The myth of THE healthy diet
first draft. Ignore for now. Check back later or follow.
The standard advice about “healthy eating” is not actually untrue – in the right context, which is economic social welfare.
Civilization is based on a percentage of the population growing food for the rest, rather than every individual doing so or going out hunting and foraging. This frees up the majority of people to get on with all the other things that makes society what it is so we can have a police force, a medical care system, transport infrastructure and we can get on with selling each other insurance policies, mobile phones and time-share holiday home packages.
When gathering raw foodstuffs is no longer an individual concern and food is produced and distributed by specialists, a high carbohydrate diet is an economical way of feeding a large population.
Let me draw a parallel.
IUD contraception – a coil or loop that sits in the uterus and prevent a foetus from developing – is not terribly reliable in any individual case. The risk of pregnancy is not zero, it is a few percent. That means that an individual could not be certain that she would remain childless at a time when she might probably prefer not to. The small risk of pregnancy might be acceptable when balanced against other factors.
On the other hand, IUD is extremely effective In controlling overall population growth. The risk of overpopulation, which could be disastrous in certain ecologies and economies, is quite small so it ,may be ideal when a society needs to make best use of limited resources.
Similarly the high carbohydrate diet is the most viable way of enduring that a large population is adequately fed.
At least as far back as the ancient Egyptians, economies have revolved around large scale grain production which has tended to make the most economical and easy to manage diet carbohydrate based
Unfortunately this tends to change the diet away from the hunter/gatherer evolutionary “ideal” In this H/g world, one would eat fruits and wild cereals as they came into season but most often the nitritionally-dense option of meat would be
the one that most administrations would prefer the hoipoloi to be comfortable with. Most research demonstrating how healthy this is is skewed with plenty of input from cereal growing consortia and lobbyists funded by Nabisco and Kellogs.
Why is this not a wacko conspiracy theory? Take a look at advertising and the relentless pushing of low far foods which are laden with carbohydrates to make the bulk back up and then look at the steadily increasing levels of obesity in the population buying into the marketing myth. Incidentally, low fat foodstuffs tend to have longer shelf lives than traditional faire so manufacturers and distributors are happier with the arrangement.