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October 2005 after the first frost and summer grasses had turned brown.  The growth of winter grasses was delayed by the drought.

Columns

This is the Home Page for our quick-read nutritional health column. If you have a local newspaper that might want to carry it, let us know or pass the link onto them. Also, don't be shy about sharing our columns with friends.

Why Meat is Best for CVD

Column #230

If we ask 100 people to name the healthiest food groups, what will they say? I don’t think it will matter what they prefer to eat or what they eat most of the time, my bet is 99% of them will name fruit and vegetables followed by whole grains as the healthiest food groups. Protein and dairy will round out their list but with an emphasis on very lean, low fat, and small portions. Most will also agree that lowering sugar and salt consumption is important. Surprisingly, that’s basically what the Mayo Clinic recommends.1

What folks will not suggest is meat first. When they do suggest meat it will most likely be limited to three-ounce portions. In other words, meat and animal fat must be feared. If you asked if they’d recommend meat to someone with Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), I bet most would say no. But that’s not how Dr. Pavel Grasgruber, a sports scientist from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, would answer. He and his team of researchers published a report in 2016 titled: “Food Consumption and the Actual Statistics of Cardiovascular Diseases.” In it they show why statistically meat is best!2

They studied 62 food items that were compared with five CVD indicators involving participants in 42 European countries. Also studied were health expenditure, smoking, body mass index and the historical stability of results.

Now, are you sitting down?

Obesity, HF, Drugs, Keto Chemistry

Column #229

Seeking an easy way out doesn’t work with health. It’s up to each individual to not only learn the appropriate steps, but to actually take the appropriate steps. Unfortunately our society is structured against being successful in both endeavors. The big roadblocks are social norms, the pop-a-pill mentality, and general ignorance in the medical community, media, and schools. So if you want to be healthier, which includes having the appropriate weight for your body type, this column is for you.

I recently received a report by Dr. Parag Goyal, et al. that’s certainly a cautionary tale. It found that an array of commonly prescribed medications that exacerbate heart failure (HF) is often continued or even initiated following a HF hospitalization.1

Of course it’s rather difficult to believe that medical doctors treating HF patients would prescribe drugs that could actually exacerbate HF. But apparently it’s happening. The “investigators analyzed the use of major HF-exacerbating medications, both at hospital admission and at discharge, in more than 500 older adults hospitalized for HF during more than 700 hospital admissions.” Their findings were not heart warming.

What Are We Missing?

Column #228

Do you ever wonder what cavemen cherished 100,000 years ago? Emotionally they differed little from us today. They were intelligent and had learned how to communicate with speech. Art, music, and ceremonies were part of their tight-nit social structures. Of course, there is probably little about their lives we could relate to today other than sex and sleep. Most other aspects of their lives were totally different, not just in tools and toys, but in terms of loyalty and dependence on family members and the tribe.1

I imagine that prehistoric man’s primary focus was on having enough to eat and staying alive. Consequently, knowing how to hunt, gather food, and store food were critical skills. Additionally, making hunting tools, meat processing instruments, cooking implements, and fire were skills everyone had to acquire. Humans also required shelter and clothing which were not available like today. Obviously human survival in prehistoric times depended on skills we no longer have today.2

The Clickbait Age

Column #227

We live in the clickbait age. Advertisers, journalists, and editors know that people who get their news via constantly-shifting social media, rarely read complete articles; they glance at a headline and apply confirmation bias to it. If the headline echoes a view they support, these attention-challenged readers will give the thumbs up. If they don’t like the headline, they give it a thumb down with a hostile comment.1

Of course consumers may do as they wish, but all too often the headline itself actually gives an impression that masks the true story. In the health food industry the true story is based on biology, chemistry, and other mundane, complex, and very boring sciences that can make economics sound exciting. Unfortunately most of the news regarding health food is in the form of sensational headlines and politically correct, emotion generating schmooze. This is why I believe the most deceptive actors in the food industry are in the health food business.

