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How do I make my parents see the truth?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 11, 2013 at 4:37 AM

So I just opened the fridge and I nearly died inside when I saw a tub of flora proactive on the shelf.

I still live at home so I am determined to make my parents see the problem with using canola oil in the fry pan and relying on margarine instead of butter... not to mention the plethora of low fat foods that fill our fridge, all high in fructose of course. And weight watchers approved! (yes they are both massive fans of the weight watchers diet and tell all their friends to go on it).

I left an article comparing margarine to butter on the kitchen bench and my Mum read it and started eating butter again.. for a week or so... then it was back to buying margarine.

I sent her an email a couple of months ago with 3 different links to stuff I wanted her to look at. To my knowledge she still hasn't read it. Anyway, I haven't said anything for weeks because I don't want to push to hard. I just want to look at the stuff I've sent her and come to her own conclusions.

I haven't even bothered to mention the benefits of coconut oil. I just encourage her to use olive oil instead of canola, as most people agree that olive oil is healthy.

Anyway, how to do I go about making my parents see the truth? I feel like they don't want to listen to what I say as it creates some kind of contradictory dilemma in their brains so they just avoid it entirely. And I care too much to do and say nothing...especially when I have to live with them!

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 20, 2013
at 02:37 AM

I've been cooking meals regularly for my family since I was about 16. But obviously I don't cook every meal and I want them to understand why I'm avoiding seed oils so that they don't end up cooking with them.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on June 14, 2013
at 03:02 AM

Hmm, perhaps you can offer to start cooking some of the meals at home? I know my mom was willing to let me start cooking more once I expressed an interest in it. I wouldn't recommend making it about the diet; just tell them you want to learn to cook before you're out on your own and have to do it all the time. Also, once they start eating some meals with some high-quality fat in them, you might see them switching over to Paleo-style foods more often ;) AxialGentleman: Haha, I'm flattered.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on June 14, 2013
at 03:01 AM

Hmm, perhaps you can offer to start cooking some of the meals at home? I know my mom was willing to let me start cooking more once I expressed an interest in it. I wouldn't recommend making it about the diet; just tell them you want to learn to cook before you're out on your own and have to do it all the time. Also, once they start eating some meals with some high-quality fat in them, you might see them switching over to Paleo-style foods more often ;) AxialGentleman: Haha, I'm flattered.

2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on June 13, 2013
at 12:05 PM

I haven't read that yet, but I don't try and convince anyone with the evolutionary argument unless they want to hear it. There is a multitude of scientifically backed reasons to remove grains, legumes, and dairy from the diet (antinutrients, gut permeability, systemic inflammation). The Paleo Solution lays out the science in an easy to understand manner and still brings a bit of the Grok argument in.

78d089bc8d5feaed2710005e4456edbe

on June 13, 2013
at 09:11 AM

Then I think it is a bit different. Try talking to them about how your food could be cooked differently. While it's fair that they are not interested in changing their beliefs or habits regarding their diet, it's fair to claim that you should be trusted to know what is best for you. They, as your parents, should want the best for you. I don't know all the details of your situation, but maybe you could buy a bottle of olive oil and ask your parents to cook your food in that, and otherwise try to avoid the things you think are important to avoid.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 05:19 AM

I'm not able to eat healthy if they're using canola oil in the food they cook for me. I'm still living with them if I wasn't then I'd just let them be.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 02:48 AM

I wasn't too sure which book to recommend. The first one I can across was Primal Blueprint, which I found fantastic. However, I don't think this book explains enough of the "Why" we're doing things and with it's constant talk of groks and cavemen and think it would lose someone who is already highly skeptical.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 02:08 AM

My Mum told me that she's just found out that her cholesterol was high and that it's hereditary. I didn't say a thing. I am not trying to convince them to go on the paleo diet. Their low fat obsession is far too ingrained. I'd just like them to understand some of the problems associated with seed oils and margarine, particularly because they're going to continue cooking with these things for as long as I stay at home.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 02:01 AM

My biggest problem is that I have to eat the food they cook! I don't want to eat stuff fried in canola oil. I'm fine with getting the butter out while they use their flora proactive margarine (well not really, but I'll live with it) but I don't want to touch any of that stuff. I've spent the last 10 years trying to work out were my health issues stem from. 2 years ago I got diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and saw first hand how changes in diet can improve a wide array of seemingly unconnected health issues and I just want the best for myself and my family.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 12, 2013
at 05:53 AM

Bravo, community wiki. I think this is the perfect answer. We should link back to this for every "how can I convince X" question.

91451db3488201f51e85e6a69a6e0f89

(198)

on June 11, 2013
at 03:08 PM

What made you want to undertake a significant lifestyle change?

