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Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Perspective about Carbohydrate Addiction by my Husband, Ian

In 1899 sugar consumption was less than 10 lbs per person per annum, and the incidence of diabetes, heart disease and stroke was very low. By 1999 sugar consumption was greater than 170 lbs per person per annum, and the incidence of these diseases is now very high. To be sure, sugar is only the most obvious, highly refined carbohydrate that we have introduced into our lives in recent human history, but by no means the only one. Bleached white flour, with almost all of the wheat's goodness removed, ground to the consistency of "Talcum powder," is just as potent a carbohydrate. Often in fast foods and processed foods, these two products are combined with plenty of fat added as well, making very unhealthy, fattening foods. So what is it about us humans that makes us deny the facts, even when they stare us directly in the face? Haven't we looked around us and noticed how overweight we have become? We hear that this is because the "Baby Boomers are aging". Well, yes, we are but why then are so many children overweight? And how about our Native populations who struggle with obesity and diabetes today in epidemic proportions? With carbohydrate-rich "fast foods" now their new staple diet, little wonder! How about those northern tribes who lived in the frozen tundra, eating only protein and blubber all winter long? They did not develop diabetes and grow wildly obese.

The answer is simple, we are hooked on carbohydrates ... and that's not a difficult thing to have happen! Ever hear of heavy drinkers who constantly admit to alcohol being a problem in their lives? They will far rather cover up its harmful effects and highlight its positive effects ... and the same holds true for drug users and for others hooked on addictive, but damaging behaviors.

So, just how easy or cost-effective is it to feed all Americans and Canadians on mostly protein versus mostly carbohydrates? The answer is: "It is not practical or cost-effective at all," and most importantly, it's not nearly as profitable! The foods lower down on the food chain are easier to produce, cost less to produce, transport easier, process easier, package easier, market easier and are much more profitable for industry. For them, pasta and cereal make way more profits than eggs and steak. A lot of government decisions are made based on these general principles and not based on our health. If all of America switched away from carbohydrates to animal protein, we would be paying very high prices for steak, chicken, pork, lobster, shrimp, etc., and then what would all those politicians eat? It's almost in our best interest to keep the low-carb diet a secret! It seems the ruling elite has done so for some time now. So you think I'm overstating things?

People act, for the most part, like a herd. In South Africa where we grew up in our youth, steak, lobster, shrimp, etc. were kept for the colonial European rulers, while bread and grains were subsidized and fed to the local ethnic folks who worked in their industries. They could not afford to feed the entire populace on fancy foods. The result was that, contrary to popular, but incorrect images of ethnic Africans, they grew to be wildly obese and developed all sorts of illnesses, not common to their populace, before we arrived on the scene and changed their diets. I know this, because my dad spent his life living among them as a traveling African doctor. Sadly, the colonial rulers themselves mixed liberal amounts of refined sugar and flour in with their rich diets, swilling it all down with huge amounts of alcohol, and also inhaling copious quantities of tobacco smoke. So, ironically, many died just as early as their enslaved ethnic populace!

Okay, so what do we feed cattle when fattening them up (quickly) for sale and slaughter? Protein and fat? No, carbohydrate-laden grains! So what do we feed people suffering from impaired carbohydrate metabolism? - too many carbohydrates, including sugar and white flour, in their "balanced diet," and drugs to counter the effects of these! So now two very profitable industries profit even more! If we go along with the herd, we will eventually suffer the same fate as the herd. It's good that we regard ourselves as enlightened and support each other with facts and truth. Live apart from the herd - free and happy and healthy!

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