Here are my Top Ten articles on The Paleo Diet
Here are my Top Ten articles on The Paleo Diet
I was getting a lot of questions on topics other than diet and fitness training. With a more general health blog, I can focus on topics not specifically exercise or diet.
I hope everyone enjoys
According to Statistics Canada, Canadians are not as tall or thin as they think say they are.
This has caused Stats Can much consternation.
The data that Stats Can collects through it’s Canadian Community Health Survey and the National Population Health Survey rely on Canadians to provide their height and weight.
In 2005, 16% of Canadians were classified as obese; according to their self reported info.
But according to actual measurements, 8% of Canadians are not only fat, but big fat liars to boot.
Oh My God!
What could happen next?
Do you think Canadians lie about their age?
Their penis size?
Do your feelings drive your appetite and your eating behavior?
Do you eat when you are not hungry?
Do you continue to eat when you are full?…stuffed?…about to explode?
Do you ever find yourself on the couch with your hand at the bottom of a LARGE bag of chips?
Do you eat like this while you are alone?
When you are bored?
When you are stressed?
To take your mind off of your problems?
Do you feel guilty about this behavior?
Then you are an Emotional Eater.
You’re not alone.
Janet Jackson and Britney Spears are celebrity examples of Emotional Eaters
If you think that your manner of eating may constitute a threat to your health, please contact your doctor.
And here is some solid reference info:
One tool you should look into right away is Mindful Eating.
It finds it’s origin in Buddhist teachings. The Buddhist practice of Mindfulness can be defined as “awareness of one’s thoughts, actions or motivations”.
A similar practice is currently being espoused by Oprah’s protege, Mr. Eckhart Tolle.
TLC’s – I Can Make You Thin with Paul McKenna employed mindful eating in it’s weight loss plan.
In the 1920’s, Horace Fletcher was the diet guru of the day with his theory of Fletcherizing.
Eat consciously. By this I mean:
In Japan, employers are forcing their employees to eat fish sausages, participate in a “lifestyle reform programs,” and attend boot camps designed to reduce the incidence of metabolic disease or metabo.
Not to be upstaged, the Japanese government has introduced compulsory ‘fat checks‘ for people over 40 years of age.
It’s not just the Japanese that are panicky about obesity.
But did you know about:
and my personal favorite
Maybe, for simplicity’s sake, we could lump all of these conditions together under one banner:
I am not for one second suggesting that people have legitimate mental & physical issues concerning food and their bodies.
But, why oh why, does every human peculiarity have to become a syndrome or a condition?
Why do we have to be afraid of everything?
Swedish scientists have just published a research paper that indicates that eating a diet rich in lean meat, vegetables, berries and nuts is effective in lowering YOUR chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Keeping in mind that it was only a three week study, and additional long term research will be required, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that the volunteers reduced body-fat, lowered their blood pressure and slashed levels of a blood-thickening agent (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) known to cause deadly clots.
The results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, support earlier scientific and real world findings that praise the health benefits of the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet.
The theory behind this way of eating is that prior to the advent of agriculture (10,000 years ago) our ancestors lived only on foods that could be speared or picked from trees and plants.
Some scientists argue the human genome has been unable to keep pace with our advances in agriculture and food preparation. The theory is that the modern human body is not genetically programmed to thrive on our modern diet. Our technology may be modern, but our bodies haven’t fully caught up and chronic ailments like obesity and type 2 diabetes are the result.
To that end, following the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet means no cereals, bread, milk, butter, cheese or sugar but plenty of lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
To test its effect, the Swedish researchers recruited 20 healthy volunteers and put them on caveman rations for three weeks.
Each patient was assessed for weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol at the beginning of the experiment.
They were then given a list of stone-age foods they could eat, including fresh or frozen fruit, berries or vegetables, lean meat, unsalted fish, canned tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, spices and coffee or tea without milk or sugar.
Banned foods included beans, salt, peanuts, dairy products, pasta or rice, sausages, alcohol, sugar and fruit juice.
