Well, I am at least a 1/4 of the way to becoming a nutritional biochemistry expert. Ha! Not remotely – that distinction belongs to Jonathan’s good friend, Erica. (When I say things like, “Is she your BESTIE? For EVER? Like BBFL?” he rolls his eyes. Sometimes he has no sense of humor…)
Anyhow, Erica is Wicked Smaht (that’s for you Jimmy Fallon and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon). She likes to read all kinds of science-y stuff, the kind of shit that makes my eyes water. I mean, I had one semester of chemistry in 9th grade. I failed the “female hormones” section of biology (ie. menstruation, menopause, pregnancy – and general lady shit). True story (ask anyone in that class – I am sure they remember that shining moment). My high school teacher, who had a class of all girls, asked why I failed it. My response? “This crap happens EVERY DAMN MONTH and I already HATE it so why do I have to learn the details? it sucks as it is” I had to retake that section and I got a C.
So, enter my lack of scientific reading ability, but, luckily, enter Erica. She has been sending me some fascinating videos, which I will link here, but she is also super useful because I can say things like “can you read this science report and see if I can eat x, or y or z?” I learned a lot about fructose, some of which has been reinforced by Louis C.K. (yeah, truth). It all makes sense, but it doesn’t make this diet change easy. But it all makes a lot of sense.
For example, Erica sent me a paper about milk (I love milk) and I had to say, “What the hell are opioid receptors?” and she sent this, “Opioid receptors are the little areas in the brain where things like morphine or opium attach and blunt pain signals… morphine blocks pain, right? Well things that attach to those receptors block pain… Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “I’m not in pain,” but consider the effect of a person who is addicted to opium without needing it as a pain medication. Basically it gets you high. Mild attachment makes you mildly high… more attachment makes you more high. Milk has proteins that have been shown to attach to these receptors. The inference is that milk MIGHT be making people who drink a lot of it, slightly high. High enough to have withdrawal symptoms. ” See how useful that it? Like having my own science reference.
I also asked her why some people can eat things and some people can’t, and she said this, “Basically the point is that it depends a lot on environment… I don’t necessarily mean the city you live in versus the rural woods of Idaho… the environment inside your body. All foods are chemicals, some work well together, some are poisonous, some are poisonous for some people. I can say it like this, and I think this came from one of Mat’s videos: “Eskimos and inuit peoples live almost exclusively on fish, which is “high protein high fat.” So researchers often say that high protein and high fat can be good exclusively to sustain a normal human life… Think of Atkins… Now consider it from a biologist’s perspective: If you recreate that diet in a population that isn’t well adapted to it, say the grain/rice consumers in Africa, you are likely to see a problem simply because their populations’ DNA as a whole may NOT have yet evolved to have those pathways- evolution only goes so far as to matter to the next generation: “Did the parents have the opportunity to reproduce,” which does not take into account “were the parents suffering from disease when they reproduced?” Now look from a chemist’s perspective: simply saying “high fat/high protein” isn’t correct. A high fish Eskimo diet is specifically high omega-3 fat, low omega-6 fat, and has special chemicals like astraxanthins which come from eating krill. Try to recreate that “high fat/high protein” diet with beef that is low on omega3 and high in omega6 and is grown eating grain. NOT THE SAME DIET. The devil is in the details.” Don’t you all wish you had your OWN Erica?
Here are some videos, some are kinda hard to understand, but some are easier. Watch and learn, seriously, watch and learn.
And watch Louis C.K.: Hilarious (<—that’s the name)