The Health 101 Newsletter
I was asked to write about this issue because a number of you with a healthy dose of skepticism suspected that there may be something rotten in the state of Denmark, that being the raw food and alternative health communities. If you've not noticed any red flags, it's because certain people are doing a good job painting nice pictures where everything looks and sounds appealing. And we'd all like to believe that all is right with the little corner of our world that we live in, but if there's something wrong, it's for our own good that we find out about it.
When a fad becomes a movement, and a movement becomes a trend, and a trend becomes a way of life for many people, what was a small cottage industry will become full-blown commerce. And when a market gets to be that big, you can count on there being those who would trade your money for something worthless, or worse.
Such is the case with the alternative health and raw food industries. You have only to look at the shelves in large health food stores to see that the raw food way of eating is now a big industry (and there's now a Raw Food for Dummies book too). But just because something is raw, doesn't mean it's automatically a healthy thing to eat. Yet there are raw food educators who promote...
And you are being told this even though it is not true. And why are you being told this? Because it's what a lot of people would like to hear, so it "sells". And since there are now raw food instructors who care more about being successful and popular than about teaching truthful information, some of them will use any marketing tactic they can to hook you, even if it's not in your best interest health-wise. And to make matters worse, some of these educators are teaching people to teach others (for a fee), and when it's their first exposure to the raw food diet, these folks go on to teach other people unaware that they are teaching incorrect information. That's the difference between disinformation (from someone who knows better) and misinformation (from the students turned teachers). There are some very sincere, very caring folks teaching erroneous dietary information because it's what they've been taught, and therefore this is what they believe to be true. In many ways it's no different from mainstream nutritionists, and from how medical doctors practice (when they manage an illness instead of giving you the information that allows you to rid yourself of it... you can't fault them for this because that's what they were taught).
Sure, you can become healthier when moving from the foods of the typical Western diet to foods that are not damaged by cooking, but if the difference between "become healthier" or "become the healthiest you can be" is the difference between getting cancer or not getting cancer, what does it matter that you got cancer five years later by eating a somewhat healthier diet. Wouldn't a good goal be to never get cancer at all? And contrary to popular belief, it is possible to adopt lifestyle habits which dramatically decrease your risk of cancer (and diabetes, and asthma, and osteoporosis, and depression, and Alzheimer's...). And if that decreased risk results in no degenerative disease, and a life with lots of vitality, isn't adopting those lifestyle practices which allowed this to happen worth it?
Truth be told, many people who are now eating "the
raw food diet" are eating a diet that is just as high in fat (or
higher) than the unhealthy diet they used to eat thanks to "gourmet"
raw foods and raw food educators like the person referenced above. But
too much fat is too much fat, even if it is plant-based and undamaged
by cooking. So the takeaway point here is that there is no such thing
as the raw food diet; there are many versions of it, some healthier
than others, and one being the healthiest. Which version you end up embracing
depends upon your priorities. If over-the-top scrumptious recipes that
resemble the meals you used to eat have a higher priority than your health,
you'll love those raw food educators like the one referred to above...
and there are a lot of them (new ones appearing almost weekly). If delicious
food is a priority of yours, but robust health is higher on your
list of priorities, you're in luck, because there is a raw food diet (the
original one) that can satisfy both of these priorities quite nicely.
But what about all the non-food products that are being marketed to the large and ever growing raw food market? Like any other large market, some products are really helpful but many are not. Most just separate you from your money, and only benefit the seller (although you may get a placebo effect from its use, but that effect only does so much).
Here are my favorite rip-offs, and please understand that my background in electronics and telecommunications, and that of a researcher, affords me the ability to pass judgment on these items. Also, I should preface this by saying that if your favorite health mentor someone whom you admire, trust, and follow is one of the folks selling these items, you should wonder whether they know the product is bogus, or do they honestly believe it to be beneficial and were simply taken in by the unscrupulous person who sold them on it; either way, it should make you question whether or not you should be following this person 100%. But bottom line: please don't shoot the messenger (me).
"...Instead of raising red flags and making lots
of noise about something that seriously affects very few people relatively
speaking (the flu), why isn't lots of noise being made about the things
that cause cancer, diabetes, stroke, asthma, arthritis, and osteoporosis?"
the full article...)
In the last issue of Vitality Digest I asked for suggestions for what you'd like me to write about in these newsletters, and many of you came up with some great topics, one of which is the lead story above. I'll be featuring your suggestions in each issue; upcoming articles include:
Essentially the same digestive systems, so, the same diets (primarily fruit).
These newsletters will arrive occasionally, not daily or weekly. If you know someone who would like a subscription, they can sign up here. If you wish to no longer receive these newsletters, send us a comment here that says "unsubscribe". Got feedback or suggestions for future newsletter articles? Click here!
| Home | Products | Articles | Classes | Counseling | Booklist | Links | Contact |