Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Food Hospital: Making the Horse Push

Why make a horse pull a cart when you can stick it at the back and make it push?  This is the metaphorical equivalent of what is happening on The Food Hospital.  After rant one and rant two, here is rant three.

Unhappy with entertaining the idea that some consumer items masquerading as food can lead to malady, they assume that pretty much everything sold to us as food IS food, and that people who are sick (sickness that could NOT possibly come from poor nutritional choices), can seek remedy in the medicinal qualities of food.

Baise Moi!

So this was the outline:
  • In week three of The Food Hospital a 22 year old dancer comes for help with an 8 year struggle with Crohn’s disease which causes painful mouth ulcers, sores and intestinal problems. We meet 18 year old and 27 stone Frankee who is about to undergo gastric bypass surgery. An ex Coldstream Guardsman seeks help with his peculiar condition of compulsive night time eating and a couple having problems conceiving see if they can improve their chances with a fertility boosting diet. Pixie investigates the real value of sports drinks and a group experiment in insomnia is undertaken to help understand the relationship between nutrition and sleep.
So first up we had Laura who had severe Crohn's Disease.  A disease of inflammation.  Laura didn't want to take the steroids traditionally used to manage this condition (it carries the risk of a lot of harmful side effects), and instead was put on a liquid and then a LOFFLEX diet, followed by a reintroduction phase where certian foods were brought back in to the eating plan.  Hmm - a low inflammation diet....kinda sounds familiar.  Still, this appears better than the official advice which recommends what I like to call the 'out of the frying pan and in to the fire diet' which includes eating MORE of:
  • White bread
  • Rice crispies, cornflakes etc
  • White rice or pasta
Then we had teenager Frankie.  You couldn't measure Frankee's weight in kilograms, you'd need Terragrams.  The solution?  Gastric bypass and a lifetime of supplements and a restrictive diet.  So you have to ask was there a non-invasive dietary alternative?  Had such an intervention been tried or all alternatives exhausted?  Nope.  More importantly, had The Food Hospital treated the cause ( I doubt it), or the (cosmetic) symptom of Frankee's obesity?

Frankee - if you ever read this and are miserable with your current diet, please try a paleo style diet.  Lamb roast and all the trimmings is not a 'diet'.

Lastly, we had a carboholic insomniac called Daniel.  Jeez - he just ate shite - white, sugary shite, every day and every night!  In fact the astute reader will wonder if he had Crohn's and was following official advise.  He had 40% BF and given he was 46 but he looked 60+. 

Now in credit to TFH they identified the hormonal impact of his diet, and sought to change his condition using dietary intervention, but they went for the slow energy release diet based upon wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta (with margarine naturally, coz' it's LOW in saturated fat) - you know, the kinds of food that you are advised to avoid if you have Crohn's. 

(Anybody else wondering why we are so confused about diet and nutrition?). 

Daniel's condition brings us back to the evolutionary purpose of body fat.  Sure I get the idea that BF provides warmth, but surely it is an energy store as well?  And if it IS an energy store, why can't Daniel access that fat store?  Surely this should be the best source of inter-meal energy given that it is an EVOLVED solution?  What condition could/would/should lead to such metabolic flexibility?

Captain Kid watches this program with me.  She is revolted by much of what she sees - the obesity, the growths, the flaking and scabbing, the weeping pustules.  But even she has twigged that we should eat REAL FOOD.  Furthermore, she can identify it!


Fordaldo said...

As a (hopefully former) Crohn's sufferer, unfortunately low-fibre (white bread etc) is about the only dietary advice you're likely to get in the UK.... baise moi indeed!

Asclepius said...

Hi Fordaldo, yeah, it seems crazy for these nutritional advisers to be outlining how bad white bread is in one context, and how good it is in another!

The brother of friend of mine has Crohn's and went 'paleo' on my advice. Last thing I heard was that his brother lost a shit load of body fat and his condition improved massively.

Fordaldo said...

I wish I had been given the "paleo-ish" option 10yrs ago, I had the sum total of zero dietary advice (I quote my consultant, "diet doesn't matter") and this kind of info just wasn't as accessible back then. Could have prevented the loss of half my colon but hey, better late than never right! ;)

Thankfully many of my friends with and without disease have also benefited from my obsession and have jumped aboard with this lifestyle/template - amongst which my Dad who after angina & a stent at 50 is now a shredded kettlebell monster at 56. As Robb Wolf is fond of saying, it's almost like this s**t works!

Asclepius said...

Yeah - I too wish I'd come across 'paleo' some time ago not least for the loss of hunger pangs.

Glad to hear that you've transformed your dad! Goes to prove that with paleo, you can teach an old dog new tricks! Just make sure he doesn't get stronger than you ;)

Fordaldo said...

Never stronger (his main focus is road cycling so he's definitely an endurance athlete, whereas I'm a powerlifter-turned-gymnast) but definitely leaner! :( Dave Tate says you're not a good coach until you make someone better than you... I like to say you're not really paleo until you make someone more militantly paleo than you and I have accomplished that a couple of times...!

Asclepius said...

"you're not really paleo until you make someone more militantly paleo than you"

Genius! I have a few converts to my name but not sure if they've become militant or not.

Methuselah was the most 'productive' convert!