You can’t win.
There is NOTHING that you can eat that someone, somewhere, won’t write a book about, telling us all how that particular food or food group is responsible for all of our modern diseases, all of society’s ills, and the existence of the Macarena (20 years now and counting …).
Never mind that it’s hard enough to find the time to eat well, or that you have emotional issues with food, because even when you’re eating at your BEST, it still won’t be good enough.
What? You went from eating frozen dinners to lean beef, rice and fresh vegetables?
… but you’re just asking for cancer, diabetes, allergies, food intolerance issues and impotence.
Jokes aside I’m not too far from the truth here. Take a look at the list of bestsellers below and we’ll go though each food group.
The China Study came out in 2005 and sold A LOT of books and convinced A LOT of people that meat was bad. It looked at a large study that did occur in China and came to that conclusion because there was a correlation between meat and heart disease.
A correlation just means that 2 variables go together. For example, lets say scientists conduct a health study in Africa and find that being rich correlates with having more fat in your blood. That doesn’t mean that being handed a wad of cash will magically increase your blood-lipid count. It just means that that is a pattern that they have observed.
More than likely rich people in Africa can afford, and therefore eat, more food. They also tend to walk less. The poor have much less food, but also have no choice but to do more walking and manual labor throughout their day, and so they will tend to have less fat in their bloodstream.
Correlation is not causation. Causation means that a certain variable DIRECTLY causes an outcome. For example smoking causes illness, heat causes sweating, and drinking causes you to act like a nut. There are direct links with causation whereas correlation just means that scientists happen to see two outcomes occur together.
On top of that correlation-causation blunder, the author left out parts of the study which would have contradicted the whole premise of his book. In other words, he presented the book as it if were a non-biased scientific piece of literature when it was anything but that.
It created a lot of buzz and got lots of celebrity and media attention. The internet was in a frenzy with people taking sides and fighting an online battle over it.
Meanwhile, in the background, the author sat back and collected his fat paycheck.
This too was a really BIG and popular book that sold well and managed to draw in over 4000 reviews on Amazon. Most at the 5 star level too, which tells me that it was one of those books that elicited an emotional reaction in people who read it. Many then took sides with most proclaiming it to be the newest nutritional bible.
To heck with facts!
In the book the author makes the case against wheat and as usual blames it for all of our ailments. But then he also puts the rest of the carbs (potatoes, fruit, legumes) in the same boat and tells us that they too are evil.
Looking at if from a distance you’ll see that it’s basically the Atkins diet with the focus being on how bad wheat is for us, to distract us from the fact that it IS simply Atkins re-written with a twist.
He recommends eating meat (I guess he didn’t read ‘The China Study’ above), vegetables and seeds.
Not a book I’d pay for. What I would pay to see, is a full on battle/debate between both of the above authors with their 5 star reviewers behind each of them. That you could put on Netflix and have people stream it from the comfort of their own homes … while eating a philly cheesesteak sandwich of course.
“The Disturbing Truth … ”
You know when a book has those words in the title that it’s just better to get the cliff notes.
There has been A LOT of anti-dairy propaganda put out there by various groups and because it has been repeated so many times, by so many people with an authoritative tone, it has been accepted without question.
“A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Ask any evolutionary scientist what any mother – starting 100 years ago and earlier – would answer to the question of what the single most important food(s) she would die to have, to keep her kids healthy and away from sickness or malnourishment, and you’ll almost universally get the answers; meat and milk.
There would be no hesitation. We just happen to have the luxury now of such a variety of foods to choose from, that milk and meat are simply a part of a balanced and healthy diet today. But to say that milk and meat are responsible for making us sick today when they have been the main part of our diet for hundreds of thousands of years is just ludicrous.
The book, like the others above it, takes bits of truth and then mixes them with statements that are not, at which point it becomes difficult to take seriously.
MEAT, CARBS, DAIRY
So far, no one has been able to touch anything you see in the above picture (criticism-wise), but I’m sure it is being worked on as we speak by someone looking for a new way to write a best seller.
Demonizing any one, major food group is of no help to anyone whatsoever, and can even be detrimental. Healthy eating generally means; small to moderate amounts of meat, copious servings of fruit and vegetables with moderate amounts of whole grain carbohydrates. Drink mostly water and stay away from junk as much as possible.
Sure there is plenty of room to vary the proportion of each of the groups and to talk about how they are raised, grown etc. to one degree or another, but that is pretty much the gist of healthy eating.
The problem with that sentence above in bold, is that it doesn’t make anyone rich and in the end, that’s what it really comes down to. Take an ‘expert’ and add ‘marketing’ plus ‘celebrity endorsements’ and you have a recipe to sell books to the masses.
Books that are not worth your money, time or worry …
There are bigger things to worry about and better things to spend your time and attention on.
Eat in peace.
- Read the Free Guide