Everyone is Different, Kind Of…
A general understanding of the ways in which choices regarding nutrition, can impact upon physiology, as well as psychology or mood, can be very empowering, as well as enlightening, and often extremely liberating.
Regardless, I’m much more inclined to approach the process surrounding a striving for metabolic improvement, as a principle based artform, having little to do with any ‘protocol’, or idea of being governed by a specific set of black and white rules.
It isn’t, however, uncommon to hear it said that ‘everyone is different’, and that this is a proposition, which, it is often suggested, is capable of justifying a lack of faith in the potential existence of any coherent or integrated biological strategy for improvement in health and well-being.
It’s not that this idea doesn’t have its place, particularly in relation to the encouragement of analysis or discussion with regards to a person’s history or specific circumstances.
An individualised approach is a necessary means to gaining a contextually appropriate understanding for effective dietary choices, on a case by case, ‘one size does not fit all’ basis.
Things, unfortunately, start to take a turn towards confusion and uncertainty, when the same notion is thrown around, as is sometimes the case, as a rationale for arguing that there is a unique set of underlying physiological assumptions applicable to different people depending on their unique background.
Let me be clear. It’s not that I am suggesting that biological processes are lacking in complexity and that they could somehow, miraculously, be able to be separated from continuous interactions with a constantly fluctuating and changing environment.
Every persons situation is in a sense, unique, having developed as a result of interactions with a multitude of factors, including hereditary, nutritional, hormonal, psychological and environmental determinants, all of which have been shown to impact, one way or another, on cellular development, function, and regeneration.
Resulting from the many factors influencing variations in the quality of development of organ systems, as well as predispositions towards greater degrees of sensitivity to a variety of hormones and other substances (often the result of early life exposure to such substances, in some cases, inside the womb), there is potential for a large variety of metabolic responses and outcomes, depending on the approach or therapeutic intervention undertaken.
What I am driving at, therefore, without entering into any philosophical arguments in relation to genetics (and the highly dogmatic and deterministic beliefs inherent in such discussions), is that there are underlying biological principles which, when examined with a clear mind, via critical analysis of empirical evidence, can be seen to apply equally, at the very least, across our species.
To propose that there are some, for example, depending on their particular ‘genetic’ make up, or background, who function well consuming larger amounts of fruit sugar, whereas, for others, possibly even a big percentage of the population, anything more than small amounts of sucrose in the diet is counter-productive and potentially harmful, is a misleading hypothesis.
Yes, there absolutely are variations in metabolism which, I have discussed previously, alter a person’s sensitivity to, and requirements for, different levels and sources of fuel, and nutrition.
In particular, stress, and anything else that leads to digestive distress and interference, can severely limit the ability to metabolise many high quality foods.
When sugar (or carbohydrate) is removed from the diet, however, and glycogen stores are depleted, the body, in order to function, has to find an alternative means to provide it, which invariably involves rising levels of stress related hormones (namely cortisol and adrenalin), which use valuable muscle tissue and other protein sources, and release fat into the system, as fuel.
Unfortunately, until we have evolved into a new and somewhat different species, it seems likely that such biological processes will continue to apply, and, in the context of exposure to various forms of stress, including starvation or sugar restriction (as well as sometimes regardless of an individuals perception of how they feel at a particular point in time), play a role in the promotion of aging, degeneration and disease.
On this basis, when a general understanding of the bigger picture of human biology is made available, providing a rational structure guiding attempts at improvement in overall metabolic performance, it can sometimes quite quickly be discovered, that previously insurmountable, obscure, and seemingly unrelated issues, can more easily be understood (and dealt with), together, as logical symptoms of impaired function.
In some ways, it can almost be said, that the answer to one question, becomes the answer to almost every question.
If and when, however, the physiological principles being promoted and relied upon, are influenced by, and created, as a result of powerful political and industrial agendas, as well as often poorly performed and biased scientific research, instigated and funded in the name of said goals, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to understand what is happening, and to make any effective dietary (or related) changes, which can predictably lead to long term overall improvements in health.
Under such circumstances, the ‘paradox’ as an explanation, becomes more commonplace and far easier to accept. In reality, however, a sugar ‘paradox’ is no more accurate than would be a ‘gravity’ or ‘carbon dioxide’ paradox.
In many ways, as time passes, we continue to be redirected, by institutions and organisations, from one failed doctrine to the next, whilst such bodies flourish and profit hugely from our compliance, regardless of the expense to our health, well being and happiness.
In this sense, the purpose behind this page, as well as the numerous other discussions I (and some others I know), regularly take part in, is in no way to give people prescriptions as to what they can or can’t or even should or shouldn’t eat. The intention certainly isn’t the creation of a new and improved protocol.
Rather it is to continue to attempt to provide an honest, and meaningful basis, hopefully allowing for people to make whatever decisions they wish to make, and take whatever risks they may choose to take, in relation to their health, diet or lifestyle, in a manner which is informed, rather than dangerously misleading.
Although many might say that they aren’t interested in this information, such thoughts are in some ways, the product of a lifetime of exposure to conflicting and often ineffective advice and recommendations, which when deeply embedded as a belief system, can lead to confusion and disillusionment, and an eventual willingness to consume products which are often initially unappealing, whilst avoiding others which are satisfying and enjoyable.
It’s not that I’m saying that we are all not, in many ways, unique and beautiful snowflakes. It’s just that in other ways, paradoxically, or not, we are “the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
“Bruce Lee die je ontbijt klaarmaakt”