A word on "Good Calories, Bad Calories" By Gary Taubes
First off, about a year ago I was reading Gary Taubes "Bad Science: The short life and weird times of cold fusion". I love reading criticsm of Science and Medicine because they remind me that everything needs to be put in a little perpective. Rome wasn't conquered in a day, it was erroding already over centuries and starved for two years before it fell. In the same way, Science and our common belief system in popular science is a watered down dated version of reality. For some reason, even the researchers who are conducting these experiments fail to remember that everything needs to be questioned. For example, I recently asked "Why do we carry out this protocol in this way?" to which the answer is generaly "Because that's what we've historically done, and it works!". But our understanding of everything is constantly changing and with that change comes the spotlight on erraneous beliefs. For example, heating a plastic bottle slowly from frozen so as to preserve the bottle (has nothing to do with the contents). But as the bottle is replaced by newer technologically sound plastic - it no longer becomes brittle on heating from frozen. Then why are we still following that same belief and protocol?
I'm always surprised at how few people believe in God or Gods these days and yet they will swear that over-eating makes them fat, dieting makes them thin, and that fat is the cause becoming fat and sick. These same people have not gone and read the papers or followed the science that has lead us to this belief. What HAS led us to this belief are the well-intentioned public media (hoping to make more sales on their newspapers and magazines and thus publishing the stories we want to read as opposed to the truth). The truth frankly, is boring.
I studied metabolic engineering for a time. I recall how my cells would devour glutamine like no tomorrow. I was able to control their growth rate by carefully monitoring the level of glutamine in the media. However, there were still variations due to temperature, other nutrients and amino acids, and serum. In the end, there were in fact several limiting factors that caused my cells to stop growing - notably some particular amino acids that had nothing to do with glutamine. I was studying all this on the cellular level.
Now, take a small rodent. How complex is this creature and what do we feed it? When researchers publish that they were able to make fat mice thin or thin mice fat... do they tell you the whole story or do they skip over the 'boring' details?
I think Gary Taubes has presented the data and publications in a almost hard to digest fashion. Hard to digest, because there is just SO MUCH that has been done. I found myself re-reading sentences trying to make out the end conclusion. But the bottom line is very clear. What we believe commonly about diet and nutrition - is a result of popular science. The actual science is far behind and kept behind by the fact that nutrition has become an industry. It serves corporations well to market their cholesterol lowering drug or methods and it serves them well to keep people fat or thin. Ignorance is bliss and as a result, there's a sucker born every minute.
So what do you do to be a heatlhy weight and have a healthy diet? Forget everything you've learned. Accept your body type for what it is. Eat moderately and of a wide variety of food that includes a heaping portion of fat and protein. Attempt a stress-free existence and don't kill yourself with exercise.
Maybe if we all took note, we could live a bit more.. and worry about dying a little less.