by Robert Frenz
28 November 1999
I usually avoid most discussions concerning nutrition because it has now taken on the dimensions of a religion. In addition, the marbles most people house between their ears is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Just ask them. Since most people rarely change their minds even when cold kicks them in the tail, they could be justly labeled as bigots. People also are very lazy mentally and rarely research anything new which is presented to them. There is also the fact that people usually eat what appeals to them – whatever tastes good and is cheap – and then rationalize their choices as "good nutrition." My grandparents were always as healthy as yearlings and never knew a vitamin from a hyrax. The 'secret' to their health, and vigorous old age, if there really was one, is to be found in their manner of life.
The field of biochemistry has revealed much but that information will never be found on TV nor from the mouth of anyone wishing to sell you some modern version of snake oil.
Food is the essential stuff you eat so that your body can have (1) fuel, (2) material for growth and upkeep and (3) substances for the regulation of its functions.
Fuel is that which your body can burn in order to provide energy, just as gasoline provides for a Ford engine. You do not get energy from eating Ginsana, gnawing on coca leaves or drinking coffee. These contain stimulants which do cause the fuel stored in your liver to be released for 'burning' but that fuel will have to replaced – by food. Hyperactivity, as the result of eating something, does not necessarily mean that it 'gave you energy'. If you grab a cat and smear a little turpentine on its anus, you'll find that the cat will damned-near catapult itself into the next county. It might have expended a lot of energy but that energy did not come from the turpentine.
Your body can use as fuel any of the three major food types: carbohydrate, fat and protein.
Carbohydrates are mainly sugars and starches from sources such as grains, fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates produce most of the body's storage fat.
Fats, whether solid or liquid, occur in various amounts in most foods but are most abundant in animal products with grains bringing up the rear. Fats are the best source of fuel – more than twice as effective as carbohydrates.
Proteins come from animal sources and also from plant sources such as grain (grass seed), although to a lesser extent. Vegetable proteins are inferior to animal proteins and also lack certain amino acids essential for humans. (The only way most breakfast cereals are fit to eat is when they are drowned in milk.) If one abstains from all animal products, including eggs and milk products, he should be instantly whisked to some institution for the mentally incompetent. Even herbivores – the plant eating mammals – absolutely require animal protein in the early stages of their lives. What do you think baby camels have for breakfast, orange juice? The best protein foods remain milk and eggs followed by animal organs and then muscle meats. After all, milk is a complete food for the young and eggs contain all of the materials necessary for the development of a complete bird. A loaf of (whole grain) bread, a cask of wine and 'thou cheese', singing in the wilderness, is a far better diet than most American's have today. (A well-known revisionist cured his minor vision problem by consuming large quantities of butter.)
Efficient utilization of protein requires the parallel consumption of fat. If you take the fat out of an egg, only about 20 percent of the protein can be used for maintenance or repair. The rest ends up as fuel, deposited as fat or in the toilet bowl. "Low fat" milk ranks on a par with Coca Cola and Clorox, and the calcium in it usually ends up going into the sewer. If you are a pig, then it's passable as 'slop'.
Fats are essential for the 'carrying' of other substances into your system such as fat-soluble vitamins. Hormones are derived from fats. Animal fats are storage fats such as lard (pig fat), and tallow (usually meaning beef fat). Milk fat we call butter. There are vegetable oils (liquid fats) such as corn, soy, cottonseed, etc. These should be consumed only in the proportions found in nature – whole wheat, whole corn, etc. Avoid all extracted vegetable oils, with the exception of olive oil, as you would a venereal disease. Hydrogenated oils are 'solid' products foisted upon the public because of their cheapness and ability to resist becoming rancid. The dangers of eating margarine have appeared in journals dating back to 1920 and today, a little truth is beginning to seep out concerning its relation to heart and circulatory problems. When the body encounters this junk, it doesn't recognize it as food and will do its best to process it, which mainly means dumping it in some little-used corner of your body. (The fat is extracted from milk for reasons other than the health of the public. During WW II, butter was not to be found in the stores. Margarine, then called oleo-margarine, was popularized because ZOG was more interested in explosives than in the public's health.)
Your body produces catalysts called enzymes which allows things such as the burning of a potato at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit – far below that required in a calorimeter which is used to measure the calories in food, or our internal combustion engines. Pineapple enzymes are used by pineapples. That's why they are found in pineapples and unless you are a pineapple, nothing much of benefit will happen when you eat them. (It's true that certain food enzymes do affect the chemistry of digestion – most of them in an adverse way.) If you truly want to eat the best enzymes for your body, then try cannibalism which probably wouldn't work anyway. I'll rely on my body's manufacturing ability instead. Too many cooks often spoil the broth.
Vitamins (vital amines) are also necessary. Some of them the body makes while others are consumed – in the amount required – with the whole foods you eat. There are indispensable vitamins which are only found in animal products! Also remember that 200 mg. of vitamin C consumed with the cabbage which contains it, is more effective than 4000 mg. taken in the form of vitamin tablets. The only time vitamins might be of value is after a protracted binge of eating a restricted variety of foods. It takes a long time to develop problems from insufficient vitamins and even then a 'cure' is very rapid once proper foods are again consumed – providing you didn't pass a point of no return.
