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What if Sex was Bad for You? (Don’t Forget Your Brain)

March 26, 2009 · 33 comments

How much does it concern you when you read about this or that latest study?  Does it really affect how you eat, what drugs you might consider taking, or which procedures you would or wouldn’t agree to?

Who cares what the “studies” show?

I suppose we need to pay some attention to the research on the various subjects that have been studied, often with our tax dollars, but this gets tricky for the average person.  Not only because you can almost always find two completely opposing views on the same topic, but also because the results will always depend on who paid for the study.  Not to mention that one minute something is labeled a health food and the next minute it could kill you!  I just don’t believe that even the most well-done study could ever show us ALL the important pieces of the puzzle.  God’s creation is too vast and complex to wrap our minds around it all.  One thing we know for sure is that His way, the most natural way, is always best.  (Some call this “Mother Nature”.)

Does that mean that everything man-made is “bad”?

Not always, but the times I especially think about this is when there are two opposing views or two products to choose from and there just doesn’t seem to be a clear answer. (We all come across those dilemmas now and then.) That’s when I ask myself, “What’s more natural? Which is closer to the way God made it?”

It’s “proven” to cause premature death!

What if there was a study done and everyone in the world agreed that it was well-done, reliable and trustworthy, all variables the same, etc., and it told us that without a doubt, having sex caused premature death.  Would you believe them?  I know that sounds dumb, but what if over time they got every major news station, newspaper and magazine to run ads supporting the theory. Then they got huge government grants to study it more and they found similar results.  Would you believe them then? What if then people went from disbelief, to thinking, “Maybe it’s true…”, to thinking, “Well, whether or not it’s true, I’m not stopping”.  Eventually some people had the willpower to stop completely, but others couldn’t or wouldn’t, and then felt guilty or weak because they couldn’t quit no matter how valiantly they tried.

brainWe can’t forget to use our brain

This is how we begin to believe crazy things , it has happened over and over again. (Think:  whole milk, butter, eggs…  Have you seen this:  The Biggest Myth in Medical History?)

What makes sense?

Another example is the topic of breastfeeding. For a while there (when I was a baby), docs were telling Moms that bottle-feeding was better for their babies. Even if chemists could exactly match formula to breast milk, (everyone knows it can’t be done), so that even the best scientists in the world thought it looked to be exact, it only makes sense that breast milk is better in many hidden ways that only God knows, because He created it perfectly.

Again, these questions are what I try to ask myself to get to the TRUTH:  1. What makes sense?  2. What did our ancestors do?  3. How did God create it?  4. What is most natural?

Saturated fats got a bad rap

As mentioned above with milk, eggs, butter, etc., it’s the same as the issue of saturated fats. For centuries people have been eating beef and drinking milk from the cows on their farms, eating eggs from their own chickens, and making their own real butter. Then “science” began to tell us that eating beef increases mortality rates (see links below), or that we should drink skim milk and eat only egg whites because it’s better for our heart. Have you ever heard of a cow that produces skim milk?  Chickens who lay yolk-less eggs?  Are we as a country getting more or less healthy since all this garbage took hold?

Shooting the messenger

If any doctors were to read this, they’d probably decide within moments that I’m a fruitcake.  They’ll recall how studies have linked saturated fats to heart disease, and how you “can’t argue with science.”  But it just doesn’t add up. What if the saturated fat that comes to us naturally from healthy animals isn’t the problem, what if the cholesterol numbers that freak us out are instead a healing response to whatever is really causing inflammation and disease?  (See The True Cause of Heart Disease.)  Whether it’s the overload of omega 6 fats, trans fats or high fructose corn syrup in our diets, insulin overload from too much sugar and processed foods, or whichever dietary evil lurks inside of us from the junk we eat. We’re “shooting the messenger” when we worry so much about what our cholesterol levels are and try so valiantly to cut out the saturated fats (and then wonder why we don’t feel good), instead of addressing the real problem.

Besides, we’ve since learned how flawed all those saturated fat studies were anyway.  Watch these entertaining videos at this movie review post for more on that.

