Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nutritional Experts(?)

Work has been exceedingly poopy lately. Poopy is a technical term for being very busy, but never feeling you’ve accomplished much. Frustrating in other words. I haven’t posted lately. Oh well. I really don’t have much to say today either. Because of work, I haven’t been following blogs or gun news or much of anything.

I thought I would break my silence here though and mention something about nutrition seen on the New York Times’ TierneyLab. Once again medical experts are changing the paradigm about what is healthy. Saturated fat and its handmaiden cholesterol, was the big boogieman for most of my life, but recent studies show it ain’t necessarily so.

This bugs me. Hell, this infuriates me. I have tried to follow doctors’ advice and eat right. I followed the USDA Food Pyramid. The result; well, people who’ve met me can tell you that I’m big (polite for fat).

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on diet. It seems like Dr. Atkins, of all people, was more or less right. A low-carb diet or one with very low processed carbs (white rice, white flour, potatoes, etc) is good for you.

Yosemite Sam (who is not fat) and I went on my version of Atkins. I did not use the menus in the book, but I read it for ideas and used them. Yosemite Sam and I ate meats, butter, whole milk, nuts, eggs, bacon, and green vegetables for about three months. We were never hungry. (Travel interrupted the diet for me, but I will return to it soon.)

During that time, I lost about 10% of my body weight—that’s ten percent not ten pounds. Yosemite Sam tends to high-cholesterol (I don’t). At last measurement, his good cholesterol levels were up, his bad cholesterol levels were down. In other words, we both got healthier.

Why do experts screw us over so much and why do we let them? I feared the Atkins diet until I read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes (mentioned in the link above). Similarly, experts tell us that having a gun in the home is dangerous, that more guns equals more crime, that cow farts overheat the planet.

We do it to ourselves. We seek words of wisdom and believe we find them from doctors, social scientists, and others. Instead, we see that the last fifty years of nutritional science is the medical equivalent of “bleeding” patients and the last thirty years of anti-gun scholarship is worse than worthless.

Maybe we should listen to our parents or grandparents more. I remember my mom saying, “don’t eat pasta, it’s fattening,” or my granddad saying, “let’s go shooting.”

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