Thursday, March 15, 2007

more responses

Taylor-- It may have been a rhetorical question, but I'm going to answer anyway. You asked why people are critical of different ways of eating. I think you're on to something when you say that they may be a little guilty about their own diet. Beyond that I think there is something to be said about our loved ones who didn't eat right. A couple of generations ago there were far more farmers than there are today. They lived on a farm, they ate meat at every meal and had whole, unpasteurized milk. That was the way of life, and life "on the farm" has become a symbol of the manly man that is indestructible. A plant based diet is confronting these established norms.

Additionally, many people's grandfathers were farmers. Manly men that ate lots of beef and worked hard. When you eat a plant based diet to improve your health are you saying that "my" grandfather could have lived longer if he had eaten a better diet? Are you saying if I could have influenced "my" grandfather's diet he wouldn't have died of a heart attack at age 57? Are you blaming me for my grandfather's death? That's a difficult conversation to have, and if it was your grandfather, it is difficult to admit that this man could still be with you if he hadn't been such a "manly man" in the way he ate. Who's ever heard of a vegetarian farmer?

There's a lot of social and personal issues that come with drastic changes in diet. Some people even take it personally. I have talked to my grandparents about the amount of meat that they eat and health. They aren't going to change and we sort of avoid the conversation now, but I care so much about them that I would like nothing more for them to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and decrease meat consumption so they can be here for as long as possible. It's worked for them for over 80 years, why change now? Well it could increase energy levels and improve some health issues and improve so many things that they don't even know are wrong, but habits are hard to change and I would rather not argue with them.

Laurel-Anne-- To start I will give the correct answer... I don't know and I don't think that there is anyone in the world who knows. There has been no research (that I know of) that has been done on that and the theories out there are rather speculative. But, this is MY blog so I'm going to give an answer based on the research I have done. You're right, heat denatures proteins, so the pasteurization process should denature some proteins, but not all. There are also some proteins that will "spontaneously renature", especially short simply proteins like insulin. I do not see how denaturing the proteins would increase the insulin response. If intact (not denatured) proteins get into the system and influence our bodies that could have some serious effects on insulin response, but if anything pasteurization would decrease the likelihood of that happening. I can't see how raw milk could improve the insulin response in milk, but that doesn't mean that I'm right. I've also seen some other reported benefits of raw milk besides the insulin response, but that's not an area where I'm very well read.


Taylor said...

We're all going to die someday, but why not live life to the fullest while we have it? For my money it's the plant based diet you've promoted. I never, ever want to go back to eating the way I used to.

Emily said...

wow...i think you are dead on about the meat consumption thing. Steven is VERY opposed to the vegan diet. he loves meat and thinks he is not manly without eating it everyday.

My questions...
#1. how does powdered milk compare to regular milk with the insulin response. My mom used powedered milk in cooking while i was growing up. Is it better for you?

#2. what kind of insulin response does chocolate give you? if i understand right, dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate since it is more just wondering because i seem to feel a really crappy response to sugar (like sugar found in soda) but an okay response to chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sans,

I'm really enjoying your blog, and I really like your approach to diet, but I'm wondering about individual variation in protein need - do you know anything about that?

I'm asking because my husband seems to have a really high need for protein; when he doesn't get a concentrated source, such as meat or cottage cheese or some such, after just a couple days he gets really lethargic and depressed. If he eats meat, he perks right up. Sushi is his favorite source of protein - when he's feeling really protein deficient, he can eat amazing amounts of sushi, and by the end of the meal he's gotten such a rush from it, he's almost buzzing like he was on drugs.

I like the idea of going vegetarian, or at least mostly vegetarian, but there's no way my husband could tolerate that, and it isn't a manly man issue, either.

Any ideas?


Laurel-Anne said...

I've been reading about raw milk, and since this is your blog and I don't want to hijack it I won't go into many details, but apparently it has been used as a treatment for diabetes. Interesting...

I'll shut up about milk now.