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How Fake Meats and Foods Harm Health

How Fake Meats and Foods Harm Health

Our last article on Pottenger's Cats explored how health changes for the worse when humans move away from their ancestral eating plans and how poor health is compounded over generations. With this in mind, our next article discusses what this means for new processed foods like fake meats, cereals, grains and other foods marketed as more environmentally friendly.

The Problem With Viewing Diet Through a Socio-Political Lens

To frame this discussion, it is first important to understand that the topic of diet and nutrition has become heavily politicised in recent years. Diet was once what people ate to sustain and nourish themselves. Now, diet is a vehicle through which people express their socio-political beliefs.

In other words, the sole objective of nutrition used to be to achieve optimal human health. Whereas now, there are many other objectives (of which human health is rarely one):

Objectives of ancestral diet:

Was the most optimal for human health

Objectives of modern diet:

  • Animal welfare
  • Reducing CO2 emissions
  • Saving the planet
  • Signalling to society that you are trying to satisfy the above three metrics

However noble these objectives may be, they do not render nutritional science untrue.

What is the Politically Correct Modern Diet?

The politically correct modern diet is typically the one that achieves the above four metrics best. In other words, it is what many people believe to be the 'least environmentally impactful' diet (although this itself is up for debate). If you were to follow the diet that was the least environmentally impactful (according to Clark et al. 2022) and selected one thing out of every listed food category, your diet would consist of the following:

  • Sports drinks
  • Salad
  • Wraps
  • Potato chips/onion rings
  • Teacakes
  • Frozen meals
  • Dairy alternatives (plant-based, not real dairy)

This diet is defined by the following characteristics:

  • High in carbohydrates
  • High in sugar
  • High in artificial ingredients
  • High in synthetic oils
  • Low in protein
  • Low in iron
  • Low in fat
  • Low in nutrients
  • Low in essential vitamins and minerals

These are the characteristics of the most unhealthy diet for humans. They are the very dietary characteristics that are known to drive diseases like:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome (leading to cancer and autoimmune disease)

What are the Consequences of Following This Diet?

When the objective of nutrition is anything but achieving optimal human health, there are catastrophic consequences. Following a diet that places more importance on other factors comes at a high cost to human health.

It begs the question; why on earth would anyone follow this diet? The answer is likely that the politicisation of nutrition has meant that discussions around it are often governed by subjective views that aren't rooted in objective nutritional science. Thus, the truth - that human health changes for the worse when we move away from an ancestral diet - has been obfuscated in recent years.

A Highly Processed Diet Leads to Poor Health

As the great Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said, "Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too". The same is true of nutrition and health - as was demonstrated by Dr. Francis Pottenger and the famous Pottenger's Cats study.

The Pottenger's Cats study showed that when humans abandon their ancestral diet in favor of processed, synthetic, and artificial foods, it results in poor health. It does so because a processed diet lacks key nutrients and minerals that are essential for health.

Poor Health is Compounded Over Generations

What's more, it also demonstrated that this poor health is compounded over generations, with each generation that followed a processed diet becoming increasingly unhealthy. So, the kittens of cats who were following a processed diet were less healthy than their parents. The cats in Pottenger's study ultimately became extinct within four generations of consuming a processed diet. While the exact time frames will likely not be the same for humans, it paints a bleak picture nonetheless.

We See Poor Generational Health in Our Clinic

We regularly see evidence of generational poor health in our clinic when dealing with clients. Many believe that "disease runs in the family" - blaming faulty genes inherited from their parents for chronic health issues like cancer. This is true to some extent - many have certainly inherited poor health from their parents, but often not in the way they think.

It is not so much genetics as it is epigenetics. As discussed in our previous article, epigenetics refers to "how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence."

This means that it's not necessarily a 'faulty gene' that runs in the family that has predisposed our clients to chronic disease, but rather a poor diet that runs in the family, and the consequences of this poor diet have catalyzed epigenetic changes that have been inherited and caused disease. This is precisely what occurred in the Pottenger's Cats study.

Don't Follow the Modern Diet!

So, before you get guilted into substituting real meat (the kind that has successfully nourished mankind since our inception) with synthetic meat, or consuming a diet high in grains and other carbohydrates, know that there are consequences to doing so.

What is the Best Diet to Follow?

Generally speaking, the best diet is closest to our ancestral diet. We recently espoused the virtues of returning to an ancestral diet in this article. However, it is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all diet. Each person is biologically unique and requires different inputs to achieve optimal health.

Our tailored health programs are designed explicitly to cater to your unique and exact biological needs. We determine what these needs are based on blood chemistry analysis. You can learn more about our tailored health programs here.

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