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9 Answers

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4
C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

on June 11, 2013
at 12:35 PM

In this situtation, the best tactic is to let it go. You're not going to convince your parents (or most people, for that matter) by shoving data or studies in their face; it's like trying to change someone's political beliefs in an internet debate. Food and nutrition don't exist in a vacummn; they're inexorably tied up with our culture, our daily life, and our identity, so when you try to change someone's diet, it feels like you're trying to change them. If you've ever been in a conversation with a hardcore vegan or vegetarian, you may know what I mean. The best tactic for convincing family and friends to try out the Paleo lifestyle is to lead by example. Specifically with your parents, don't be afraid to tell them what YOU are doing with your diet; be excited about it and share it with them, because as parents they like to know about your life. Given time, they may start to try out Paleo on their own.

Personal Experience: I've been Paleo for nearly 4 years now. For two of those years, I got plenty of jokes from my family about my diet; nowadays my dad is about 80% Paleo, my sister and her husband are die-hard Paleo, and the rest of my family is gluten-free.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 02:08 AM

My Mum told me that she's just found out that her cholesterol was high and that it's hereditary. I didn't say a thing. I am not trying to convince them to go on the paleo diet. Their low fat obsession is far too ingrained. I'd just like them to understand some of the problems associated with seed oils and margarine, particularly because they're going to continue cooking with these things for as long as I stay at home.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on June 14, 2013
at 03:01 AM

Hmm, perhaps you can offer to start cooking some of the meals at home? I know my mom was willing to let me start cooking more once I expressed an interest in it. I wouldn't recommend making it about the diet; just tell them you want to learn to cook before you're out on your own and have to do it all the time. Also, once they start eating some meals with some high-quality fat in them, you might see them switching over to Paleo-style foods more often ;) AxialGentleman: Haha, I'm flattered.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 02:01 AM

My biggest problem is that I have to eat the food they cook! I don't want to eat stuff fried in canola oil. I'm fine with getting the butter out while they use their flora proactive margarine (well not really, but I'll live with it) but I don't want to touch any of that stuff. I've spent the last 10 years trying to work out were my health issues stem from. 2 years ago I got diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and saw first hand how changes in diet can improve a wide array of seemingly unconnected health issues and I just want the best for myself and my family.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 12, 2013
at 05:53 AM

Bravo, community wiki. I think this is the perfect answer. We should link back to this for every "how can I convince X" question.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on June 14, 2013
at 03:02 AM

Hmm, perhaps you can offer to start cooking some of the meals at home? I know my mom was willing to let me start cooking more once I expressed an interest in it. I wouldn't recommend making it about the diet; just tell them you want to learn to cook before you're out on your own and have to do it all the time. Also, once they start eating some meals with some high-quality fat in them, you might see them switching over to Paleo-style foods more often ;) AxialGentleman: Haha, I'm flattered.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 20, 2013
at 02:37 AM

I've been cooking meals regularly for my family since I was about 16. But obviously I don't cook every meal and I want them to understand why I'm avoiding seed oils so that they don't end up cooking with them.

1
Fce356005a83353009c11567c217a9bd

on June 11, 2013
at 02:12 PM

There's an adage that says, A picture is work a thousand words. Well, IMHO a living example is worth even more! I believe the best way to convince anyone of the benefits of this lifestyle is to be a living example. Share your the results of your blood work. Point out the differences between your before and after pictures (take lots of pictures btw). Let them see you live out your convictions and how you reap the benefits. Let their curiosity drive the conversation. Otherwise, we sound preachy (and cultish) and that behavior can become a turn off.

One of the guys at work recently asked me what am I doing because he noticed a major change in my body composition. I see him eating pasta and a salad and no meat for lunch (he weighs over 300lbs) and the snack cakes stockpiled in his cube. So I shared my story and methods. Chances are if I approached him earlier about this lifestyle, he would have been offended or turned off. Is he a convert? Only time will tell. Most important is that my example prompted his curiosity and now he has something to compare and contrast with his current belief system.

There are more forces at work here than may appear on the surface. Following the fat/high carb regimen with its poisonous seed oils (rapeseed, cottonseed, soy, etc.) and healthy whole grains is a religion in today's society; and the curse of Ansel Keys and his pseudo-science still permeate the fabric of today's marketing machine and human behavior. None of its disciples even questions the basis of this doctrine. Its foundations are pure marketing hype; and society has been brained washed into believing these myths. This ideology is perpetuated at home, at school, at the doctors' office, by our government, and through powerful advertising. My indoctrination started with the Weekly Reader when I was in first (1st) grade (now I'm really telling my age). Speaking of marketing, look at the influence brandished by the food industry; along with full endorsement from Washington.

