Table of contents:
- Myth 1. "I don't eat anyone"
- Meat or nails?
- Diet of aksakals
- Myth 2 "medicine and hygiene are antagonistic forces"
- Revolutionary dropout
- Natural assorted
- Buddhist cuisine
- Yin and yang
Man is what he eats. This is the same banal truth as "the poison offered to you by the sage, accept, but do not take balm from the hands of a fool." Or, from the same source of wise truths, "you better starve than eat anything, and it is better to be alone than with just anyone." But most of us eat just about anything, and if we go on a diet, then very often we are guided by the advice of not wise men.
In orthodox dietetics, there are both fashion trends and personal preferences of various schools and individual doctors. One of the main reasons for discussion is that it is better to reduce the calorie content of food at the expense of fats or carbohydrates (the centrists are obviously right when they say that both are worse). The principles of the composition of diets for various diseases, and even more so the well-known and boring truths about proper nutrition for healthy people within the framework of the scientific paradigm, are gradually changing, in general, not deviating too much from the truths known since the time of Hippocrates. But in dietetics, there are many heresies - from harmless interpretations of individual chapters of the Scripture and obvious nonsense to false teachings, zealous followers of which can seriously harm their body and even soul: many popular diets are served as a side dish to mystical ideology using the same methods. which are used by totalitarian sects.
Myth 1. "I don't eat anyone"
In the first place of our "hit parade" is the most ancient and widespread of the unorthodox nutritional trends. Let's not argue with the philosophy of vegetarians: convincing a believer is a hopeless task. But from the point of view of biology, the principle "I don't eat anyone" is pure heresy.
Among vegetarians, there are people who are educated and sane enough to admit that the main and practically the only reason for rejecting meat lies in the field of morality, not science.
The benefits of proteins
An adult can survive on a purely plant-based diet, but human babies absolutely need animal protein. For babies, the need for them can be provided by mother's milk, and after that, the absence of animal proteins in the first years of life can lead not only to various disorders of physical health, but also to alimentary oligophrenia (Latin alimentum - nutrition).
The predominantly plant-based traditional diet of many (warm!) Regions is not a consequence of the harm to meat-eating, but a lack of natural resources. In India, religious principles were added to this, although in Hinduism and other religions of Hindustan there is no prohibition on meat and fish. A complete rejection of animal food was practiced there only by especially enlightened hermits and Jain sectarians who were moved on the principle of "Thou shalt not kill".
Plants, even legumes, contain much less protein than meat or fish. Vegetable proteins lack essential amino acids - those that the human body is unable to synthesize from others. And plant proteins are absorbed rather poorly. Some of them remain inside the cell walls of indigestible cellulose, and many of the substances contained in plants act as inhibitors of trypsin, an enzyme that breaks down proteins into amino acids.
Meat or nails?
Another problem with a vegetarian diet is hematopoietic function. In plant products, there is little iron necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin and there is absolutely no vitamin B12 necessary for the absorption of iron.Part of it enters the human body from intestinal bacteria, but they live in the large intestine, in which B12 is hardly absorbed. Without the constant intake of this vitamin, vegetarians, especially women and children, are guaranteed iron deficiency anemia. A purely plant-based diet lacks some other B vitamins and vitamin A. Without pills, vegetarians lack calcium and vitamin D, which is synthesized from cholesterol absent in vegetable fats. The result is osteoporosis and increased bone fragility. Cholesterol is necessary for many processes occurring in the body (an article about its benefits was published in "PM" No. 11'2006). Due to its own synthesis, our body can satisfy about 2/3 of the need for cholesterol - it's good that there is a lot of it in eggs, which most vegetarians sometimes consume.
Don't get into a fight
Vegetarians claim that they are much less aggressive than meat eaters. If you want to check - try to convince the fanatical vegan of the benefits of meat (a particularly extremist trend in this sect, whose followers do not even eat dairy products and eggs). If it comes to a fight, all other things being equal, the meat-eater will probably have a better chance of winning. By the way, all the explorers considered it necessary to note the exclusively peaceful national character of the Eskimos, whose traditional diet is almost 100% animal products.
Diet of aksakals
Statements such as "Scientists have proven that vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters and live longer" is a common twist. "Oases of aksakals" are found in regions with traditionally low consumption of meat products, and in Abkhazia, and even in Chukotka. In almost all studies, the authors of which make unequivocal conclusions about the benefits of vegetarianism, one can find a lot of methodological errors - first of all, the incorrect choice of the control group. In the articles of more objective authors, the last phrase of the conclusions usually sounds like this: "The data obtained can be explained not by the peculiarities of the diet, but by the fact that vegetarians much more often than ordinary citizens do not smoke or drink, do physical education and generally lead a healthier lifestyle." … And if, in addition to the above, dozens of other factors affecting health are taken into account, it turns out that a vegetarian diet by itself practically does not affect either health, or life expectancy, or even body weight.
II. Separate food
Myth 2 "medicine and hygiene are antagonistic forces"
The second place in the rating of unhealthy diets is occupied by separate nutrition. The inventor of this method is the American naturopath Herbert Shelton, one of the most popular nutritional false prophets. Shelton's ideas have lived and won since 1928, when the first of his books, "The Right Food Combinations", was published. But nutrition in Shelton's teachings is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to the seven-volume "Hygienic System", devoted to all aspects of the theory and practice of a healthy lifestyle and treatment without drugs, he wrote a whole shelf of life-teaching books and many articles. What - can be seen from an excerpt from the preface to Shelton's book “Natural Hygiene. The righteous way of life of a person ":" He devoted his life to the promotion of Natural Hygiene. And he showed that medicine and hygiene are antagonistic forces. They cannot coexist. Hygiene rejects medicine. And since a true revolution always goes forward and never retreats, there is nothing else left for the coming Hygienic Revolution. The dawn of a new era of human society flares up over the earth”.
