If you are a man who wants to avoid having prostate problems, eat less fat and more fiber and catch some rays. The standard American diet, which is high in fat and animal hormones and low in fiber, is a major risk factor for prostate problems. The lack of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is another risk factor. To get vitamin D, go out in the sunshine.
For many years, I’ve worked as a technical editor and writer. As a result, I’ve had the privilege of proofreading the work of some truly brilliant, highly educated people. I’ve also had to write highly technical material that was then reviewed by experts. The review process is usually cordial and intellectually stimulating. Educated people are generally grateful when you fix their typos and their dangling participles. They tend to be tough but fair when criticizing your writing. They generally stick to a rational discussion of facts. So I was unprepared for the kind of comments I got from the general public after I started blogging.
Check out this story from National Geographic: After a poacher’s snare killed a baby gorilla from their troop, two young mountain gorillas worked together to find and destroy traps in their Rwandan forest home, according to conservationists on the scene.
It’s no surprise that so many Americans look like sumo wrestlers. They eat like sumo wrestlers! As this video explains, ordinary people from the East Asian countries, including Japan, eat a diet that is based heavily on steamed rice and vegetables. To pack on the pounds, sumo wrestlers eat a dish called chanko-nabe, which is high in fat. They also drink a lot of beer. The goal is to eat a lot more calories than they burn up in their training.
For years, the bestseller lists have been dominated by books urging people to eat plenty of meat and fat but to shun carbohydrates. The Atkins Diet led the parade; but there have been many imitators, such as the Zone, the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet, and the Dukan Diet. Even some of the vegan-oriented books encourage people to avoid starches. Yet the scientific evidence shows us that human beings are specifically adapted to thrive on a starchy diet. So I was delighted to see that the title of Dr. John McDougall’s latest book is The Starch Solution. He explains something that nutritional epidemiologists and experts on clinical nutrition have known for many years, namely that human beings stay naturally slim and healthy on a diet based on unrefined starches and vegetables.
Back in November 2011, I explained that children who “refuse” to have bowel movements in the potty or are “holding” their stool for days on end aren’t misbehaving, they’re constipated. Recently, I saw some published studies (click here and here) that showed that constipation can also cause pants-wetting and bed-wetting accidents. Those studies showed that the problem could often be solved by giving the child laxatives. A better solution would be to feed the child a diet that would prevent constipation to begin with: a plant-based diet with no dairy products.
If you look at articles about East Asian countries in issues of National Geographic from the early 20th century, you will notice two things. One is that many of the people in East Asia were eating a lot of white rice. The other is that only the rich people and the sumo wrestlers were overweight. That’s because the rich people and the sumo wrestlers were eating something besides rice and vegetables.
Lately, many nutrition gurus have been promoting what they call a “paleo” diet. The word “paleo” comes from Paleolithic, which literally means “early stone age.” They think that human beings ought to be eating a diet like the diet that people ate during the early stone age. Personally, I think that the arguments in favor of the paleo diet are silly, for several reasons. I think that the appeal of the paleo diet is based on adolescent male fantasies of being an unwashed, unshaven big game hunter who gets to spend time with a hot-looking maiden in a fur or leather bikini. Real men don’t eat quiche. They eat brontoburgers:
In the musical Guys and Dolls, the character named Adelaide has a psychosomatic cold. As she explained,
The average unmarried female
due to some long frustration may react
with psychosomatic symptoms
difficult to endure
affecting the upper respiratory tract.
Guys and Dolls is a quaint artifact from the 1950s. Nevertheless, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual still gives doctors permission to say, “It’s all in your head” if they can’t immediately figure out what’s wrong with you. An article of mine that was published in the journal Medical Hypotheses says that doctors cannot make that kind of diagnosis without making an error in reasoning. For that reason, I argue that the APA should remove conversion disorder and somatization disorder from the DSM. The fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5) is due in 2013.
Dr. George Lundberg, the former editor-in-chief of JAMA, graciously invited me to coauthor this editorial on how starchy, low-fat diets reverse insulin resistance!