The Law of Noncontradiction states that something cannot be true and untrue at the same time. In other words, if you and I hold two diametrically opposed viewpoints, we can’t both be right. We can both be wrong or one of us can be right and the other wrong. But both of us can’t be right and hold to opposing viewpoints.
This comes into play in a number of fronts in our lives. An easy example is with two things that are opposites. I can’t claim that it is daytime and you claim that it’s nighttime and we both be right. Either, I’m right or you are right. We hear things all the time from our politicians. One person might say that the answer to our national deficit is only in raising taxes. Someone from the other side of the aisle may say the answer lies only in lowering taxes. Well, I don’t know who is right, but I do know that both of them can’t be right. In this example, they could both be wrong as well. Maybe the best answer is in raising some taxes and lowering others.
I have just purchased two books, and I am very interested in reading them. It would seem that they come to totally opposite conclusions as it relates to the healthiest diet. To say that they are both right would violate the Law of Noncontradiction. One person has to be wrong or possibly both wrong, but both of them can’t be right.
The first book is “The China Study” by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell. The book is based on a 20-year study that began in 1983. It was conducted jointly by the University of Oxford, Cornell, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. They examined the effect that diet played on 48 forms of cancer and other chronic diseases. They concluded that a plant-based diet that avoided animal products was the healthiest. They were highly critical of low-carb diets, because of the emphasis that these diets place on animal proteins and their restriction of carbohydrates.
The second book is “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. In it, Mr. Taubes takes the opposite view. His belief is that the “calories in, calories out” model of obesity is a fallacy. It’s not how much we are eating, but what we are eating, that makes the difference. He supports a low carbohydrate diet pointing out that the consumption of carbohydrates increases insulin secretion which in turn causes the body to increase fat stores. He was then critical of proponents of the plant-based, vegan diet.
While I am attempting to rid myself of all bias prior to reading them, I do admit I lean more toward the Gary Taubes, low carb approach for several reasons. First, honestly, I want it to be right. I am a carnivore. I would probably starve to death chained to a salad bar. It would be easier (but not much easier) for me to put aside my carbs than my meat. Second, I prescribe a similar diet to my patients who have had a weight loss procedure. We preach protein, protein, protein. Otherwise, a post-op patients weight loss will include a large portion of muscle. Third, I have read many head-to-head studies between the vegan diet and low carb diet. The bulk of the evidence I’ve read seems to suggests that the better weight loss and improved health is found with the low-carb diets.
Even though I will readily admit that I have a viewpoint, I will allow myself to be challenged by the viewpoint of another and will be wiling to totally change my opinion if warranted. The next several months will be spent digesting (nice play on words there) these books. Many of my blogs relating to diet over this period of time will be about what is contained within their pages
I am launching on a fascinating journey that will, hopefully, bear much fruit. What are your thoughts?