Day 118
Creative Commons License photo credit: Okko Pyykkö
What a busy time the New Year has been! If you’re anything like me and 99% of the rest of the population you ate and drank more of the things you and your body both know you shouldn’t over the Christmas and the New Year period. It always starts out so innocently. Oh, I’ll just have a little. Next thing you know it’s the middle of January and you find yourself blinking your way out of some sort of sugar induced coma after a roller coaster ride of substance abuse (that means food and drink people), the disturbed memories of which keep looming up out of the time fog.

I exaggerate of course but you know the deal. As the Christmas parties moved into full swing late last year more than any time before I was struck by the undercurrent of quiet desperation as people attempt to drown their year long buildup of stress with alcohol, a substance which causes the body no end of addition stress. Considering all stress summates within the body it seems nothing short of crazy to rely on alcohol as a stress release mechanism. The downward spiral of fatigue, inflammation and malaise can only become worse as a result. Not better. Why do we do these things to ourselves?

One answer which is as crazy as using alcohol for stress relief is because everyone else is doing it. Good old peer-pressure. Its subtleties know no bounds. Perhaps this sort of social behavior stems back to primitive human tribal beginnings. Much like how the animals that stand out from the herd are the first to be taken by the predators. Safety in numbers.

Today though there isn’t safety in numbers. Not in the health and well-being game anyway. One in two people will get cancer of some form. Type II Diabetes used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes. Now thanks to the food processing industry as well as many nutritionists and so called “experts” the name had to be changed because we’ve given Adult Onset Diabetes to our children.

An examination of the chaotic and contradictory “science” of nutrition raises a very serious question. Why is there just so much contradictory information about nutrition and diets out there? Why is there so much controversy? The answer is because nutrition as a science lacks a broadly accepted paradigm. A paradigm is a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

The mature sciences contain universal paradigms that guide scientific enquiry. Certain facts are taken as indisputable which serves as an orientation points for all other inquiry within the discipline. Without such a universal paradigm you get scientists feeding rats a single type of protein extracted from milk that is devoid of all the nutrients and fats that normally come with it in nature as their exclusive diet, the rats get cancer or something equally terminal and all die. Big surprise. But then the results of the study are published with recommendations that all forms of animal protein be avoided like the plague. It boggles the mind.

That’s not science. That’s rat-ocide for fun and profit. Next thing you know a journalist who hasn’t read past the study’s abstract writes a story about the findings and mass hysteria ensues.

“It doesn’t make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – If it disagrees with real-life results, it is wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

– Richard Feynman, Winner Nobel Prize in physics 1965.

So what could possibly be a solid paradigm for nutritional science? Well, nutrition is essentially a part of biology. We are biological organism after all. So what underpins modern biology, genetics and biochemistry? The answer is – Evolution.

Your particular nutritional requirements have been determined the exact same way the nutritional requirements of all other living organisms on Earth have been determined. Your genetics. It is only by examining the ancient diets of your ancestors under which your genome arose will you be able to understand your own nutritional requirements and the range of food to which you are genetically adapted to.

I would like to conclude with a quote from David Getoff, naturopath, nutritionist, lecturer and educator:

“…observed results (also called anecdotal evidence) trump or outweigh published research and beliefs every time.”

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