The Mediterranean diet: Not all it’s cracked up to be

The Mediterranean diet: Not all it’s cracked up to be

Here’s another study that is nothing but fluff and flummery from Dr. Javier Menendez of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Suddenly Menendez and his team of flunkies-I mean researchers-have made the discovery that olive oil is really good for you, and they reported their findings in the Annals of Oncology in January.

“We have something now that is able to explain why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy,” Javier Menendez told Reuters. “Doctors and researchers had been aware that eating a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of breast cancer and other illnesses such as heart disease. But until now they did not know how.

“They have found the oncogene that explains why oleic acid (in olive oil) is good for you:

“Oleic acid blocks the action of a cancer-causing oncogene called HER-2/neu, which is found in about 30 percent of breast cancer patients,” they tell us.

The know-it-alls don’t really know it all

Well, OK, that’s GREAT; I like oncogenes. But my readers don’t care a fig about them. They want to know what to eat in order to stay healthy. And man can’t live-or stay healthy-on olive oil alone. This study is a classic example of narrowly focused scientists straying beyond their expertise-genetics-and pontificating on nutrition, about which they know nothing (except what they have read from the Department of Agriculture’s “food pyramid,” which is drastically flawed and discredited).

Just because you are a geneticist or an epidemiologist doesn’t mean you know anything about scientific nutrition. I’ll bet not one geneticist or epidemiologist in a million has ever heard of Dr. Weston A. Price, the father of the Atkins diet, the Pinckney diet, the Ravnskov diet, the Douglass diet, and all the other high protein, low-carb copycat plans.

Not that there is anything wrong with all these diets-they are essentially the same-but if you haven’t read Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, you cannot claim to be a member of the “Inner Circle” of experts who really know what human nutrition is all about and what modern pseudo nutrition has done to our health.

All grains, no eggs = a recipe for nutritional disaster

Where am I going with this? Where I am going is that these geneticists, undoubtedly good in their field, are misleading their readers by assuming that their findings prove the Mediterranean diet is a good diet because it has olive oil in it. Any good diet should contain a certain amount of olive oil (or palm, or coconut oil) for good health. But you can pour olive oil over a tombstone all day and it is still a tombstone.

Most people have only a vague idea as to what the Mediterranean diet actually is, and it’s really no better than the pyramid the government “nutrition” experts have been pushing on us for years.

The Mediterranean diet recommends lots of bread, beans, and seeds (great fare for your birds). But it severely restricts fat, instructing followers to eat less than 25 percent fat, avoid saturated fat and animal fat, and, instead, eat low-fat this and low-fat that. Wrong, wrong, WRONG.

There is a polite nod to fish and chicken: “moderate amounts” several times a week, with fish “favored” over chicken (more crapola topped with rabbit droppings). And now come the really bad parts of the diet: It says to eat red meat only “a few times a month” and to have zero to four eggs a week.

Yipes! I eat at least four eggs a day, and Silky, my famous raw-food Weimariner, eats four eggs a day raw, along with her raw chicken necks (with skin and fat), raw chicken liver, raw hamburger, raw ox tails, and raw pork meat with plenty of raw pork fat-raw, raw, raw. She has the body of a weightlifter, with copious amounts of fat in her diet and none on her body. Unlike most dogs, after her meal at 6:00 PM, she doesn’t lie down and sleep it off. She is buzzed and invigorated; she charges around the patio as though her tail was on fire. We have to play ball with her for an hour just to settle her down. Yes, that does require all you dog owners to actively participate in your pet’s life. But it is the only way to keep him or her healthy-and happy. And you’ll be surprised how good it is for you too.

One more thing about Silky and then I’ll get off the subject. Her meal weighs about a pound and a half. Her “bathroom” is a corner of a Spanish-tiled room near the pantry that is covered with about 6 square feet of newspaper. She is quite modest and will not go if I am anywhere near her toilet, so I have never seen her do “Number Two.” But the “end product” is remarkable. Although a pound and a half went in this 75-pound dog at 6:00, only the volume you would expect from a small poodle comes out later. That’s because Silky’s diet contains zero grain and so practically zero fiber. Who needs extra fiber in their diet? No one, in my opinion.

Fiber love is part of the vegetarian mystique. It doesn’t prevent colon cancer; it doesn’t prevent diabetes or constipation; it just gives you a BIG STOOL. The message of the Special K commercials is that if you eat your fiber, you will look just like the cute little 18-year-old girl depicted in the ad. But if you eat Special K, or any of these other kibble foods, you might as well just buy dog chow and save your money.

Oil can’t do the job all on its own

There is a message here, dear reader, but it is not for you. It is for those snooty scientists who think just because they know a little about genetics, statistics, “epidemiology,” and maybe even a little about enzymology, cellular biology, and mitochrondiology, that they know all about what you should and should not eat. They don’t.

Let me tell you something, Javier. The Mediterranean diet will not “reduce the risk of breast cancer and other illnesses such as heart disease.” All the olive oil in the world, as good as it is for your health, will not prevent physical degeneration if your diet, for all intents and purposes, it leaves out vital animal protein and animal fat in copious quantities. PERIOD.

“How Mediterranean Diet Fights Cancer,” Reuters Health News, 1/9/05

“Oleic acid, the main monounsaturated fatty acid of olive oil, suppresses Her-2/neu (erbB-2) expression and synergistically enhances the growth inhibitory effects of trastusumab (Herceptin TM) in breast cancer cells with Her-2/neu oncogene amplification.” Annals of Oncology 2005; 16(3): 359-371