### Dieting for Health and Longevity : http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/020122horne.21stcentury/020122ch15.html
The Art of Living consists of dying young, but as late as possible. Anon.
Dieting for health and dieting for longevity are not necessarily the same thing. Whereas dieting for immediate health improvement is of course worthwhile, a diet which may accomplish this in the short term may not necessarily be good enough to get the best long-term results. Dieting for longevity therefore must not only provide all the body’s present requirements for good health, but do so with the least amount of strain on the vital organs in order to avoid as long as possible the degeneration we call old age.
The health of the body is only as good as the health, collectively, of all the body’s individual cells. In turn, the health of the cells is determined by the quality of the lymph fluid that bathes them, ie the milieu interieur, which again is dependent on the purity of the bloodstream. Toxemia is the enemy.
So while it has long been a medical dictum that “a man is as old as his arteries”, it is equally true that “a man is as healthy as his blood”.
The composition of the blood is very complex and is maintained by the combined actions of all the vital organs. From the point of view of nutrition, it is the liver which takes in the products of digested food and redistributes them into the bloodstream to suit the rest of the body’s requirements. And it is the liver and kidneys which receive back, also via the blood, the waste products of all the cells from which they sort out what components can be used again and what must be thrown out in the urine. For the maintenance of correct blood sugar levels, the liver depends on information from the pancreas, a dual purpose organ which not only secretes the insulin and glucogen used in the control of blood sugar but secretes, as an entirely separate function, the primary digestive enzyme juices used in the digestion of food. In the beginning and in the end, the status of health is determined almost entirely by the quality of the diet, because it is from the materials available in the diet that the liver constructs and orchestrates the entire spectrum of chemical processes upon which life depends. The design of the system is perfect; it is the quality of the diet that lets it down.
# The Natural Diet of Man
Towards the end of World War II when the Americans invaded the Philippines and recaptured them from the Japanese, a lone Japanese soldier ran off into the jungle there and hid, firmly believing that sooner or later the tide of battle would turn again and Japan would in the end be victorious. He therefore decided to wait things out in the jungle. He waited twenty-five years, all the while avoiding human contact, and then one day emerged from the jungle and surrendered.
Returned to Japan and medically examined, the soldier amazed everybody–he looked so young compared to other middle-aged Japanese men. His teeth were perfect and his eyesight too. He displayed none of the usual signs of degenerative disease considered normal in civilization. And yet his life had not been easy. The only possible explanation for his physical preservation was that his diet for those years had been fruit, berries and various plants eaten raw, a diet similar to that of other wild primates and that of early humans before the discovery of fire.
Life of all kinds is most prolific in tropical regions both on land and sea, and this is not to be wondered at because it is in warm and moist conditions that enzymes work most efficiently. In such a warm, moist environment it is thought that life first appeared on Earth, and it is generally accepted that it was in the tropics that the early primates evolved from lower forms of life, to be followed by the evolution of the apes and then by the first humans.
In the plant kingdom, fruit trees were late arrivals on the evolutionary scene and it is highly probable that both fruit-bearing trees and the primates evolved concurrently, which accounts for the development in the primates of stereoscopic color vision, grasping hands, specialized teeth and jaw structure, appetite for sweet-tasting food, medium-length digestive tract, and so on. In their symbiotic relationship, the fruit trees provided the primates with food and the primates unknowingly spread the fruit seeds wherever they ate or defecated, so ensuring the continued survival of the trees.
The study of comparative anatomy and the different natural diets of animals in the wild indicates strongly that the natural diet of early humans consisted predominantly of sweet fruits, and that even though millions of years have passed, the anatomy and digestive apparatus of humans has not changed and is therefore still best suited to fruit as the most suitable food. That this opinion is not just idle speculation can be quickly proven by any sick person who can break the addiction to our modern taste-stimulating foods and go on a diet of good quality fruit for just a few days. Of course the human digestive system is quite capable of handling foods of animal origin, including animal fats, but in only very limited amounts can it do so without strain, even when the foods are eaten raw as intended by Nature.
Thus it can be surmised that the ideal diet for man is one mainly of sweet fruits supplemented by various berries, green nuts, shoots and occasionally small amounts of foods of animal origin, all eaten raw. This is the sort of food eaten by man’s closest relatives in Nature, the orangoutang and chimpanzee, both of which have an anatomy and digestive system almost identical to man’s. Neither of these animals in the wild display tooth decay or any of the other diseases common to humans, but soon do so if kept in captivity and fed cooked and processed food.
If this surmise is correct, and if indeed humans can live in better health and for a longer time on such a natural diet, why ever did they change?
There is not a race of people anywhere today who, as a general rule, eat uncooked natural food; the majority of the world’s populations base their diets on cooked grains of some kind or other, and the rest base theirs on cooked animal products supplemented by grain, dairy products and vegetables, all cooked. Fruit is looked upon more as a mere accessory to the various traditional diets rather than a sustaining food. How and why did this change come about?
Early man lived in small groups and, before the use of fire, ate his food raw like all the other creatures on Earth have done since life first began, their senses of sight, smell and taste indicating to them the foods most suitable to their systems. Population numbers were restricted by the amount of food available growing wild, but eventually with the discovery of fire it was found that various foods consumed by other animals but which were distasteful to the human palate could be made more edible by cooking, and more tasteful by artificially flavoring them with herbs and salt.
By the use of these new sources of food, greater populations could be supported, not only in areas already occupied, but in territory where food naturally suited for humans was not available.
As population pressures forced surplus people to move into less hospitable territory outside the tropics, they of necessity became reliant on a different diet, and on fire and primitive clothing for warmth. Sickness, when it occurred, was thought to be the work of evil spirits, and so witchdoctors had to be invented.
