We all know of the fads that are about, the silver bullets.
The snake oil.
Just don’t eat this and all your woes will be cured.
Just eat this and all your woes will be cured.
Just eat like a caveman/ 17th century Frenchman/ tree-dwelling vegan orphan and all your woes will be cured.
Generally all of these fads are also marketable and commercial. Which makes me immediately lose interest and become immediately suspicious. If you have to put a book out, and it has not been vetted or peer-reviewed or, I dunno, have some references, then it is not sciencey enough for this Skeptical Scientist.
Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty wrong with highly processed, high sugar, fast food style diet most privileged, white, western people eat. I am all over that – and there is plenty of evidence to back that up. And I am a huge believer of what you put in your body has much more complex actions then just giving you energy and being processed into poop. But the VERY FACT that every time I check my email, or read one of my professional subscriptions, there is another breakthrough in the field of food science and physical/ mental health means that we have only scratched the surface of understanding how superbly complex the organism that is the human body really is.
We have known for decades that genetically different people responds to some food stuffs differently, this is not new knowledge.
I have a dear friend in a similar profession to mine, and she is fascinated by nutritional medicine – and so am I. We are both believers of lifestyle, not trends, of the minimum of intervention and the holistic approach to health care.
I am intrigued, and I think that the evolution of medicine and health care will be a Utopian morphing of tradition western style medicine, remedial therapies and nutritional science. In other words: Holistic Health care.
I do not believe in one size fits all, that a silver bullets worth of snake oil will cure your baldness, erectile dysfunction, bad breath, constipation, skin lesions and career failures. Why? Because I have not seen any evidence of it working.
But, and this is a bloody huge BUT. Just like there is not a pill that solves your problems, just eating one thing, ro not eating one thing will not solve your problems. Just buying a book, and only eating in a particular way, will not solve your problems, Unless you have a medically validated illness, such as coeliac disease, perhaps all you need is to moderate your intake of certain things. Or, by all means exclude stuff from your diet if it makes you feel better, but don’t ram it down other peoples throats (excuse the pun) or be an Evangelist about it.
If you recommend to me to take something, I want to know all about it – things like:
– How much do I take?
– When should I take it – before/ with/ after eating, night-time, day time, avoid alcohol etc.
– How often?
– In what form?
– For how long?
– Will it interact with any other medications I am taking or conditions I might have?
– What side effects should I expect or look out for?
I guess I am against any form of extremism. I am certainly never against moderation, nor common sense approaches to life in general. Yes, I believe that diet modification can be helpful in behavior management. I also believe that boundaries and routine are just as helpful, if not more so. I do not believe taking chocolate away from a child will improve school grades. I do believe that taking an interest in good nutrition and routines around food, sleep, exercise will increase better outcomes for everyone.
No I do not believe that 3 squirts of a dragon fruit will clear pimples, regulate my bowels and improve my memory.
Yes I do believe that moderating processed foods and eating fruits, vegetables and whole meats are healthier choice.
Mostly I believe in questioning anything that I am told, unless it is backed by references, peer reviewed evidence or a professional that I trust. I want that scientific feeling, you know?
I also believe that living well and being a wonderful human being will not be found in a supplement or a celebrity cookbook. I am especially wary of conspiracy theories, poorly spelled websites and anything that promises to cure cancer.
Bring on the science bro – and many more conversations.