Exactly, it's the 'informed' bit that is the problem.
The n=1 thing is a problem too.
Oh this is a nicer diversion topic.
And I'm going to risk it going to shit...a bit..
About 23 years ago a friend, her hubby and nine month old daughter picked up a lovely dose of Cryptosporidium
Parents were on the mend, but not quite well enough to care for the baby...who had the worst case of nappy rash (courtesy of the bug) I have almost ever seen. Auntie Rosemary to the rescue...and by far the best treatment was no nappy, baking soda baths and some time spent with affected part in (filtered) sunlight. Two days and she came right...but..despite my bestest precautions...you guessed it...the bug got me.
To be honest...the screaming shits for four weeks was almost not as debilitating as it sounds...I simply couldn't eat anything remotely solid/fatty/meaty. I could drink fluids, and milk, but anything solid...10 minutes and it was gone. This reaction to many solid foods continued for at least six months.
I was able to function very well. Surprisingly, for someone who enjoys a good feed. I just drank heaps, ate when it was convenient(work it out...but timing was everything) and lost gobs and gobs and gobs of weight. Which, of course, I have regained much of in the ensuing years...not that it bothers me. I still can have a reaction to some red meats..
I find the whole area of gut flora (and fauna) fascinating, and I think we just might be on to something...especially if we each could figure out our own personal nutrition uptake controlling gut bug.
While I do describe myself now as a plant developmental biologist - I trained as a molecular biologist (gene jockey) which means I'm comfortable with most things about DNA and RNA but often less comfortable with the organism the DNA came from :).
Thanks Bart, that certainly rang a bell - and here it is, a few paragraphs into Chapter One of my very favourite science book, Colin Tudge's tour de force of taxonomy, The Variety of Life:
Indeed a breed of molecular biologists has grown up who actually cannot tell the difference between a frog and a toad—or, indeed, when you boil it down, between a toad and a toadstool—because, quite simply, the difference does not seem to matter to them. DNA is DNA is DNA.
Many people on the spectrum have quite limited diets. But that could be because of some natural distrust of certain foods and their effects.
especially if we each could figure out our own personal nutrition uptake controlling gut bug.
A question for both of you. Do people on the spectrum tend to want have more diverse or less diverse diets?
I would have guessed they’d prefer more predictable (less diverse) eating habits. If that’s true you might predict they’d have less diverse gut biomes. I guess my feeling from what I’ve read thus far is I’d probably be inclined to treat gut problems now by adding to the diet rather than subtracting – that is very much a personal guess though.
As Hilary says, it’s not as simple as choosing. Believe it or not, colour can be a big factor in acceptability. Our older son has a relatively “normal” diet (he struggles hard to get salads down, on account of texture), while our younger son has a very limited, bready diet (mainly pizza with cheese, olive oil and garlic, but not sauce; cheesy bagels; Nutrigrain; milk). It’s not ideal, but eventually you realise a war on your kid’s nature is not ideal either. Sometimes we get him to take a supplement, but swallowing those is hard.
So adding to the diet is hard. Suggestions on covert (not in the sense that we’d lie to him, just easily acceptable) diet diversity are very welcome.
Cheers for that Bart.. very interesting. I’ve found that starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal and yoghurt seems to be very beneficial for my overall digestive wellbeing (sorry, TMI).
Same. I made a conscious effort to improve my breakfast diet a couple of years ago, and it's muesli, yoghurt and two or three kinds of whatever fruit's cheap most mornings. It really helped a lot. One also becomes attuned to the price of kiwifruit.
You know I'd say that "experimenting with your diet to see what makes you feel better" is one instance in which it's perfectly valid to make calls based on a n=1 sample. You are the number one expert on how certain things make you feel. And of course it's helpful to have some advice from people who know the broader area (help you make informed choices) but ultimately nobody can tell how things affect you better than you can. And nobody knows your priorities and comfort zones better than you do.
If I can tentatively relate this discussion back to where things got to earlier... this is partly why discussions gets fraught when diet is involved, because even the best-intentioned "experts" sometimes don't realise that they're conveying an offensive message about "if only YOU PEOPLE would make better choices". The realities of how and why we relate to our environments and eat certain things at certain times are more complex than that.
mprove my breakfast diet a couple of years ago, and it’s muesli, yoghurt and two or three kinds of whatever fruit’s cheap most mornings. It really helped a lot. One also becomes attuned to the price of kiwifruit.
No coffee ?
I heard a nutritionist on 9-noone speaking of hunter-gatherers eating 4-500 different foods over a year and now we are at around 40-60 foods. Of course it's easier to hunt / gather at packnsave.
...because even the best-intentioned "experts" sometimes don't realise that they're conveying an offensive message about "if only YOU PEOPLE would make better choices". The realities of how and why we relate to our environments and eat certain things at certain times are more complex than that.
IMHE food can be up there with politics and religion as things we humans will flip into combat mode over.
Card-carrying scientist Dr Mike Joy posted this big-picture dietary link on his Facebook page yesterday. Would those who readily despair over the dietary intransigence of lesser mortals be prepared to modify their own eating habits for the greater good?
Peeled (no green to alert him) zucchini finely grated into the pizza dough.
Brewer's yeast mixed w grated cheese or the dough for B vitamins. Or under the cheese on pizza or toast.
Cream cheese on simple bread (not wholegrain but unbleached white flour) - maybe sourdough?
