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My Thoughts on Nutrition and Health

Table of Contents


Have you seen the headlines? 

Increase in Autism Baffles Scientists

Obesity Rates Soaring

Cancer in Children Increasing

Asthma epidemic

Is this really what God intended when he created mankind? What are we to make of a world in which health problems of all kinds seems to be proliferating? Why is health care taking an ever increasing share of our resources?

I worked for 15 years as a dietitian before I retired. Since then I have read some books that have convinced me that there is a whole other nutritional world out there, different from conventional dietetics or medicine. And along the way some unresolved, or should I say ignored issues I read about in graduate school have been answered for me. Some of these ideas are controversial - so controversial that you rarely see them reported on in the media. (For an exception see The Soft Science of Dietary Fat by Gary Taubes in the March 30, 2001, issue of Science or What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie? By Taubes in the July 7, 2002, issue of the New York Times)

When I say controversial, what I really mean is threatening - to powerful interests in this country. So threatening that prophetic voices are silenced, falsehoods are promulgated, and the man on the street is misinformed. If you don't believe the shenanigans that go on, I invite you to read When Healing Becomes a Crime by Kenny Ausubel, or Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers, or Dr. Stoll's story at See also Health Freedom Issues.

For some ideas on how we got into this situation and why doctors and dietitians are so reluctant to change, read Paradigm Paralysis.

The Cholesterol Controversy

A major health assumption in the medical profession and in the media is that saturated fat and cholesterol are demons to be avoided (example - The American Heart Asso.). Yet there are respected voices which are not being heard telling us that this is not so. I would like to give you the opportunity to hear these pleas for an alternative approach to building good health. As a health professional I am convinced we need to give these alternative voices a fair hearing. I believe that if you give these voices a hearing you will become convinced, as I have, that we need to look at our burgeoning health crisis in another way, and seek healing and good health in new directions.

My personal story includes a longstanding interested in nutrition and in organic gardening (read that gardening in harmony with nature in a way that is sustainable). The interest in nutrition led me to pursue a graduate degree in nutrition followed by a career as a registered dietitian, from which I retired in 1995. My passion for gardening led me to develop our half acre as a fruit and vegetable garden, and also a certified National Wildlife Backyard Habitat. Gardening organically was a lonely endeavor until I discovered the Internet and became part of the Organic Gardening mailing list where finally there were folks who could answer my many questions. Nutrition is a passion for many organic gardeners, and occasionally someone on the list would recommend a book to read. One book mentioned on more than one occasion was Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, which I finally borrowed from the library.

Reading Nourishing Traditions was like experiencing a mental earthquake, or perhaps I could say discovering a medical bombshell. The dietitian's standard line that low fat is good and saturated fat and cholesterol are bad was blasted as "politically correct nutrition from the diet dictocrats." First I was suspicious, than amazed. Then I was convinced - Butter was good, not bad!

The more I read, the more I became convinced that my nutrition training had been biased by outside forces that were not impartial and scientific. In fact problems that had been glossed over in my training suddenly had an answer that made sense. For example, we learned that whole grains contain phytates, which bind up minerals in grains so they are not available for digestion, but we learned nothing of the solution - Be kind to your grains by soaking them first to release the minerals.

My graduate school readings on fat and cholesterol never demonstrated a link between saturated fat and heart disease, yet we were told to blame saturated fat for heart disease. Now I understood why saturated fat became demonized. The Oiling of American by Sally Fallon tells in graphic detail why our nation's medical establishment is on a crusade to reduce our cholesterol by a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and by expensive medications, when in fact saturated fats and cholesterol have important functions in the body, and the real culprits are the highly processed unsaturated vegetable oils that have become a major element in the typical American diet, and trans fatty acids that come from them, along with excessive sugars and refined starchy foods.

Other reading confirmed what Sally and Mary said. The Cholesterol Myths, by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, Ph.D., a Swedish scientist who was skeptical of the cholesterol hypothesis from the beginning, documents in detail the many problems with the cholesterol hypothesis. Stephen Byrnes, in his review of the book, comments about Ravnskov, "Equipped with a razor-sharp mind and an impressive command of the literature, Ravnskov methodically slaughters the most famous sacred cow of modern medicine and the most profitable cash cow for assorted pharmaceutical companies."

Check out this article for solid medical opinion about this cholesterol controversy.

For a lively expose of all these fat shenanigans check out this web site (also) - about the "Trolls" who foisted this cholesterol ogre upon us:
"You realize, of course, that it was NOT butter they were after, but the cholesterol contained in butter -- if the trolls could make cholesterol into a danger substance (which it is NOT), then they could find a drug to "lower cholesterol" (which they did) and make billions of dollars managing a fake disease. This is the ideal scene for a drug company -- a drug that "works" (because it does lower cholesterol) but doesn't decrease death or illness!"

