Doctors and Nutrition, Protein Excess and Cancer, American and Cheese, Me and a Keyboard. All are things that many people might think belong together. Perhaps with the exception of that last one. This week we explore the association between these pairs. Yes, it’s time again for me to confess my past sins and foreshadow my future ones via a Karma Sense Eating Plan mid-week update. Let’s begin with a quote from the namesake of the town where I grew up. In fact, the grand edifice in the picture below marks the Edison, NJ, USA skyline was built in his honor:
Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Edison was a freethinking polymath. He was a genius inventor and businessman. He also was notoriously difficult to work with. Edison seemed to know that the modern conveniences that he cultivated had a dark side; one that would contribute to the current chronic disease epidemic. As an inventor, his first instinct would be to create something new to overcome this trend. But why recreate the wheel? Here is a comment he made on the future of medicine:
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”–Thomas Alva Edison, 1902-ish
Which leads me to a…
In the opening of my post on mantra #2, Eat Protein in Every Meal, I make an important disclaimer about my lack of medical training and recommend that you consult with a physician on any significant changes you make to your diet. I stand by that recommendation.
But it’s important to keep in mind that many certified nutritionists have more nutrition training than the majority of doctors. The National Academy of Sciences recommends a minimum of 25 hours of nutrition instruction for medical students. Yet the average physician receives less than 80% of that. Only about a quarter of all doctors ever reach that level.
You can learn about the details in this article but in a world of fine print, I’ll point one thing out. While I am comfortable that the information in the preceding paragraph is accurate, the article on which it’s based is in my opinion, heavily slanted. I say that because it takes a broad swipe at Registered Dieticians (RD) as well. It correctly states that the RD trade association is sponsored by some suspect characters that are more interested in your buying their products than in your health. This is a leap of guilt by association. I don’t think the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics speaks for all its members.
But a case in point is when the Academy came under fire because it was allowing Kraft to put its endorsement on Kraft Singles “Cheese” Product as a food that’s good for kids. The reaction was so negative that Kraft decided not to take advantage of the endorsement. Are Kraft Singles good for kids? A review of the ingredients tells me that in the scheme of things it’s probably not all that bad. The real question isn’t “are Kraft Singles good for you?” It’s “are Kraft Singles good?”
“Let’s just say Kraft Singles are an acquired taste”, he said, foreshadowing the next installment of the Karma Sense Eating Plan.
So I think the article overall is a little heavy-handed and that the creator of that site is pushing an agenda of his own and cherry picking facts. Not that I don’t agree with that agenda. But with Karma Sense we try to value diversity of opinion. It’s inclusive in that way.
True or False? Eating More Protein Causes Cancer
Who Knows? In the discussion on mantra #2, Eat Protein in Every Meal, we explored a number of claims about diets that are high in protein. One that I avoided in that post was the role of protein in the development of various cancers. On this subject, the research is convoluted and inconclusive. The source of protein certainly matters. Processed meat, for example definitely seem to increase the likelihood of cancer. Plant sources seem to actually decrease the likelihood. Unless, of course, that plant source is soy which is linked to cancer when eaten in certain quantities. Except for those cases where soy is a shown to prevent cancer. See what I mean by convoluted? That’s why I’m not even linking to any of the research to support this paragraph. It wouldn’t help clarify anything.
My recommendation is that you do your best to understand your personal risk for certain types of cancer and explore the issue with your doctor (see disclaimer above) and a nutrition expert (such as yours truly:-) ). This article by Examine.com does a good job of explaining the issue. It is very detailed, but at least Examine is a source of reason.
I have one more comment on the write up for mantra #2. It was well received. Thank you so much for the positive input. As always constructive criticism and trolling is welcome as well.
Karma Sense Update
The post that launched the Karma Sense Eating Plan included the following description of mantra #4:
Restrict Starchy Vegetables, Fruits, and Grains to Within 2 Hours of Vigorous Exercise.
It is now reworded to:
Eat Whole Food Carbohydrates After Vigorous Exercise
The word “Restrict” is not part of a Karma Sensible vocabulary. The term “Whole Food Carbohydrates” may be a little wonky but it is more inclusive than the list in my first attempt.
The next post in the Karma Sense Eating Plan discusses mantra #3, Eat More Vegetables and Fruits. Who can argue with that? Take a look in the mirror.