Short History Lesson

Let me assure you that eating meat, fish and fowl isn't a health hardship-it's what humans have eaten for millions of years. People ate much the same way in the nineteenth century. They were beef and pork eaters and their use of butter and eggs was unrestricted. In fact, the two most widely consumed fats of all were lard and beef tallow.

In the crucial sixty-year time span between 1910 and 1970, when coronary heart disease escalated from a yet-to-be-recognized problem to the killer of more than half the population, this is what happened to America's diet: The intake of animal fat and butter actually dropped a little, while the intake of cholesterol was not changed. Meanwhile, the intake of refined carbohydrates (mainly sugar, corn syrup and white flour) escalated by sixty percent 68 (See the graphs).

To understand how the human diet in most of the world's developed countries has changed so drastically in the last century, let's take a short historical detour. Even before the onset of agriculture, the human animal was able, for millions of years, to remain strong and healthy in conditions of often savage deprivation by eating the fish and animals that scampered and swam around him, and the fruits and vegetables and berries that grew nearby. Without medicine, without expertise, without insulated housing or reliable heating, our species nonetheless survived. The fact that the dietary side of our primitive lifestyle was enormously healthy undoubtedly helped us.

So what has caused the avalanche of degenerative diseases that now threaten the health of our species? Two hundred years ago the average person ate less than 10 pounds of sugar a year, and white flour was used much less commonly. About a hundred and ten years ago the lid blew off the sugar canister. In the 1890s, the craze for cola beverages swept the nation-which means that when we were thirsty and craved water, we got sugar as well. To make matters worse, the mills that could refine wheat into white, nutritionally barren flour were developed in the same decade. That was bad enough. But what's worse, once that flour met up with sweetness and saltiness, the junk food industry was off and running.

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

Prevention is better than a cure. Learn how to cherish your heart by taking the necessary means to keep it pumping healthily and steadily through your life.

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