For other info check out my Carbs and Fats page

Nourishing Traditions

As I dug further into the question of what one should really eat for good health, I found the Native Nutrition Yahoo Group. You need to realize that the basis of Sally Fallon's work detailed in Nourishing Traditions is the research done back in the 1930s by Dr. Weston A. Price, a Cleveland dentist, when he became concerned about the sudden increase in tooth decay and crooked teeth that he was seeing in his patients. He had heard reports of people in far away lands who had beautiful teeth with no cavities, so he traveled all over the world to investigate. What he found reminded him of the Garden of Eden - isolated pockets of people in all parts of the globe, living as God intended, eating whole, nourishing local foods, - happy, healthy families and contented children with wide grins and almost perfect teeth, although there were no dentists. Sturdy people for whom heart disease and cancer were almost non-existent and whose immune systems were so strong they resisted the ravages of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

Today it is no longer possible to do this research because with the advent of Western influence came white bread and sugar and margarine and jam, ... and rotted crooked teeth, sad faces, and ill health. Unfortunately there are few people remaining in our world who have not suffered the blows of Western influence, and modern scientific research methods are ill equipped to tease out the influence of various factors in the complex world of nutrition, where the interplay of nutrients is so complicated, and individual responses so varied.

Although Dr. Price visited groups of people all over the world, who ate a wide variety of foods, he did note some common themes, which are detailed in Nourishing Traditions, and sometimes referred to as 'native nutrition.' Folks who are working to follow the Nourishing Traditions Guidelines populate the Native Nutrition group, and are often discussing other related books. One thread has addressed the question of how much fat should be in your diet.

The Fat Question

One of the themes of dietary instructions when I was working in the hospital was the importance of limiting fat. This seemed perfectly logical, since they are such concentrated calories. Wrong again! It turns out that for many people sugars and starches are the culprits - and not just the refined ones. And if you donít get adequate healthy fats you will be hungry and destined to fail at weight control. You are all familiar with the famous Adkins diet, which nutrition professionals have loved to condemn for years. It turns out that there are others who have independently arrived at similar conclusions. Click here for a list of the Web sites of some of these folks. As a result of reading several of these books, I have switched gears in cooking and cut down on carbs in our diet, realizing that neither of us needed the insulin surge that comes from emphasizing carbohydrates in our meals. The result - Bill has lost 10 pounds, and I still weigh what I did 50 years ago, and can still get into my Oslo costume Mother embroidered for me back then. For a personal story about one woman's struggle to manage her weight and cholesterol on a low fat diet check out her story

On the other hand there are those folks who don't do well on a low carb diet. Metabolic Typing is an assessment technique that is proving very valuable in sorting out the great variability in how folks respond to the food they eat. This research helps to make sense out of very confusing and often contradictory nutritional recommendations. Everyone should be familiar with these new ideas of how to build good health and fight disease.

The War on Cancer

I have stated that in gardening I use natural, sustainable methods. This means avoiding chemicals of all kinds, buying and raising organic fruits and vegetables, and seeking out organic meat and eggs. I've even come to view spiders in our house (as well as in the garden) as friends who assist in the fight against bugs. But it turns out that we can't escape the billions of tons of artificial chemicals that have been produced in the last 100 years, and they are coming back to haunt us! If you think the war on cancer is being won check out this Web site called Our Stolen Future

If you think we can dump millions of pounds of artificial chemicals annually onto Mother Earth with impunity read the book Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers. Their Web site explains the basics of this frightening prospect. This is not something that the government and big corporations are eager for you to know about. It's coming to light that cancer Is not the biggest worry from some of these supposedly safe chemicals, but something more insidious - their influence in tiny amounts during the early weeks of pregnancy, with a wide range of deleterious effects that may not show up for years - declines in fertility and other impacts on the reproductive system of both men and women, impairments in disease resistance, and erosions in intelligence.

Fortunately there are alternatives to conventional cancer treatment. If you don't believe alternative medicine is effective read these stories of cancer survivors.

The Bottom Line

Where does this all leave us? I have concluded that energy expended on raising some of our own food is well worth it. I view the extra expense of buying organic foods is like an environmental and Godly tithe, as important as that to our church. It is liberating to be free of the search for cheap food, with all the evils that cheap food implies - poverty wages, farmers driven from the land by heavy debts and prices that don't cover their costs, land used for export crops rather than to feed local people, meat raised in inhumane and unhealthy conditions in factory farms, soils destroyed by chemical agriculture, wildlife poisoned by agricultural pesticides. If you doubt the devastation wrought by our quest for cheap food check out some of the items on this page - Environmental Issues.

In closing, I would urge you to follow these Guidelines in planning your meals. In addition drink plenty of pure water, include coconut and coconut oil and other good fats like butter in your diet, consider whether you need to limit carbs in your diet (which means eating more high quality fat and protein), seek out a source of organic pasture-raised meat and raw milk.  Having friends dying of heart disease and cancer, suffering from bum hips and knees, struggling with behavior and learning problems in their children is ample reminder that careful planning of what you eat and understanding of how you should eat is well worth the effort. For some ideas on what to cook check out Kris's Recipes.

I consider this long epistle worth more than all the diet counseling that I did as a dietitian! If your health care provider expresses doubts about all this ask him/her to show you some good, unbiased primary research that proves that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. It can't be found!

Cheers! Prosit! Skal! To Your Good Health!

Kris Johnson






December 2002
Updated 09/01/2016







God's Intentions

Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil.

James 1:27 (CEV)


Be Wise

So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)




An Indictment of Our Times

How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor and steal what little they have through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, you will never live in the beautiful stone houses you are building. You will never drink wine from the lush vineyards you are planting. For I know the vast number of your sins and rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts...

Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry.

Amos 5: 10-12, 24

  against False Teachers

1Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead.
3They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanksgiving by people who know and believe the truth.

1 Timothy 4:1-3