Banana "ice-cream": frozen banana fed through an auger juicer.
Apple pud: stewed smooth peeled apple. Top w toasted coconut-ground oat mix (put in hot frypan and stir till pale) and whipped cream. Cream could have a small amount of creamy yoghurt stirred in. Contrast of textures and warmth was soothing.
Oldest was incredibly hard to persuade to eat - these were some strategies that worked. When I was stressing, the doc reminded me a potato had as much vitamin C as an orange. And will he drink fizz? If so Redoxon for B's and C.
Not sure what to make of this talk about mental health and nutrition.
But I'm pretty sure I've read about sugar having a big effect on gut microbiome. Probably nothing like antibiotics, but far more constant in most of our diets.
Autism and food choice: our lad is expanding his taste well at the moment - pubescent boy, always hungry helps. It's a great relief - he loves carbs, although he's always liked salad - because his diet has been quite limited at times.
Not much love for greenery, though we have got him eating green beans just via entertainment (a game where we would scream if he ate a bean. Luckily that hasn't been needed for a couple of years.
The oddest dietary thing has been around his passion for Huntley and Palmers cream crackers with marg and vegemite. Still a major favourite and backstop. But he won't eat them - gets quite upset - if they are at all broken (this has also improved lately.) My sense is the shape is important in a way that effects the taste and emotion, a sort of synesthesia.
At times he's been a little pattern obsessed and lined food up neatly, but it's a passing thing. His reaction to a broken cracker has endured.
There are also those that swear by fasting to reset one's system - perhaps that flushes the system back to basic settings.
and there is also the use of other larger organisms/parasites for purging and intervention - and why not, leeches and maggots have made a big comeback as well
- needs must...
We have a Saturday routine were we drive to town together. One of us goes to a weight watchers meeting while the other and sometimes another goes to the vege market. Then we all go to a fancy place for breakfast.
During the week, after taking on board a suggestion from Danielle during the last problematic thread that attempted to talk about diet, we started ordering in ‘My food bags’. And may I say, that they are a really practical way to establish and maintain what I feel comfortable calling healthy dinning habits.
‘My food bags’
They also give you new ideas. Sometime the hardest part of sorting out dinner is coming up with an idea.
Peeled (no green to alert him) zucchini
Also mixed into meatballs. Not so much to sneak veges in but because they add flavour and moisture.
Not sure what to make of this talk about mental health and nutrition.
But I’m pretty sure I’ve read about sugar having a big effect on gut microbiome.
Me neither. There are some pretty strong but very specific examples of foods (not drugs) affecting mental state. But beyond that there seems to be a general mumbled consensus that it's possible and plausible but we just don't know.
We are starting to learn that our gut has senses, there is good evidence for a direct satiety sense in the upper intestine that seems to have a direct line to the brain. How that interacts with the gut microbiome and how that can be affected by general diet doesn't seem to be clear.
To return to the original subject of sugar there does seems to be some pretty deep suspicion in that field that sugars, specifically fructose (which is half of white sugar and most of high-fructose corn syrup) causes some big changes in gut biome diversity and loss of diversity. But the field is just too new to be able to say "this bacteria should be 2% or you will get X".
You know I’d say that “experimenting with your diet to see what makes you feel better” is one instance in which it’s perfectly valid to make calls based on a n=1 sample.
I don't disagree that you should be free to experiment with yourself. I just wish they'd do the reverse test as well. So if removing X from the diet is associated with feeling Y going away then if later on you add X back then Y should come back as well.
That said it's really easy to fool yourself when examining data from an experiment where n is nice and big and everything else is controlled in the lab (observer bias). The potential for fooling yourself where n = 1 and you are both the observer and the data is significant :).
Do people remember Barry Marshall?
I'd add Hypoglycemia into the discussion about health (mental or otherwise) and nutrition.
As a young child I spent many a happy hour hooked up to a glucose drip, being hauled back from the brink.
Later, I learned to read the signs of impending trouble..
Shakiness, anxiety, nervousness
Sweating, feeling of warmth (sympathetic muscarinic rather than adrenergic)
Pallor, coldness, clamminess
Dilated pupils (mydriasis)
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort
Central nervous system
Abnormal thinking, impaired judgment
Nonspecific dysphoria, moodiness, depression, crying, exaggerated concerns
Feeling of numbness, pins and needles (paresthesia)
Negativism, irritability, belligerence, combativeness, rage
Personality change, emotional lability
Fatigue, weakness, apathy, lethargy, daydreaming, sleep
Confusion, memory loss, lightheadedness or dizziness, delirium
Staring, glassy look, blurred vision, double vision
Flashes of light in the field of vision
Automatic behavior, also known as automatism
Difficulty speaking, slurred speech
Ataxia, incoordination, sometimes mistaken for drunkenness
Focal or general motor deficit, paralysis, hemiparesis
Stupor, coma, abnormal breathing
Generalized or focal seizures
Not all of the above manifestations occur in every case of hypoglycemia.
and take appropriate measures to head it off.
No coffee ?
A large mug mug of Twining's Lemon Zest (which has disappeared from every known supermarket but Gilmour's, where it's permanently on special), then breakfast, then one coffee. All sitting at my computer.
Speaking of which, I'll try not to spend too much time at my computer today. I have to work tomorrow and it's Fiona's birthday today. Cheers all.
Please say we wish y'all a happy day.