Eric Harrington – OUR SICK SOCIETY

I recently read an article by Paul Krugman discussing the sorry state of American Health, and as much as I truly love and respect Paul Krugman, I can’t help but feel disappointed by the utter inability of the truth to penetrate the fabric of this society.  When one examines the differences between America and virtually all other countries in the world, and the abysmal state of American’s health given our “high standard of living”, the answer is painfully obvious—Our Diet. Americans eat more sugar, processed foods, and unhealthily grown crops and meats than any other society on this earth.  Our agricultural lands have been unsustainably farmed for a century, roughly five basic minerals being added to the soil as fertilizer, while dozens of trace minerals are continuously removed by the crops until the soil is effectively stripped of all trace minerals like Selenium and Chromium.  As an example of the importance of trace minerals, studies in the US have shown a direct correlation between increased cancer incidences, and a lack of selenium in the relative soils.  And no amount of vegetables in your diet can supply these minerals if they simply no longer exist in the soils.
Children are fed copious amounts of sugar throughout childhood, and then we wonder why 1 in 3 children born today will develop Diabetes.  Processed foods remove most of the fragile enzymes, vitamins, and anti-oxidants, leaving only virtually nutrition less carbohydrates and chemical preservatives and taste enhancers, all of which have DOCUMENTED serious health consequences.  The manufacturers claim, “it’s not our job to teach people self control when it comes to their eating habits” and yet much like tobacco, high fructose corn syrup has been proven to be highly addictive and incredibly unhealthy.  And it is contained in virtually every “snack” food you can buy..

And even our medical communities who are entrusted with giving us the information we need to make informed decisions about our health have effectively become shills for the pharmaceutical companies.  Once doctors leave medical school, their primary source of information about medical advancements comes from pharmaceutical companies, whose very success is based on our continued, better yet, increasing sickness not health.

And yet the good information is out there, lost in a sea of corporate propaganda and fads. One example is the work of Dr. Diana Schwartzbein, and endocrinologist in Santa Barbara, California, and author of the book ‘The Schwartzbein Principle”.  In the book, Dr. Schwartzbein discusses how through the years of her practice she discovered a direct link between Diabetes, heart disease and obesity, (arguably as a group the largest cause of death and sickness in America,) and Insulin production in the body. And what causes insulin production?  Eating too much refined or simple carbohydrates.

Now I am not going to go into the mechanics of all this, for that I strongly recommend reading the book, but Dr. Schwartzbein has cured, yes I said cured, countless cases of type 2 diabetes without drugs, and substantially reduced cholesterol levels and body fat in her patients by simply putting them on a healthy diet of very moderate levels of unprocessed, complex carbs, higher levels of healthy protein, and ample amounts of undamaged fats. As illustrated in her book, all three are necessary for optimum health, and ironically, the worst diet of all, is the one that has been proffered by the medical community for years, the high carb, low protein, low fat diets.

Fats in particular are essential for proper hormone production and control of cholesterol, yes control of cholesterol. “You mean a low fat diet is unhealthy” you ask?  That is exactly what I mean. Cultures all over the world eat copious amounts of butter, fatty fish, milk, and meats with dramatically lower incidents of heart disease. Undamaged Fat is not a causative factor in heart disease, and only contributes when general nutrition is bad.  Nor is genetics really a cause.  Heart disease is caused by a holistically poor diet, and in particular a lack of steady Vitamin C intake (i.e. fruits and vegetables) necessary for the production of collagen which is critical for vascular elasticity and health, as well as healthy skin, joints, you name it..  Refined carbs which spike insulin levels must be avoided completely whenever possible.

And possibly the most attractive part of this new way of eating is the way the pounds begin to melt off naturally, even though you are eating full, satisfying meals. Real meals that can’t be eaten through a straw.  If the optimum diet is followed to the letter, your body weight will very slowly and steadily drop to its natural level, on it’s own without significant caloric restrictions, or exercise.  I’m not saying exercise isn’t necessary for health– it is, but it is not for weight loss.   The bottom line is, fat cannot be created by the body without insulin present in the blood. Period.  Understanding what this means can change your life.

There are many diets out there which use the high protein, low carb approach to loosing weight, but no one I have seen except Dr. Schwartzbein has fully explained why it works, and made the connections between refined carbohydrates and not only obesity, but heart disease as well, and more obviously, diabetes.  This program works, and will dramatically improve your life regardless of your age or general level of health.

So stop asking the same question over and over again, “why are we sicker than everyone else”… The answer is painfully obvious, it is our diet. Our refined carb, processed food, damaged fat, mega-commercially-grown-mineral-deficient produce, heinous hormone-antibiotic-carb fed meat factories, and pharmaceutical laden diets that are killing us and making us sick.  What about stress you ask?  There has always been stress everywhere. Modern Medicine?  Our form of medicine is only geared to treat sickness not prevent it.

Wake up people, stop complaining and waiting for the government to tell you how to be healthy. They are owned by corporations like big Pharma, not you, and their interests are served by our poor health.  The information is out there and the best place to start in my humble opinion is Dr. Schwartzbein’s book.  It is at least a great starting point.



~ by Eric Harrington on September 2, 2008.

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