Greater challenges in a less benevolent environment led to continued brain development, and so it was in the temperate climatic zones of the world that technology commenced, leading to the advent of farming and the development of cereal crops from wild grasses. Continued competition for territory made warfare inevitable and this led again to greater technological development and so on. From all these changes a new breed of man emerged–one who had become “civilized” and had left his natural environment forever.
Next to the discovery of fire, the development of grain crops was the greatest factor leading to the human population explosion of today. Grain could be produced easily and, being storable, provided food for all seasons. More and more forest land was destroyed to grow crops and to make pasture to raise cattle, and according to their circumstances some populations came to base their diets on meat and dairy products and others based theirs on rice or wheat or other sorts of grain.
None of these diets provide ideal nutrition, and as civilization “progresses” and food becomes more and more preserved, processed, cooked and generally less and less natural, so humans everywhere display more signs of disease earlier and earlier in life. Even primitive races have always had their medicine men to protect their people from evil spirits and disease, but in civilization the superstition of medicine has got out of hand; “scientific medicine” has become a powerful industry consuming a vast amount of the national economy. But while the wild animals remain sleek and healthy without medicine, humans spend more and more money on “health care” and all the while just get sicker and sicker.
So illness can be seen to be a human phenomenon for which there are two main causes:The use of unsuitable foods. The cooking habit necessary to render unsuitable foods edible.
The unsuitability of our traditional Western diet has been explained in Chapter 2, but it may be asked why do people on other diets fare no better than us? Well, a few isolated populations such as the Hunzas do, but by and large the majority of other races are too heavily dependent on grains of some kind as the staple of their diets and grains are even less suitable to the human system than flesh foods.
Grain products (cereals) have been hailed as a health food by “victims” of the Western diet because they are low in fat, contain no cholesterol, are high in complex carbohydrate (starch) and high in fiber, the constipation fixer. Thus, switching to grains from the Western diet produces immediate benefits, but other problems soon arise. Grain products, supplying mainly starch, place’ a great burden on the digestive system. When mature, grains contain enzyme inhibitors which prevent digestion, but they are digestible when green (like sweet corn) or when cooked or after they have germinated. Grain-eating birds are equipped with crops in which grains, swallowed whole, germinate, whereupon the grains become digestible. Grains are indigestible raw, but even cooked, the complex carbohydrate requires great digestive effort to break down, and this is demonstrated by the fact that people of Eastern races, dependent on rice, develop a pancreas double its normal size and other signs of strain such as stunted intestinal villi. And unless rice (and other grains) are accompanied by liberal amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit in the diet, nutritional deficiencies occur and, at the same time, toxemia and acidosis capable of producing skin problems, arthritis, hardened arteries and cancer. That is why Orientals are generally smaller in stature and live no longer than Westerners.
# Mineral Deficiencies
A less common and less suspected cause of disease is the deficiency (and sometimes excess) of minerals (trace elements) in food. Essential minerals are needed by the body to make enzymes, hormones, bone tissue, etc. Deficiencies usually occur because one or more trace minerals may be lacking in the soil in which the food plant was grown. Crops which are grown in deficient soil display poor condition and are susceptible to disease and attacks by pests.
Animals are more prone to display signs of mineral deficiencies than humans because humans consume food usually imported from all over the place whereas animals graze in the same areas all the time. There are some more or less isolated areas where people are dependent on crops grown in deficient soil such as in certain areas of Europe where iodine is lacking, the sign of which is the proneness of people to goitre. However, the subtleness of biochemistry is demonstrated by the fact that in Tasmania in 1949 it was noted that in some districts where iodine was plentiful in the soil there was, notwithstanding, a very high incidence of goitre which when iodine tablets were given only got worse. It turned out that the goitres were caused by an anti-thyroid factor contained in the milk of cows which were fed on marrow stem kale. White clover and cabbage under certain conditions of cultivation also sometimes contain an anti-thyroid factor capable of causing goitre. However, experiments at the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Weybridge, England, showed that marrow stem kale did not always contain the anti-thyroid factor which varied with the soil in which it was grown and the climatic conditions as well.
Thus it can easily be accepted that all other things aside, mineral imbalance alone in an otherwise healthy diet can severely impair the body’s homeostasis, leading to symptoms of all kinds or the exacerbation of existing symptoms.
In the book Soil Grass and Cancer by Andre Voisin (Crosby Lockwood, London, 1959), from which the foregoing information was taken, the author described the functions of the various trace minerals in normal metabolism and the operation of the immune system, in particular the role of magnesium, copper and zinc in the functioning of the immune system.
Voisin emphasised that administering mineral salts to experimental animals led to wrong conclusions being formed because the only way the body can property assimilate minerals is in organic form, having been first taken up from the soil and changed to a colloid form by the plant used as food.
That the content of various minerals in a plant can vary enormously depending on the soil, the water content of the soil, the weather and so on means that the best way to obtain your minerals is from a variety of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Apart from vitamins and other nutrients in raw fruit and vegetables–preferably organically grown–the abundance of organic minerals they contain explains why patients with cancer respond so well when restricted to these foods.
That the mineral content of seawater is practically the same as blood is significant, and it is a fact, according to Dr Maynard Murray, that seawater contains all the trace minerals needed by humans. Dr Murray demonstrated forcefully that animals fed on his crops fertilized sparingly with diluted seawater exhibited superior growth and health compared to other animals. This is described in Dr Murray’s book Sea Energy Agriculture (see Chaptere 8). Said Dr Murray:”The disease resistance of plants and animals in the sea is remarkably different from disease resistance in land animals and comparisons between animals of the same or similar species are most interesting. For example, fresh-water trout all develop terminal cancer of the liver at the average age of 5-1/2 years; cancer has never been found in sea trout. It is also known that all land animals develop arterio sclerosis, yet sea animals have never been diagnosed as arteriosclerotic. Investigators have also established the startling absence of disease in the sea, citing not only the absence of ‘chronic’ disease forms, but especially the general vigorous health of sea animals that has apparently lengthened life many times in comparison to similar land species. These longevity differences are especially evident in such sea mammals as whales, seals and porpoises who have identical physiological systems with the majority of land animals important to man. And the major differences between sea and land life appear to be attributable to the superior food chain of the sea!”
