Finally, a mainstream health expert says what I’ve been saying for about 20 years. 80% of all chronic diseases could be ended tomorrow by simply using what we already know about a healthy diet.

Yet we don’t do that. Why?

There are many reasons, but one of the biggest is that everyone keeps arguing about exactly what a healthy diet is or is not. Which is stupid. We already know.

The arguments I’ve seen on men’s fitness and bodybuilding blogs and forums are literally the most insane things I’ve seen on the entire internet (and that’s saying a lot when you add politics in there). On every fitness issue, 50% think one way, the other 50% think the exact opposite, both sides can point to credible links to back up what they say, and everyone screams that “My advice is right and yours is stupid.”

Like he says in the video, “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.” That just about covers most of health right there. Of course there are a few other items like avoid high glycemic carbs and sugar, be physically active, eat more protein if you’re lifting, and a few other basics. But as soon as we venture out of that fundamental area, it’s damn near impossible to get good advice quickly because everyone even a little knowledgeable in these areas are too busy screaming at each other.

4 thoughts on “Why Are We Still Arguing About Diet?

  1. One of the things I find interesting about western “fad” diets in the abundance of correlation is causation mistakes. When people decide that they’re “gluten intolerant” or carb sensitive (which I wholeheartedly agree with), often through elimination of those foods they are supplementing with much healthier and more diverse foods.

    Also, if you haven’t watched them, I would highly recommend the following two documentaries which look at issues that conflate the problem:

    A Place at the Table: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1736049/
    Food, Inc.: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/

  2. Thanks Caleb, this is a great topic.

    I think the reason there is still debate is because there are a whole bunch of people out there arguing just as simply, forcefully, and confidently as you are the exact opposite of what you are saying.

    I believe the same as you do, and yet I find myself sometimes questioning my beliefs and going and reading some paleo writer just because I can’t believe that there are people out there who act so sure of themselves and still be wrong.

    Let someone say on a blog or in an interview:

    “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.”

    And he will immediately be met by such vociferous criticism and debate, far more organized and overwhelming opposition, that a part of me can’t help but think: Can this level of passion and refutation really all be horseshit?

    I wish I could have a God’s eye view of this, because it would not be a surprise to find out that all these writers are being funded by beef, chicken, and pork companies insulated by a few layers of fake grass roots groups.

    But alas, I will probably never know. I think another part of it is that we want to think that we can have optimum health by eating all the things we love to eat, that we are fine the way we are.

    In a way that is what allows it all to continue. The combination of skilled rhetoric and telling people what they want to hear is a pretty hard one to beat.

    And eating healthy is bad for so many businesses, as well as government agencies.

  3. Let someone say on a blog or in an interview:

    “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.”

    And he will immediately be met by such vociferous criticism and debate, far more organized and overwhelming opposition, that a part of me can’t help but think: Can this level of passion and refutation really all be horseshit?

    Here’s the problem: If you and I disagree on a black-and-white issue, we can’t both be right. Someone is right, and someone is wrong.

    So if you have one guy SCREAMING that “a calorie is a calorie” and another guy is SCREAMING that “no it’s not!!!”, then one of those two guys is wrong, no matter how loud they scream or how many links to “experts” they can produce. That’s why this stuff can be so irritating when you’re trying to get to the real answer.

    It’s not too bad if you have one guy SCREAMING that you need X protein when you lift weights, and another guy is SCREAMING that you need Y protein. Just take the average of what they’re both saying, and you’ll probably be fine. 🙂

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