Look at the studies, but use your brain too…

I’m not saying all studies are terrible or that we shouldn’t take them into consideration, I even quote a few on this site now and then, but I’m just saying that they shouldn’t make us forget to use our brain and blindly follow whatever they say.  Talk to your doctor, but don’t blindly follow his advice, either.  Don’t believe what you hear, don’t believe what you read online — here or anywhere.  Research, educate yourself, and get all sides of the story before following anyone’s advice.

“The point of this post is that you shouldn’t get wound up about a study that gets reported throughout the media because there are more than likely other studies that are just as well done and just as important showing exactly the opposite findings that the press chooses to ignore.  You’re not seeing the science as it is, you’re seeing the science as the press wants you to see it, which, typically, is the way that confirms the bias of members of the press.

As a journalist friend of ours once remarked:  what is news?  News is whatever the reporter decides it is.  In my opinion, they decided wrongly in this case.”

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  • { 31 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Shauna March 26, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Oh I loved the quote from your journalist friend! That just about says it all!

    Shauna

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    2 Kristin March 26, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Kelly. I use the same criteria myself when deciding what is true and what is not.

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    3 Christine March 26, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Follow the money trail…..Money itself is neutral, but the LOVE of money (excessive greed, a desire to gain without due labor, etc) has breed MUCH evil. Most ‘studies’ I read about, are clearly designed to market a product – not to provide honest scientific observation. (And meanwhile, many good hearted medical and dietary professionals have been trained with faulty information.)

    Studies that ‘proved’ eggs were not healthy, were done by cereal manufacturers – on cows fed dehydrated egg whites (not even their natural food!).

    Studies ‘proving’ that hydrogenated, artificial plastic-like oils are better for consumption than naturally found oils like palm, lard and coconut, were done by the soy industry to create a market for soy oil. (I’m old enough to remember back when store bought cookies always had a faint coconut smell, due to the coconut oil used in them, before the soy industry made it a ‘bad oil’.)

    Studies which ‘prove’ vaccines are safe and effective, are done by the drug companies that produce them and must create a market for moving them out. (All the while we are all able to observe populations such as the Amish who do not vaccinate, and who enjoy better health, including an almost zero Autism rate. We can observe that Europe saw an immediate decline in Polio at the same time the US did, without the polio vaccine yet available to them – disease runs in cycles.)

    Whole, fresh, natural foods are the way to go for whole health – not dehydrated egg parts, excessively heated and processed foods, or foods that never deteriorate because they are so pumped with chemicals and processed.

    Fresh air, sunshine, a right relationship with our Creator, exercise, good relationships with those around us and a joyful heart are all good medicine! : )

    : D

    Reply

    4 Local Nourishment March 26, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Wonderful article (flows well, too!) This is exactly where I am in my thought processes. When I start feeling guilty/scared about my food choices, I compare 5000 years of human reliance on whole, raw milk, butter and animal fats to the 100 years of technologically produced skim milk, margarine and corn/canola/soy oils.

    IMHO, man’s attempts to be their his god yields self-reliance: big cities, big machines, big business. Man’s desire to commune with God yields reliance on Him. We think we can conquer the forces of famine with specially engineered crops. We think we can conquer illness with vaccine. We think we can conquer spoilage with preservatives. There are answers to these problems, but they aren’t found in our magical shots and pills and chemicals. The Lord, in His wisdom, provided solutions for us if we will admit we can’t do it on our own.

    Okay, theological soapbox exit.

    Local Nourishment

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    5 Nancy March 26, 2009 at 10:50 am

    This is one of the most reasonable things I have ever read on this subject. I’ll certainly be sharing it…

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    6 Janet W March 26, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    If studies “proved” that sex was lethal, I’d see who funded it and what they were selling. Christine expressed my sentiments exactly. Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Caloriestalks about how scientists for the past 20 some odd years have interpreted the data they find to make it fit what they are trying to prove. This, of course, takes it out of the realm of science and puts it smack dab in marketing. And of course, the studies are done on factory food and measured and interpreted by what is currently in vogue. I was reading somewhere (sorry, I forget where) that HDL and LDL numbers are meaningless.

