I used the principle of reading in parallel to look at some recent popular health books. I’m finally getting around to typing up the notes, since its the new year! I used a similar approach as Brett describes below:
“Reading for information is a bit different than reading for fresh thinking. Often, when we read a book, we simply absorb the ideas of the author. When we read for fresh thinking, we actively play with those ideas and create new ones.
An exercise I’ve mentioned in the past–and that I’ve used in writing my books–is reading in parallel. Select a topic of interest and then purchase at least four highly rated, well-reviewed books related to that topic. Skim each book in advance and mark off the sections most relevant to your selected topic. Then take turns reading from those sections of each of the books, freely moving from an idea in one of the books to related ideas from the other books. So, for example, I might read four books on creativity, but will read the sections on “problem finding” (how to arrive at worthwhile questions to ask) from each of the books. Then I might read the sections on brainstorming from each of the books.
Rarely will I get through every section of every book. The idea is to create a kind of dialogue among the authors, identifying points of overlap and difference. Very often, the ideas from one book will trigger ideas that have you scouring the other books for elaboration. The mixture of ideas from several books will lead to a thought that is not contained in any of the books. When you read in parallel, it’s like being in the room while the authors are conversing. The intersecting of ideas almost always stimulates fresh ways of thinking about (and applying) the topic at hand.”
Update: This is not the only health/diet/nutrition review so i’ll add some interesting links from my previous research
How to Live a Longer, Higher Quality Life, with Peter Attia, M.D. [Invest Like the Best, EP.27]
Healthspan vs Lifespan:
People have the tendency to cluster around ideas as if they were tangible things and hold on for dear life. When we find something we like, or something that makes sense, like religion or a political stance or a diet, roots are planted and – for most of us – they are permanent. They’re permanent mainly because it’s easier that way. It takes less work to blindly cling to dogma. It’s hard (and humbling) to reevaluate an entire belief system and start over. We prefer the path of least resistance, and we’d simply rather not think too hard. Once the roots of a dogmatic belief find purchase in the hard packed earth of the lazy mind, they’re staying put.
Everyone who learns about nutrition through the usual channels, be it fitness magazines, mainstream diet books and forums, gets cursed with the prevailing belief system of what constitutes a good diet.
Though specific dietary recommendations vary slightly depending on who you listen to, there are many common denominators and “rules” that you are told you must adhere to. Call it broscience, incompetence or ignorance, same thing. We’ve all been there and we’ve all followed these rules. Led like sheep, not knowing better. Trusting that those we listen to knew what they were talking about. While these dietary myths run rampant in the bodybuilding and fitness community, you’ll find that many are being endlessly propagated in the mainstream as well.
Upon closer scrutiny, the great majority lack scientific basis. They are born out out of half-truths, faulty conclusions drawn from poorly conducted studies or created when a study gets cited out of context.
Health books read in 2017:
The end of heart disease – Dr Joel Fuhrman
Nutritarian Diet Principles
-Nutritionally dense unprocessed foods,high in plants, low animal products (3/week, no dairy)
-ANDI scores: nutrient per calorie. Although I would prefer something that takes into consideration volume and cost
-No white processed carbs
-Salad as a meal, Lots of plants
-Oil = procssed, no nutrients and fiber, spike blood sugar, eat nuts instead.
-Score food: Glycemic load, Micronutrient Content, Resistant Starches + Fiber
-Glucose curve, most hunger is toxic hunger not real
-Doesn’t like eggs/oils
-“We likely will always find some vocal people who wan to believe anything, no matter how unsubstantiated so they can rationalize why they don’t need to change their diets and continue”
-Evaluated a lot of nutritional studies
Whole foods diet
-Plant based unprocessed foods, low in fat and refined carbs
-Whole grains better than unprocessed
-Low animal products
-Oils are nutrient poor and calorie dense
-Blue zones: Areas with highest longevity
Plant Paradox by Dr Gundry
-Microbiome restoration/gut bacteria replenishing focused diet with some Keto, more fringe
-Claims to help with autoimmune diseases
-analogy: fix the ecoyssytem by pluggin holes instead of pouring in good nutrients that leak out
-Olive oil: use plants as delivery mechanism
-Only eat high quality meats/animal products: reduce steroids/antibiotics/lectin accumulation in tissues. Pastured chicken, wild fish in limited amounts
-Eat foods high in Resistant Starches: before this book I had not heard of these starches which convert to oils in a health gut
-We’ve evolved mechanisms to prepare foods in certain ways to reduce lectins in our diet: use a pressure cooker
-Has a lot of good points about how our food supply is manipulated: roundup pesticide on wheat to harvest more easily, then not washed off when given to animals as feed
-Whole grains worse than unprocessed because they contain more lectins,
-GMO increases planet resistance to bugs and to the human microbiome
-Very selective in plants (no nightshades,beans,legumes), almost no fruits (just avacado)
-Lots of toxin’s in the environment: carbon paper
-He seems to be light on published research, heavy on promoting supplements
-Glucosamine may bind to lectin’s and reduce inflammation through that path
Between all the books:
Pain points: Whole grains vs white, Oils, Fruit, Beans/Legumes
Agreement: Low animal/daily, High amount of plants, unprocessed foods, Low sugar/refined carbs