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How To Be Healthy: Adulterated Foods and Tobacco Are Dangerous
( Published 1962 )
Today a great many people are enduring misery from certain serious dietary deficiencies, which cannot be eliminated until nature's way is restored and the present methods of refining foods are abandoned.
Most of the carbohydrate and starchy foods eaten nowadays have been so transformed and contaminated with chemicals that every mouthful consumed includes some traces of harmful substances. The Food and Drug Administration has listed over seven hundred chemicals that are being used in the processing of food, of which only about four hundred are considered safe. There is too much use of what have been termed "empty" or "nothing" foods, foods of little or no value, starchy, artificial, devitalized foods, such as white flour products and white sugar, which are manufactured for profit rather than nourishment.
Practically everything one eats has been bleached, colored, cured, dried, emulsified, enriched, flavored, preserved, refined, stabilized, sweetened, tenderized, or thickened. Only a minimal amount of this food is natural, fresh, or raw.
Linked with these practices is the present-day custom of harvesting foods before they have fully developed, when their mineral and vitamin content is low. Farmers, too, are more concerned with high crop yields than with nutritional quality; consequently, there has been a steady decline in the amount of nutrients available in food.
Investigators have shown that an analysis of " homeprepared and customer-selected restaurant meals eaten by seventy-one adults in the suburbs of Boston and New York City [indicated] that the intake of niacin came up to only 25 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of the Food and Nutrition Board. Vitamin B-2 intake was only 37 per cent of the recommended amount; vitamin B-1, only 38 per cent; vitamin C, only 52 per cent; calcium, only 63 per cent; and iron, only 72 per cent. These same researchers conducted another sampling of diets across the countryside. Of 3,336 diets analyzed, they were found to be even more deficient in vitamins than those in the New York City and Boston study. In Chicago, a similar study of 7,363 children showed that 72 per cent had unsatisfactory diets."
At the beginning of this section I mentioned that certain carbohydrate and starchy foods were especially detrimental to good health. I would now like to comment on a few of these separately and go into more detail on why and how they affect the body and why you should by all means eliminate them from the diet or use them with extreme moderation.
Until whole grains began to be refined, bread was regarded as the "staff of life." Now it has become the most glaring nutritional absurdity of all. The accumulated testimony against any kind, color, or form of bread is growing more dismaying, day by day. Let's take a closer look at the record.
Bread is substantially a carbohydrate food, and carbohydrate is what puts on excessive weight. It is also an acid food, and contains a substance called phytate that blocks the absorption of calcium. Bread is more fattening than bananas, cream, or potatoes.
A grain of whole wheat contains sixteen minerals: carbon, chlorine, fluorine, hydrogen, iodine, iron, lime, magnesium, manganese, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and sulphur . The flour millers, however, knock out twelve of these minerals in processing the grains.
Bread manufactured from white, "enriched" flour is void of all life-giving elements, and anyone wishing to build or maintain better health must give up this food for good and all. It contains only three or four of the many B vitamins.
The truth is that the stomachs of many persons are unable to handle bread-starch-and no wonder, when one realizes that our modern "staff of life" contains sodium propionate to kill fungi, chlorine dioxide to bleach it, the jaw-breaking polyoxyethylene-monostearate to prevent staleness and keep it soft and fluffy, plus five or six other chemicals that are added to it at various points during its production.
Various medical writers on food allergies and allergic diseases say that wheat foods are the greatest cause of allergy poisoning and that wheat is the most common food to which patients have shown sensitivity.
Diseases and conditions that can be caused by eating bread and cereal products are: altered liver functions, anemia, cancer, difficult breathing, heart disease, impaired digestion, multiple sclerosis, obesity, polio, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis.
Other conditions caused in persons allergic to wheat products are abdominal pains, asthma, constipation, diarrhea, eczema, epilepsy, hives, joint pains, migraine headache, and sour stomach.
Diets from which bread and other processed wheat products have been abolished have favorably influenced colitis, sinus trouble, and tuberculosis. If you cut them out, you will feel much better and will catch fewer colds. Too much carbohydrate and starch in the diet can be exceedingly hazardous.
Now-is there a single one of you who is not convinced that you would be far better off giving up bleached white flour, and the products made with it, once and for all?
If you will observe people in public eating places, you will note that practically everybody drinks orange or grapefruit juice at breakfast. It has become a national habit-and, I might add, a very questionable habit at that!
