How can we identify the nature of an individuals character, status of any unconscious input or conflicts in patients ability to complete any paperwork in an unbiased way. It has been estimated by the medical profession that 70-80% of all illnesses are psychosomatic in nature. As patients begin to know more about disease symptoms (via media sources etc), it seems to be having the effect that patients enter a clinic convinced that they have "disease or disorder X". How does that effect those working in the field of nutrition?
Often when we meet a new client they have "knowledge" of nutrition which may have a great effect upon the answers they give us. Over my years working with Metabolic Typing (MT) I've seen it all; from those indoctrinated with the low fat, low calorie methodology, to personal trainers that have recently read Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) material and suddenly become Fast Oxidizers (Protein Types).
Yes you fill in a detailed questionnaire to help determine which of three main types you are via the book, or using the advanced software that adds up your score and determines how much you love your meat!!! This supposedly will help you decide what type of diet is best for your health. The questions have a lot to do with how you feel when you eat certain foods, which is all very useful if you are able to seperate genuine feeling from programmed responses due to 'knowledge" from certain sources that food A or B is not natural, or that your genetically unable to cope with a food group.
Lets simplify this and get rid of a few types so we can focus on oxidizers (which you can easily assess online for free).
- PROTEIN TYPES do better on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein and high-fat diet.
- CARB TYPES feel best when the majority of their food is carbohydrate.
- MIXED TYPES require a combination of foods somewhere between the two.
Despite the lack science to back any of it up, it does have its uses. The idea that people have distinctive metabolisms is plain to see. One person may do well on a particular food while another may struggle with it, one mans food is apparently another mans poison. Are these metabolic distinctions due to genetic differences based our ancestoral profile? Are they due to psychosomatic issues? Or are they just a sign of a body slowly becoming more dysfunctional?
I personally am drawn to metabolic dysfunction as a theory that has more answers. If one were born with an inability to digest or metabolize carbohydrates, then its possible that you are the mythical protein type with eskimo DNA. If however this inability to metabolize carbohydrates has developed overtime (such as in your 30's) its more likely to be either psychosomatic from media born fear or a slowly degrading metabolism and digestion from things such as over consumption of food groups or a lack of variation in the diet.
In the short term MT may prove useful, avoidance of foods that cause problems is a no brainer. Long term it makes more sense to restore metabolic and digestive function. If you sprained your ankle you'd expect a good trainer to help you rehabilitate it and help you walk again. If they insisted that long term you needed to avoid walking on it you'd think they were nuts. The same goes for nutrition, sure you may have issues with carbohydrates, but if anyone puts you on a diet that restricts certain food groups expect short term results (much like keeping off your sprained ankle to allow recovery). Long term though we need to rehabilitate your digestion and metabolism so that you aren't limping through life with a limited diet that actually makes you sicker.
So, metabolic typing isn't scientific, its not reliable, but it is a useful art. If the practitioner knows how to use it appropriately then it can provide useful results for a month or two. Much like Dr Atkins recommends for the Atkins Diet, watch out for signs of metabolic damage and desist as soon as it becomes apparent the diet is damaging you.
To summarize, you can eat and digest any foods if your healthy, the less healthy you get the more you struggle with certain foods. Health comes from a varied diet, yes we can survive on a limited diet but it is simply survival. The honeymoon period is simply your body enjoying a new dietary variation. Don't get tricked into becoming more extreme chasing results like the initial weight-loss. If you can't metabolize carbohydrates fix it. If your gluten intolerant, fix it.