After just about every post I make, especially those concerned with nutrition for some reason, there are always one or two people who immediately start asking for scientific proof. Listen guys, there are a lot of so-called scientific studies out there on this subject, most of which are sponsored by vested interests who just want to convince you to buy their product or service and will use any little grain of ‘evidence’ to persuade you that their product or service is healthy. There’s frankly little money in simply telling you to eat real, unmanufactured foods. These foods have a very short shelf life so result in a lot of waste and hence less profit all round, except for the consumer who gets better health.
Whatever your nutritional viewpoint you will find a whole host of studies for and against if you choose to go looking for them and there’s a massive amount of deliberate misinformation out there too, along with much pseudo science and media distortions as they hunt for the latest health ‘story’ which they know will make sales. Practically the only thing that everybody in nutrition agrees upon is that we should all eat more vegetables!
So, how to navigate through all this confusion? None of us really knows for sure what is going on inside our bodies or the long term effects of our nutrition on our health, longevity etc. What we can do is to form opinions on who we trust for information. Are we going to trust someone who is looking to make money out of promoting a certain view? Are we going to trust somebody who looks under-nourished or obese or unhealthy in other ways? In both cases, I doubt it. Are we going to necessarily trust someone who has been trained by the same authorities who promote the official guidelines responsible for the massive increase in obesity, diabetes and poor public health over the last 30 or 40 years? You can if you like but don’t forget that it’s you who will pay the price, not them.
So maybe our best source of reliable advice might be those who are in good health, those who have lived a long healthy and happy life? But, there again, what suits them may not suit you or someone else. Ultimately, I believe that the only way you’re going to find out the truth about what’s good for you is to try different foods and drinks and listen carefully to how your body responds. You might even keep a food diary with this information to track trends. Do certain foods make you feel tired or bloated or give you indigestion or make you feel hungry again quickly? If so, you could try cutting them out and see what happens. Do other foods make you feel energised and stronger and keep you feeling full for a long time? Do you digest some foods better? If so, eat more of these instead. Perform your own study of one – it might be more reliable than all the so-called scientific ‘data’.
To summarise, science has brought many great advances for sure, but be aware of its limitations too and the ease with which its ‘results ‘ can be manipulated for profit or to obscure the truth or to sell a story. Form your own opinions and don’t be afraid to try things and see how you respond – emotionally and physically. If you have tried a particular way of eating and it has got results for you, in whatever form, I’d be interested to hear about it.