Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Drugs, more drugs, expensive drugs

Cashew Extract?! 

Here we go again. A new study from researchers at the University of Montreal and the Universite de Yaounde in Africa finds that, "cashew seed extract significantly stimulated blood sugar absorption by muscle cells."

Extract. Someone is going to make a lot of money selling this goo to diabetics who haven't been advised that the simple and effective way to get your blood sugar down is to not get any there in the first place.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Science of Persuasion

Want to learn about the tricks used by media and politicians to get you to do things you wouldn't otherwise consider? Want to learn enough to put them to work for you?
    There's a goldmine at Influence in an article by Robert Cialdini. You can also get the pdf here.

It may be that the greatest value is in being alert to manipulation when somebody's trying it on you, and being able to counter it. There may even be a game here: lead someone on, let them believe that you're responding to the tricks and then at the critical moment, when they think they've got you, say "No".

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Health Canada HiCarb Guide to Correct Living

I thought I'd see if Health Canada had learned anything over the years so I engaged's WayBack Machine to look at the Canada Food Guide.
    It turns out that since 1998 they've had only two versions of the Guide. Somewhere around 2002, they started an intensive study into the latest medical knowledge and by 2007 they made an evidence-based decision that they had been right all along except for total quantity and grains. They changed the Guide to what it still is today, leaving three of the food groups unchanged but reducing total intake by reducing grain servings per adult from 12 down to 8.
    This is not a trivial change. The Guide still recommends a hyperglycemic, pancreas-destroying, diabetigenic carb load, but it takes about 60 grams of carbs out of what was a 350 gram diet before dessert and drinks. Grains are where most of the starches and sugars come from, so any cut is significant. On the other hand, they count beans and peas as vegetables, so no cheering yet.
    It's interesting that their reduction is twice the total in a low-carb diet.