Dr Murray’s many experiments with all kinds of crops and animals all showed dramatic benefits from sea minerals. For instance: “Started feeding mice both experimental and control, food that was raised on the Ray Heine and Sons Farm. The experimental food had been raised on soil fertilized with 2200 pounds (per acre) complete sea solids. The control food was the same as the experimental with the exception that it was not fertilized with complete sea solids. The food consisted of a combination of one part soybean, two parts oats, four parts corn, balanced food proteins, carbohydrates and fats for mammals.
C3H mice were obtained for this feeding experiment. This strain of mice has been bred so all the females develop breast cancer which causes their demise. The mice were two months of age when received and started on the feeding experiments. The life expectancy of this strain for females is no more than nine months which included the production of two or three litters. The experimental and control groups both consisted of 200 C3H mice and those fed on control food were all dead within eight months seven days. The experimental mice that were fed food grown on the sea solids fertilized soil lived until they were sacrificed at 16 months; definitive examination revealed no cancerous tissue. The experimental group produced ten litters compared to the usual two to three litters and none developed breast cancer.
In the next experiments, twenty-four rabbits were obtained. Twelve were designated experimental and fed on food grown on sea solids while the remaining twelve were labelled control and fed accordingly. All of the rabbits were given a high cholesterol diet for six months which produces hardening of the arteries. The control group did develop hardening of the arteries and all had died within ten months. The experimental group did not exhibit hardening of the arteries.”
Another way people can obtain all the colloidal minerals they need is from fresh seawater taken about a teaspoon a day. Health from the Sea and Soil, by Charles B. Ahlson (Exposition Press, NY, 1962), described the remarkable health improvements by people with different ailments gained simply by taking fresh seawater. It is important that the seawater is fresh and unheated, because once heated the minerals lose their colloidal status necessary for the body to properly utilize them.
Fresh kelp and even dehydrated kelp is a good source of minerals from the sea and it is becoming common practice for farmers desiring the best crops while at the same time avoiding poisonous spraying to fertilize them with fertilizers derived from sea kelp.
And finally, on the subject of seawater minerals is a recent item from the Queensland Fruit and Vegetable News:”There may be hope for Australian deserts if recent Israeli research is any indication.Today thirsty plants are not only drinking but thriving on seawater at an experimental farm near the town of Ashkelon on the Mediterranean Sea.
Dr Dov Pasternak from the Boyko Institute at Ben Gurion University, is overseeing the project which is studying 150 species of plants irrigated by sea water.The research into seawater for irrigation is directly related to the successful efforts of Dr Samuel Mendlinger, also from the Boyko Institute, to produce a special strain of sweet, high quality autumn melon grown on brackish water using drip and sprinkler irrigation.Among other fruits and vegetables being successfully irrigated by saline water from underground aquifers are asparagus, broccoli, sorghum, olives, peas, and pomegranates.
Agricultural production in 14 southern Israel settlements is now based on underground saline water, and instead of costly desalination Israelis are taking advantage of Nature’s abundance, learning to harness sea and sub-soil water to grow crops.”
# The Pros and Cons of Cooking:
All that cooking is good for is that it enables people to utilize grains for food and it renders other unsuitable foods such as meat and potatoes palatable and edible. Thus cooking enables a lot of people to sustain themselves on the only foods available to them, but there is a penalty to pay.
Reference has already been made in previous chapter to the problems encountered by eating cooked food. And the subject has been explained in depth in the author’s previous books, The Health Revolution and Improving on Pritikin. In brief, the natural digestive process utilizes enzymes existing in raw food which, when the food is eaten, perform a considerable amount of predigestion (breaking down the food) in the upper cardiac section of the stomach before the main digestive system gets to work on it. Thus a great load is relieved from the pancreas, the organ that produces the main supply of digestive juices.
This natural benefit is entirely missing when cooked food is consumed because cooking destroys enzymes and, not only that, the pancreas is doubly penalized because of the difficult nature of the sort of food anyway when compared to the natural food man’s system is designed for. Thus, as described by Dr Edward Howell in his books The Status of Food Enzymes in Digestion and Metabolism (1946) and Enzyme Nutrition (1983), the human pancreas is invariably hypertrophied and twice its proper size compared with the relative sizes of those in wild animals and is accompanied by changes in the gonads, adrenals, pituitary and other ductless glands. Another adverse effect of cooking is that it renders minerals in the food less assimilable, while when cooking water is poured down the sink some of the minerals are lost altogether.
There is an association between the cooking and processing of food and the incidence of all diseases including cancer, and as proven in the sanatoria around the world, the best recoveries from chronic, so-called incurable diseases are made on diets composed of raw fruits and vegetables. This shows that when vital organs are at their lowest stage of function only such a diet makes it possible for them to provide the proper body chemistry to maintain health. That being the case, so must raw food provide the maximum benefit to anybody whether sick or well.
# The Pros and Cons of Raw Food
First, the cons. The traditional foods to which we are accustomed are mostly inedible when raw. Meat and dairy products would be far less harmful consumed raw as they are by some native populations, but most people find the idea of raw meat, chicken, etc, objectionable, and raw dairy products, because of legal germ phobia, unobtainable. But this is as it should be; Nature is trying to tell us something . . .