’Tis a Changing Season

Column $226

Like many events, even holidays can change over time and Christmas is one that has changed.1

It wasn’t until AD 336 that Christians officially celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25. Ironically, in Biblical times deaths were remembered more often than births were celebrated. Birthdays were not considered important. That may explain why celebrating Jesus’s birth took centuries rather than decades to become a Christian celebration.2

Biblical scholars say it’s highly unlikely that December 25 was Jesus’s actual date of birth. Apparently the date was selected to coincide with pagan winter festivals and the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah. That way it was more inclusive and Jesus was Jewish.

Lard vs. Coconut Oil

Column #225

The short answer is . . . lard is much better! But before you can wrap your mind around that simple declarative statement you must understand that cholesterol and saturated fat are not the killers people think they are.

Grow Veggies—But Where???

Column #224

Scores of researchers, commentators, reporters, politicians, and consumers are demanding that we get rid of livestock and use the land they grazed for growing crops. That tells me what they don’t know about ranching and farming would fill most of the agricultural books both new and old. Here’s why.

There are reasons why for millions of years humans ate mostly meat. There are also reasons why after inventing crop farming 10,000 years ago humans domesticated certain animals and continued to eat meat. The reasons have to do with the nutrition people require and the soils, climate, and topography where people live. All animals and plants rely on light, water, temperature, and nutrients which are conditions that can vary considerably even within short distances.

Why do some people advocate no meat and promote only plant-based foods?

Hooves and Dirt

Column #223

The media frustrates me to no end. Not only do they muddle up nutritional science, they also misrepresent agricultural science. I believe that happens because most reporters have, for a lack of better words, myopic “feel-good” viewpoints, alarmist reactions to climate change, and an urban understanding of how food is produced. Feelings and beliefs are the antitheses of nutritional and agricultural sciences. Unfortunately many consumers are influenced by happy talk, scaremongering, outright deception, and entertainment “news.” For that reason when it comes to the truth, and nothing but the truth, they rarely get the proper big picture.1

Last week my local newspaper ran a short Associated Press story about the environmental benefits that occur when Bison graze the landscape. (CNN put out a much longer article. CNN used to be a Ted Turner company and he owns 51,000 head of Bison on two million acres.) The AP article’s slant was that Bison are nearly magical in how they interact positively with the environment. Of course this resonates with everyone in this age of environmental sensitivity, global warming concerns, and wild animal preservation. That’s not a bad thing, but what is not mentioned in the article is the problem.2 3 4

Thankful for Our Time

Column #222

How many Americans are actually thankful these days? It seems to me that too many of them spend too much of their time being outraged, disappointed, afraid, depressed, anxious, tired, joyless, unmotivated, envious, regretful, and just plain out of sorts.

Well, coming soon is the one day of the year that’s specifically set aside for discarding all those negative thoughts. It’s a day for giving thanks. It’s a day where the glass is more than half full. In fact, it’s the day where we give thanks that our cups runneth over.1

Some people actually believe that saying “cups runneth over” is “fighting words.” But that’s their perception and not the intent. I’m merely trying to discuss the reason for Thanksgiving and the celebration it represents.2

Even though it’s celebrated on different days, Thanksgiving is definitely a Canadian and American holiday that is being celebrated in at least eight additional countries. There are also harvest festivals in many other countries around the world that are celebrated at various times depending on their latitudes which dictates their growing seasons.3 4

Conquering Diabetes

Column #221

Diabetes can be conquered naturally but it takes willpower. The same is also true for obesity. Because willpower is in short supply these days, doctors make fortunes prescribing drugs and operations. Those choices are the easy way out because no willpower is required. Just pop a pill (or injection) and/or suffer the operation. This allows the patient to “live” with their affliction and all is good. Well . . . sort of good.

Chronic diseases are body failures that are usually caused by eating too much of the wrong foods. Foods will abuse body functions when they fall into one or more of these three categories.
1.    High glycemic
2.    Nutrient lite
3.    Improperly balanced essential vitamins, fats, and minerals