Saturday, January 22, 2011

Don't Leave your Brain at Home When you Go to the Health Food Store

My blog is, at least based on the title, supposed to in some smallish way, every once in a while, promote scepticism and critical thinking. So, as Brian Dunning, my favorite skeptic, would say: let's turn our skeptical eye to nutrition. Nutrition is one of the fields most rife with pseudo science. Everybody seems to think that because we eat all day how we feel about something should be good enough evidence what we aught to do. Well, the scientific method still aplies to nutritional science. So I present you with my favourite episodes of Skeptiod about health and nutrition. I recommend you choose the listen option on the transcript page because Skeptoid is a podcast and meant to be listened.

Just because some people have a glutein sensitivity and should stay away from it does not mean it is not good for the rest of us. Bring on the glutein!

Organic food is good, right? Well, that does not mean non-organic is bad.

Do we really know as much about what we should and should not be eating?

Then there are fads. Most of them blow over, many are harmless but useless, others are weird but many are even dangerous, in my opinion.

Then again, how many of us truly understand how our bodies work and go out and buy into immune system boosting supplements.

As you can see, I have discovered the joys of putting links into my text. I commend anyone who has decided to begin a journey to better health but don't go in like a country girl into a big city or you gonna get raped.


  1. Sorry about the spelling mistakes, I have no spell check and I am not good at spoting typing errors in draft so just try and ignore them.

  2. Skepti-

    Have you researched the benefits of the Primal/Paleo lifestyle? That's where I'm at. Oh, yeah! I've never felt better, that's for darn sure.

  3. I haven't heard about that. I am sure it is good and I should read about it. I just have come accross too many really odd diets and lifestyles so I do not seek them out. Like the eat right for your blood type. That was crazy and I heard about it whn I was like 14. I just looked at the speaker, smiled and nodded and thought this thing is full o'poo. It is supposed to be based on ancestral diets and I was supposed to give up dairy. Well my ancestors ate more dairy than like any other group. Also the guy who told me about it went to Chinese restaurants and lectured random people at the buffe how shrimp was not kosher.

    I am glad that adopting healthy habits is paying off for you.

  4. I read a little about the Paleo Diet. It seems to be more based on a philosophy than nutritional science.

  5. Skepti-

    The Paleo diet does have an underlying philosophy, absolutely. That's, of course, part of its overall value. But in essense, eating paleo is an attempt at maximizing gene expressions by eating more like our primal ancestors. You see, the agricultural revolution is a very recent advent in human history; too recent, as some scientific opinion goes, for the human body to become an effective grain machine. Thus our bodies, in their present evolutionary situation, are not adapted to properly digesting grains and the anti-nutrients they contain.

    By going primal/paleo, the focus is to eat in such a manner as best befits the present state of our genetic make-up. Such a dietary shift require eliminating grains. And for some, it also means giving up dairy.

    Now, being as you are descendent of Northern Europeans (Finnish, right?), your body would be well suited to dairy. However, a majority of the world's population is ill-suited to consuming dairy.

    Another issue is that because people literally are what they eat (on a physiological level), intake of dairy that has been sourced from grain-fed animals means that the dairy being received is made-up of deficient nutrients. As such, that dairy is incompatible with a lot of people's natural bodily expression and results in a good many deliterious results: e.g., insulin disregulation. So, for some people, like myself, I have eliminated dairy and replaced the fats I would usually receive from it with coconut oil. Mid-chain fatty acids do wonders for me, as they do most people.

    Have you looked into the wonders of coconut oil?