The pros: Dr Max Garten in his book The Health Secrets of a Naturopathic Doctor (1967) described how his health had not much improved by becoming a vegetarian and how this led him to try a completely raw food regime. He said:”The results were electrifying, within a few days I felt much stronger with a return of my former enthusiasm. Many of my patients whom I had been able to convert to this new diet also reported similar results.”
Dr Garten observed that putrefactive bacteria in the colon increased not only with the eating of meat but also with the degree of heat used in cooking all food, and with this increase so also did the odiferousness of the stool increase along with the appearance of aches and pains. He said:”It could only be deduced that certain agents in the diet were either missing or had been altered by the heat. The respective protein content of the vegetarian diet had also been found to be indicative of changes in the intestinal flora, legumes such as beans, lentils, peas etc. equally contributing to the display of putrefactive changes.”
Thus, although vegetarians usually are healthier and outlive meat-eaters, they may not maintain very good health or live to a very advanced age if they continually cook their food.
# Raw Fruit: the Natural Food of Primates:
People become vegetarians to improve their health and extend their lives. Some vegetarians go a step further and consume their food mainly uncooked, while others go even further and limit their diet to fruit, which they claim to be the natural food of man.
Their argument is sound for a number of reasons, but one way or the other it is a fact that, in reasonable variation, fruit can provide the full complement of all required nutrients in adequate quantities, remembering that the requirement for protein and fat are much lower than generally believed. Therefore, instead of being considered merely an accessory to conventional meals, fruit should be considered in its own right as a staple food. The advantages of a fruitarian diet are:
-It provides complete nourishment with the minimum of extraneous substances capable of ‘silting’ up the tissues.
– It is most easily digested, minimizing the energy required for digestion (which is substantial), thereby minimizing total food (kilojoule) requirements.
– It is palatable.
– It is easily obtained and easily prepared.
– It satisfies the appetite when sufficient has been eaten–fruitarians are always lean.
– Minimum but adequate protein is provided.
– Minimum but adequate essential fats are provided.
– Maximum energy is available from what is eaten, with only carbon dioxide and water, which are entirely nontoxic, as the by-products.
– It provides the body with adequate amounts of pure water.
– It results in a favorable alkaline internal state.
– Favorable intestinal flora predominate in the bowel.
– No constipation occurs.
– No auto-intoxication occurs.
– The body detoxifies itself.
– The blood is clean and low viscosity; there is good circulation with low blood pressure.
– There is the least wear and tear and the least “silting up” of all the body organs and tissues.
That fruit alone can ideally sustain human health and vigor, even without drinking water, indicates that it indeed provides the basis of man’s natural diet. Further substantiation of this view is that there are about forty distinct anatomical, physiological and biological features of humans which show unquestionably that the human body is designed mainly for a fruit diet, notwithstanding the fact that, like all animals, they can survive less successfully on a wide variety of foods. These features range from natural fondness for sweet foods, jaw and teeth structure, salivary secretion, length of digestive tract, size of pancreas, stereo color vision and so on. In fact, in all these respects humans are practically identical today with the other higher primates in the wild which, whenever possible, live on fruit.
Evidence of the suitability of fruit as a staple food and not just as an accessory to the conventional diet is to be seen by observing fruitarians who live entirely on a wide variety of fresh fruit, and who display lean youthful bodies, low blood pressure, clear vision and unimpaired faculties, even with advancing years.
A well-known human peculiarity never before connected with this argument but which provides almost conclusive evidence is that humans, like all primates, are incapable of making vitamin C in their bodies, whereas other animals can (excepting guinea pigs and fruit-eating bats). Basing their argument on this fact, it is strongly advocated by many authorities that people should take large amounts of supplementary Vitamin C to compensate for this “error of Nature”, which they put down to an unfavorable mutation in our evolutionary past some millions of years ago. To prove this “unlucky mutation” argument completely wrong, and at the same time prove that man is a natural fruit eater, consider:
The only mutations which persist to become a universal feature of a species are favorable ones. Unfavorable mutations cannot possibly do so. A genetic change preventing the synthesis of vitamin C in the body, to become universal to an entire species, must therefore have been, at the time, a favorable change.The only possibility of such a genetic change being favorable is for the species to have been already getting more than adequate vitamin C, and that any more was undesirable.The only source of “excess” vitamin C in Nature is a diet of raw fruit. (Only certain tropical fruits contain such high levels of Vitamin C; many fruits contain only small amounts.)
Therefore it is clear that the human diet ideally should be based mainly on fresh fruit, and that past errors which have led to widespread vitamin C deficiencies are dietary–not genetic–errors.
Obviously some fruits are more nutritious than others, and quality will vary according to the quality of the soil in which they are grown. Commercially grown fruit may contain various levels of insecticide poisons, in which case the fruit should be carefully washed or peeled. At the time of writing, the author had subsisted almost entirely on commercially grown fruit for ten years, all the while working long hours under stress seven days a week, and has maintained excellent health. I have chosen the fruit at random with a preference for tropical fruits, and included dried fruits from time to time without any attempt at being scientific about it. It is probably best not to mix the acid fruits with others eaten at the same time. Some people find they experience digestive upsets when at first they embark on a fruitarian diet. This may be because of mixing incompatible fruits or possibly not chewing them properly. The fruit should be taken as snacks throughout the day, as frequently as desired, rather than conventionally as three substantial meals.
If cooked food is eaten at the same time as fruit, the fruit should be eaten first as it digests quickly and clears out of the way of the other food, which may reside in the stomach for several hours.