When I was a child, the only time you saw an orange was at Christmas, when you usually found one in your Christmas stocking. People did not use very much citrus fruit or drink its juices in those days.
Medical and dental evidence indicates that drinking liberal quantities of citrus fruit juices may injure the teeth and is sometimes responsible for a runny nose and postnasal drip. Long-continued daily use of large quantities of citrus fruit or juice can also bring on bleeding gums, fatigue, headaches, loosening of the teeth, and resorption of bone. If your diet happens to be short of B vitamins and minerals, you may likewise develop an increased tendency to pyorrhea.
Moreover, you should at all times use foods that bring about an acid rather than an alkaline urine response. Oranges and grapefruit, or their juices, should be shunned, because the citric acid they contain causes an unwelcome alkaline reaction, and this condition denotes a high blood alkalinity.
I would strongly suggest, however, that if you must use citrus fruits, then eat the whole fruit. We are supposed to eat fruit, not drink it. Canned fruit juices are processed at peak temperatures, which cancels out a great amount of their food benefit. In addition, the coloring material and sugar that they may contain make them undesirable from a health viewpoint.
Citrus fruits may be used in strict moderation as a means of obtaining vitamin C, although a rose-hip product would be a preferable source.
Coffee is one of those substances that, I believe, if taken in moderation, will do you no serious harm, provided you follow a good diet otherwise. All the medical evidence, however, seems to point to the fact that persons who have angina pectoris, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, skin problems, or stomach trouble should steer clear of coffee.
The caffeine contained in coffee and tea influences the liver to produce glucose (blood sugar), which, in turn, encourages the pancreas to secrete additional insulin, just as sugar does. However, I don't believe that anyone who drinks one or two cups of coffee a day should necessarily discontinue it. It is the excessive consumption of coffee that puts one in danger.
I once had an experience that demonstrated what an inordinate use of coffee can do. Many years ago, I was in the habit of drinking eight or ten cups of strong coffee daily-and I do mean strong coffee. Eventually I began to suffer from stomach cramps, which occurred every time I ate a meal. By a process of elimination, I discovered that the coffee was doing the mischief. When I gave it up, the pains disappeared. In time, I went back to drinking coffee, but have since limited myself to two or three cups a day, and I have never had a recurrence of the cramps.
There is one big dividend in drinking coffee that may partly make up for its disadvantages. That is, the unusual content of vitamin B in the coffee bean. The information comes from the experiment described in the Revue Cafe, Cacao (October, 1961), performed in the laboratories of the Center for Research in Nutrition of the C. M. R. S. at Bellevue (Seine-et-Vise), France. It was found that coffee is rich in niacin, one of the B fractions, which was originally termed vitamin PP, the PP standing for pellagra preventive.
So it would appear that coffee is not as bad as it is painted.
Salt (sodium) is a mineral that serves to stabilize the acid-base relationship in the body. It is found in all meats, raw fruits, and vegetables, and these foods naturally afford all the food salts we need for health. Meat eaters, especially, can get along very well without additional salt.
Salt also aids the body in its use of potassium, helps to keep calcium in solution, and is required for the utilization of carbohydrates. A lack of salt causes symptoms such as cramps, fatigue, heat stroke, and retarded growth.
Sodium works with potassium to keep a balance of the acid-base factor in your system; it is needed to maintain a normal balance of water between the cells and fluids. Sodium is also needed to help your nerves respond to stimulation and to help the nerve impulses travel to your muscles. Sodium enables your muscles to contract. Sodium combines with chlorine to improve the health of your blood and lymph. A proper amount of sodium in the blood enables your body to excrete excess carbon dioxide.
However, a great many of today's processed foods overloaded with salt. Nutritionists say that an excess salt will cause a retention of fluid in the body and bring about a lack of elasticity of the tissues in the arteries, brain, eyes, heart, muscles, salivary glands, and sex organs. For this reason, many nutrition counselors oppose the use of ordinary table salt.
Because many illnesses are referrable to the use of too much salt, it is customary medical procedure to restrict salt consumption in cases of dropsy, high blood pressure, and heart or kidney diseases, because, since it is an inanimate chemical and not a food, it is treacherous in excess. Salt also contracts the arteries, which prevents an ample flow of blood to the brain, thereby retarding thorough oxygenation.
A low-salt diet has been found beneficial in treatment of deafness, epilepsy, heart conditions, hives, insomnia, migraine headaches, miscarriage, obesity, and sinus trouble. It is supposed to render delivery less difficult in childbirth.
