In Defense of Food is a wake up call. (Most days I just want to hit the proverbial snooze button).
Which is probably why I feel as bad as I do. Dealing with Fibromyalgia is still a challenge to me, and I want to learn how to better manage the symptoms, especially the painful, groggy feeling that can persist for days at a time.
Will changing the way I think about food, and therefor eat, help? I believe it will.
I've listened to the diet experts my whole adult life. I know I'm not alone in noticing the crazy way the "experts" change their minds all the time. Look at trans fats as an example. Do you know who told us they were a good idea? That they were better for our health than the evil butter they set out to replace? Who promoted the "lipid hypothesis - the idea that dietary fat is responsible for chronic disease"? The experts: the FDA and the American Heart institute.
In chapter three of In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan writes:
"The American Heart Institute, eager to get Americans off saturated fats and onto vegetable oils, (including hydrogenated vegetable oils), was actively encouraging the food industry to "modify" various foods to get the saturated fats and cholesterol out of them, and in the early seventies the association urged that "any existing and regulatory barriers to the marketing of such foods be removed." end quote
Yes, that's right. The American Heart Institute was the one putting pressure on government in the US to stop the hold up, as they pushed for an entire society to stop eating a traditional diet and switch to eating the newly developed (cheap to make) trans fats. Even though at the time, and to this day, the theory behind the belief is that it is saturated fats that cause heart disease. That's right, it is still just a theory, hence the term "lipid hypothesis", and it has been questioned and disproven many times in many cultures. Have you heard of the French paradox? High fat diets, less heart disease, less cancer etc?
So my point is, the experts are apparently not as reliable as mothers the world over. Or Great-grandmothers more likely. In our society we have a few generations who have been fed this line of crap, and bought it.
Traditional diets may have as much to do with the way we eat, as they do with what we eat. Hmmmm. Why can the French eat as they do and not have heart disease and obesity rates like we do in North America?
More food for thought. I highly recommend his book.