1

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What's everyones relationship with science/nutrition?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 18, 2011 at 12:28 AM

It goes without saying that people who spend this much time talking about health and nutrition have officially entered the nerd/information junkie spectrum. I was wondering if most people ended up here as a result of a scientific background, or if it was motivated by more personal reasons? Any BS, MS, PhD, professional degrees that led you to a paleo lifestyle? Anyone here as the result of a dietetics/MD/other health professional program? I am very curious about whether paleo has permeated the main stream enough that the hardcore sci-ers are here!

Note: My background is two years of microbiology/immunology, two years of psychology, and now I'm in a dietetics program. Working on the 7 year undergrad degree, but really enjoying it. Studying conventional nutrition, while often frustrating, I find is the best way to see where the country is at in terms of nutrition, and really has allowed for me to focus and strengthen my beliefs. Being able to get a license to work in the hospital and in a clinical setting will hopefully allow me to discuss my nutritional opinions with colleagues, and, seeing as I apparently enjoy spending years and years at university, lead to research.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on December 19, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Good to see another pchemist on here. The best thing about pchem is the way it teaches you to view the world. Learn to break things down to the most important components, build a model, and fit the data. You'd be surprised all the way that comes out even in the non-chemistry world.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 03:11 PM

Yeah, I haven't had loads of luck in the dietetics department, though one of my profs launched a conference to prevent the Canadian dietary recommendations from changing to say that it is safe to start kids on a low-fat diet as young as 2, so he is very pro-fat and thinks its underused as a tool for handling diabetes. The prof that truly agrees with me is in animal physiology, so not quite direct nutrition, but she is super awesome and encouraging.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I'm looking forward to more nutritionists/dietetics/etc chiming in. Maybe you guys can get together and make some real change!

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:33 PM

What department is that professor in? ... I haven't had too much interaction with our nutrition program on the other side of my floor, but one of their students wrote an article on the department website about how gluten-free is harmful and "just a fad". I wrote a thorough comment with citations about why I thought her post was harmful and how gluten can be problematic for a wide range of people. ... My comment didn't make it past moderation, of course.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:33 PM

Fun! The last time I got to do research on essential fatty acids was in a taste research lab exploring the ability to taste essential fatty acids in undergrad.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Yeah, the holistic nutrition is something I looked into, but the only program that I checked out near my house was full of totally crazy raw-vegans who told me meat made my body pH go down and damage my tissues. It was weird, and definitely not for me. I could see it would be a good option if you found an interesting program and weren't nuts about doing future research. It would be a lot less time-intensive than a professional program, that's for sure!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:37 AM

And for the nutrition BS, it's pretty true, lots of ambiguity and very old fashioned textbooks. Drives me up the wall sometimes, but I'm glad to have a real passion for biology, lets me wade through the material, learn what I need to know for the exams, and then spend as much time as I can debunking it. Gets exhausting though, you really have to be so patient and tight lipped, sometimes it feels like it would be easier to switch to engineering and follow my math-love!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:34 AM

Very neat, I just took my physical chemistry exam three days ago, however at a second year level! I will have to look at your posts, sounds intriguing. I am very interested in seeing how different perspectives look at nutrition, so far I've just seen it from the biology/physiology side, which always seems much more ambiguous than looking at the molecular "bare bones".

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Nice on the physics! I love my physics courses, kept taking some courses out of the department of bio-engineering, was thinking of getting a math minor, but now I'm looking more into statistics (seems more useful for nutrition!).

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 18, 2011
at 03:29 AM

yeah, i've been thinking of studying it formally but have a hunch that i will reject most of what i'm taught.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:42 AM

Neat, I used to work in a neuroscience lab that mostly studied neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus in relation to Omega-3 consumption with rats (particularly for fetal-alcohol, MS, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's). So it was very nutrition-based science, but when I brought up paleo everyone seemed very disappointed and kind of shoved me off. Too bad, I thought maybe other universities had open minded departments, haven't found many yet...my current university has one prof that takes paleo seriously, but that is hardly "mainstream"...

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:11 AM

I guess by hardcore sci-ers, I meant I was thinking about the old-school nutritionists/health scientists that don't pay attention to anything that could be perceived as a "fad diet" or a "highly restrictive diet". If those guys pay attention, it means they have moved past thinking paleo is a fad.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Count me as a No. I am extraordinary only in how ordinary I am. :-)) My highest qualification is that I am a bookworm and constant reader. High-school dropout, GED, a few college courses.

