If you're going to indulge my writing on nutritional science, you should know where I stand on specific issues. The most important thing when learning about a new subject is learning who you can trust. Every opinion below is based on research, but if it all reads as lunacy to you, then don't trust me.
I won't cite any studies in this post. This is not to argue for a point. It's a lay of the land.
What is my role in nutrition?
I am not a doctor, practitioner, nurse nor involved in the medical field, nor have I undergone any bio-medical classes. Instead I gather my information from books, blogs, studies, and personal experiments. I have garnered a great deal of interest about nutrition and human biology through research. I believe that nutrition should be approached as a science, and aim to use nutrition to improve my life as much as possible.
Common Knowledge Nutrition
I'll define modern nutrition as "mainstream." It's the current recommendations of the FDA, ADA (American Diabetes Association), AHA (American Heart Association), and many general practitioners. It's your mother's and grandmother's advice. It's the "ow my arteries!" after eating a hot dog. It's the state of American eating habits.
Based on my current level of reading and understanding, I believe every one of the below statements, even though they are counter to what many recommend.
- Animal fat, specifically saturated fat is benign at worst, incredibly healthy at best.
- In general, saturated fat is healthy for humans.
- Butter, lard, and other cooking fats derived from animals are safe, healthy, and important for optimal health.
- Fat intake (except for trans, hydrogenated), is not a cause of heart disease.
- Vegetarianism, veganism and fruitarianism are not inherently healthier diets.
- Whole grains are detrimental to human health.
- Salt intake should not be minimized in a healthy human's diet.
- Salt intake does not affect blood pressure long term.
- We do not get fat because we eat too much and move too little.
- Exercise does not help you lose weight.
- Lower cholesterol is not better.
- Higher cholesterol is not worse.
- Foods containing excess cholesterol are delicious, healthy, and should be enjoyed at will.
- Statin drugs (cholesterol lowering medication) do more harm than good (nasty side effects), and the good is only for a very small population.
- Heart attacks, diabetes, weight gain, some cancers, clogged arteries, bone/tooth decay, and other health problems are not products of aging.
Why not just listen to the food authorities? Why not eat everything in moderation? Why bother to read a book on the obvious?
Long story short, we are riddled with problems. Everyone is tired and uses coffee and energy drinks to keep moving. There is an epidemic of childhood diabetes, which is deeply saddening. Obesity is rampant, despite our following of modern nutritional guidelines. This is all vastly avoidable without medication. The answers may lie soley in nutrition.
Are your parents overweight? Is there any instance of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, or IBS in your family? How about eczema, skin conditions, dentures or tooth decay? If not, perhaps your genes will save you from anything you throw at them. But if you are predisposed to these illnesses, should you just wait for old age to cripple you? What if you can prevent many of these illnesses from diet alone? I want to be able bodied until the day I die peacfully in my sleep.
I aim to explore many of these topics in depth on this blog and in my research. I hope that I find some of my current opinions to be wrong and refine my knowledge as I and the medical community learn more.