It is claimed by some people that a fruitarian diet will eventuate in high blood triglycerides and this is why Nathan Pritikin limited fruit. The increase in triglycerides is supposed to follow elevated levels of blood sugar after eating fruit, but this does not occur when eating whole raw fruit, particularly eaten at whim throughout the day rather than in three large meals. An objection to acid fruits such as citrus and pineapples, particularly if unripe, is that, eaten in excess, the acid may cause erosion in the enamel of the teeth. It is interesting to note here that with good body chemistry and a clean mouth, teeth, like bones, are to a great extent self-repairable. With half my teeth jammed with fillings, maybe they are beyond self-repair, but at my yearly pilot medical checkups I enjoy being told by my doctor I have the arteries and blood pressure of a schoolboy. That makes fruit taste better still, even on a winter’s day.
A convert to fruitarianism was the Indian philosopher and statesman Mahatma Gandhi, who after experiencing poor health throughout his youth became a student of nature cure at the age of thirty-two. First he became a vegetarian and then a fruitarian. After six months as a fruitarian, he said (quoted from his book The Health Guide ): “A period of six months is all too short to arrive at any definite conclusions on such a vital matter as a complete change of diet. This, however, I can say, that, during this period, I have been able to keep well where others have been attacked by disease, and my physical as well as mental powers are now greater than before. I may not be able to lift heavy loads, but I can do hard labor for a much longer time without fatigue. I can also do more mental work, and with better persistence and resoluteness. I have tried a fruit diet on many sickly people, invariably with great advantage. My own experience, as well as my study of the subject, has confirmed me in the conviction that a fruit diet is the best one for us.”
The Japanese soldier who lived wild in the jungles of the Philippines all those years lived on a natural diet and escaped the degeneration awaiting him back in Japan. In Chapter 3 there is a comparison of the Hunza diet with the Western diet; for a comparison of the jungle diet with the Western diet, refer to the table immediately below:
Natural Diet Western Diet
Kilojoules (calories) for
adult male (approx.) 8400 (2000) 14,700 (3500)
Vitamin C (approx.) 3000-9000 mg100 mg
Other vitamins and minerals adequate?
Natural enzymes ideal almost nil
Protein % (approx.) 4% (ideal)15% (hazardous)
Fat % (approx.) 4% (ideal)40% (dangerous)
Natural carbohydrate %
(approx.)92% (ideal) 5% (inadequate)
Refined carbohydrate %
approx.) nil 40% (dangerous)
Cholesterol almost nil10.4 mmol/l
Salt and condiments nil hazardous
Caffeine in tea, coffee,
soft drinksnil hazardous
Preservatives nil hazardous
Heat damage to food nil hazardous
Chemicals nil hazardous
From this comparison it can be seen that notwithstanding the Hunzas physical excellence when compared to ours, they still could have done a lot better!
# Dieting for Health
From the foregoing, the subject of dieting for health should require no further explanation; it is obvious that to get results it is necessary to eliminate or drastically curtail from our menus the sort of foods that cause toxemia and lead to ill health. This means denying ourselves a certain amount of pleasure in eating, a denial a lot of people refuse to accept on the grounds that they are not overweight and that they have “never had a day’s sickness in their life”. “Moderation in all things” is another good reason.
Because the Western diet contains adequate quantities of all the nutrients needed to sustain life, it is considered to be “balanced” and capable of maintaining good health. This is true only to a point, because reasonable health can be maintained on the Western diet only as long as the digestive system, liver and other vital organs are capable of enduring the load the diet puts on them in their efforts to provide a pure and complete bloodstream from processed and semi-artificial food.
Dieting for better health then has little to do with taking vitamins, minerals and “health foods”, because when it is realized that most of the malnutrition suffered in civilization eventuates not because of diet deficiencies but because it is improperly constituted, then it becomes clear that the first thing to do is to cut out the harmful things. Without making any changes in the diet at all, great improvements in health can be achieved simply by eating less and cutting out salt, so accomplishing a purer bloodstream and at the same time getting rid of excess weight.
Although overweight is associated with increased risk of disease and shortened lifespan, it does not follow that dieting for weight loss and dieting for health are the same. Whereas proper dieting will achieve both weight adjustment and good health together, there are some slimming diets which achieve weight loss at the expense of health. Diets such as the Atkins diet, the Stillman diet and the Scarsdale diet are effective in reducing weight but are dangerous over a period. They work because they cut down (correctly) on fat and refined carbohydrate, but make the mistake of substituting high-protein foods as “filleruppers”, so increasing the intake of protein from a barely tolerable level to an even less tolerable level certain to worsen toxemia and increase the risk of kidney failure and cancer.
Toxemia is the enemy, and lipotoxemia (lipo = fat) is the arch enemy of health. The worst feature of the Western diet is all the fat in it, and therefore regardless of anything else, our main objective must be to drastically reduce the intake of fat. By virtue of unsticking the blood and improving its circulation and oxygen content, great benefits are felt within three or four days. With less impedance to the digestion by fat, putrefaction in the colon is reduced and therefore toxemia from that source is reduced too. As fat severely inhibits the function of the immune system, reduction of fat brings about vastly improved immune function, also within a few days. Regardless of which “health diet” a person chooses, be it the European grape diet, the Pritikin diet, the Gerson diet, the Macrobiotic diet, the fruit juice diet, or just plain fasting, in all cases a great improvement in wellbeing is experienced in three or four days, the improvement being due to the fact that all these diets are low in fat.
Medical authorities, slowly getting the message, currently recommend people should reduce the amount of fat in their diet to thirty per cent but this is nowhere near good enough. Some benefit is felt at twenty per cent but for proper effect the maximum should be ten per cent as has already been described in previous chapters.
