What you’ll find in the Health section

Effective Health

We’re all asking “What should I eat?” but the most effective answer is “it depends…” While we know certain foods are healthier than others, what’s “healthy”–even beyond diet–largely depends on our own goals, situation, and many other factors which we deem important for ourselves. Further, the advice we’re fed on what’s healthy isn’t always as well-supported as the author suggests. We’ll explore how to critically evaluate health advice we see on TV, internet, etc. In doing this, we’ll develop the ability to recognize quality health guidance vs guidance that’s less reliable.

Mainly it’s the idea of being effective when it comes to health. This means a few things:

– Effective health is deciding to spend the right amount of time for YOU on being healthy. Each of us is most effective when we spend the most time on our unique strengths, which means it’s unreasonable to expect every person to keep up with every bit of research on nutrition. Contribute to society in a way that lets you leverage your individual skills–teaching, carpentry, art–whatever it is that you do really well, spend the most time on that and share your product with us. Those of us who enjoy reading nutrition studies will share the fruits of our labor with you.

– Effective health is relying on multiple sources of info on which to base our decisions. If (like most people) you don’t have time to read nutrition studies, then find a few sources of info you trust and spend appropriate amounts of time keeping up to date. Then, make your decision based on what you find.

– Effective health is a big effect caused by individual decisions that build up over time. Most of us make the decision to eat at least once every day (except fasting days). Don’t have the mindset of “I need to eat healthier starting today“. That’s a long-term commitment to significant change, and the word “healthier” refers to the long-term, unhealthy past, which doesn’t matter (consider it a sunk cost). Instead, think of health one decision at a time–“I’m hungry right now…what am I going to eat?” It’s one decision, every single time, and only concerns the recent past and near future in deciding how to balance our diet.

Each post is structured is this way (for now):

First–the conclusion, behavior, or recommendation. This first part of each article will highlight the most practical application of all the research we have. It’s the recommended behavior that the current research as a whole leads to. This way, the blog is effective even if readers don’t have time to read the whole article.

Second–my general interpretation of the subject/research. A little more detail, a little reference to the science, but still inadequate for those who–for some reason–enjoy spending time reading studies just to read “…warrants further investigation.” at the end.

The rest–basically all the conclusions of the research including important statistical results; most of the data will be found here, in the bottom-half of each article. Through an institutional login, I have access to full-text versions of studies, though many times the abstract includes useful info. Citations to every source are in footnotes at the end of the article linked to the actual studies.