Back in 1969 I purchased my first horse. His given name was Big Red and he was named appropriately. I always just called him Big. He was green broke when I got him and it took quite some time to straighten both of us out. Over the many years we were together we had some really interesting adventures.
Big had a mind of his own, but he was usually on his best behavior when in the mountains. Together we traveled wilderness trails, crossed swift mountain rivers, and plowed through snow packed mountain hillsides. In 1974, when following a game trial in the Wallowa Whiteman National Forest in NE Oregon, the ride turned into an adventure of the highest sort.
The trail wound around the side of a mountain and soon turned into just a ledge that, to our surprise, continued on and on. I could literally put out my right arm and touch the mountain wall which rose straight up for over several hundred feet. To my left was a sheer drop off that fell away for over 500 feet and even more as we progressed. The ledge was all of two feet wide!
My dad was in the lead on Sue’s horse Chico whom she had graciously lent him for this hunting trip. Her horse was an Appaloosa which was not only better mannered than Big, but a breed known for being sure footed and smart. Maybe that’s because Appaloosas were bred by the Nez Perce Indians who are native of the eastern Washington, Oregon, and north-central Idaho country—the very country we were in.
The two horses seemed to sense their predicament. It was eerily quiet. Man and horse understood there was no turning back. Both horses lowered their heads and fixed their gazes on the ledge which continued on for more than 100 yards with no end in sight. No longer was it a causal walk in the forest because now every step the horses made was very deliberate. A misstep would be catastrophic. My dad and I knew that if the ledge petered out, we’d have some really hard decisions to make.
Finally the ledge rounded a bend to the right and came out on an open area that was relatively flat. Whew! Man and horses alike were noticeably relieved. We stopped and rested the horses and studied the map.
No, we didn’t backtrack. We decided to make our way back to camp the hard way which was to zigzag our way up the mountain slope to the top of the ridge. It was a very hard climb on a loose rocky face and we had to lead the horses because it was too slippery and steep to ride. But the horses scaled the rocky slope better than we did. Once on top we rode back to camp on the ridge top. You can bet that when we led the horses to water that evening they didn’t hesitate to take a big drink. My dad and I celebrated with a good meal and “a little” hooch.
I think everyone understands the proverb, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” If not, it means “you can give someone the opportunity to do something, but you cannot force them to do it.”
For more than two decades I’ve been writing about nutritional science and how food impacts human health. In February 2020, before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, I doubled down in this column on the importance of improving immunity as a means of fighting the new virus. It was known at that time the new virus was deadly for older citizens who had comorbidities. Today, after 195,000 deaths in the USA, the CDC states flat out that: “For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.”1 2
Nearly all of the comorbidities associated with 94% of the deaths were chronic. Here’s the listing of the broad classes of diseases people had.
● Respiratory diseases
● Malignant neoplasms
● Alzheimer disease
● Vascular and unspecified dementia
● Renal failure
● Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events
● All other conditions and causes (residual)
As the CDC indicated recently, most of the deaths involved older people whose comorbidities had deteriorated significantly prior to contracting COVID-19. Youngsters, whose chronic issues aren’t as advanced as their elders, are nearly bulletproof when it comes to COVID-19.3
A large percentage of the older folks (and even some middle-aged folks) who died were barely holding on to life when they caught COVID-19. Therefore the virus was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Most of these people had been on prescription drugs for decades. They had been living a life that was like driving a car with a flat tire and keeping it inflated with a continuously running air pump. The alternative to living with diseases masked by drugs is to heal the affliction (patch the flat) and then drive normally. When it comes to suppressing chronic diseases, a proper diet can work miracles.
It’s common knowledge that every intervention that the medical community prescribes has its own potential set of side effects. Drugs mostly focus on single pathways, and targeting one pathway can show change, but in human studies these limited approaches do not actually stop the disease. In addition they can cause additional health issues as the many advertisements explain. Since nearly every chronic disease is analogous to virtually any other chronic illness such as cancer, osteoporosis, and atherosclerosis, to subdue a chronic disease what’s needed is a metabolical approach that safely addresses multiple modalities. The only effective way to do that is to use diet, supplements, sleep, exercise, and meditation in combination.4
The recommended diet must provide a balanced Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) ratio of 1:1, a very diverse and dense combination of nutrients but be low glycemic. The best foods are the grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood, Omega-3 poultry, Omega-3 pork, dark green vegetables, some squashes, and other selected vegetables. The worst foods are high glycemic foods and grains, seeds, processed foods, vegetable oils, most nuts, and an emphasis on low fat.5 6 7
When the virus fears really ramped up in February 2020, in addition to discussing shutdowns, social distancing, and mask wearing why wasn’t there an emphasis on improving immunity and overall health by changing the diet and isolating those most vulnerable? If that had happened in February, the entire nation could have seen a huge increase in natural immunity in ten weeks or as early as April 26, 2020. Instead, on that date the highly populated states in the Northeast were experiencing more than 2,000 Covid-19 related deaths every day.8 9
Experts in the biological and nutritional sciences have been pounding the table for more than 40 years about which foods are best for health. Thousands of papers have passed peer review. Hundreds of books have been written. Therefore, unless they’ve had their heads buried in the sand, every doctor, politician, school teacher, CDC employee, bureaucrat, movie star, and consumer must have been led to water by now. So, since we’re in a pandemic where fear is such a palpable motivator, why are so few “scientists” pushing for improving the health of those who are burdened with chronic diseases? Instead, everyone is cowering and waiting for big government to save the day and tell them when it’s safe to venture out.
People want a safe environment, but most of them don’t give a hoot about what they’re eating. If they are obese, diabetic, have asthma, heart issues, cancer, arthritis, or any of the other chronic diseases (especially autoimmune diseases), why do they just keep on eating the same garbage? Then after refusing to be self-reliant, they turnaround and want better healthcare, total security against COVID-19, payments for not showing up at work, exemptions for housing payments, and more goodies from the government as if the government wasn’t funded by their neighbors. They do not understand that eventually everyone will end up paying real dollars for what’s going on today.
Dr. Fauci says he hopes the new COVID-19 vaccines will be at least 50% effective. But we know the 2017-2018 influenza vaccine was only 38% effective. For people over 65 years of age that vaccine was only 12% effective. Since herd immunity is the answer and youngsters are bulletproof, older people must focus on improving their health and natural immunity or total isolation. Waiting to rely on a vaccine may be foolish. As former Australian PM Tony Abbott said recently, “At some point, we just have to learn to live with this virus in ways that can be kept up more or less indefinitely.”10 11
For certain, when it comes to taking care of their own health, the masses have been led to water by nutritionists and biologists yet most refused to take a drink because they can’t think for themselves. Instead, they insist on destructive self indulgence rather than healing. And the beat goes on . . .
To your health.
Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.
Don’t miss these links for additional reading:
2. Comorbidity and its Impact on Patients with COVID-19 by Adekunle Sanyaolu, et. al.
3. COVID-19 Hospitalization and Death by Age from CDC
4. Reversing Cognitive Decline by Ted Slanker
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases by Dr. Artemis Simopoulos
6. An Increase in the Omega-6 Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio nutrients Increases the Risk for Obesity by Dr. Artemis Simopoulos
7. Food Analysis: EFA, Protein to Fat, Net Carbs, Sugar, and Nutrient Load by Ted Slanker
9. How Fast Can the EFA Ratio Change? by Ted Slanker