Health, Nutrition, etc.

Oh, people go on and on about eating only “organic” this and that, saying that commercially processed food is bad for you. Well, I look at it this way. In just the past 60 years, life expectancy has risen by 15 years — FIFTEEN YEARS! That’s one extra year for every 4 that have passed in that time! That’s stupendous! Not only that, but people go into old age healthier now than in the past. So, I’m not terribly worried about the “food industrial complex”.

Just think how many folks are not only alive and kicking, but healthy: Dick Van Dyke, Mervin Morris (founder of Mervyn’s department stores just turned 100), Betty White, Bob Barker. The list goes on and on. So, it doesn’t seem like the stuff we eat and drink is any problem.

I had Covid-19 in April 2020, and it took me a month to get fixed up, and another two to three months to get my strength and lung stamina back. So, why did I get it so bad? I don’t know for a fact, but I do know that Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system, and the problem with inflammation is that the body OVERcompensates in fighting disease. Vitamin D keeps the immune system in check, not letting it run too low OR too high. What are the biggest sources of Vitamin D? Fish such as sunshine, salmon, milk, and supplements. I am notorious for not going out in the sun. I also don’t drink milk. I don’t take vitamin supplements. I do and have done salmon, but maybe not enough. So, since getting out of the hospital, I’ve vowed to increase my salmon and other fish. Oh, and I do take a multivitamin that includes 100% of the daily recommended amount.

The Big Three building blocks of the diet are protein, fat, and carbohydrate. And complex carbohydrates such as vegetables are considered better than simple carbs such as bread, pasta, and other starches. BUT, it’s perfectly fine to use the simple carbs in moderation.

Some years ago I was sitting in a café reading a book about the Zone Diet. I had been eating a plain bagel, no cream cheese, no butter, because I thought it was better for me. While reading the book I fell asleep! Why? Because I was taking in a simple carb and not protein and fat to balance it! A few chapters later the Zone Diet book said exactly that: Always eat a MIX of protein, fat, and carbs at the SAME sitting! The reason is simple: If you feed the body starch by itself, it has nothing to combine it with, and just sends it into your bloodstream where it becomes sugar. Pumping that much sugar into your blood, of course, triggers your insulin reaction, which is why I fell asleep. It can also make you diabetic over time.

So, Rule #1 of nutrition: Always eat a mix of protein, carbohydrate, and fat in one sitting.

Look at traditional meals and you’ll see this all the time: People eat rice and beans, or they eat steak and potatoes, or they’ll have a fish chowder and dip some bread into it. Remember to keep all 3 food groups together at one meal and you’ll be fine. Even when I was about 200 pounds overweight my health was excellent: good blood pressure and not a hint of diabetes.

Some foods combine all 3 building blocks at once:

Yes, peanut butter! If you have bread or tortillas or pita bread handy, you’ll balance out the ratios a little better. Beware, though that just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter give you 20% of your daily fat (of which 15% is saturated fat). But don’t get overly concerned about it. Just be aware. Another balanced food, actually better balanced than peanut butter is chile con carne, heated right out of the can. Hormel is good. HOWEVER, watch the sodium on the label! Two cups of chili con carne can give you half your sodium!

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