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6 Answers

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:51 AM

I think, to the contrary, that something as fringe as Paleo only starts to become mainstream when the hardcore sci-ers arrive and start to build legitimacy for it. Otherwise it will always stay fringe.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:11 AM

I guess by hardcore sci-ers, I meant I was thinking about the old-school nutritionists/health scientists that don't pay attention to anything that could be perceived as a "fad diet" or a "highly restrictive diet". If those guys pay attention, it means they have moved past thinking paleo is a fad.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 18, 2011
at 02:54 AM

No degree, just a bit of common sense. Paleo makes me feel better than sucking in healthy whole grains and rancid oil.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on December 18, 2011
at 02:24 AM

I'm a PhD physical chemist with a speciality in chemical kinetics and dynamics. So I approach nutrition and fitness from the molecular end and work up from that. If you follow my posts, you'll see most of them resort to some physical chemistry argument.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:34 AM

Very neat, I just took my physical chemistry exam three days ago, however at a second year level! I will have to look at your posts, sounds intriguing. I am very interested in seeing how different perspectives look at nutrition, so far I've just seen it from the biology/physiology side, which always seems much more ambiguous than looking at the molecular "bare bones".

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on December 19, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Good to see another pchemist on here. The best thing about pchem is the way it teaches you to view the world. Learn to break things down to the most important components, build a model, and fit the data. You'd be surprised all the way that comes out even in the non-chemistry world.

1
5294cf643205004fc805ccf41dd4e58a

on December 18, 2011
at 02:16 AM

I arrived at paleo unintentionally when I found the SCD 5-6 years ago. I was always interested in nutrition but had been vegan/vegetarian for about half my life at that point, but I was a sick one and had to do something about it. I later obtained the "RHN" title but through that process also discovered that most of nutrition, at least what they teach you, is BS. Now I'm working on a BSc in theoretical physics :) There's no BS in physics. It's nice and reliable.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Nice on the physics! I love my physics courses, kept taking some courses out of the department of bio-engineering, was thinking of getting a math minor, but now I'm looking more into statistics (seems more useful for nutrition!).

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 18, 2011
at 03:29 AM

yeah, i've been thinking of studying it formally but have a hunch that i will reject most of what i'm taught.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:37 AM

And for the nutrition BS, it's pretty true, lots of ambiguity and very old fashioned textbooks. Drives me up the wall sometimes, but I'm glad to have a real passion for biology, lets me wade through the material, learn what I need to know for the exams, and then spend as much time as I can debunking it. Gets exhausting though, you really have to be so patient and tight lipped, sometimes it feels like it would be easier to switch to engineering and follow my math-love!

1
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:43 AM

Personal reasons. I developped IBS at around 21 while I was anorexic. This has turned into a 15-year dogged pursuit of relief (still elusive) which has entailed constant research on food and digestion.

I did take one semester in Human Nutrition in college and got a 99 - this is, of course, while I was surviving on Diet Coke and aspartame jello. Ah, the irony.

I am now considering a degree in Holistic Nutrition.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Yeah, the holistic nutrition is something I looked into, but the only program that I checked out near my house was full of totally crazy raw-vegans who told me meat made my body pH go down and damage my tissues. It was weird, and definitely not for me. I could see it would be a good option if you found an interesting program and weren't nuts about doing future research. It would be a lot less time-intensive than a professional program, that's for sure!

1
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:33 AM

I'm a PhD student in computational neuroscience, with an undergrad degree in biology. I've been interested in health and nutrition since I was little, and was able to explore some of these interests in undergrad coursework. There's not much overlap between nutrition and computational neuroscience, so nutrition remains a hobby. My grad lab is in a health sciences department with a strong nutrition program, but they don't think outside the box, as it were. So at least in the nutrition department at my university, paleo is decidedly not mainstream.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:33 PM

What department is that professor in? ... I haven't had too much interaction with our nutrition program on the other side of my floor, but one of their students wrote an article on the department website about how gluten-free is harmful and "just a fad". I wrote a thorough comment with citations about why I thought her post was harmful and how gluten can be problematic for a wide range of people. ... My comment didn't make it past moderation, of course.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:42 AM

Neat, I used to work in a neuroscience lab that mostly studied neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus in relation to Omega-3 consumption with rats (particularly for fetal-alcohol, MS, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's). So it was very nutrition-based science, but when I brought up paleo everyone seemed very disappointed and kind of shoved me off. Too bad, I thought maybe other universities had open minded departments, haven't found many yet...my current university has one prof that takes paleo seriously, but that is hardly "mainstream"...

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:33 PM

Fun! The last time I got to do research on essential fatty acids was in a taste research lab exploring the ability to taste essential fatty acids in undergrad.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 18, 2011
at 03:11 PM

Yeah, I haven't had loads of luck in the dietetics department, though one of my profs launched a conference to prevent the Canadian dietary recommendations from changing to say that it is safe to start kids on a low-fat diet as young as 2, so he is very pro-fat and thinks its underused as a tool for handling diabetes. The prof that truly agrees with me is in animal physiology, so not quite direct nutrition, but she is super awesome and encouraging.

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