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- How and When to Be Your Own Doctor - 30/55 -
of unflagging persistence.
I think much the same process has happened to humans in this century. With the invention of the roller mill and the consequent degradation of our daily bread to white flour; with the birth of industrial farming and the generalized lowering of the nutritional content of all of our crops; our overall ratio of nutrition to calories worsened. Then it worsened again because we began to have industrial food manufacturing and national brand prepared food marketing systems; we began subsisting on devitalized, processed foods. The result has been an even greater worsening of our ratio of nutrition to calories.
And just like Pottenger's cats, we civilized humans in so-called advanced countries are losing the ability to breed, our willingness (or the energy) to mother our young; we're losing our good humor in the same way Pottenger's degenerated cats became bad tempered. As a group we feel so poorly that we desperately need to feel better fast, and what better way to do that than with drugs. Is it any wonder that the United States, the country furthest down the road of industrial food degeneration, spends 14 percent of its gross domestic product on medical services. Any wonder that so many babies are born by Cesarean, any wonder that so many of our children have crooked teeth needing an orthodontist? The most depressing aspect of this comes into view when considering that Pottenger's cats took four generations on perfect food to repair most of the nutritional damage.
In the specific case of my daughter, I know somethings about the nutritional history of her maternal ancestors. My daughter's grandmother grew up on a Saskatchewan farm. Though they certainly grew their own rich wheat on virgin semi-arid prairie soil, I'm sure the family bought white flour at the store for daily use. Still, there was a garden and a cow producing raw milk and free-range fertile eggs and chicken and other animals. There probably were lots of canned vegetables in winter, canned but still highly nutritious because of the fertility of their prairie garden. My mother consequently had perfect teeth until the Great Depression forced her to live for too many years on lard and white bread.
During this time of severe malnutrition she had her three babies. The first one got the best of her nutritional reserves. The second, born after the worst of the malnutrition, was very small and weak and had a hard time growing up. Fortunately for me, for a few years before I (the last child) was born, the worst of the economic times had past and the family had been living on a farm. There were vegetables and fresh raw milk and fruit. My mother had two good years to rebuild her nutritional reserves. But "Grannybell" did not managed to replace enough. Shortly after I was born my mother lost every one of her teeth all at once. The bone just disappeared around them.
Thus, I was born deficient. And my childhood and adolescent nutrition was poor too: soda crackers, pasteurized processed artificial cheese, evaporated milk from cans, hotdogs and canned beans, hotdogs and cabbage. It wasn't until I was pregnant with my first baby that I started to straighten up my diet. I continued eating very well after my first daughter, so my youngest daughter had another three years of good diet to draw on. Thus both my own daughters got a somewhat better start than I had had.
My teeth were not as good as my mother's had been before those years of malnutrition took them all. Instead of perfect straight undecayed teeth like a healthy farm girl should have, mine were somewhat crowded, with numerous cavities. My jaw bone had not received enough minerals to develop to its full size. My pelvic girdle also was smaller than my mother's was. I had had a poor start.
My daughters did better. The older one (the first child typically gets the best of the nutritional reserves) has such a wide jaw that there are small spaces between her teeth. My second daughter has only one crooked tooth, she has wider, more solid hips, stronger bones and a broader face than I do. If my younger daughter will but from this point in her life, eat perfectly and choose her food wisely to responsibly avoid empty calories and maximize her ratio of nutrition to calories, her daughter (if she gives us granddaughters as her older sister already has done) may exhibit the perfect physiology that her genes carry.
Along the lines of helping you avoid empty calories I will give you some information about various common foods that most people don't know and that most books about food and health don't tell, or misunderstand.
Butter, Margarine and Fats in General.
Recently, enormous propaganda has been generated against eating butter. Its been smeared in the health magazines as a saturated animal fat, one containing that evil substance, cholesterol. Many people are now avoiding it and instead, using margarine.
Composition of Oils
Saturated Monosaturated Unsaturated Butter 66% 30% 4% Coconut Oil 87% 6% 2% Cottonseed Oil 26% 18% 52% Olive Oil 13% 74% 8% Palm Oil 49% 37% 9% Soybean Oil 14% 24% 58% Sunflower Oil 4% 8% 83% Safflower Oil 3% 5% 87% Sesame Oil 5% 9% 80% Peanut Oil 6% 12% 76% Corn Oil 3% 7% 84%
This is a major and serious misunderstanding. First of all, margarine is almost indigestible, chemically very much like shortening--an artificially saturated or hydrogenated vegetable fat. Hydrogenated fats can't be properly broken down by the body's digestive enzymes, adding to the body's toxic load. Margarine, being a chemically-treated vegetable oil with artificial yellow color and artificial flavorings to make it seem like butter, also releases free radicals in the body that accelerate aging. So, to avoid the dangers of eating cholesterol-containing butter, people eat something far worse for them!