So I urge you to restrict salt or, better still, to exclude it altogether from your diet, especially if you are over fifty. You will obtain plenty of salt in natural foods. By leaving it out in cooking, and not using any at the table, you will discover that you do not miss it after all.
White sugar is 100 percent carbohydrate, and does not contain any protein, vitamins, or minerals. It is the most debased "food" in the American diet. Sugar is an artificial sweet, a powerful, habit-forming stimulant, which cannot possibly build body tissue or improve general health.
Not only is refined white sugar not worth a straw as food, but it is exceedingly injurious to health in the volume in which many people consume it. In 1900, the average consumption of sugar in the United States per person per year was about nine pounds. Now it is about 150 pounds. Think of it! This is sixty to seventy-five pounds more sugar than is required for ideal energy and subsistence.
A great quantity of this surplus sugar is derived from bakery products, jams and jellies, candy, and soft drinks (of which the American people are the largest consumers in the world). These sugar-saturated, carbonated beverages, which also contain caffeine, are taken by adults, teenagers, and even children. The injurious substances that they contain eat away at the body's accessible reserves of nerve-calming B-complex vitamins. Soft drinks also damage teeth and digestive membrane.
Most of these products "are full of artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. As much as ninety percent of some candy is a concoction of preservatives, anti-oxidents, stabilizers, thickeners, buffers, acids, synthetic coloring, flavoring, and other chemical agents.
When sugar is consumed, the blood-sugar level rises very rapidly; soon after, however, the blood sugar drops far below normal limits, due to oversecretion of insulin by the pancreas. This condition is known as hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and it has become a menace to the national health. It is even more prevalent than its opposite-diabetes. Hypoglycemia is called the "hunger disease," because, when too much sugar or starch is used, it induces an abnormal desire for food, which is accompanied by fatigue in many cases.
The numerous recorded symptoms of this disorder are: alcoholism, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, crying spells, depression, fatigue, heart palpitation, hunger, migraine headache, nervousness, peptic ulcer, rheumatic fever, and feelings of weakness. Hypoglycemia also simulates the symptomatic appearance of many other diseases.
Excessive intake of beverages containing caffeine is a common cause of this condition. Statistics indicate that low blood sugar is one of the characteristics of schizophrenia, and it should be noted that a definite mutual relationship has been shown to exist between low blood sugar and certain other types of mental illness. Anyone suffering from this disease must give up alcohol, candy, coffee, ice cream, macaroni, noodles, pies, puddings, soft drinks, sugar, and syrup.
As far back as the glacial age, man has been plagued by cavities in the teeth. Today, in the United States-a highincidence country-more than nine out of every ten persons, including over 90 percent of all school-age children, have some dental caries; and it is estimated that, at any one time, at least seven hundred million unfilled cavities await the dentist's drill.
Leading dentists agree that the most destructive decay agents in the mouth are the bacteria that thrive on refined white sugar, creating acids that are chiefly responsible for tooth decay. The disease bacteria must have food in order to flourish, and the foods they go for in particular are carbohydrates, especially sugars.
To prevent tooth decay, it is necessary to arrest the harmful process at some point, and scientists have put forward many theories on how best to accomplish this. However, scientists and nutritionists are in agreement that dental caries are caused by unsound nutrition.
It appears that vitamins A and C are required for the formation of enamel on the teeth. Calcium and phosphorus are necessary for rebuilding body tissues and especially for good tooth structure. Finally, the B-complex vitamins are very important in that they check decay and guard mouth health. Refined white sugar not only disturbs the calcium-phosphorus balance in the body but displaces or dilutes these important vitamins and other nutrients.
Thus, the more sugar consumed, the less opportunity for getting essential nutrients into the diet. If sugar is furnished as a replacement of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, then serious physiological consequences follow.
Some writers on nutrition claim that refined and processed foods that are overloaded with sugar are directly connected with poliomyelitis. Polio epidemics have occurred throughout the world in recent years only in those regions where excessive amounts of sugar are used, and are unheard of in lands with insignificant sugar consumption.
It has also been shown that a close relationship exists between this serious disease and deficiency of the B-complex vitamins, and it is well known that sugar destroys the B vitamins in the intestinal tract. This means that, if you use white sugar, you are bound to have such a deficiency, because the body must draw them from other sources in order to assimilate the sugar.
Sugar, white flour, and refined and processed foods in general, by undermining the heart and the vasomotor nerves that regulate the tension in the blood vessels, may thus be an important factor in causing hardening of the arteries and heart disease.
