DIETETICS VERSUS NUTRITIONAL BALANCING SCIENCE
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© October 2010, The Center For Development
Dietetics is a science of nutrition that is closely allied with the allopathic or drug medical system of health care. Dietitians are either registered or licensed in some states in America, and work in hospitals, schools, clinics and elsewhere. Their training is in chemically-based diet concepts such as counting calories, proportions of protein, carbohydrates and fats, and learning basic diet modifications for those with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or other conditions. Below are their major diet concepts and my comments about them.
THE FOUR FOOD GROUPS
This is the basic and older dietetic concept that divides foods into four basic groups. One is supposed to eat a balanced diet by including some foods from each group with every meal.
The food groups are as follows:
Š Meats, poultry and fish. These provide a wide range of minerals, B-complex vitamins, essential fatty acids and much more.
Š Grains and cereals. These provide mainly critical minerals, but also supply calories and other nutrients.
Š Vegetables and fruits. These can provide hundreds of what are called phytochemicals or substances our bodies require. Fruit also supplies a lot of sugars.
Š Dairy products, such as milk products and eggs. These, if organic or raw, provide usable calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and many other nutrients.
The four food groups concept is valid, as far as it goes. It encourages variety in one’s diet, and it is true that each of the food groups supplies different nutrients.
Problems with the four food groups idea. The problems are:
Š Little or nothing is said about quality or even the quantity of the foods to eat. For example, is one supposed to eat the same amount of all the groups? Also, what kind of meats are best, for example, or are they all the same?
Š The effects of food processing are not considered. For example, French fries and ketchup are in the vegetable category. While these items contain vegetables, they are not very high quality due to the processing they undergo.
Š Fats and oils are not considered at all. Modern nutritional research has shown that obtaining adequate omega-3 fatty acids and other components of fats and oils are essential for our health, yet they are not even mentioned.
Š The way food is raised or grown is not considered. This may not have been important 100 years ago when the four food group idea began, but it can matter a lot today. Some food is laced with pesticides and some meats are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, for example. Other food is raised in a more healthful manner.
Š Individual differences, food allergies or sensitivities, yin and yang aspects of food, and perhaps other issues are not mentioned.
For all the reasons above, the four food groups idea is not too useful in nutritional balancing science. It is, however, an interesting way to consider our diets.
THE ‘FOOD PYRAMID’
This is a newer dietetic concept that has replaced the four food groups to a degree in US government food programs and in dietitian education programs. The basic idea is to eat more of certain foods and less of others, according to a diagram that looks like a pyramid. Here is the basic layout:
Base of the pyramid: Grains and cereals, such as bread, rice, corn and others. Since the base is largest, one is supposed to eat the most of these foods.
Next layer up: Vegetables and fruits. One is supposed to eat somewhat less of these foods.
Next layer up: Proteins, which includes meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
Top of the pyramid: Fats and oils. One is supposed to eat the least of these foods such as butter, fried foods and so on.
Problems with the food pyramid. This newer dietetic concept is very incorrect, in my view. Thanks to this food pyramid idea, Americans have been overeating on sugars, fruits, sweets and breads and becoming fatter and fatter, and sicker and sicker with diabetes and cancer.
I believe that cooked vegetables should be at the base of the pyramid, meaning one should eat the most of these foods. In fact, cooked vegetables should occupy the first two or three levels of the pyramid. Next should be quality proteins and quality fats and oils. The food group to eat the least of, in my view, are the carbohydrates, which are starches and particularly all sweets including fruit and fruit juices.
So, in the view of nutritional balancing science, the food pyramid is quite a disaster. Some changes were made to the food pyramid to exclude trans fatty acids and refined sugars, but the pyramid is still backwards and upside down in our view. In fact, it is a step backwards from the four food groups idea in some ways.
Other problems with the food pyramid scheme are similar to those of the older four food group idea:
Š Not enough attention to the processing of the food.
Š No attention to the way the food is produced.
Š No attempt to differentiate individual needs in terms of quantity, specific types of proteins, oils, etc.
Š No attention to other concepts that we find important, such as the yin or yang qualities of food.
RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCES (RDA) and MINIMUM DAILY REQUIREMENTS (MDR)
These represent another dietetic concept of setting minimum standards for vitamins, minerals, calories, and perhaps other food components. The idea is that if one can obtain the minimum amount of these nutrients, one will be healthy.
The value of the RDAs and MDRs. The main value of the RDAs in my opinion is to note that millions of people, especially in America, are not even getting the minimum required daily amount of many nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A. This is sad to have to say, but it is the truth.
Problems with the RDAs and the MDRs. Beyond the value discussed above, the RDAs have little interest for practitioners and clients using nutritional balancing science.
The RDAs and MDRs are far too low, in my view, as they are based on averages of “healthy” people, many of whom are getting ready to be diagnosed with cancer or diabetes. So I do not make use this concept.
In nutritional balancing science, one is not interested in how much vitamin C or vitamin E a person needs to stay “healthy” in terms of external appearance. One is interested in how much of the vitamins and minerals are needed to maintain the body in optimum health, remove toxic metals, heal chronic infections, and so on. This amount is far higher than the RDAs and differs depending on one’s age, sex, stress level, illnesses, lifestyle, weight, height, and other factors such as the oxidation rate.
Dr. Weston Price, DDS, was a dentist who traveled the world studying the healthiest tribes of people around the world. He wrote Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He found that all the healthiest people obtained between 4-11 times the recommended daily allowance of the major vitamins and minerals! His book is a classic nutrition text. Unfortunately, it is now almost 100 years old, so I do not agree with all of Dr. Price’s recommendations, since things have changed somewhat. For example, it is simply not safe to eat raw food today very much due to concerns with parasites, in particular. However, overall, Dr. Price was a very wise physician and researcher.
