Are Healthy Diets More Harmful to the Environment

On December 14, 2015 an article titled Vegetarian and “Healthy” Diets Could Be More Harmful to the Environment was published on the Carnegie Mellon University website.

The article quotes Paul Fischbeck, a professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy at the institute.

He was a co-author of a paper Energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions for current food consumption patterns and dietary recommendations in the US.

Professor Fischbeck is quoted in the website article, stating “Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon. Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.

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2040 Documentary – The Required Next Steps

2040 is a documentary by Damon Gameau that targets a young audience to convince them that they can make a difference to planet Earth’s well-being using technology that we all ready have at our disposal.

The key areas addressed in the documentary are transport, electricity production, agriculture, marine permaculture (kelp farming) and education.

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Wheat and the Distorted Views of William Davis

William Davis, a cardiologist, author of Wheat Belly, claims that “modern wheat is a perfect chronic poison”. He claims that modern wheat causes diabetes, inflammation, heart disease and high blood pressure and that eliminating wheat will cure these problems.

Davis recommends the avoidance of foods such as corn, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, beans and potatoes, even though they do not contain wheat or gluten.

Davis’s inconsistencies would be amusing if they did not have such serious health consequences.

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The Keto diet slays the opposition? – not true

An article titled, How the Keto diet – even without exercise – slays the opposition, by Derek Beres was published on Think Big website on 11th December 2017.

The Gibas study quoted by the article claims that ketosis is a useful and valid tool to control metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity.

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The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What We Eat – A Review

Alan Levinovitz is an assistant professor of Religious Studies at James Madison University, Virginia.

His book, The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What We Eat, “takes on bestselling physicians and dietitians, exposing the myths behind how we come to believe which foods are good and which are bad—and pointing the way to a truly healthful life, free from the anxiety of what we eat.”

Whilst the book was fascinating in describing how easily it is for society to be deluded about food issues, the book adds several misconceptions of its own.

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Comparison of Dairy Milks with Human Milk

Milks are complex lipid emulsions in water containing protein, fat, lactose, vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes, hormones and immunoglobulins which provide initial immunity functions,

There is approximately 5,500 species of mammals which initially supply their young with milk. There are vast differences in milk composition among the mammal species.

Mammals provide milk for their growing infants that provide a unique collection of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Human milk is markedly different to other mammals, in particular to its protein content.

Proteins in human milk provide sufficient of protein to sustain infants for the first six months without any additional food, as well as supplying the means of establishing suitable environment for the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria and providing the proteins involved in the immune system.

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The Problem With Cow’s Milk

Skin and intestinal reactions to cow’s milk was described by Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.) and Galen of Pergamum (130-210 AD), both Greek physicians so there has been an awareness of problems with cow’s milk for a considerable period of time.

Cow’s milk is the most common form of allergic reactions, although the actual prevalence is disputed.

Mammals have evolved over millions of years to provide nutrition for their infants in the first stage of life. There are significant difference between species depending upon factors such as rates of growth.

A bull reaches maturity at 9-10 months, so the rate of growth is markedly different to humans. Consequently, the composition of bovine milk is very different to that of humans. The consequences of cow’s milk consumption are potentially harmful.

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The Nature of Food Allergies

Food allergies have become a major concern with parents, health practitioners and school administrators. However, the estimates of prevalence of allergies varies widely.

A commonly accepted definition is an “adverse immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a given food and is distinct from other adverse responses to food, such as food intolerance, pharmacologic reactions, and toxin-mediated reactions.”

However, most people are not going to make such a fine distinction between food allergy and food intolerance. Non-celiac gluten-sensitivity (NCGS) does not cause an IgE response so with this definition it not classed as a food allergy.

Dairy, in particular, cow’s milk and gluten, wheat and grains are commonly avoided as a result of concerns about food allergies.

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What is the Problem with Wheat and Gluten?

Gluten-free foods is a huge industry. It is estimated that approximately 2% of the US population, that has not been diagnosed with celiac disease, is consuming a gluten-free diet.

The CSIRO reports that, “ as many as 1 in 10 Australian adults, or approximately 1.8 million people, were currently avoiding or limiting their consumption of wheat-based products. Women were more likely to be avoiding wheat than men. The survey also revealed that over half (53%) of those who were avoiding wheat were also avoiding dairy-based foods.”

There is an increasing awareness of the importance of gut flora and its role in health.

People who embark on glute-free diets frequently have significantly impaired health outcomes due to changes in gut bacteria.

At one clinic in Rome, only 30% of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were sensitive to gluten.

At another climic, in Maryland USA, only 6% of those suffering from IBS were affected by gluten.

It is apparent that digestive problems are much more complicated than they first appear.

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