There are several alternative methods of reducing fat and cholesterol in the blood. Physical endurance (aerobic) exercise produces what is called the “training effect” by which the body becomes capable of more efficiently metabolizing blood fats for the production of energy. Athletes in training therefore display lower blood viscosity, lower blood pressure, higher oxygen levels, better immune function and better general health when on the conventional Western diet than do untrained people on the same diet. The other way of coping better with high levels of dietary fat (can you guess?) is to eat the fat raw the way the primitive Eskimos do, and allow the adipose lipase (enzyme) in the fat itself to predigest the fat to allow its more thorough breakdown during digestion. Not that the Western diet ever contained much whale blubber, but at least once upon a time the milk, butter and cheese was unpasteurised and contained valuable enzymes. I guess the easiest way to eliminate fat from the bloodstream is simply not to eat it in the first place, remembering that all foods contain some, the bad items being foods of animal origin, dairy products, and of course all extracted vegetable oils and anything containing them. Remember too that the body makes its own fat out of protein and carbohydrates and that when refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol are taken, these too will elevate the amount of fat (triglycerides) in the blood. Animal fat of course contains lots of cholesterol too, so eliminating this fat from the diet serves a double purpose.
The next step in dietary improvement of course is to reduce the amount of protein in the diet. Cutting out foods of animal origin–meat, chicken, eggs and dairy products–will achieve this because these foods are the major source of protein in the conventional diet, and by eliminating them you eliminate in one move not only excess protein but cholesterol and excess fat as well. Conventional nutritionalists usually advise vegetarians to maintain their protein intake levels by using nuts, lentils and beans which are high in vegetable protein, but there is absolutely no need for this as our aim is to reduce protein to between five and ten per cent. On the strict vegetarian diet it is difficult to get protein down to five per cent anyhow.
By reducing the worst ingredients of the Western diet–excess fat, excess protein, cholesterol and salt–to safe levels, you will have eliminated to a great extent the factors underlying most of the diseases of modern civilization, particularly atherosclerosis (heart disease), kidney disease and cancer, but it should be pointed out that the substitution of the dangerous fat and cholesterol foods with a lot of grain products can lead to toxemia of a different kind, possibly as harmful as existed beforehand.
Reference back to previous pages will remind you that a lot more improvements can still be made if you are looking for the very best results, because the question comes in two parts: (a) What immediate degree of health do I want? and (b) How long do I want it to last? A moderate dietary change may restore a forty year old to good health, whereas the same change may not get the desired results in a person of sixty whose vital organs are in worse condition. The forty year old, as he gets older, may find he needs to be stricter with his diet to maintain good health. A lot of people claim they don’t need to diet for health at all, because they have never had a day’s sickness in their life. The trouble is they cannot see the degeneration going on inside them and they don’t even feel it until they perhaps one day start getting chest pains or maybe feel a strange lump inside them, or spit out some blood. Thus someone, proud of their vigorous health, may suddenly overnight become a permanent invalid or even be finished for good.
It is human nature to seek pleasure and to put other things aside until forced to attend to them, and for this reason most people only start thinking of their health when it starts to fail. Then they want a “quick fix” so they can return to their indulgences again. When they find medicine is a waste of time and money they may decide to try diet. There are many diets to choose from. All of them require self-discipline, because to some extent or other the seductive flavors of the Western diet must be abandoned. We are addicted to these flavors and giving them up is as hard as giving up any other drug.
– Fad Diets for Health
In Europe, the grape diet has for years been popular in various spas and sanitaria, where sick people go to spend some weeks to recover their failing health. In a short while invalids feel great, lose weight, etc, and then return home to indulge in their favorite foods again, planning on another spa holiday next year.
Other people go on fruit juice fasts, grapefruit diets and so on and get the same wonderful results for just as long as they remain away from the Western-style food. They almost always return to their old eating habits, not because they cannot break the habit but because they cannot break the addiction. Habit and addiction are not the same thing.
In the mid-1800s a wonderful health diet was invented by Dr J. H. Salisbury of New York. It was of course called the Salisbury diet, and so incredibly good were the results gained by it that people travelled even from Europe to be treated by Dr Salisbury. The story of the Salisbury diet is told in a book by Dr Emmet Densmore of England called How Nature Cures, written almost one hundred years ago. The writer was astonished to read that the diet consisted of nothing other than lean, partially cooked ground beefsteak taken three times a day preceded an hour beforehand by a pint of hot water and another pint of water taken before retiring at night. On this diet the patients all suffered a constant craving for something sweet, but all rapidly improved in health. Although potentially dangerous in the long term, the diet achieved marvellous short-term results simply because it was low in fat and devoid of starch, starch being from Dr Densmore’s experience the worst dietary factor of all. In effect the diet was equivalent to a partial fast, and the European patients could have achieved better results and saved themselves a long trip by going to Germany and eating grapes.
For people in well enough condition to undertake a fast this is probably the most rapid and effective way to detoxify the body and return it to full function and health. For best results the fast should continue until the body is completely detoxified and this may take anything from a week or two to several months depending on the individual case. Fasting must be carefully supervised and is outside the scope of this discussion (see “Fasting” in Chapter 16).
– Health diets for permanent adoption”
The Weight Watchers’ diet. This diet is calculated more to achieve weight loss than to improve health, but if followed properly both weight loss and improved health will follow. The Weight Watchers’ diet could be described as “the Western diet in moderation”, and health improvement can be expected mainly as a result of eating fewer kilojoules rather than changing the kind of food. The diet is nowhere near ideal because it still permits too much protein and fat, mayonnaise, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. But it is better than the conventional Western diet and is a good start in the right direction.
Vegetarian diet. A true vegetarian diet permits no foods of animal origin at all. People following such a diet are known as “vegans”. People who eat no animal flesh of any kind (or fish) but include milk, cheese and eggs in their diet are referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarians.