Shelton's lack of medical education helped fuel the flames of the revolution, among other things. He studied at the International College of Non-Drug Physicians, received a diploma from the American School of Naturopathy (naturopathic ideas have little to do with medicine and science in general) and completed his postgraduate studies at the Chicago College of Chiropractic (unlike osteopaths related to them, chiropractors are categorically dissociated from official medicine).
Among the sources and constituent parts of his teachings, Shelton named both the Bible and Ayurveda (pre-scientific Indian traditional medicine), and the works of contemporary scientists, including I.P.Pavlov, who formally received the Nobel Prize not for the theory of conditioned reflexes, but for his early work on the physiology of digestion. In fact, Shelton's ideas have nothing to do with either the conclusions from Pavlov's experiments, or with the generally accepted at the beginning of the 20th century (and even more so with modern) ideas about the physiology of digestion. One of the tenets of his teaching is that food is retained in the esophagus from improper nutrition (this is not a mistake of translators)! And also (according to Shelton) foods in unacceptable (according to Shelton) combinations are retained in the stomach, where they are subjected to rotting. In fact, of course, no rotting in the stomach is possible - with such a concentration of hydrochloric acid, not a single bacterium survives, except for the "Nobel" Helicobacter pylori.
Shelton's ideas about the compatibility of products are not based on anything other than the author's imagination. In particular, you cannot combine two different protein products in one meal (for example, meat with nuts or legumes - goodbye, satsivi and lamb with beans!) Or different carbohydrates (a jam sandwich will get stuck in your esophagus and then rot in your stomach!). Milk does not go well with anything other than butter, so if you please take porridge at least four hours before or after butter milk, and jam - in the next meal. You can spread a leaf of lettuce with jam: you cannot combine sugar and confectionery with anything other than herbs. Melons and watermelons don't go well with anything. Etc.
In fact, many studies have shown that nutrients are absorbed best when different foods are combined in a single meal. This is clear even from the point of view of common sense: to begin with, the milk that the young of all mammals feed on contains both proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In nature, perhaps, only honey is a "pure" product - that is, it consists only of carbohydrates. Even pure lard contains only 70-75% fat. And among modern "unnatural" highly refined products, almost pure fats are perhaps vegetable oil and ghee, net carbohydrates - sugar …
Our physiology is adapted to assimilate nutrients from a mixture of different ingredients - this is how our ancestors ate for the past couple of billion years. So it is possible that the weight loss observed by successive Shelton adepts is simply the result of incomplete absorption of food in addition to a decrease in the total caloric content of the diet. And an improvement in well-being occurs, as with many other not too savage diets, simply by replacing snacks with anything that has a conscious attitude to food, as well as as a result of fractional nutrition, a decrease in the consumption of "light" carbohydrates and "heavy" animal fats and all that the same as that of other sectarians, a propensity for other aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
Myth 3 "a kitchen that improves judgment"
The third place is occupied by a diet, the foundations of which simply cannot be called scientific. The concept of "macrobiotics" - the doctrine of proper nutrition to maintain health and prolong life - was used by Hippocrates. This term was introduced into the modern scientific lexicon at the end of the 18th century by the German physician and mystic Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland. His ideas about the life force of the Sun, accumulated in the fruits of the earth, are now only of historical interest. In the middle of the 20th century, the term was appropriated by the followers of a completely different sect, successfully selling okroshka from ancient Chinese philosophy, scraps of Zen Buddhism and absolutely anti-scientific ideas about the nutritional value of various products (with millions of book copies, a network of restaurants and in other ways).
The foundations of this doctrine go back to the Suojin Riori (food that improves judgment) food system used in Buddhist monasteries in Japan.The modern concept of Zen therapeutic nutrition was developed by the Japanese physician Sagen Ichizuka at the end of the 19th century. Among the poor strata of the Japanese population, the ideas of "Dr. Soup" about the treatment of all diseases not with medicines, but with food from specially selected combinations of products, have become quite popular.
After World War II, one of his followers, replacing the name Yoichi and the surname Sakurazawa with the pseudonym George Osawa, which were unpronounceable for long-nosed Western barbarians, adapted Ichizuki's ideas to the European mentality, gave them the forgotten name "macrobiotics" and began to preach his teachings in the United States. His students spread the light of Zen macrobiotics throughout the Western world. (In countries where the majority of the population tastes meat only on major holidays, the promotion of all kinds of dietary perversions is a futile business.)
Yin and yang
The main thing in macrobiotics is maintaining the balance of the origins of yin and yang in products, which is why the body, thanks to the harmonization of the content in various organs of the five primary elements and the cleansing of the chakras (what if the chakras are from a completely different philosophy?), Is guaranteed not only bodily health, but also spiritual enlightenment. Find some logic
in dividing products into Yin and Yang, do not even try - you will get confused. The ideal balance of yin and yang, according to Osawa and his prophets, is contained in rice. Through the six preliminary degrees of initiation, their followers should move on to the seventh - exclusively on boiled rice. And they will be happy (as well as vitamin deficiency, leaching of calcium from the bones, anemia and much more, and in the end - dystrophy and compulsory treatment, if relatives and doctors have time).
Doctors do not recommend
Fortunately, most macrobiotics limit themselves to not very careful implementation of the recommendations for the lower stages of initiation, such as chewing each piece at least 50 times, and better - 150, turning banal food intake into meditation. But in the practice of pediatricians, there are cases of irreversible disorders in children, who were transferred to a macrobiotic diet for several months and even years by their parents who had read a lot of nonsense.