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The Confusions About Diets And Foods

Category: Diet and Nutrition
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor

Like my daughter, many people of all ages are muddled about the
relationship between health and diet. Their confusions have created
a profitable market for health-related information. And equally,
their confusions have been created by books, magazine articles, and
TV news features. This avalanche of data is highly contradictory. In
fact, one reason I found it hard to make myself write my own book is
that I wondered if my book too would become just another part of the

Few people are willing to tolerate very much uncertainty. Rather
than live with the discomfort of not knowing why, they will create
an explanation or find some answer, any answer, and then ever after,
assert its rightness like a shipwrecked person clings to a floating
spar in a storm. This is how I explain the genesis of many
contemporary food religions.

Appropriately new agey and spiritual, Macrobiotics teaches the way
to perfect health is to eat like a Japanese whole foods
vegetarian--the endless staple being brown rice, some cooked
vegetables and seaweeds, meanwhile balancing the "yin" and "yang" of
the foods. And Macrobiotics works great for a lot of people. But not
all people. Because there's next to nothing raw in the Macrobiotic
diet and some people are allergic to rice, or can get allergic to
rice on that diet.

Linda Clark's Diet for a Small Planet also has hundreds of thousands
of dedicated followers. This system balances the proportions of
essential amino acids at every, single meal and is vegetarian. This
diet also works and really helps some people, but not as well as
Macrobiotics in my opinion because obsessed with protein, Clark's
diet contains too many hard-to-digest soy products and makes poor
food combinations from the point of digestive capacity.

Then there are the raw fooders. Most of them are raw, Organic
fooders who go so far as to eat only unfired, unground cereals that
have been soaked in warm water (at less than 115 degrees or you'll
kill the enzymes) for many hours to soften the seeds up and start
them sprouting. This diet works and really helps a lot of people.
Raw organic foodism is especially good for "holy joes," a sort of
better-than-everyone-else person who enjoys great self-righteousness
by owning this system. But raw fooding does not help all people nor
solve all diseases because raw food irritates the digestive tracts
of some people and in northern climates it is hard to maintain body
heat on this diet because it is difficult to consume enough
concentrated vegetable food in a raw state. And some raw fooders eat
far too much fruit. I've seen them lose their teeth because of
fruit's low mineral content, high sugar level and constant fruit
acids in their mouths.

Then there are vegetarians of various varieties including vegans
(vegetarians that will not eat dairy products and eggs), and then,
there are their exact opposites, Atkins dieters focusing on protein
and eating lots of meat. There's the Adelle Davis school, people
eating whole grains, handfuls of vitamins, lots of dairy and brewers
yeast and wheat germ, and even raw liver. Then there's the Organic
school. These folks will eat anything in any combination, just so
long as it is organically produced, including organically raised
beef, chicken, lamb, eggs, rabbit, wild meats, milk and diary
products, natural sea salt in large quantities and of course,
organically grown fruits, vegetables grains and nuts. And what is
"Organic?" The word means food raised in compliance with a set of
rules contrived by a certification bureaucracy. When carefully
analyzed, the somewhat illogical rules are not all that different in
spirit than the rules of kashsruth or kosher. And the Organic
certification bureaucrats aren't all that different than the rabbis
who certify food as being kosher, either.

There are now millions of frightened Americans who, following the
advice of mainstream Authority, have eliminated red meat from their
diets and greatly reduced what they (mistakenly) understand as
high-cholesterol foods.

All these diets work too--or some--and all demonstrate some of the

The only area concerning health that contains more confusion and
contradictory data than diet is vitamins. What a rats nest that is!

Next: The Fundamental Principle

Previous: From The Hygienic Dictionary

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