Conventional wisdom has it that dietary fiber is essential and beneficial for our health. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, so it must be healthy, right?
Well, it’s not that simple.
Here’s an idea that flips the script; fiber is a proxy for eating less processed food. When people replace refined foods with whole foods, they almost always see improvements in their health. Naturally, they’ll be eating more fiber since fruits and vegetables are higher in fiber than processed foods. But we can’t necessarily attribute these improvements in health outcomes to the increase in fiber consumption.
Let’s look into this further with another somewhat controversial statement; there’s nothing inherently healthy or nutritious about fiber. Think about it for a second. Why would the equivalent of eating toilet paper be something healthy for humans? Fiber is a non-nutritive substance we can’t digest.
So why do we think...
We’re back in our new studio for episode number 2 with Dr. Bill Schinlder and his wife Christina Schindler on video conference from Maryland. Make sure you subscribe to the Sapien podcast on your podcast app of choice to get the new season.
Dr. Bill Schindler is the director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College where he is also an associate professor of archaeology and anthropology. Two years ago he co-hosted the National Geographic show The Great Human Race. He spent the last year abroad continuing his hands-on research and professional development by immersing himself and his family with indigenous and traditional groups around the world to learn about their food and diets.
As an experimental archaeologist and primitive technologist, his specialties are in recreating technologies of the past to better interpret our ancestral diets. His current focus is learning how to translate the outcomes of that research into something meaningful for modern-day diet and...
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Saturated fats have largely been demonized in the media and scientific community. Often they’re mentioned in studies as being linked to various disease risk factors. One big caveat of many of these studies is that they don’t control the ‘saturated fat’ directly.
I’m not saying that unsaturated fats are unhealthy, I’m just saying that saturated fats aren’t necessarily unhealthy and there’s a good argument for why we should eat more saturated fat and less of the unsaturated fat which is present in the vegetable oils most people cook with.
Many studies looking at saturated fat with often correlate saturated fat with increased biomarkers for disease risk. There’s plenty out there suggesting we should be reducing our intake of saturated fat. And perhaps we should, if it’s coming from fast food which has been deep fried in vegetable oil.
However, what many of these studies lack is proper...
In a recent analysis of the NHANES data from 2009-2016 encompassing over 8,700 adults in the United States, a pertinent question was asked by researchers. What percentage of the American population is metabolically healthy?
Now there are many ways to define metabolic heath. In this case waist circumference, HDL, triglycerides, fasting glucose and blood pressure were used. I would have loved to have seen fasting insulin added to the mix if available from the dataset but this isn’t an often used marker and quite frankly if included would have likely made a bad situation look even worse. The results…12.2% or 1 in 8 Americans are in a state of metabolic health!(1)
I don’t think those statistic can be overstated. With all of our medical technology and dietary guidelines roughly 88% of the US population is experiencing metabolic dysfunction.
Given the current global health climate as I write these words I cannot begin to imagine how different things would look if...
There are lots of different ideas and philosophies about how humans should be eating. Many of these ideas evolve so that they become restrictive diets, but the problem with diets is exactly that. They are restricting.
The approach taken at Sapien.org is rather than following a set diet, we should follow a set framework to achieve optimal health and use that as guidance rather than using a diet and sticking to it religiously.
Within the Sapien Framework you can be keto, carnivore, paleo, or even vegetarian. It's all about being flexible. You can have a piece of cheesecake, you can have the occasional indulgence, but the idea is as long as you generally adhere to the Sapien Framework when trying to figure out what foods to eat, you will be achieving great results from your diet.
Instead of being a diet of any sort, the Sapien Framework encourages eating more whole, natural, nutrient-dense foods with an emphasis on animal products. However, that doesn't mean you can't be vegetarian and...
Hopefully, the supermarkets are a bit less crowded if you’re reading this at some point during the lockdown which is being imposed in many countries around the world due to the coronavirus. If so, and you’re wondering what nutritious foods you should be stocking up on when you get the chance to go shopping, have a look down below and see what foods I recommend for continuing to give your body some good nutrition when your usual fresh meat and vegetables might not be available.
Some people make an active effort to avoid tinned or canned foods because they’ve been processed so that the contents can be preserved for a prolonged period of time. They’re often thought to be less nutritious. The contents of the food in the tin or can is sealed and heated in order to kill off any bacteria and prevent the food from spoiling so it’s quite safe to eat...
Is there any food more villainized than red meat? If you believed every article on the internet demonizing the consumption of red meat, you would think that eating one steak per day would cause you to suffer obesity, diabetes, numerous cancers, heart disease, and destroy your kidneys simultaneously. Not only that, you’d also believe meat is the cause of global warming! If you take all of this at face value, you’d think nothing is more toxic to our health, to our bodies, or to the environment than red meat. Luckily for those who love a good steak, this is all based on faulty correlations, bad science, and an anti-meat agenda led by animal rights activists.
Religion, and more specifically The Seventh Day Adventist, was one of the original influences behind the demonization of meat. It was believed that eating the flesh of animals resulted in impure thoughts, violence, and as ridiculous as it sounds, made you more prone to...