What can science learn from history?
A few months ago I came across an old book, something I was left by Grandad when he passed away around 20 years ago. The book is titled Your Body: how it is built and how it works and is written by a D. Stark Murray. This book was written in 1937, which makes it pretty darn old! So I read the book, and was pleasantly surprised by the nutrition and digestion sections, heres what I found...
Modern v Primitive Man
The author talks about modern man (of the 1930s remember) and how, even way back then, they were over reliant, and overeating processed foods. Clearly the authors opinion of fresh food outweighing the benefits of processed foods didnt go mainstream, as the processed food industry took over and is now worth billions. Just think of life without processed foods now... our supermarkets would be empty, our high street local food stores full, and our health much improved. I think only recently are more people starting to realise the dangers of our over-reliance on processed food.
What struck me most in this book was the few sentences on Eskimos! Strange I know, however the author was describing carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and started to speculate about how fat is used in the body and suggesting that people may want to eat less fat. BUT WAIT! It questions this theory by stating that other populations around the world are healthy living off higher fat diets. Yes you guessed it, Eskimos are his example. They eat a high fat and high protein diet and they are perfectly healthy, in fact probably more so than you or me. The key point here I want to make is that fat IS a crucial part of your diet. Dont just think that fat makes you fat, Ill post more about this in future.
So, whats the point to this post I hear you ask? Well its that sometimes, we (the human race) may have been right the first time. Two things I took from reading a book, written in the 1930s:
- Fat is essential to your diet
- Eat more fresh food
We knew it back then, so why have we spent the last 70 years trying to disprove these things? Maybe science should try and prove something we know, rather than look for modern alternatives that are ruining our health.