Diets of Exclusion
by Matthew Bowen - (Edited portions of an article written in 2012.)
Gary Taubes, Ray Peat, and Dean Ornish walk into a restaurant.
Taubes – “I’ll have a 18oz steak fried in butter, and a glass of water.”
Peat – “I’ll have a 6oz steak, and a coffee with 8 pounds of sugar in it. Also, bring me the dessert menu.”
Ornish – “I’ll have 150kcal of salad to start, a 4oz filet of fish, 300kcal of whole grain pasta, and hold the dessert”
They sat around for a bit longer, and when the food came they started to lace into each other.
Taubes – “Look at you two! You’re gonna get so fat because of insulin. Whole grains and sugar! LMAO! WTF!” (I assume Gary talks in acronyms in daily life, I don’t know why).
Peat – “Are you kidding me? Look at all that fat, protein and iron! You realize iron and mortality curves are identical, protein is inflammatory and fat suppresses metabolism! And you, Ornish, look at all those PUFAs – enjoy your lipid peroxidation!”
Ornish – “Look at your meals! Processed sugar and saturated fat! You two are headed for an early grave! Arterial plaque, cholesterol, etc.”
They finished up their respective meals while exchanging hateful glances. When they walked out the door together, a good Samaritan driving a bus smashed into the entrance of the building and killed them all. They all ironically died at the same time. And the world was better for it. The End.
Diets of Exclusion: Please Die. What exactly do I mean by diets of exclusion? Well, I’m talking about diets whose resounding message is that of restriction: Don’t eat these foods or you will die young/be inflamed/get cancer/grow a sixth toe/have an allergy/etc. A low-carber will tell you to avoid all carbs. A Paleo-er will tell you to avoid all modern foods. A Peatarian will tell you to avoid polyunsaturated fats. An IFer will tell you not to eat before your 18 hour fast is up. A Certified Dietician will tell you to not eat saturated fats and restrict caloric intake. The list goes on. All of these recommendations are those of exclusion. DO NOT DO (INSERT BEHAVIOR).
We look at two-thirds of the population and we see excess fat lining people’s waist. It’s no wonder our first instinct is “Holy crap! They need to restrict…. something!” I mean, being fat and unhealthy is a symptom of excess right? They ate too much of everything and got that way, right? Wrong.
When your resounding message is “Oh, you know that thing you love? Yeah, stop it” we’re bound to run into resistance. Fear is a powerful motivator, but it’s hard to be afraid of a greasy burger and fries. Love is an even better motivator, and it’s way easier to convince people to love something new than to hate something they already love.
The author of this edited article is Matthew Bowen who, in 2012, did some bodybuilding while he was a university student and researcher for an endocrinologist. His research focus was on the reversal of inflammatory and endocrine progression through the states of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Type II diabetes – particularly the processes involved in iron regulation.
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