« September 2005 | Main | November 2005 »

October 09, 2005

The standard American diet (SAD) is destroying your health

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as processed food, there was no farming, no wheat, no corn, no sugar, no preservatives, no chemicals. None of that stuff. Our stone age ancestors had to hunt and gather for nourishment. That is the environment in which our bodies evolved. That is the kind of food to which our bodies are attuned.

As I will say repeatedly , I appreciate the style of living that the capitalist system has offered us. The variety of abundance and the offerings of goods and services is truly a wonderous thing. An average middle class American lives better then most others around the world and better then the rich in earlier times. Keeping this subject on food, there are more delicious affordable foods in the marketplace then our bodies can consume. Unfortunately, that is the problem with eating healthy.

I'm the first to admit I love food. Until my 50s, I could eat all I wanted without gaining weight. I should add, that I've exercised regularly all my adult life. But as I got deeper into my 50s, I started gaining weight. At 5'9" my ideal weight is 160. Now at 63, I creeped up to 185. That is when it hit me to readjust my diet. I've gotten it down to 170 with ten pounds to go. More on this in future posts. I want to focus on the food producers. From their point of view, you are a consumer, the lifeblood of their profits. As profit seeking businesses, they don't assume the burden of caring for your health; that burden is on you.

To make profits they have they to reduce the costs of production while inceasing the incentive for you to consume. It's no puzzle why so many Americans are overweight. Making food nutritious costs money. Nutrients are perishable so they add preservatives. Nutritious food is satisfying, so they strip the food of nutritients and add sweeteners to "improve" the taste. Nutritious fats are highly perishable, so they convert them into stable fats.

Even farming is conducted with an eye towards efficiency. Crops are grown with whatever chemicals make them grow at the least cost. Animals are fed with whatever fattens them the fastest. All of this is at the sacrifice of nutritution. Cigarette producers get a lot of criticism for making cigarettes addictive, but the food producers have the same mentality. It is tempting to blame them, but the state of the SAD reflects what consumers are most willing to pay for.

We eat what pleases our tastes. We eat out emotion. We eat out of addiction. We eat what looks good. We eat until we are full. Instead of eating to live, we live to eat. Like you, I've wrestled with this all my life. I've long been conscious of minimizing my consumption of processed food. Until my 50s, it was good enough to keep healthy and control my weight. In my late 50s, when tiny ailments started bothering me, I knew I had to be more strict with what I eat. It paid off.

The other route is to run to the doctor and take whatever medicine he prescibes. For reasons I described in an earlier entry, that only worsens your health in the long run. Instead of correcting your diet, medicines add more poisons to your body while allowing you to keep making the same eating mistakes. Most people don't connect their specific ailments to what they eat. They just want it to go away, but don't foresee what it will cost them later.

Like most of us, I'm not the type to do things out of raw discipline. I took the trouble to learn about food and how it affects my health. When I eat someting bad for me, I know enough about what I'm doing to feel a tinge of guilt whenever I do it. Over the years, I've developed a sense of knowing what my body can handle. When I overstep those bounds, my body tells me. I might get a cold, a stuffy nose, an asthmatic reaction, a loss of energy, or even another pound or two on the scale. As I've said, I love food, but I hate sickness even more.

Studies have shown that there are limits to how much stress your organs can take until they become irreversibly exhausted. As an example, the average consumption of sweets in America today is about 150 pounds a year. It is far beyond what your body can handle and explains why diabetes is the sixth major cause of mortality. Sugar consumption has a major affect on heart disease and cancer too. Similarly, Americans consume daily amounts of white flour in almost every meal they eat. It's empty food that displaces better foods you would otherwise eat.

The book that got me on this road was entitled, Food is Your Best Medicine. The edition I have was published in 1966. to my surprise, it is still in print. The title caught my attention because even in my early 20s, I was feeling chronically lousy. It should be the guiding philosophy to managing your health. The food producers aren't going to do it. The doctors aren't going to do it. You have to do it. Ideally you want to eat food in their most natural state. You want to get as much nutritution for the calory as you can. The Standard American Diet is poor in all respects.

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

The war that started it all

I [Charley Reese] just read an excellent book on World War I, and it made me incredibly sad. World War I was the beginning of all the horrors of the 20th century and of problems we still have to deal with in the 21st century. It all started there. Link

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2005

New director of FDA likely to relax drug standards

"Paul Goldberg, editor of The Cancer Letter, a Washington newsletter that has been critical of some of Dr. von Eschenbach's policies, said he suspected that if given free rein, Dr. von Eschenbach would relax standards on drug approvals.
"At the cancer institute, Dr. von Eschenbach has declared a goal of "eliminating suffering and death due to cancer by 2015." The idea is that prevention, early detection and new drugs, while not curing cancer, would make it more of a chronic disease like diabetes." Link

That philosophy is certain to increase drug industry profits. While it sounds noble, the causes of cancer are mostly nutritutional and emotional. More on food in future articles.

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

US economy flashing red lights

"Now, here comes another stark warning from the US Comptroller General about the current US debt and deficit and the unfunded promises. That huge total comes to $US 43 TRILLION, says Mr. Walker, the US Comptroller General, who runs the government's Accountability Office. That works out to $US 145,000 for every American or $US 350,000 for every full-time orker." Link

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

Debt bulidup puts dollar at risk

My old friend, Doug Casey calls the dollar "the unbacked liability of a bankrupt nation." Link

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

Bush is cooking up two more wars

"The Bush administration is betting that it can demonize Iran the way it did Iraq. As both Congress and the American public have failed to hold Bush accountable for deceiving them about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the administration assumes that its tactics will work a second time." Link

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

Better not count on the federales

"There is one clear lesson we can all learn from the two storms that battered Louisiana, Mississippi and East Texas: If you expect to have water to drink and food to eat after a major catastrophe, you'd better stockpile them yourself." Link

I would add that this philosophy extends beyond disaster emergencies to any form of government welfare.

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

How the drug industry sells its agenda at your expense

A page of articles on their political clout. Pushing prescriptions

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2005

The "evolution is only a theory" fallacy

The arguer hopes to confuse "scientific theory" with "cockamanie theory." Theory

Posted by Ray Hewitt at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)