It’s no secret that I’m going Paleo (in a non-strict sense) for the first two months of 2014. If you read up on Paleo, you will find articles heavy in nutritional discussion. As such, you can expect to see a few more posts about nutrition for the first part of the year.
As I look up recipes, review books and share information I’ve found, please remember I am far from a nutritional expert. At the same time, I hold certain beliefs when it comes to nutrition which will remain unchanged. I say this as a warning because I’ve found discussions on health to be very similar to religious discussions. Many people don’t want to discuss or expand upon their religious beliefs. They don’t want to listen to anyone who tells them something that contradicts with what they hold as true. Health is often the exact same way.
The truth is, science is always expanding in its understanding of health. Decades ago, there may have been a slew of studies that claimed one thing to be true. As more questions were asked, more studies were performed. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for the consensus on that truth to change.
I’m going to use something crazy as an example because I’m honestly afraid to use one I actually believe for fear of starting a debate (I’ll save that for another post). Let’s say there were a ton of studies that said eating paper was extremely healthy. Paper then became the staple of health for a few decades. All the news outlets told the public to eat more paper. As the public is getting used to the change, researchers ask more and more questions. Eventually, they discover a high correlation between blockages in the intestines and the consumption of paper. They find the benefits of eating paper are not worth the adverse effects. This may launch even more studies into the aspects of paper that are healthy and where those same aspects can be found without adverse effects. The media reports on these new findings and ideas about what is and isn’t healthy change again.
This repeats over and over. The public becomes confused about health and nutrition. Some people will refuse to listen and insists that the studies proving consumption of paper is healthy are irrefutable regardless of new research. Other will adapt, and then adapt to the next trend, and then the next. The fact is, nothing in the science of health and nutrition is 100% certain. I just started to read a book given to me by my second cousin called The China Study, which provides a great example.
“Smoking has never been “100%” proven to cause lung cancer, but the odds that smoking is unrelated to lung cancer are so astronomically low that the matter has long been considered settled.” <–page 41
All this is to say that I may make statements about health and nutrition that you disagree with. I would be more than happy to engage in discussion about those statements, but I can’t promise that those discussions will change anything I hold to be true. I can promise that I will listen and happily read anything you cite as proof of your view. The only thing that will bring out all the stubbornness I can muster (I have a lot) is if you make a statement that contradicts something that has had huge positive effect and no negative effect on my life. I’ve had my share of healthy issues in my 23 years, insomnia being only one, and I can’t deny the changes I made that helped. That said, I also will not claim that the things that helped me will have the same effect for anyone else. If something works for me, that’s how it will be until I see something that proves otherwise for me and my body chemistry.
Lastly, I would like to settle any fears people may have about my sanity. I am not one of those people who believes you should stop taking medicine prescribed by a doctor. I am not one of those people who is anti-vaccine. I am not one of those people who believes if you do everything I do that you will have my same exact result.
Instead, I believe that a healthy lifestyle can negate most if not all need for pills and prescriptions. I believe people live healthier and longer lives if they can avoid the need for any medical intervention. Lastly, I believe that most diseases and illnesses can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle (the definition of which differs from person to person based on their unique body).
Please, no throwing tomatoes. I hate tomatoes.
Campbell, T. Colin, and Thomas M. Campbell. The China Study. Dallas, TX: BenBella, 2005. Print.