However, they were also allowed up to two potatoes a day and a weekly treat of dried fruit, cured meats and a portion of fatty meat.
After three weeks, the volunteers were tested again.
Among the 14 who successfully completed the diet, the average weight loss was around five pounds. BMI dropped by 0.8. Systolic blood pressure fell by an average of three mmHg. And the levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 dropped by 72 per cent. Other favorable effects were the increase in antioxidants and a healthier potassium-sodium balance. One potential negative was the reduction of calcium. This effect should be addressed in further studies.
Jeremy Sammut of ABC News (Australia) has written an article claiming that government sponsored programs that promote public health don’t work.
While his focus is specific to the Australian experience, his claim that Australia’s government has squandered public funds on advertising campaigns may be applicable to both Europe and North America. The fact is, obesity is on the rise in the ‘developed’ world. Attempts by national or regional governments to promote a healthy lifestyle have been unsuccessful in reversing this trend towards obesity.
Sammut makes a few very interesting observations.
First, he claims that when government assumes the role of health nazi/nanny, it absolves the individual of “their primary responsibility for the unhealthy lifestyle decisions they continue to make”, and as a result, “the lifestyle disease ‘epidemic’ is blamed on a lack of government-funded entitlement to preventive primary care”.
This takes us to the second point; “the limits of government authority over individual behaviour, and the importance of personal qualities in regulating it – why nearly 40 years of health promotion has coincided with ascending rates of lifestyle disease”.
And if we are going to allow government to assume authority over our behavior, we have to question the motivations behind this program.
Quite often, “advocates of more spending on lifestyle disease prevention often draw false parallels with the success of the campaign against tobacco smoking”. This argument is specious in that smoking bans and the ‘sin’ taxes applied on tobacco products are examples of public health regulation, not health promotion.
You would think that applying this model to public exercise and nutrition would be near impossible. Smokers were a minority group and their behavior was found to be less than enchanting by a large portion of the population. Simply put, the majority ganged up on them and enacted laws that made smoking a financial and logistical pain in the butt.
How would government apply this strategy when the majority of the population does not exercise, eats junk food and has no intention of changing?
They would start with the children. Apply a little parental guilt. Ban junk food from school (already happening). Slap a sin tax on ‘junk food’. Expand that tax to include bacon, eggs, cheese, filet mignon, etc…
Wow! Big Brother wants to tax my bacon & eggs.
While that is unlikely (I hope) to happen, Sammut’s argument is that the health promotion programs advocated for by certain lobby groups, prepared by marketing companies and approved by governments have not been successful.
In Canada, advocates of the ParticipACTION program (historical info) have considered it a success due to it’s longevity and the fact that “two years after the agency had ceased to operate in 2001, almost 80% of Canadians still recognized the ParticipACTION logo and message”.
No mention of it’s positive impact on the health of Canadians. Wasn’t that the point of the program?
As much as I appreciate the light that Dr. Sammut has shined on this subject, I was a little disappointed by his conclusion.
“It is therefore timely to review the evidence. Because when the assumptions are questioned and the evidence examined with a clear eye, what is revealed is that there is actually slim support for the belief that preventive public health policies – be they ‘community-wide’ or ‘high-intensity’ lifestyle interventions – have in the past brought obesity and lifestyle disease under control, or that they are likely to in the future”.
Review the evidence?
While I agree that most if not all governments have a great talent for throwing great big bags of money at problems that they have no hope of solving, does that mean that as a society we are doomed to accept gluttony and sloth as our birthright?
Here are two possible solutions.
In the U.K., doctors are able to write prescriptions for exercise.
Personally, while I believe that this plan is flawed due to the fact that when the government is looking to spend public dollars, there will always be bureaucrats and service providers ready and willing to overcharge and under-deliver. However, to be fair, I should mention that this program has not been in operation long enough to show whether it is successful or not.
Another possibility would be to offer tax refunds to those individuals that can prove that they are pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Instead of demonizing the couch potatoes amongst us, reward the energizer bunnies.
What do you think?