Diet and Exercise
One of the problems of modern living is the way in which we have departed from the things we did as we evolved. Diet is one of those things, and I believe that diet and the lack of the right exercise are the main reasons for the widespead prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. I have always liked meat the best of all foods, and as a child I never wanted to eat my vegetables, other than the usual starchy things like bread and potatoes. As I grew out of my teens my weight suddenly shot up from 125 pounds to 186 in about six months. I was out on my own and trying to eat on the cheap, which naturally resulted in a rather carbohydrate-rich diet. (I once tried vegetarianism for about 6 months, but I felt like my body was dying, so I abandoned that trip). I was absolutely freaked at the sight of my stomach lying on the bed next to me. I went on restricted calories and lost weight down to about 150, but it was very difficult to get below that. When I became interested in ballet, and started to take classes, I found the extra weight a liability, but was unable to lose and still eat enough to have the energy for the strenuous exertions of ballet. I think that there are very few types of athletic activities with the demands of ballet training. One day I picked up a magazine, since defunct, called Collier's, and there was an article about a way to control one's weight through diet, and the diet was one high in fat and low in carbs. The article was a review of a book titledEat Fat and Grow Slim by an English physician, Dr. Richard Macarness. I was able to locate a copy of the book and found the theory sounded right, as I had always felt that veggies, which are almost entirely carbohydrates, weren't really food, at least not in the sense that meat was. As a kid I had the idea that we ate veggies because meat was expensive and rationed (which it was during the war). Eat Fat and Grow Slim had as its basis the writings of an arctic explorer and anthropologist Vilhalmur Stefansson. Macarness was also familiar with the traditional "cure" for diabetes, which was to place the patient on a diet with virtually no carbohydrates. If there are no carbs in the diet, the body doesn't need the ability to make insulin, so the disease was no bother (other than the discomfort of the dietary discipline). Since we did not evolve eating carbs in the modern constant-intake fashion, our pancreas is subject to failure from over work, and perhaps it is sometimes destroyed by our own immune system due to the damage the constant flow of insulin does to the blood vessels. Remember the immune system is there to find and destroy the source of damage to our body. Diabetics, once the pancreas quits, suffer severe and rapid damage to their bodies from the high levels that injected insulin produces. Macarness also referred to a diet known as the "Blanding diet" used traditionally for the reduction in weight of very obese people. I went out and bought Stef's book and read it with growing excitement. The year was 1958.... The book by Stefansson was in its third edition in 1961, the date on the copy I now have, and this may have been the end of the publishing run, for I have not seen any copies later than this. The title is The Fat of the Land. An earlier version of the tale is called Not by Bread Alone. The Macmillan company has gone though a lot of changes since the time of the publication, and now no one at the firm seems to know anything about the book. Recently I have heard that there is a doctor in Hollywood who is putting entertainment people on this basic meat diet and getting phenomenal results in rapid weight reduction. The nice thing about this diet is that the human body does not seem to be able to store fat that is eaten in the food, so the fat you eat must be burned up. On the other hand, the body is totally unable to directly burn carbohydrates for energy, but must first convert them to fatty acids. (Guess where most of this...
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