April 16, 2014

The Religion of Nutrition: Has nutrition become a “good ‘ol time religion?”

by Jack Challem
Psychology Today

I’ve been writing about nutrition for 30-some years. As I listen to people, I often hear less science and more of what could best be described as a variety of belief systems.

There are the vegetarian, vegan, and macrobiotic sects. There’s the church of low-fat eating. And there’s the pervasive belief that everything boils down to calories in and calories out, with exercise being the penance for overeating.

But the fact is, there’s very little science to support many common nutrition beliefs. They’re just beliefs. And having millions of adherents or thousands of experts repeat the same mantras doesn’t make these beliefs truer.

I know this sounds like heresy to many of you. And I’m not trying to offend anyone’s nutritional or religious sensibilities. But the only food we definitely know we were meant to consume is breast milk, in infancy.

In anthropology, the term “belief system” is usually used to describe a religion. And when it comes to nutrition, many scientists and consumers are so wedded to their beliefs that they’re not interested in adjusting their beliefs in response to new scientific findings.

I’ll give you three examples.

Saturated Fat. Millions of people believe that low-saturated fat diets will prevent heart disease. But the research now shows the opposite to be true. Saturated fat is either neutral or protective, according to an impressive body of research. It’s the refined carbs and sugars and the trans fats that seem to be the real problem in cardiovascular risk.

Why do so many people still believe that saturated fat is bad? It’s a matter of belief – shaped by studies that failed to factor in the effects of carbs, sugars, and trans fats, as well as publication bias favoring the sat-fat-is-bad belief.

Read the entire article here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-nutrition-reporter/201102/the-religion-nutrition

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Illinois Legislators Back Off Raw Milk Ban After Consumer Outrage

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Antioxidants found in maple syrup have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-diabetic properties.

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Fresh raw milk is currently the only food banned in interstate commerce. And while the constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce, the current ban in place was not put there by an act of Congress, but by the FDA, preventing states where the sale of raw milk is legal from being able to transport and sell that milk in other states (where it is also legal).

This action by the FDA is usually cloaked in the deception that it is for the sake of public health, however statistics clearly show that raw milk is no more dangerous than any other raw food, and in most cases is probably safer when sold by organic grass-fed small-scale operations.

The sale of raw milk in the United States is first and foremost an economical issue, and deals with the rights of dairy farmers to be able to sell their products directly to consumers, bypassing the milk pools of Big Dairy, who enjoy tremendous political favor via farm subsidies. The ban on interstate commerce of raw milk and raw milk products is simply an attempt by Big Dairy to prevent consumers from having a choice between their highly processed commodity dairy products and fresh wholesome products produced by small-scale farmers.

Congressman Massie (R–KY), Chellie Pingree (D–ME) and a bipartisan coalition of 18 other lawmakers have introduced legislation to improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference. The two bills – the “Milk Freedom of Act of 2014” and the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014” – are the first in a series of “food freedom” bills that Rep. Massie plans to introduce this year. These bills would make it easier for families to buy wholesome milk directly from farmers by reversing the criminalization of dairy farmers who offer raw milk.

Encourage your representatives to support this bipartisan legislation!

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