Quote of the day

As usual, Weight Maven has the scoop. She’ll point you to an excellent article by Modern Paleo that addresses the issue of why a one-size-fits-all approach–whether plant-based or paleo–isn’t going to work. I would probably not have seen this if it weren’t for her.

Weight Maven

Diana Hsieh has a great read over on Modern Paleo on “three major obstacles” — the value of health, individual differences, and the science of nutrition — that make it difficult to categorize essential vs optional paleo principles:

Of course, we can define a paleo diet, because it means something definite. We can also identify the general principles of a paleo approach to health … That’s crucial for doing paleo well, I think.

Yet to think of some of these principles as universally “essential” versus universally “optional” would be a mistake. Instead, they should stand in our minds as “more or less important for me.”

Do read the whole post! BTW, I’ve been in my new digs for a week and a half and hope to be back to a regular posting schedule fairly soon. Thanks for your patience.

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11 thoughts on “Quote of the day

  1. There’s quite a good article on Health At Every Size about “what exactly is health, anyway?” that I highly recommend. The Food For Thought pyramid is especially good. I’d probably disagree with some of the ordering, in that exercise and diet can support emotional well-being and so should be closer to the base, but still it makes a lot of good points. “Without the life-sustaining foundation represented by the bottom of the pyramid… exercise and low cholesterol will likely have minimal impact on personal health.”

    http://healthateverysizeblog.org/2012/11/20/the-haes-files-health-a-holistic-species-specific-definition/

    1. I love how “nutritional information” is at the top “use sparingly” section! This is an excellent post. Thanks for sharing it.

      Here’s the question: with the “healthcare” field as the fastest growing sector of the economy and one which appears to be recession-proof –and this is very much a women’s issue, as women make up a disproportionate number of this workforce (over 75% in the US), especially at the lower ends of the wage scale in each level of care–in whose interest is it to convince people that they are not “fragile and vulnerable” but resilient and strong? In whose interest is it to teach people how to access that resiliency and strength?

      I’m a dietitian. It is in my own best interest to convince people that their inability to be healthy or maintain a weight that they enjoy is their own fault (and trust me, no matter how they feel, they are not healthy and neither is their weight), that “bad” foods will make them even sicker, and that they need my continual assistance to stay updated on what all the “bad” foods are and how to avoid them, because obesity, heart disease, and colon cancer lurk just around the corner. It’s called job security.

      But if I see my value (and especially if I am in fact valued economically by a “well” care system) as being able to keep healthy people healthy, well, that’s a different scenario entirely.

    1. Always a good idea to err on the old side. I like to tell people I’m 75. I’m waiting for the day when I’ll qualify for the senior citizen discount and they won’t check my ID!

  2. Thanks for the link Adele. It was really interesting.

    It’s really quite extraordinary how “results may vary” (as the ads like to remind us!). While common sense leads me to believe that I’m better off not living on a diet based essentially on junk food (and indeed, “junk food” is not something I indulge in very often), I also find it trying to be constantly bombarded with messages that so many staples of human existence are the foods of the devil, to be avoided at all costs (WHEAT!!! DAIRY!!! etc. etc.). In particular in the States (and Canada), nourishing oneself has become a minefield of “don’ts, nevers and bewares”. I find this fear of food more unhealthy than the food itself.

    1. “I find this fear of food more unhealthy than the food itself.” I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how old you are, but I remember a time when food was stuff you ate. It’s “goodness” or “badness” depended mostly on whether my mom or somebody else’s mom was cooking it (“bad” and “good” respectively, sorry mom).

      I watched “Idiocracy” last night & the conversation about “Brawndo’s got what plants crave–electrolytes” had me howling. Nobody in the room knew what electrolytes were, except that plants craved them. I have this conversation ALL. THE. TIME. In a highly-respected department of Nutrition. Except it goes like this:

      Me: I don’t think this obesity crisis is just about “calories in, calories out.”
      Them: Naw, it’s simple. Fat people are fat because they overeat.
      Me: What do you mean by “overeat”?
      Them: You know, eating more calories than you burn. Duh.
      Me: How do you know that someone is eating more calories than they burn?
      Them: Duh. Cuz they get fat. Heh heh.

      Or if it’s the fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-brigade, it could be the same conversation only about “antioxidants” (which we need to anti-oxidize something) or “phytochemcials” (which we also need for something, although no one seems to know just what). Sheesh.

      1. Adele, you’ve got my number! I’m 57 and proud of it!

        What a truly ridiculous time we live in. In many ways, our society’s current obsession with weight and the concurrent need to modify (“fat-free”, “sugar free”, diets that rely on pre-packaged frankenfoods that are low-calorie or gluten-free and therefore “healthier although they are made up of ingredients that we can’t pronounce and don’t grow from the earth) or demonize (OMG, fruit has SUGAR) have left us fatter and sicker than we were. What has “improved” is our level of obsession, which is growing exponentially.

        1. Ditto again. I just found an ultra-low-fat cookbook from (I think) the 90’s. Very funny list of all of the weird things we are supposed to eat, instead of eating fat. I’ll post it one day 🙂

  3. Finally some people get it. In the end, it is about science, crafting a physiological model of the health-nutrition relationship that has real value. Science, to me, is about creating theories, then crashing them into a wall at increasing velocities; if the wall starts breaking and not the theory, then keep the theory; otherwise, look for a better theory and repeat the process.

    Such a “good theory of the health-nutrition relationship” should be able to explain why humans strive on lots of different diets, while the individual response to certain diets can be quite variable.

    1. I love the imagery in the crashing-hypotheses-into-walls metaphor. With our current nutrition paradigm, we are swaddling it in bubble-wrap and not letting anyone touch it, an unfortunate consequence of policy and science becoming conflated.

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