Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finding Truth in Truth

Truth. You’d think it would be simple, right? Look up the answer in a book, ask an expert, or even ask your mom. Moms know everything, after all. However, when it comes to food, I can’t seem to find the truth. Or, perhaps, there are too many truths, which seems to be the case when it comes to food. There are two major schools of thought that I am constantly bouncing between: traditional and vegan.

The first of these schools is the traditional diet rich in animal fat, bone broth, raw milk, and fermented foods. The traditional method of eating is endorsed by Weston A. Price, Sally Fallon, and many others. According to their research, people thrived on these diets throughout the centuries past and it is just now with our standard American diets (SAD) that we are starting to have diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. The proponents of these foods claim that our health as a nation is declining because of the increase in consumption of white flour, sugar, processed foods, and genetically modified foods (GMOs). Their solution is to eat a diet rich in the things that most doctors tell us to avoid – fats. Butter, meats, eggs, and yogurts are all staples of this diet. However, these are the foods labeled as “problematic” by our trusted sources such as the American Heart Association.

On the other hand, many weight loss, diet, and health coaches emphasize vegan or vegetarian diets as the most beneficial at reducing risk for man-made disease and for weight loss. Reduction of risk plus a healthy weight equals longevity, right? Vegan diets seem very new age and trendy. They seem to be part of a solution for our growing health problems. They restrict animal products in all forms and emphasize organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and some soy products. The downfall of the vegan diet, however, seems to be party its restrictiveness and partly the fact that very few, if any, soy products are available from non-GMO crops. The premise of this lifestyle is to feel good about what you are eating and feel good about helping the planet through a reduced carbon footprint. Also, you will be saving the lives of thousands of animals by not eating them.

The confusion continues… Switching between these two lifestyles, since they are such polar opposites, can wreck havoc on the body. The best choice seems to be to choose one lifestyle and stick with it, but the original question remains: how does one know if the truth presented by authorities is truly true?

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