Day 592 Monday September 3, 2018 986 Days to Go
Happy Labor Day
I got a diagnosis that I’m a potential heart attack victim. Not good news. I got a CT Scan of the heart and they have a way of measuring the amount of calcium in your arteries. Calcium is left by bad cholesterol. What I found stunning about this is that I’ve never had a bad report before. Well, I’ve never had a really bad report. I’ve had some borderline reports but nothing to be really really concerned about. Right? Wrong.
The CT test was not covered by Medicare. It was only $100, so why not have it, just in case. The blood work from my physical had suggested I was at risk, but come on, I’d never had a bad, really bad report.
Wow, the scoring on this kind of test is 0, 300, 400, 600. Zero is no build up and as the numbers get higher the risk is worse. I was over 600. How could that be? As I read through the literature I found that my score was bad but not so bad for a man my age. What? I’m at like 75-90% risk. What’s not so bad?
I contacted a friend who had a similar problem a few years ago and turned the situation around. He told me to get the book titled “How Not to Die.”
The intro talks about the history of heart disease which is caused by the build up of plaque in your arteries. The reason for this build up is based on what you eat. There are studies of some populations that show no heart disease, no plaque build up, not even in old age. WTF?
The other fascinating thing is this is not new information.
I had asked my doctor what to do and could this be reversed. Answer: it can be controlled and therefore won’t get worse. There wasn’t an answer to the reversal question. Most of the googled information was similar. Mediterranean diet, eat these foods, avoid these, but nothing that said you could reverse the plaque build up problem.
That is until I read the “How Not to Die” book’s Intro and Chapter One. He laid it out and he reported various things that don’t show any benefit. One of the surprising things was fish oil has been shown to have no benefit. It’s all myth.
What might help is four Brazil nuts once a month. But that research is on a very small sample size and they are awaiting more research.
What does work is a plant based diet and avoiding red meat and a few other things. The book claims not only will you lower your bad cholesterol but your body will begin to heal and you’ll get rid of the plaque and it begins right away. Too good to be true? Maybe. But it shows a way forward.
In reading the history of the effort to get this information out to the public a familiar theme appeared and that’s really what I wanted to talk about today.
In Chapter One entitled “How Not to Die from Heart Disease” there’s a subchapter entitled “Follow the Money.” (What? This isn’t a new theme? OMG! Shocking.)
Here’s the opening sentence, “Research showing that coronary heart disease can be reversed with a plant based diet – with or without other healthy lifestyle changes – has been published for decades in some of the most prestigious medical journals in the world.”
WTF? I mean – WTF? !!
Paragraph two answers that question (remember the sub-title? “Follow the Money”?). I quote,
“In 1977, the U.S. Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs … Known as the McGovern Committee …” ( STOP, The McGovern Committee? That poor SOB – it’s doomed. [btw if you don’t know who George McGovern is – look it up, back to the screed.] )
“released … a report advising Americans to cut down on animal based foods and increase their consumption of plant-based foods.”
One member of the committee recalled that the meat, milk, and egg producers were very upset and they got the “decrease meat consumption” statement eliminated and they got the entire committee disbanded. Several Senators lost their re-election bids.
The section goes on to describe links between the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and big business. Names like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Crisco are specified.
Then It talks about the medical profession. Guess how many courses most doctors are required to take on nutrition? (Hint: It’s a number between -1 and 1, not including the endpoints*)
* Did you come up with zero? (You’d be correct!)
What about the ADA, The American Dietetic Association? They get paid $20K per fact sheet from food industry sources, like the American Egg Board and Wrigley Gum’s Scientific Board. The ADA lets these industry folks offer seminars to dietitians to tell them what they should say to their clients. Do you think the Egg Board is going to tell you eggs are not good for you?
Let’s review. There is plenty of scientific studies that point out in no uncertain terms that a plant based diet is better for you. That cutting out meat, eggs, and dairy greatly improves your body’s health and extends your life, yet the word has only gotten out in limited ways and the people you thought would help: doctors, dietitians, government agencies and representatives have been co-opted by monied interests.