    My Anatomy and Physiology prof back in the mid 70s said the cholesterol in your body is put there by your body and what you eat really has no effect on it. I also read that cholesterol is a healing agent your body produces. When you arteries become damaged, the body lays cholesterol down over the damage to heal it.

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    7 Charles Welling March 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    In a word, brilliant!

    Charles Welling

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    8 Henny March 26, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    amen!

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    9 Kelly March 27, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for the great comments (I love you guys – you’re all so smart and always catch some good stuff that I miss and fill in the holes for me), and for the nice feedback, too. This post was a tricky one to pull together for some reason, so I’m glad it turned out to be helpful.

    LN, it took me a minute to remember what I had tweeted, but thanks for the chuckle. :)

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    10 Rosy March 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Also ask who benifits. This is the best question to aske when you hear any study, or news for that matter.

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    11 Candice March 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    THANK YOU for putting into words all that the Lord’s been showing my over the last 2 years! God’s way and God’s design are ALWAYS best. People look at me quite strangely most of the time when they find out how much fun I have in my tiny little kitchen :) If they’re curious enough to ask, I have the freedom to tell of God’s wisom. Boiled down: “God created, and it is good.” Such a simple sentence, yet it challenges you on so many levels – starting w/ your worldview.

    I look forward to exploring more of your site :) Keep up the good work!

    Reply

    12 Nancy March 31, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I was just sent this article by a friend. And I coudn’t agree more!! I have a rare blood disease called histiocytosis. Like cancer, there are different names that are associated with it. The type I have is called Eosinophilic Granuloma. This disease is a close cousin the cancer. I have had tumors in my bone (skull), skin problems, and the worst part has been my lungs. I have 30% of my lungs that work. I was supposed to have a lung tranplant in 2000. I went through 6 months of chemotherapy, and although it didn’t cure the disease (there is no “cure” for the disease….little do they know), it helped me avoid the transplant. A few years down the road, through many people praying for me, and myself praying, the Lord led me to organic foods and this disease went into total remission. If I stop eating organic food, the symptoms come right back. There are some other people that share the same disease that told met they’ve had the same experience. If this is not a clear message that our food is what is killing us, I don’t know what is. Thank you for putting the message out there. God’s way is the ONLY way.

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    13 Kara March 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    You hit the nail right on the head with this one! It is scary how much we let the media influence our decisions.

    Kara

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    14 Christy April 1, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I am sure that husbands everywhere would love to read that study!

    Christy

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    15 Kelly April 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Nancy, wow, what a great testimony of how God can lead us to what it is that our bodies need to heal, as long as we don’t just take what the docs say as the end of the story, but instead keep searching! :)

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    16 Dreamer April 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I have been thinking these very thoughts about different nutritional studies. I have been studying 2 in particular. I think if I want to mesh the two together all I can eat safely is raw carrots. That’s a pretty derpessing thought. No thank you. We just need to find our balance and what feels good and is healthy for our family. That does not mean fast food because if feels good, but if dairy makes you sick, stop drinking it. I think ultimately our bodies know what’s best for us, and they will let us know!

    Dreamer

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    17 Kelly April 7, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Dreamer, I agree with you for the most part, the only thing is, with someone like myself I have to listen to my brain (& common sense) more than my body sometimes, because I could eat sweets like crazy and never feel bad at all!

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    18 Martha October 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Great post, Kelly!

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    19 Sheryl Canter October 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    There is a way to tell what’s real with regard to nutrition – what true, what’s unproven hypothesis, and what’s completely wrong. I just wrote an article on exactly this:

    http://normaleating.com/blog/2009/10/good-nutrition-myths-and-facts/

    As I said in the article, “Is it really possible that we know enough physics to put a man on the Moon, and we know enough human biology to perform successful brain surgery, and yet we don

    Reply

    20 Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship October 19, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Love this one!

