My latest book to peruse was Politically Incorrect Nutrition by Michael Barbee, C.D.C. He covers a handful of topics that are considered healthy or harmful by the general population and explains how we have been misinformed. I read things I didn't know about cholesterol, green tea, and fluoride, among other things. However, I still don't take Barbee's word as fact. Some things seem backed by strong science, and some things seem like interesting theories.
One study Barbee sites that did fascinate me involved rabbits and heart disease. 2 groups of rabbits were fed the same high-fat diet, but 1 group was removed from their cages several times each day. Once removed, they were given petting and attention, each time by the same person. At the end of the study, the group that had been petted showed 60% less atherosclerosis (a disease where plaque builds inside the arteries) than the group that received no attention. The experiment was repeated with the same results. Author and researcher Larry Dossey said, "Touching, petting, handling, and gentle talking emerged as a crucial determinant in the disease process that kills more Americans than any other."
Along similar lines, British physician Michael Marmot observed Japanese immigrants in the US. He found that the immigrants who kept a traditional Japanese diet but converted to the American way of life were twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease than immigrants who ate the typical American diet but still observed their Japanese traditions. Japanese culture puts emphasis on group support and social stability (in other words, staying close to family and friends). Dr. Marmot saw that this support was a bigger prevention for heart disease than diet.
This definitely does not mean we can eat everything that's bad for us as long as we have support from our family. Our body still needs specific nutrients in order to function. But the study does show how important love and support is. Our bodies and health are effected by many factors, not just exercise and nutrition.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that help the author of this blog. Thanks for your support!