We all need minerals. Iron for blood – oxygen does not do its thing without it. Calcium for bones and teeth along with phosphorus. Again, a whole roll of TUMS (flavored chalk, calcium carbonate, limestone) provides less USABLE calcium than one chaw of sauerkraut. Whenever a carnivore needs calcium, it eats bones but never a chunk of limestone or chalk.
There are two groups of unhappy people. The first spends its time in the doctor's office waiting for a new menu of drugs to 'cure' the side effects produced by an earlier prescription. The second group is found in 'health food' stores picking out bottles of weeds, seeds and other concoctions. Both groups are trying to 'fine tune' their systems via chemistry. You know what? The body is one hellova lot smarter than you, or most doctors are, or will ever be. If you pop something into your mouth to counteract whatever ails you, that substance, if it does anything at all, affects EVERY CORNER of your anatomy. Your body TRIES to maintain an equilibrium throughout and your 'doctoring' is on a par with a criminal 'hacker' at a computer keyboard. Remember the cholesterol flak? The body makes the stuff. Eat cholesterol; the body slows its production down. Don't eat it and the body steps up production. Result: cholesterol level remains nearly the same. How about the nit-witted body builders with their male steroid treatments? Pump in the testosterone and their balls (testosterone factories) shrink to the size of marbles which then requires a padding in their briefs so that they will look normal at the Mr. Biceps gawking events. Stop breathing. Your pulse rises along with your blood pressure. Your body tries to maintain its chemical equilibrium. When you start breathing again, the pulse lowers and your blood pressure goes down. I did this once during a physical required for my pilot's certificate. The kindly doc thought I was going to blow a gasket via high blood pressure! I wanted something for my $50 and so I felt compelled to add a wee bit of entertainment.
Misconceptions abound which are apparently proportional to the number of vitamin, mineral, ginseng, tofu, sea weed and other snake oil salesmen. Some truths – easily demonstrated – are:
(1) You do not need every meal to be 'balanced'.
(2) You do not need 'bulk' to prevent anything including constipation.
(3) You do not have to eat or drink regularly. Any regimen will get you into nutritional trouble sooner or later.
(4) You have no need to suck on oranges daily. In fact, when was the last time you saw an Eskimo eat an orange? They get their "C" from eating liver and skin. Notice that every healthy carnivore always prefers the liver.
(5) Eat all your cattle fodder – grains – whole.
(6) You do not need to suck on a water bottle every 2 minutes to 'prevent' some imagined 'dehydration'. Most of the water anyone requires can come from fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes are 94 percent water! This means that every pound of tomatoes you buy for $1.49 per pound contains 15 ounces of water which you also PAY $1.49 per pound for. That's a lot of money to pay for tomato-tasting water – $13.60 per gallon.
(7) You do not need to visit the toilet according to some variation of a train schedule. Eat lots – visit lots. Stop eating and you'll be surprised at the toilet paper you will save.
(8) Science does not know best. It never did and it never will. Man cannot improve upon God and Nature. More dogs die of malnutrition than of any other cause. I didn't say starvation. Purina, a company which started by making chicken feed, discovered(!) that a starving dog will eat anything, including chicken feed. Thus was born the idea of feeding corn and soybeans to dogs. (This makes about as much sense as feeding pork loin to a giraffe.) It was cheap, convenient, and the "dog lover's", forever interested in their pet's health, flocked to buy it. Our dalmatian died of natural causes at the age of 16 plus, which surprised the 'experts' since they believed that 12 was the normal life-span for this breed (race). "Hank" and "Purp", our farm dogs, lived to be 18 and 17 respectively. They all ate animal products exclusively, most of it which they caught – woodchucks, rabbit and an occasional squirrel. At milking time, they drank fresh, warm, whole milk straight from Nature's faucet. A few years back several dim-witted females in Pennsylvania started feeding their infants 'low fat' milk. The babes nearly died. Any sane husband would have shoved such a wife's head into a toilet and flushed it.
(9) Never use the young as examples of 'good' nutrition. They simply are not old enough for Father Time to reveal the error of their ways. You'd be surprised at how much junk the young can eat before it begins to show – usually about the age of 40.
(10) Worrying about your diet and reading labels will cause anxiety which is demonstrated to screw up bodily functions. If something has a 'table of contents' on its package, then it probably should not be eaten in the first place.
(11) There is no way to return to youth. The 'Golden years' are nothing like any other time of your life. Those years are not golden, they are colored brown. Make the best of them with laughter and an increased tolerance for pain and things which do not function as they once did. Old age is when you know most of the answers but are unable to use them. Remember that every old person you see is simply a glimpse at your future. That's why respect for elders was always a staple in sane and functional societies. Also, what is great about being 90 or 100, if you are nearly comatose? My uncle Carl was still riding a motorcycle at 89. He sold his speed boat when he was 83 and lived to be 101. He died 1 week after he said he wasn't feeling very well. Our dog Hank, as I mentioned earlier, killed a woodchuck the morning of the day he died. We knew he wasn't feeling well since he didn't finish eating all of it.
You'd be surprised at how your body will send you signals on what to eat and when. Unfortunately, many have dabbled with Pepsi, chips, 'energy bars', and other such concocted and unwholesome stuff for a period sufficient to thoroughly bamboozle their body's appetite intelligence. It's like what drugs do to your mind.
Think about what you are doing, pay heed to your body's signals and let the experts play with themselves. That's about all they are good at anyway.