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    21 heather April 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    wow…you are using common sense? it’s just not that common to see anymore ;) thanks for the great article!!!

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    22 Amber April 3, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I seen this on twitter and said “OH NO! Sex is bad for me!! LOL Then let me die! Then I used my brain and remembered that God designed our bodies and that is not the case :) Great post!

    Reply

    23 Tim April 8, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Great article.
    Thank you for reminding us that we so easily believe what we read that has “studies” attached to it! I am a real skeptic of modern “discoveries”.
    Didn’t the world’s wisest man say,” there is nothing new under the sun”?

    Reply

    24 RadiantLux June 14, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    There is a lot to be learned from Dr. Eades. Dr. Michael Eades has a great blog that will go into detail on scientific studies. Frequently the talking point in the media about a certain study is not what the study showed at all.

    I took away this point from your blog: if we are hard-wired to enjoy something, no amount of thought process can prevent us from doing it.

    Many of us have sugar cravings. It is hard wired into us. We know refined sugar/fructose is bad for us, but it fits the bill in many ways. My experience with low carb dieting actually killed my sweet tooth. I don’t crave it. When I enjoy dessert, a small amount satisfied. Now I am very picky about the quality of dessert. If it is made from a mix or has canned frosting, no thank you! I learned a trick from The Diet Cure by Julia Ross. When I take L-Glutamine, and amino acid, between meals, I don’t snack at work.

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    25 hottiern12 November 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Ah well said! I’m posting a link to this on my fb wall for my friends :)

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    26 Heather November 30, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Funny, I was thinking these things earlier today as I was being lectured at the store for not sterilizing my cart before setting my toddler in the seat. Not one generation of my family has ever sanitized the cart (or much else) before their little ones got their hot little hands on it and not one generation of my family (as far back as we can trace anyway) has ever lost a child to infection. My great grandmother has always said that the best prevention to the flu is a strong immune system and that doesn’t come in a bottle. She’s 92 and still uses the stairs to get to her apartment on the twelfth floor. She can also solve the Sunday crossword in 15 minutes flat. I have found that when I’m in doubt I ask what does she do. She’s always been right on the money.

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    27 KitchenKop December 1, 2010 at 7:15 am

    What an AWESOME Grandma, tell her she’s my hero. :)

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    28 Heather December 1, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Oh, I love it when real foodies talk breastfeeding. I have to say that so far that’s my only beef with WAPF. I’ve read a few things saying that breastmilk is too contaminated and not beneficial enough with a SAD diet and that women should make their own formula – and a few things saying babies should only breastfeed 6 months to 1 year. I have to say that most traditional cultures nursed much longer than that, and I believe in my heart of hearts that breastfeeding offers so many more benefits than the nutrition that we can’t possibly say a man (or woman ;) made formula could ever compare, even if mom is on SAD. I understand that some women are unable or unwilling to breastfeed, and then I’m happy that their babies have a safe alternative to mainstream formulas. But, it’s so refreshing when someone reminds us that God made breastmilk ;)

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    29 Lynda March 4, 2011 at 11:26 am

    My educational background is in public health, and the real problem, as I see it, is that too many Americans are scientifically illiterate and that, unfortunately, includes the journalists sensationalizing bits of studies for crazy headlines. Often, if one goes back and actually reads the study one finds that either what was written in the mainstream press was either flat out wrong or at the very least demonstrates a poor understanding of the study findings. And, sometimes, studies are just poorly designed and/or executed, but the scientifically illiterate journalist is unable to discern that. If a newspaper article about a research article piques your interest, go read the actual study article.

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    30 Melissa @ Dyno-mom July 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I stopped over from your Monday Morning Mix-Up of 7/18/11. Gotta tell you, I think that we need to look at the consistency of data rather than little islands od scientific thought which can look contradictory. But there is that little voice in my head, I can hear my grandfather saying, “Liars figure an figures lie.” Smart advice.

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    31 Dawn Turner February 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    So true, on all counts. Common sense still exists!

    Reply

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