The monumental failure of government nutrition and health advice
According to Ronald Reagan the nine most terrifying words in the English language are;
“I’m from the government and I’m here to help”
Many a true word spoken in jest.
Belgium’s health minister Maggie-De-Block
Of course public health schemes have benefited people for millennia, sewers, rubbish collection, vaccinations so naturally we assumed that the inexorable progress made by science would be reflected in the advice we received about our personal health but how has government health advice served us?
Some examples from recent history:
Formula feeding is as good or better for babies.
Eat no more than two eggs a week because, cholesterol.
Eat margarine instead of butter.
Eat heart healthy wholegrains.
Cook with vegetable oil.
Total calories is the key.
Avoid saturated fat.
Red meat causes cancer.
Eat more carbs to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Eat more meals.
Salt is bad for you.
Eat low fat versions of foods (aka high sugar versions).
Stay out of the sun.
Get more exercise. (not wrong per se but quality is far more important than quantity)
But how could they get it so wrong?
- The food industry has influence over government and often fund nutrition studies. Who profits from persuading people to eat vegetables and meat?
- Epidemiological ( population wide) studies often confuse causation with correlation. Ice cream consumption correlates with drowning…go figure.
- People lose credibility when they have to back down. Some of the demonstrably untrue advice above still stands. The “experts” would rather protect their reputation and ego than admit they were wrong.
- Government programmes never work. It’s almost like they are designed to have the opposite effect. War on drugs- result…more drug use. War on poverty- result..more institutionalized poverty. Bringing democracy to Libya- result..create a living hell with open air slave markets. Think up your own, it’s easy.
The results of this idiocy/ corruption are that we now have more obesity, more diabetes and a decrease in life expectancy for the first time in history. Life expectancy decrease
They are still selling the message to our kids! Do you remember getting taught about respiration at school? Remember this:
Of course…we need glucose for respiration right? As mentioned on a previous post this is a distorted idea of what respiration is. Most animals use fats as their go to respiratory fuel so why isn’t this mentioned? Simplification probably but the effect is insidious. Ask most people what they need for energy and they will revert to this mantra…”carbs fuel your body”.
Biology textbooks still talk about saturated fat causing heart disease despite the overwhelming evidence that this is no longer the case.
Government advice, although revised is still years behind. The Eatwell guide still recommends using industrial seed oils, low fat options, soya milk, reducing fat and salt as well as meals based around empty calorie carbs. This nonsense is the guide used by nutritionists and unenlightened GPs.
What to do?
One way is to do the opposite of government guidelines..the contrarian in me is tempted but it is a reactionary and irrational approach. A better starting point is to treat humans as if they are zoo animals. Any zoo keeper would know that to keep an animal healthy you need to replicate its natural diet and behaviour as closely as possible. When people tried to change the diet of captive gorillas for the sake of convenience and or good intentions to improve their health the results were predictably disastrous. Article on gorillas
We evolved eating all manner of different diets, it’s why we colonised the whole planet. Epigenetic changes within groups of humans will have allowed us to specialise, lactose tolerance into adulthood of herders is a good example, but eating natural food and doing natural stuff must be the most beneficial approach. The paleo community got this bit right and have been fine tuning it since. All of these points are consistent with looking after an animal
- The paleo diet works a treat. But it can be overkill, more on this later.
- Low carb high fat works really well for some people (depending on ancestry).
- Sugar and seed oils are extremely detrimental to your health.
- Grass fed meat is natural and healthy.
- Low intensity, steady state (LISS) exercise is beneficial for all.
- Intermittent fasting is natural for humans and works very well for some people.
- Resistance training is essential to maintain muscle mass and is the most efficient way to do so. Muscle mass increases metabolism.
- HIIT is much more effective and far healthier than extended cardio sessions.
- Look after your gut bacteria and you will enjoy great benefits.
- Follow your body’s natural rhythms.
- Detoxify your life chemically and psychologically.
- Due to genetic and epigenetic differences each individual has a different response to each protocol, awareness of changes is vital and can only be achieved when variables are accounted for.
Why are things so slow to change when we now know so much?
There is too much skin in the game from industry and from the experts who have been so wrong for so long.
I started with a quote and I will end with one. this from the great physicist Max Planck:
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.