Monday, November 22, 2010
The Healing Power of Food
Check out the article, "Epilepsy's Big, Fat Miracle," printed in the New York Times today (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/magazine/21Epilepsy-t.html?pagewanted=2). This is an extremely interesting example of the profound impact that food has on the body. Sam is undergoing treatment for severe epilepsy that cannot be controlled by drug treatments. Instead, his doctor prescribed a ketogenic diet, consisting of almost solely high-fat foods and strictly limiting carbohydrates, in order to force the body into a form of starvation. Carbohydrates are the brain's ideal source of energy, but when they are in short supply, the body is able to use fat instead. For Sam, this is just what his brain needs in order to decrease the amount of seizures he experiences each day by 75%! Oh, the power of food. It still continues to amaze me, and it excites me that doctors are looking to food to provide treatment for an array of diseases.
Although this is an extreme case, and otherwise you will never hear me support a diet in which entire macronutrients (i.e. carbohydrates) are neglected, it reinforces the recurring theme throughout my study of nutrition that every body requires its own unique diet. It is so disappointing to me that so many people assume that if they follow the same diet that may work for someone else--for weight loss, weight management, or even energy level--they will experience the same results. WRONG. Every body is different and has its own ideal diet. I cannot stress enough the importance of listening to one's body and learning the language that it speaks. I know that it is not easy to always listen to your body. It is difficult to learn, especially when you are often running on schedules other than your own, but you only have this one body, so don't you want to take the time to get to know it? You could find that you feel more like yourself than you ever have before It takes time and patience and, I hate to say it to all of you whose lives don't allow for it, but it helps to have a routine.