Letter to WA Health Minister Cook

During the process of providing my submission to the WA government inquiry, I came across their interim report of their recent “Sustainable Health Review”.

https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Improving-WA-Health/Sustainable-health-review/Interim-report

It prompted me to write to the minister and share my thoughts.  I am not really hopeful that he will even see it but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Healthcare costs in WA

 

 

Add a pinch of common sense to each meal

There are a lot of diets that all seem to make a lot of sense once you look at all the promoting “evidence”.  Some people will even take to them with religious fervor and defend them with their lives.  Every diet has so much great sounding “science” that supports it, so it must be the true diet – but how can they all be right?  Ok, they can’t – you spotted the issue!

Forget religious attachment to the type of food you put in your mouth and try to consider food as part of a ecological equation where things need to make sense biologically, biochemically, genetically and historically.

  • If you have a diet that has you squeezing 50 coconuts (or 1000 olives) each day to extract an oil that is the mainstay of your energy needs then how does that make sense?
  • If you need to chase down 100 yaks, milk them against their will, dry the milk and separate out the whey powder just so that you are able to lift a few heavy rocks, how does that make sense?
  • How did early humans ever survive without keto-sticks to guide their eating?
  • Given that our anatomy does not have the digestive system to digest much in the way of natural, raw vegetation, how does it make sense to seek to promote this as a source of food?

Think about what “pre-agriculture” humans would have predominately eaten – given that they didn’t have the digestive organs to eat a lot of vegetation.  How did we develop such a large intelligent brain with huge energy demands without energy-dense foods that we could digest?

The result of straying too far from the food that your body needs is decreasing mental and physical performance, deteriorating health, chronic diseases and an early death.  So, getting the correct food is probably important.

Your physical body does not care about ethics, animal welfare, global warming, religion.  It is a biological machine that needs the correct fuel and building materials to perform and maintain correct operation.  Sure; make your ethical or religious food choices but just be aware of the price that you are paying if it doesn’t align with what your body needs.

Use that highly intelligent, critically thinking brain to put some sense into your food choices.

 

 

 

 

 

Iodine deficiency – A pitfall of low-carb diets

Many decades of farming have depleted our soils of important minerals such as Magnesium and Iodine.   Years of intensive well-meaning health advice have steered us away from table salt.  Well meaning advice to lower carbohydrate consumption  have steered us away from bread.  The end result of this is that many of us may not be getting the Iodine that we need.

Continue reading “Iodine deficiency – A pitfall of low-carb diets”

How to make sense of dietary advice

I am often perplexed at some of the dietary advice that I read about or that come from respected and/or well meaning people.  Even if you look at advice from the generally low carb advocates, you find a huge variation in what is recommended as “best for your health”.  I can well understand that readers just give up in the end and give in to the temptations of the dark side.

Continue reading “How to make sense of dietary advice”

Sugar is under attack

The tactics of the sugar industry are slowly being exposed (and about time too).

Twenty-eight countries have a sugar tax but powerful interests are standing between Australia and a healthier future in the face of an obesity epidemic, public health advocates say.

 

While today’s obesity problem may not be all the result of sugar, it is a major contributor and should help pay for the problem it has created.

Why do we fail?

Most of us know that some of the things that we enjoy doing are not good for us, so why do we continue to  do them?  It is not that we are stupid, is it? Personally, I feel that the answer is in our genes.

Millions of years of evolution have resulted in a finely-tuned reward-system that gives us addictive bursts of pleasure (feelings, emotions) whenever we do something that might be good for short-term survival and procreation.

Also, despite the belief that we are intellectual beings, we still will make most of our decisions based on emotions.  In fact, experiments have shown that most decisions are actually made unconsciously – several seconds before our conscious mind gets involved.  And, the conscious mind’s function is simply to rationalize the decision that we made unconsciously!

What does this mean for health and nutrition? Continue reading “Why do we fail?”

Tame your hunger and lose weight

You have heard it a thousand times, so it must be true – “snack often to avoid hunger” and “eat 6 – 8 small meals a day to avoid hunger“.   This is put forward by the “reduce calories and move more” proponents, and with no evidence that it actually helps.  Well, we know that it doesn’t work along with the whole  “reduce calories and move more”  advice as we have been saying it for decades while obesity rates have been steadily rising. Continue reading “Tame your hunger and lose weight”

Miasma: When science is not science

Miasma: (https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Miasma)

  • “an unpleasant or unhealthy smell or vapour.”
  • “an oppressive or unpleasant atmosphere which surrounds or emanates from something.”

Given that “science” is a word that really doesn’t have an opposite, we have decided to use the word “miasma” to mean “un-science” or the opposite of science .   Back before the origins of disease were discovered, people believed that foul smelling air (named miasma) caused disease. You can read more at Wikipedia.

It seems appropriate to us, as so much of what we believe we know is rooted in “un-science” or miasma, yet it overpowers the truth because it appeals to our emotions or fits in with everything that we believe that we “know”.

You can be sure that anything that we tag or describe as “miasma” is not aligned with real scientific facts, despite any attempts to make it appear so.

mTOR, Protein and Fasting

The New Year has come and gone and everyone spent some time thinking about losing weight, healthy eating and whether to bother with a New Year’s resolution. Well, in case you are still working on your resolution (maybe for next year) then here is something to think about. While the picture at the top might scare you away, the message is worthy of your time as I hope it adds to your understanding of how your body repairs itself and why eating (or not eating) plays such a large part. Continue reading “mTOR, Protein and Fasting”

Natural selection for vegetarianism

I saw a comment a few days ago, that I thought would sound plausible to many people, so I will take a moment to give you my thoughts.

The author of the comment argued that humans have become largely vegetarians because we have adapted to a modern plant diet in the 10,000 years+ since farming was invented. Maybe the person is right, though I question it because of the following reasons: Continue reading “Natural selection for vegetarianism”