Monday, May 18, 2009

Chapter 1


Most people's first thought will be "’A priori’ what, what the heck does that have to do with a diet book.” Well, actually, a lot. A quick glance in any dictionary will define ‘a priori’ reasoning as a type of deductive reasoning. An inference, say, about what one thinks how things should be. ‘A priori’ reasoning is based more on theory than actual experience as defined in the American Heritage Dictionary, Second Edition.

The problem with ‘a priori’ reasoning is that it does not always work to explain things. An example of ‘a priori’ reasoning is the following; it makes perfect sense that when one stands on the beach and looks out at the horizon the world appears to be flat. So it is very easy to see why for thousands of years we thought the world was flat. But it is not. We know this for a fact. ‘A priori’ reasoning was used to come to the incorrect conclusion that the world was flat.

Another problem with ‘a priori’ reasoning is that you can also use it in silly ways. For instance, to claim the reason a giraffe's neck is long is because its food source is very high. No one would subscribe to this line of reasoning. Would they?

Of course it is a somewhat complicated task to figure out geometrically that the world is round. Something Galileo Galilei did over three hundred years ago. He actually used accepted geometrical tools of his day to arrive at the correct conclusion about our planet's shape. The interesting thing about Galileo was that he was not congratulated for this truly remarkable achievement but was placed under house arrest.


For what?! For proving the truth?! As a side note do not think for one second that what you are about to read is not as profound as Galileo’s proof. (Oh yeah, I like side notes so I apologize if I get too side notey on you.) The most important thing about Galileo’s accomplishment was that it was not arrived at using ‘a priori’ reasoning.

So what does ‘a priori’ reasoning have to do with low fat, low cholesterol diet plans? And if you have not figured it out yet this book is about why low cholesterol, low fat diets are not only dangerous, but also deadly.
It goes something like this; if the cholesterol or fat in your blood is elevated it must be because you are eating too much fat and cholesterol. Right? It does make sense when you quickly think about it. This is ‘a priori’ reasoning and it certainly seems correct.

The problem is that the reason cholesterol and fat become elevated in the blood is not because one is consuming too much fat or cholesterol in the diet. In fact the opposite is true which I will get to later. So that is why ‘a priori’ reasoning is important to understand. This line of reasoning was used to start the incorrect dietary belief that eating cholesterol and fatty containing foods directly elevates the cholesterol and fat in the blood. And to lower these values one must eat fewer foods containing fat and cholesterol. And this is wrong, but it is still thought to be true and ‘a priori’ reasoning lies at the base of these incorrect assumptions.

Just like it was a complicated task to arrive at the correct spherical shape of the earth, it is somewhat of a complicated task to understand why low fat, low cholesterol diets do not work, are dangerous and will kill you in the end. Complicated yes, but impossible to understand, not at all. And you will understand why by the end of this book. Now that was not so bad was it? You are actually about to start chapter two. Oh wait, as another side note do not think for a second that your friendly neighborhood drug companies want you to understand any of this. If people begin to understand the information contained within this book these companies lose money, lots of it.

OK, on to chapter two.

Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it

-Joel Barker

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