There are severe inconsistencies with the entire "cholesterol-is-evil" theory. Ethnic groups like the Danes, who eat enormous quantities of cholesterol-containing foods, have little circulatory disease. Actually, the liver itself produces cholesterol; it's presence in the blood is an important part of the body chemistry. Cholesterol only becomes a problem because of deranged body chemistry due to the kind of overall malnutrition Americans usually experience on their junk food diets. Avoiding cholesterol in foods does little good, but eating a low-fat, low-sugar, complex-carbohydrate (whole foods) diet high in minerals does lower blood cholesterol enormously.
Actually, high quality fresh (not rancid) butter in moderate quantities is about the finest fat a person could eat. But high quality butter is almost unobtainable. First of all, it has to be raw, made from unpasteurized cream. Second, butter can contain very high levels of fat-soluble vitamins, but doesn't have to. Vitamin-rich butter's color is naturally bright yellow, almost orange. This color does not come from a test tube. Pale yellow butter as is found in the commercial trade was probably almost white before it was artificially tinted. Butter from grass-pastured cows naturally changes from yellow-orange to white and back again through the year as the seasons change. Spring grass, growing in the most intense sunlight of the year contains very high levels of chlorophyll and vitamins. Cows eating this grass put high levels of vitamins A and D into their cream, evidenced by the orange color of vitamin A. By July, natural butter has degraded to medium-yellow in color. By August, it is pale yellow. Industrial dairy cows fed exclusively on hay or artificial, processed feeds (lacking in these vitamins), produce butterfat that is almost white.
I prefer to obtain my butter from a neighbor who has several dairy cows grazing on fertile bottom land pasture. We always freeze a year's supply in late spring when butter is at its best. Interestingly, that is also the time of year when my neighbor gets the most production from her cows and is most willing to part with 25 pounds of extra butter.
In general, fats are poor foods that should be avoided. Their ratio of nutrition to calories is absolutely the worst of all food types, except perhaps for pure white sugar, which is all calories and absolutely no nutrition (this is also true for other forms of sugar. Honey, too, contains almost no nutrition.). Gram for gram, fats contain many more calories than do sugars or starches. Yet gram for gram, fats contain virtually no nutrition except for small quantities of essential fatty acids.
The perverse reason people like to eat fats is that they are very hard to digest and greatly slow the digestive action of the stomach. Another way of saying that is that they have a very high satiety value. Fats make a person feel full for a long time because their presence in the stomach makes it churn and churn and churn. Fats coat proteins and starches and delay their digestion, often causing them to begin fermenting (starches) or putrefying (proteins) in the digestive tract.
The best fats contain high levels of monosaturated vegetable oils that have never been exposed to heat or chemicals--like virgin olive oil. Use small quantities of olive oil for salad dressing. Monosaturated fats also have far less tendency to go rancid than any other type. Vegetable oils with high proportions of unsaturated fats, the kind that all the authorities push because they contain no cholesterol, go rancid rapidly upon very brief exposure to air. The danger here is that rancidity in vegetable oil is virtually unnoticeable. Rancid animal fat on the other hand, smells "off." Eating rancid oil is a sure-fire way to accelerate aging, invite degenerative conditions in general, and enhance the likelihood of cancer. I recommend that you use only high-quality virgin olive oil, the only generally-available fat that is largely monosaturated. (Pearson and Shaw, 1983)
When you buy vegetable oil, even olive oil, get small bottles so you use them up before the oil has much time being exposed to air (as you use the oil air fills the bottle) or, if you buy olive oil in a large can to save money, immediately upon opening it, transfer the oil to pint jars filled to the very brim to exclude virtually all air, and seal the jars securely. In either case, keep now-opened, in-use small bottles of oil in the refrigerator because rancidity is simply the combination of oil with oxygen from the air and this chemical reaction is accelerated at warmer temperatures and slowed greatly at cold ones.
Chemical reactions typically double in speed with every 10 degrees
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