Finally, as far back as 1929, Dr. F. G. Banting, the discoverer of insulin, noted that the incidence of diabetes in the United States was increasing proportionately with the per capita consumption of cane sugar.
The prohibitions against sugar may be set aside, however, when natural sugars are used. The best form is the natural sugar found in dates, figs, and other fruits, honey, and blackstrap molasses, since these foods contain the thiamine (vitamin B-1) that is needed to help the body metabolize the sugar. Substituting natural carbohydrates for white sugar and starch will benefit anyone's health. As with all sweets, moderation is indicated.
Health food shops also have available a light-colored sugar under the trade name Turbinado Sugar, also called "raw" sugar. Since this product has not been treated with the many chemicals to which highly processed sugar is exposed, it still contains many minerals and other nutrients found in sugar cane. Used sparingly, it makes a relatively safe, delicious substitute for refined sugar.
At this point, I would like to digress for a few moments to write something on the subject of tobacco. Having used it for many years, I believe that I can speak with some authority as to its effects on the human system.
For a great many years, I had suffered from a chronic cough. Although. I suspected that tobacco was the cause, I didn't want to give it up, and I was reluctant to admit this, even to myself. I had received medical treatment for the cough from time to time, without appreciable results.
Finally, I was compelled to face the fact that my health was being seriously undermined. I quit "the weed" seven years ago, because I simply got tired of feeling bad. A few weeks later, the cough cleared up, and it has never returned. Another result that I noticed was that my breathing improved within two or three months after stopping smoking.
Tobacco is a habit-forming substance and is one of the most deadly poisons known to man. Smoking is self-induced air pollution and presents a hazard to health, even to life itself. This has been found to be the case by every responsible medical and health organization that has investigated the subject in the United States and abroad. Evidence now reveals that tobacco smoking has such a thoroughly harmful effect on health that it should be abolished. If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, you inhale about four hundred milligrams of nicotine a week, which, if taken in a single injection, would kill you immediately.
In cigarette smoking, one of the chief causes of local irritation of the throat, aside from the tobacco itself, is the chemical acrelin impregnated in the paper. A survey indicated that cigarette smokers have 167 percent higher incidence of nose and throat irritations, a 300 percent greater ratio of coughs, and 65 percent more colds.
Everything in the nutritional literature indicates that tobacco is especially detrimental to the adrenal glands and destroys vitamin C in the body. Smoking weakens masculine virility and is one of the causes of prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate gland).
The nervous system is influenced injuriously by heavy smoking. Stomach disorders; skin ailments; damage to teeth and gums; impairment of the senses of hearing, eyesight, smell, and taste; shortness of breath; muscular fatigue; delayed reflexes; and adverse effects on kidneys and blood sugar are a few more of the likely physical consequences of smoking. Symptoms of low blood sugar have been completely relieved when tobacco was discontinued.
Tobacco smoking is also a prime cause of difficulty in blood circulation, especially in the lower limbs, as it narrows the blood vessels. Cardiovascular diseases common during and after middle age have been diagnosed as resulting from habitual smoking.
Of interest to expectant mothers should be the following: In an article in the New York Mirror (July 16, 1962), the Public Health Service said that " prematurity , stillbirths, and brain damage have been linked with smoking, I as well as] some previously unsuspected events of pregnancy and delivery." Dr. Richard L. Masland, Director of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, stated that "infants weighing 5'/z pounds or less were considered to be premature, and ... the early findings in regard to effects of smoking by mothers showed birthweight was inversely proportional to the reported amount of smoking."
Despite the fact that the vested interests in tobacco are injecting confusion into the discussion, clear indications that cancer of the larynx and the lungs is closely associated with cigarette smoking can no longer be seriously questioned. The grim fact is that, in 1966, forty-two thousand men and eight thousand women were killed by lung cancer. Today only 5 percent of lung cancer victims are saved.
There can be no doubt that smoking is one of the toughest habits to break, so if you have made unsuccessful attempts to stop it (and what smoker hasn't?), very likely it is not that you lack the will power to accomplish your purpose, but that your interest in giving it up has not been sufficiently aroused. Mere resolution is not enough. You must first be convinced, as I was, of the dire threat to your health posed by tobacco, and then your will power will do the job.
I began by quitting for one month at a time, and renewing my resolve each month for five or six months. By that time I had it licked. Truthfully, I was agreeably surprised how easy it was. If I were you, I would drop smoking-but quick!