By David Ludwig
If you think about it, what we consider radical or mainstream or middle of the road, is all completely subjective. If the conventional thinking veers radically in one direction, for example like in the 1990s with the dogma around sugar and carbohydrates, saying that all fats were bad and all carbohydrates, including sugar, were good – well, that was mainstream thinking, but it was radical. And so, those of us who had a more modest position might seem radical only in comparison with the fact that the mainstream was so off the mark.
Polarisation on one side, with this low-fat paradigm, has provoked polarisation in the low-carbohydrate community and the same between vegans and carnivores. Extreme statements in the vegan community lead to extreme reactions among carnivores, dismissing veganism entirely, when many people approach veganism for very well-motivated reasons, and they’re not completely deluded.
There may be people for whom a primarily meat-based diet is really unhealthy. We don’t know that yet, but I think we need humility on both sides. And ideally we want a dialogue. Social media, such as Twitter, involves self-perpetuating dialogues within each of these communities.
“What we really need to do is embrace some humility.”
We don’t have these answers. Nobody sees the whole picture. And even if I might vehemently disagree with the opposite side, it’s the dialogue process through which we actually elevate and learn, rather than just sitting in camps. That’s what I would like to see more of.
David Ludwig is a practicing endocrinologist, researcher and professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He also directs the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. He visited New Zealand and PreKure in December 2019 and spoke at the PreKure Live Event.