"It is not clear who quoted seeing is believing but it is a proverb that means that you can only believe that something surprising or strange is true if you see it yourself...(Ref: http://www.ask.com/question/quotes-seeing-is-believing).

1
78d089bc8d5feaed2710005e4456edbe

on June 11, 2013
at 01:45 PM

Don't try. Not more than you already have. If they want to listen, they'll listen. If they start telling you positive things to you about Weight Watchers, you're not going to heed their advice and try that route, are you? What if you're wrong?

It sounds like you're too excited about this truth that you have found. If it is truth, then you can dispense of it, when people ask.

Especially, if you're able to eat healthily yourself, then let them eat the way they want to eat.

A little more on the subject: http://robbwolf.com/2012/04/04/paleo-diet-convince-it/

78d089bc8d5feaed2710005e4456edbe

on June 13, 2013
at 09:11 AM

Then I think it is a bit different. Try talking to them about how your food could be cooked differently. While it's fair that they are not interested in changing their beliefs or habits regarding their diet, it's fair to claim that you should be trusted to know what is best for you. They, as your parents, should want the best for you. I don't know all the details of your situation, but maybe you could buy a bottle of olive oil and ask your parents to cook your food in that, and otherwise try to avoid the things you think are important to avoid.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 05:19 AM

I'm not able to eat healthy if they're using canola oil in the food they cook for me. I'm still living with them if I wasn't then I'd just let them be.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 12, 2013
at 12:53 PM

The truth? Careful there, you might have already drank the paleo koolaid!

I know you want to see them off canola, but canola in the grand scheme of paleo fats isn't too far outside acceptable. It's a smidgeon high in PUFAs, but the ratio is quite acceptable. Sure it's a refined vegetable oil, but olive and coconut oils are as well.

Margarine? Bleh, I agree, butter is better, not just for it's nutrition but taste. Get them good butter if they are not convinced.

0
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on June 12, 2013
at 05:24 AM

Robb Wolf can't even get his parents to eat paleo.

0
2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on June 11, 2013
at 12:37 PM

I'm still fighting this battle with my parents. I have a good understanding of the science (I am a bio major) so I can answer pretty much all of their questions on the "why". They believe what I'm saying, the problem is my mom still buys butter substitutes, pretzels, etc, etc. It's a long process. I take heart in the fact that at least they eat eggs for breakfast now instead of cereal and orange juice. Little steps add up. Especially when I am home for the summer, I am in their ear every day about what to eat and what not to buy (my nickname is the food nazi). Just keep at it, maybe give them a good book on the subject (The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf would be my choice), and try to focus on little changes, one meal at a time.

2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on June 13, 2013
at 12:05 PM

I haven't read that yet, but I don't try and convince anyone with the evolutionary argument unless they want to hear it. There is a multitude of scientifically backed reasons to remove grains, legumes, and dairy from the diet (antinutrients, gut permeability, systemic inflammation). The Paleo Solution lays out the science in an easy to understand manner and still brings a bit of the Grok argument in.

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 13, 2013
at 02:48 AM

I wasn't too sure which book to recommend. The first one I can across was Primal Blueprint, which I found fantastic. However, I don't think this book explains enough of the "Why" we're doing things and with it's constant talk of groks and cavemen and think it would lose someone who is already highly skeptical.

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 11, 2013
at 12:19 PM

You could show them this study: http://paleohacks.com/questions/198717/excellent-new-work-with-chris-ramsden-will-it-help-or-hurt-change-in-changing-pe#axzz2Vp9QP0BL .But imo you will only convince them by showing them scientific data.

-1
11461ebd3dc9b16fe41adbc81803b8cb

(-2)

on July 31, 2013
at 05:28 PM

Another term for the Caveman diet, the Paleo diet is all about eating the same foods as our ancestors. The Paleo diet has been proven to improve dental health, help in managing blood sugar, clearing up acne, improving gastrointestinal issues, improving emotional issues, as well as lowering inflammation in the body. Sign up your parents for the free e-mail mini-course to learn more and where to start.

http://paleodiet.wix.com/dietcenter

-2
25f7d9bc6817cb34358661b4d67ddaa0

on June 11, 2013
at 06:24 AM

Canola oil is derived from rapeseed plant and it engineered/ genetically modified oil. FDA claims that any genetically altered and engineered foods are not harmful for our health so don't worry. I know you care your parents too much but you should also care their interest and likes too. YOu should know about their taste what they want to eat and what they like to eat. I would like to share benefits of canola oils like : It has the lowest saturated fat than other oils like olive oil and it is also good source of vitamin E. Canola oil is also good for good for heart. One more suggestion is i think you should talk with them very politely and nicely. Tell them I care you too much and express your love In front of them they will definitely understand your feelings.

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