In summary, the RDAs and the MDRs are much too low for optimum health and not of much use at all if one wants optimum health or even decent health.
COUNTING CALORIES AND GRAMS OF FOODS
This is another important concept in modern dietetics. It is the idea that a person should eat a certain set amount of calories (which are heat units in foods) and a certain number of grams or ounces of protein, starch and fats. The dietitians use this idea to design 1000-calorie diets and so on. They also use it to decide what proportions of protein, starch and fat a person should eat.
A good thing about this idea is that it is mathematical and precise. Certainly there is some truth to the idea that if you eat too many calories, for example, you will gain too much weight.
Problems with this concept. Unfortunately, we find that this idea of counting calories and grams does not work very well. Here are just a few of the reasons:
Š Not all calories are alike. What I mean by this is that the calories or heat units in foods are burned or metabolized differently depending on the type of food, the nutrients in the food, the overall food quality, or other factors.
People’s needs vary
This is the most important problem. The needs depend on a person’s digestive capability,
lifestyle, activity level, age, sex, illnesses, temperament, oxidation rate,
mineral deficiencies and general nutritional status.
For example, athletes need more food an sedentary workers. Older people may need a little less. Fast oxidizers need more as they burn their food faster. Slow oxidizers need less, and so on. For this reason, mathematical standards are only useful in general, and must often be modified, reducing the effectiveness of the concept. We find we don’t’ need to bother with it to help people lose lots of weight and regain their health.
In fact, we find that following diets based mainly upon counting calories and grams of food often causes subtle starvation, making people’s health much worse over time.
MIXING MANY FOODS AT A MEAL
Dietitians often suggest mixing fats, proteins and carbohydrates and sugars at one meal. They believe this way you will obtain more nutrients and it is a more ‘complete’ meal. In nutritional balancing, we do not subscribe to this idea simply because it is harder to digest. It is far better to have simple meals of two or three, or even just one type of food at a meal. This is how babies tend to like to eat, and it is how many primitive tribes still eat their meals. It is far easier on the digestion. So we suggest having just a few vegetables and some chicken, for example, at one meal. At the next meal, have some yogurt or cheese, maybe with some rice crackers, and so on.
Dietitians generally do not subscribe to the idea that nutritional supplements are critical for health. Here I believe they are just ignorant or brainwashed, since food analysis and other research clearly shows that our food today is grossly deficient in certain nutrients, even if one eats well. The most obvious are the omega-3 fatty acids, enough vitamin D, vitamin A, calcium and a few others. I feel that dietitians and doctors have been thoroughly brainwashed to believe that people do not need extra supplements when it is not true. In fact, everyone needs them today because the quality of the food is not great, the soils are depleted of nutrients around the world, and common methods of food processing such as making whole flour into white flour greatly depletes the nutrient content of the food.
Dietitians and doctors also do not agree that nutritional supplements can be used for specifically healing various symptoms and conditions in the body. This is also the result of either gross ignorance or brainwashing, or likely both. Once again, thousands of pages of medical literature support the idea that extra vitamin A and C, for example, can boost the immune response and extra zinc is helpful for the skin, the immune system and much more. Many other examples could be cited.
ORGANIC FOOD, TOXIC METALS AND OTHER TOXINS IN FOODS
Dietitians and medical doctors do not generally pay much attention to toxic metals and other toxic chemicals in foods. This is a terrible omission, as many food chemicals irritate the intestines, damage the liver and kidneys, reduce the nutritional value of food in some cases, and upset body chemistry in many other ways. Doctors and dietitians often recommend processed foods for their patients with chemicals that offer no nutritional value and can upset the patient’s body in serious ways.
In contrast, nutritional balancing is well aware of the harmful effects of some food chemicals such as excitotoxins in Aspartame, MSG, some colors, flavors and preservatives, and we specifically warn people to avoid most food chemicals.
We also find that fish, for example, except for sardines and a few other small fish, are too high in mercury for safety. Foods laden with pesticides are often high in lead, arsenic and other toxic metals used in these insecticides and pesticides. While occasional exposure is okay, eating them on a daily basis is not wise and eventually causes illness. This is one argument in favor of organically grown foods and free-range, antibiotic-free meats and dairy products. This is not a guarantee of no chemical residues, but in general they appear to be better quality.
Several studies also show that organic foods are higher in many nutrients, but this is also generally ignored by most dietitians and doctors.
FOOD AS THERAPY TO BALANCE THE BODY CHEMISTRY
This is a more advanced concept of nutrition that is not even considered in dietetics, to my knowledge. It is based on the idea of metabolic typing, which is generally foreign to allopathic medicine and dietetics.
Nutritional balancing science makes use of hair mineral testing to assess a person’s metabolic type and metabolic or oxidation rate. Then the diet is altered because research by Dr. George Watson and Dr. Paul Eck indicates that by so doing, one can actually balance the body and greatly improve one’s health. At the same time, these doctors showed that eating the wrong foods for one’s oxidation type worsens one’s health, even if the foods are nutritious.
Modern medical dietetics is used in hospitals, clinics and schools across America. While they have a rudimentary understanding of the complex area of diet and health, I believe their methods are sadly outdated, simplistic, and even lacking in common sense. In fact, their recommendations may be largely responsible for the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, attention-deficit disorder, cancer, arthritis and many more diseases.
In addition, most medical and dietetic professionals are quite arrogant and unwilling to change, in spite of thousands of pages of well-conducted studies that contradict their approach and their recommendations.