Friday, November 19, 2010

What is too Extreme?

I thought it was about time to say something about this as it has been on my mind for more than 3 years now. Just to give a history of where this is all coming from, I read the book "The 80/10/10 Diet" by Douglas Graham in 2006.

I found the information so astounding and realistic that I almost immediately stopped what I was doing at the time and converted to a whole foods raw and low fat diet.

Actually my diet at the time was quite different from the mainstream. I was eating a nearly 100% raw diet with big salads covered in olive oil and lots of almond and other nut butters smothered on raw seed crisps for lunch.

The diet I was on was giving me about 35% of my calories from fat. This was far from the ridiculous 65% plus derived from most raw gourmet diets but still way above the target of under 10%.

The information was not extreme at all. It was not radical. It made total sense. If anything was extreme or radical it was everyone else's diet. It's no wonder the world is so sick, everyone is overweight, obese, complaining of so many illnesses.

Even people who I thought were doing fine, I later found out were really quite sick. For example one of my coworkers who I recently met as I started the new job seemed like he was quite healthy. I don't see too many people eating the standard North American diet who are slim, fit and healthy.

I thought I found one example of this. This person is about 50 years old and works in the information technology area. They seem to adhere to the usual diet of most Americans. Burgers, fries, soda, some home made cooking, a few salads covered in oils and vinegars, etc. are what I usually see this person eat.

After a few weeks there was a discussion in our office and the truth came out. This person is suffering from gout. They limit their intake of red meat and other foods that cause a relapse. Even the one person I felt was an example of how someone can eat poorly and still be healthy turned out not to be so healthy afterall.

It really seems to me that if the usual diet of most Americans was the right diet for people then they can eat all of the things they like in any quantity and still not have any problems or consequences. Obviously this is not the case as even one of the only healthy looking people I know is suffering from gout and must limit certain foods in their diet.

Now back to the book I read in 2006. The book was so meaningful to me that I wanted to reach out to others and make sure they read it. I lent the book to my mom. I then lent it to a friend.

I believe that my mom read most of the book and my friend read a little of the book. He said that he skimmed through it. Both had the same comment, they felt that the diet described in the book was too extreme.

If it is too extreme then nobody can do it, or at least only certain chosen people would be able to do it. It's kind of like someone who is an amateur runner but never ran a marathon saying that running is great but running a marathon is too extreme.

Certainly a marathon is not too extreme for the thousands of marathoners who participate in them regularly. In effect it is not really too extreme but it is too extreme for them personally.

The same goes for the diet, it is far far from an extreme diet. In fact it is the only diet that is not extreme. Anyone who says that it is extreme is just saying that they themselves find it too extreme and that they rather stick with their poor addictive diet and use the "too extreme" excuse to not even bother to try it.

Is anyone in agreement?