First Do No Harm

What Is Our Perfect Diet?

I’m sure you’ve all heard people say, “Who knows what’s good for us? One day eggs are fine, the next day they’re not, and now I hear they’re the perfect food.”

And my own person stories consist of people telling me (screaming at me) that the human animal is an herbivore, that we weren’t meant to eat meat, or the fellow with the heart trouble telling me he can’t eat shrimp because of the cholesterol, or milk, he has to eat skim because it has less fat.

Finally there’s that character over there ordering an egg white omelet.

One problem is that we are drowning in a flood of information. Everywhere you look you’ll find someone telling you something about the food you eat. The second problem is that 90% of our beliefs about food are just that: beliefs that have no grounding in science. And lastly, the keepers of the dietary rules are politicians, not nutritionists. Food is political.

“If you control food, you control the population." Henry Kissinger

The man who has taught the world the most about what foods we should eat was a dentist, Weston A Price. He discovered the best foods by examining the jaws and teeth of indigenous populations. He discovered that the further away from civilization they were the closer they were to their original diets and the healthier their teeth and jaws.

He became the first Dietary Anthropologist. And he knew for certain that the human animal was an omnivore. We eat everything.

The first diet fad (one that worked and was accepted around the world and then reborn in the seventies by Dr Atkins) was the low-carb diet. It began in London, England with a man called William Banting right around 1863.

The low-carb diet served us well for about a hundred years. If someone wanted to drop a few pounds, they cut out potatoes, corn, bread, all those high glycemic load foods, and focused on good carbs, fiber, protein and fats.

Then, suddenly, in the fifties and sixties came this unprecedented dietary proclamation: FAT IS BAD FOR YOU!

Editor's Note: Two weeks after writing this, I actually found the man who is responsible for this low fat craze. He is responsible for the Cholesterol Theory of Heart Disease. His name is Ancel Keys.

This came, literally out of nowhere. It had NO science behind it. The original Framingham report did state, incorrectly, in its early years, that dietary cholesterol caused a rise in our cholesterol, but they later recanted. Their original numbers were off.

But the low fat craze suddenly meant that carbs were what we were supposed to eat. This went against a hundred years of experience, but people believed it. Low Fat was the key. Food companies highlighted their packaging with LOW FAT printed in big bold letters. And the race was on to see how fat we could really get.

On the heals of the low fat craze came the cholesterol frenzy. Someone in a pharmaceutical company had created a drug that lowered cholesterol. So they had to go out and create a new disease and suddenly hypercholesterolemia was born. And the drugs really worked. They lowered cholesterol. One side effect was they lowered life expectancy too. So they had to find newer cholesterol drugs that didn’t kill the patients, and Viola! they came up with Statins. These won’t kill you, buty they will make you tired, injure your muscles, pull CoQ10 from your body, and give you diabetes.

Butter was replaced with margarine, sugar was replaced with high fructose corn syrup, and the greatest flavor enhancer ever created, which, by the way, never went rancid, extending shelf life suddenly showed up in virtually everything: partially hydrogenated oils, or "trans fats."

And to top it off, the government designed and produced the most expensive piece of “commissioned” artwork in the history of the planet: The Food Pyramid. (Click the thumbnail to enlarge.)

Costing over $450 million (I seem to recall 480 million, but I can no longer find my source on this), the food pyramid did everything it could to put fat on the American public.

And how could something like this cost so much?

For one thing, the food industry kept going to court to halt its publication. The beef industry wanted more beef. The fish industry wanted a prettier fish. The dairy industry wanted theirs lowered on the pyramid. And the grain industry, the one at the bottom (thus we were being instructed to eat more grains) wanted theirs higher up on the pyramid because most of the grain in the US goes to feed our beef. They too wanted more beef, poultry, and pork lower on the pyramid.

If you are wondering why butter’s bad for you one year and good the nextor eggs? Are they good for us this year? The debacle that led to our food pyramid costing over $450 million should tell you that the confusion is all caused by food industry lobbyists being in bed with Congress, the FDA, the AMA, and the FCC.

And again, there is no science behind any of it. When money is involved, don't expect the truth.

Oh, and that egg white omelet: yes, science has discovered that if you fry the yolk of an egg you oxidize the fats. You do not want to consume oxidized fats. Egg yolks should be undercooked; hard boiled is the most damage you would ever want to do them.

By the way, you might not know this, but the food pyramid has been replaced by MyPlate. Again, MyPlate is just another overpriced representation of the same unscientific, but politically generated, food guidelines.

So for now, to answer the question at the top: What is our perfect diet?

I will say this: it is not what you are told it is.

However, you can learn a little more by following the further reading links.

Further Reading

Why Is Gluten Such A Problem Today?

Is Whole Wheat Damaging Your Body? This is written by Mike Geary. He's usually pretty good, but he will sell out to make a profit. He was one of the first to jump on the AztecSeaSalt bandwagon selling a very expensive product, not as good as Celtic Sea Salt, but generating 50% commissions.

Canola Oil Again from Mike Geary, but very important. In my food co-op, all the salad dressings have canola oil in them. They've been passed off as healthy for far too long. You will not find any in my kitchen.


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