Wow. This isn’t new information, and it applies to today – on an industrialized scale – in so many other areas of our lives and our government. The term “weaponized” has been used a lot lately. In fact, I’d guess the term only came into the language recently. What it means, as far as I’m concerned, is the use of technology to make something more effective in a negative context. In media it is used to deliver mis-information to people that are more than ready to hear a particular message. Remember the anthrax scare? They had weaponized the pathogene by making it more able to infect people. The point being with technology that has emerged in the last few years we are able to pinpoint target for desired outcomes. Gerrymandering has become so good that it is possible for a smaller segment of the population to dominate and know that they will. For misinformation campaigns to play directly into the hearts and minds of those most receptive. For germs to kill. etc. etc. etc.
How long have we heard “dirt on Hillary” in those emails? Yet, the truth is there really isn’t any dirt. It’s just the kind of stuff you’d expect to read from a campaign internal dialog. They don’t particularly like someone in the campaign or outside of it. They debate what something means, or how to best represent their viewpoint. Hillary wrote in negotiating its best to have a private and a public face. Is that dirt? Does anyone disagree with the statement? I mean really, is that all? As far as I’ve been able to learn that’s about it. Oh she didn’t know “c” meant classified on some email. Wow.
But the thought that there were these emails out there, and there were some personal one we didn’t see. So, of course, that’s where the real dirt is now. Come on, get a life. Wouldn’t you like to see Trump’s emails? How come there is no mention of them? Hell, I can’t wait for the Dems to take the House and have Maxine Waters demand his taxes.
As the Trump administration continues to spiral aimlessly I keep thinking that there is no one appointed in this administration that gives a damn about the people. They all seem to be in it for some specific purpose, some private agenda. I haven’t heard one person’s name mentioned that is serving for the honor of serving the people. Pushing a particular agenda? Yeah sure. Be it their own enrichment or some narrowly focused group, but for the good of the people? The general population? Naw. Haven’t heard of one.
As I think about both Trump and Hillary there is a distrust of each. One spawned by the ignorant stupid racist mysogynistic lying statements and documented illegal, unethical, and immoral actions; the other because she’s been attacked for years. She’s been slimed with her husband’s actions, by rumor and innuendo, by false stories, but you know what? Did anyone ever think that yeah maybe she did some stuff to help herself and her husband and maybe she didn’t; but did anyone doubt that she wasn’t trying to help people?
Never the less there is a perception with both that they aren’t to be trusted. One comes well deserved; the other not.
Hillary’s biggest problem is no doubt that she is really smart and was brought up, at least since college onward, to not tolerate idiots. She’s tried to tamp that instinct down, but people resent it. But then they are the idiots.
It’s too bad. We lost a chance to have a really competent person run this country. Now what have we got?
We watched too interesting shows the other night. One “Hard Knocks” about a training camp in the NFL.This year they did the Cleveland Browns. A team Shelby likes because Virginia Tech’s old quarterback Tyrell Taylor is their starting QB. It shows the work, the ups and downs of training in the NFL.
The other show was “Welcome to the Circus” a repeat, but very interesting at this point in time. It has three veteran reporters on the campaign trail trying to figure out what is going on and how it’s going to turn out. This during the campaigns. It’s stunning to see how prescient Hillary was, and how lying Trump was (and still is.)
The three reporters are trying to get a handle on the Russian interference and who knows what. This is before the election. This was the real story. It got little airplay. It got some. But nowhere near enough.
Still, I wonder, will it be shown that votes were changed, or that the election was somehow illegal? I mean what if Al Capone had been elected president and he had gotten caught and thrown in jail; would his second in command be put in charge? What if it is shown that the whole thing was corrupted by multiple players with different agendas working together or apart but united by some common hatred or unspoken agenda?
How much is too much? The Republicans threw thousands and thousands off voting rolls in key states. The Russians spewed tons and tons of fake stories. They backed a third party candidate. They helped the man in the White House get elected. They hacked into private accounts on computers. How much is too much?
Awhile back I pointed out something Bill Maher had pointed out, in a few years the overwhelming majority of the population will live in 16 states That’s 32 Senators. That means 68 Senators will be from states with very few people. The question becomes, “How long will people put up with it?”
Answer: Until they don’t.
986 Days to Go
PS Korean shrimp, seafood, and noodles #5