Mixed Results

This week in class, we discussed the term and idea of “mixed results”. If we hear that multiple nutrition studies gave “mixed results” we can surmise that the nutrition treatment or modification or supplement had both positive and negative outcomes.

Critical readers examining that information will not make any changes because nothing definitive has been borne out.

A seminar I attended this week on the “leaky gut” had many rather exciting findings. It seemed as if the speaker recommended significant dietary changes in not only food but supplements. But after each finding and recommendation, she commented, “but study results are mixed”.

That was contrasted to a presentation by Walter Willett whom I heard earlier in the month. Not to be a fangirl but when Walter Willett talks, people listen.

Willett is an MD, PhD at Harvard who, for more than 40 years, has studied the diet, lifestyle and health of a lot of people. More than a quarter million subjects! Perhaps I should have mentioned that my leaky gut presenter offered many rat/mice study results.

But back to Willett. He is involved with the country’s largest and longest health studies ever conducted – first begun in 1976. Admittedly, these are observational studies as multi-decade randomized clinical trials would be impractical and frankly impossible.

When this group makes a proclamation about what we should or should NOT be eating or drinking, there are hundreds of thousands of US adults whose experience backs up the recommendations. If there is equivocation or “mixed results” there is no report.

One example of Dr. Willett’s recommendations was with regard to protein consumption. Decrease the incidence of coronary heart disease by substituting poultry or fish for that serving of red meat. It’s even more beneficial to eat nuts and beans occasionally as your protein. Not surprising.

Don’t rely on “mixed results” to be well,



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Well, autocorrect is freaking out, but that’s how it’s spelled: Peganism.

It’s the relatively new marriage between the paleo diet and veganism to promote weight loss. Will the marriage last? At least until the wind blows to the next trend, clever moniker or movement.

The paleo diet (AKA the caveman diet) has many permutations, but it will be laden with lean animal proteins – beef, pork, lamb, chicken, eggs, fish. Nuts, seeds, oils, fruits and vegetables are included. You wonder if “caveman diet” wasn’t a big seller since cavemen and women had pretty short lifespans. But I digress.

Paleo restrictions include all grains, all dairy, all beans and legumes in addition to highly processed foods and iodized salt. Often you see the recommendation that you’ll need a vitamin-mineral supplement along with the diet – always a sign that the diet is not balanced.

The vegan diet shuns all animal foods and products and, as such, is 100% plant-based.

Does the union sound like it’s off to a shaky start? I think I’d need a cheat sheet to see what I could or could not eat if I were a Pegan. The science looks a bit sparse on all the claims so we might want to consider that too.

Could we stop with the crazy names and restrictions? Or should we make up our own? No need to buy the next diet book. Let’s go on the LiPPPS diet.

Eat and enjoy food that I LiKE. Always use a PLATE. Always control PORTIONS. Include more PLANTS. SIT while enjoying any food or snack. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Who’s with me to be well?





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