Monday, February 28, 2011

When you know nothing, stop talking.

I've consulted frequently with the Trading Kellys editors about really getting this thing going, or just packing it in. We're currently in the netherworld of uselessness: We want to do it, but refuse to put in the effort. And then we see an article like this:

And read this masterly sentence:
The initiative, dubbed "Soldier Athlete," bans soda, refined grains, and fried foods in favor of healthier options such as low-fat milk, whole grains, and veggie wraps.  
That first line is awesome. As someone who is nutritionally competent, you know that "soda, refined grains, and [seed-oil] fried foods" are garbage. But, because you competent, you also know that "low-fat milk, whole grains, and [gluten-loaded] veggie wraps" are also garbage.* So you naturally walk away from those two lines puzzled. 

Let me shed some clarity. It's not you; it's the author. Everything listed in that sentence is, in fact, horrible for you [to one degree or another] and should be avoided if possible. It is a slavish adherence to U.S.D.A., the pharmaceutical industry, & counter-logical [alleged] logic that would lead to such a sentence.

But what should our fine military personnel eat? The author gave us an answer, actually:
Two years into the Revolutionary War, a surgeon general in the Continental Army issued a pamphlet on nutrition. "The diet of soldiers should consist chiefly of vegetables," Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote[.] "The nature of their duty, as well as their former habits of life, require it." [Dr. Rush's] counsel ... probably fell on deaf ears. It was routine, in Rush's time, for soldiers to consume a "pound or two of flesh in a day."
It should come as no shock to the reader that the Continental Army, surviving as it did on pounds of flesh, beat down the Redcoats, who no doubt survived on the their beloved whole grains in the form of biscuits & English muffins. The good Dr. Rush, like 99.7% of doctors today, clearly knew nothing about nutrition.

*Why would refined grains be worse than whole grains? They are terrible for identical reasons. Whole grains might actually be more destructive. 
**If the preceding footnote vexes you, please do not return to Trading Kellys. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why I workout, part 0.28

My esteemed co-writer and proprietor of this site texted me this afternoon and reminded me of something very important. He observed:
Drinking good beer on an empty stomach is awesome.
I can't agree more. But I will add that drinking good beer on an empty stomach after a fasted morning workout on a Saturday is also awesome, and maybe awesomer.

(It also spikes insulin, destroys the gut, wrecks the liver, and suppresses HGH & testosterone production. As the title of this blog suggests, life is about trade-offs.)

More [allegedly] mysterious causes of obesity

The articles I've seen don't talk much about the method of figuring out causes, but I do love these theories for the weight gain: 

There are several theories about why some kids may be putting on pounds.
One is that when children have enlarged tonsils, they're spending more energy (calories) to breathe. Once they're removed, breathing is easier and uses less calories, Jeyakumar explained.
Another is that when tonsils are big and swallowing is difficult, children may limit the foods they eat or have less of an appetite. After the surgery, kids typically feel better and food probably tastes better, too.
This is really just amazing. Those theories might be true; it does, after all, suck to eat when your throat is sore. 
[Of course, both theories imply that the kids lost weight due to the inflamed tonsils, then just went back to normal when they were removed. But the studies imply that the kids were at a normal weight, then got fat. Is weight loss a symptom of tonsillitis? Did the kid's charts include notation that they had lost weight in the previous few weeks? The logical breakdown was obvious to me after one second. Good to see the journalists pointing it out.] 
But again, two theories that just recite the "calories in, calories out" hypothesis and ignore the endocrine system and hormones, and gut bacteria and inflammation. (Maybe the study itself mentions insulin & leptin and every other hormone that effects fat storage (all of them), but I doubt it.)
A better guess would be that going under the knife to have tonsils removed means taking powerful antibiotics for a decent amount of time (maybe even a few different kinds); those antibiotics kill off the kid's good and bad gut flora; the kid's gut flora is then repopulated with only bad bacteria; that leads to inflammation, inability to process some foods, and maybe hypothalamus issues.  

All of those are  well-established side effects of antibioticsand also well-established causes of obesity. 

But I'm sure you already knew that. That's what turns me on about you: Your attention to detail.