The obvious advantage of vegetarianism is the absence in the diet of animal protein, animal fat and cholesterol. Lacto-ovo vegetarians still take in these harmful substances because dairy products and eggs are high in them, and so they gain only partial benefit.
As a rule, most vegetarians consume a fair amount of cereal (grain) products, lentils and beans and as a result still take in too much protein as well as too much starch. As will be explained later, these foods are of very dubious value although they are widely accepted as “health foods”. In addition, further harm ensues when vegetable oils are freely used, and when the vegetarian food is cooked–particularly if overcooked, salted and spiced.
Thus many vegetarians are not much better off, healthwise, than those consuming the traditional diet. However, notwithstanding these mistakes, the advantages of following the vegetarian way of life are still considerable, as demonstrated by statistics of death rates quoted from the medical journal Circulation, Vol. 58, No. 1, July 1978. The quotation is from the text of a lecture called “Lifestyles, Major Risk Factors, Proof and Public Policy” by noted cardiologist Dr Jeremiah Stamler. “An additional comparison has recently become available, with data on mortality, for three groups of Californian Seventh Day Adventists (nonvegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian and pure vegetarian) compared with the Californian general population. Seventh Day Adventists have lower mean serum cholesterol levels than Americans generally. For 47,000 Seventh Day Adventist men aged 35 and over, age-sex-standardized, mortality rates were 34% lower for non-vegetarians, 57% lower for the lacto-ovo-vegetarians and 77% lower for the pure vegetarians compared to the general population. Seventh Day Adventists differ from the general population in other respects as well, eg abstinence from both alcohol and tobacco. Since the data from both animal and human studies indicate that high blood pressure and cigarette smoking are minimally significant for atherogenesis in the absence of the nutritional metabolic prerequisites, it is further reasonable and sound to designate “rich” diet as a PRIMARY, ESSENTIAL, NECESSARY CAUSE of the current epidemic of premature atherosclerotic disease raging in the Western industrialized countries. Cigarette smoking and hypertension are important secondary or complementary causes.”
The Macrobiotic diet. Any diet that drastically cuts out fat and cholesterol must, like the Salisbury diet, show good results. The macrobiotic diet, of Japanese origin, endows great health benefits when it is adopted by people who have been on the Western diet. The diet is based on grain products, principally brown rice steam or boiled , which accounts for over fifty per cent of the total intake, about twenty-five per cent cooked vegetables, ten per cent beans or lentils, five per cent miso, five per cent seaweed and only five to ten per cent raw vegetables. Fruit is not recommended and salt is allowed.
The macrobiotic diet is claimed to be a healthy diet and indeed, by comparison to the Western diet, may appear to be so. The diet’s shortcomings will be already apparent to the reader and will become even more apparent in later discussion.
The Pritikin diet. Nathan Pritikin claimed his diet to be the “healthiest diet in the world”. If he was comparing the Pritikin diet to the traditional diets of the major population groups around the world, his claim would have been substantially correct. There is no question of the Pritikin diet’s superiority over the Western diet for a start, and its emphasis on complex carbohydrates and reduction of protein and fat make it theoretically a far better diet than the traditional balanced diet espoused by today’s nutritional experts.
The Pritikin diet achieves rapid, often spectacular results, first and foremost because of its very low fat content. It achieves reversal of atherosclerosis because of its low cholesterol content. It achieves reduction of blood pressure by virtue of unsticking the blood and lowering its viscosity, and by the same means permits the body’s insulin to work better, so reversing diabetes. Lots of other good things happen simply because of improved circulation and more oxygen in the tissues. But the Pritikin diet too has faults which can lead to trouble if not circumvented, the main fault being that, like the macrobiotic diet, it relies too heavily on grain products and permits too much cooking.
The Gerson diet. Originally devised to solve the problem of migraine, the Gerson diet was found to be effective in arresting other metabolic and degenerative diseases, and has been used with high levels of success in the treatment of cancer since the 1930s. The diet is very low in fat, cholesterol and protein, consisting mainly of raw vegetables, fruit and juices made from these. Some cooked vegetables and rice are permitted, but the diet does not contain much grains and therefore must be considered superior to the Pritikin diet. The results demonstrated by Dr Gerson, and more lately by his daughter Charlotte, clearly demonstrate this superiority.
The Hunza diet. The unsurpassed health and physical endurance of the legendary Hunza race was proven in exhaustive tests by Major General Sir Robert McCarrison, MD, in the 1920s to be directly attributable to the Hunza diet (The Wheel of Health, Dr G. T. Wrench; see also The Health Revolution ). The Hunza diet was similar to the Pritikin diet in that it contained a fair amount of wholegrain foods mainly in the form of wheatmeal bread, hardly any meat or fish, and a lot of vegetables, boiled and raw. As well, however, the diet contained liberal quantities of raw fruit, raw milk and cheese. There were no chickens, eggs, tea, sugar or rice. In the seven years he spent among the Hunzas, Dr McCarrison’s medical skills were almost entirely confined to the treatment of accidental lesions, operations for granular eyelids, and the removal of senile cataracts, as other health problems were practically unknown. Dr Wrench, in his account, remarked upon the amount of raw food consumed by the Hunzas and attributed this mainly to be why they were so free of disease.
The raw food diet. Nobody can claim to have invented the raw food diet; it is the diet provided by Mother Nature in the first place. Dr Richard Lambe of England extolled the virtues of the raw vegetarian diet back in 1809, and described the successful use of it in the treatment of cancer patients.
