exact same thing. The amount of people saying they are eating the right diet is daunting. I do agree we need more fruits and veggies and forget processed foods with words we can't even pronounce, let alone know what it is made out of. Every person IS different but I think what people have forgotten is the idea of actually taking the time to listen to our bodies after we eat something. How does this food make us feel after we eat it? Do we feel sick, gassy, energized..etc? I think that would tell us a lot about how we react to foods. There is no right answer for everyone but we need to find the right answers for us.
    Like if Paleo and the Primal people are right, then why are the people who eat Asian countries (lots of rice, veggies, and meat used as basically a seasoning) at such a lower rate of heart disease and live longer? I mean is it also cultural? I think that might have some baring on certain people but who knows that if i were to try something like that if it would work. Any way, in short, I agree :P
    2327 days ago
    This! The science is EVERYTHING.
    2336 days ago
    I hate to sound like an infomercial, but Mr and Mrs. Dr. Eades literally changed my life. I was reluctant to try low-carb, until I read "Protein Power". They changed my mind. Long story short, I gave it a try, it worked, and I can't imagine anything else. My only regret is not researching it sooner.

    I'm not 'true' paleo. I would say my diet is low grain. I eat plenty of dairy - yogurt and cheese. But I limit myself to a grain or starch to one meal only. The rest of my diet is clean eating - whole foods, almost no processed foods. I went from 32% bodyfat to about 26%. I was able to lose the weight that I had struggled with for too long. I think I am lucky I was able to kick start my weight lose with a relatively simple change, such as just limiting my starch/grain consumption. Others require much stronger reductions.
    2336 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/23/2012 11:18:24 PM
    Interesting.....maybe we just each need to try what's out there, find what works, and stick to it

    I'm in the middle of reading, "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living"

    Tell me what you think of its science & physiology discussions
    2337 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/23/2012 10:05:09 PM
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