Diets made up of raw fruits and/or raw vegetables have been the key to the success of the famous sanatoria in Europe, USA, Australia and elsewhere for many years. These include the Battle Creek Sanatorium started by Dr Harvey Kellogg of the USA a hundred years ago, the Bircher Benner Sanatorium in Switzerland, the Hopewood Health Centre in Australia and Dr Ann Wigmore’s Hippocrates Health Centers in the USA. The advantages of eating food uncooked are many and result in health benefits unobtainable from cooked food. Some foods, such as cereals and potatoes, are difficult to digest uncooked but, as will be explained later, such foods are of dubious value anyway and are better left alone.
The fruitarian diet. Theoretically, and in practice, a diet composed of high quality, ripe, raw fruits provides the human body with all the nutrients it needs with the very least expenditure of digestive effort, at the same time producing no toxic by-products and so allowing the body to detoxify itself and perform at its peak. Raw fruits are more palatable and provide more energy for a given amount than vegetables and can be prepared with less effort and less waste. Not only can the highest level of health be attained on a fruitarian diet but, because it places so much less wear and tear on the body’s vital organs, degeneration is slowed down and the lifespan extended.
– The facts and fallacies of “health foods”
When you walk into a health food store and look around, what do you see? One wall of shelves is packed with vitamins and mineral products, all expensive and all unnecessary for people on a reasonable diet. Another section displays jars of seaweed extracts, sea salt, vegetable salts, lecithin granules and so on, all of which have dubious value. Seaweed undoubtedly contains minerals that may be light on in some people’s diet, but sea salt, apart from the fact it contains iodine, an essential trace mineral missing from the soil in a few areas of the world, is still plain sodium chloride, which is common salt–a dangerous product. Vegetable salt is a flavoring powder made from vegetable extracts but has little flavor of its own and so when you read the label on the jar it usually reveals the fact that ordinary salt or sea salt forms part of the mixture.
Then you see nuts of all kinds, dried lentils, soya beans–bins full of them–foods which contain high levels of fat and protein and are stressful to the digestive system. Shelves are stacked with bottles of polyunsaturated vegetable oils–100 per cent fat–which although containing no cholesterol as do animal fats, nevertheless cause red cell and platelet aggregation in the blood and are associated with increased risk of cancer.
Cookies, biscuits and energy bars, some of which are high in fat and sugar and none of which are as healthful as a good banana. Bins of brown rice and other grains–fair enough foods if eaten sparingly–and bins of dried fruits. Dried fruits, if they are sun dried and unsulphered, are good foods but they are very concentrated and better eaten sparingly as snacks when fresh fruit is not available.
One food item which could be considered as a health-promoting food is garlic, not because it provides valuable nutrients the body needs, but because of its therapeutic medicinal property in a body handicapped by a high-fat diet. Garlic, onions and other herbal extracts such as vitamin E have the effect of unsticking the blood to permit improved circulation. Used for this purpose these products are more medicines than foods, but at least garlic tastes good.
The contents of health food stores can be considered health giving only to the extent they are less harmful than meat, chicken and dairy products. The only foods that qualify to be called health foods, using the true meaning of the word ‘health’, are fresh fruits and vegetables; you can maintain good health indefinitely on these but the same cannot be said for the general run of foods available in health food stores.
– Summarizing health diets
Apart from observing the fact that in general the cooking of food leads to an overworked digestive system and increased toxemia, the single common denominator possessed by all effective health diets, cooked or raw, is the drastic lowering of the fat content, which allows the bloodstream to clear itself of fat and allows the red blood cells and blood platelets to unstick, so reducing the blood viscosity and permitting its free circulation and oxygencarrying ability. The enormous improvement in wellbeing that results from this single factor of improved blood condition has nothing to do with anything contained in the diet–the benefit stems from what has been taken out of the diet.
So great is the improvement of health and wellbeing achieved by the simple expedient of improving the circulation that the beneficiaries think they have struck the jackpot; they think they have discovered the perfect diet, be it the grape diet, the macrobiotic diet, the Pritikin diet, the Gerson diet or maybe even the Salisbury diet. And this is easy to understand, but there is more to good health than just improving the blood circulation. What about the delicate chemistry of the blood? What about the avoidance of toxemia? The wear and tear on our internal organs? The wastage of digestive energy and valuable enzymes?
Insidious degeneration can continue undetected in a body apparently brimming with vigorous health. Probably the best example of this is the constant occurrence of sudden death by heart attack of extremely fit athletes and runners. Right up until their sudden collapse, which usually occurs during or just after vigorous activity, these people display all the signs of good health. Their blood viscosity is low because they can metabolize fat quickly from their blood and so their blood pressure is good, they feel good because their blood contains plenty of oxygen, and they don’t “catch” colds because their immune systems are performing properly. They are healthy in this sense, but when death overtakes them autopsies reveal coronary arteries blocked with cholesterol. They had been under the illusion that endurance exercise prevents heart disease, but the evidence is now clear that physical training does not prevent the accumulation of dietary cholesterol in the arteries; it merely maintains a better blood flow and prevents the usual symptoms of heart disease from being displayed.
Nathan Pritikin was the first one to loudly warn the public of the dangerous illusion that athletes could indulge in a high-cholesterol diet and get away with it. But there are other illusions of which Pritikin was not aware. Avoiding heart disease is not the be all and end all in the quest for good health.
Clean arteries and thin blood are the prime essentials and these are easily accomplished on the Pritikin diet providing the diet is properly followed. The next step is attending to the actual chemistry of the blood and how perfect chemistry can be achieved with the least wear and tear on the vital organs. This involves further investigation into nutrition and the enzymes that make improved nutrition possible. The subject becomes a little different from that of dieting for immediate health benefits, it becomes one of gaining long-term benefit-that is–dieting for longevity.
# Dieting for Longevity
Do tissues and organs wear out, or are they gradually destroyed by processes which could possibly be avoided? Scientific opinion agrees that the human life span potential is about 120 years, and some estimates go higher. These estimates are probably conservative, because quite a number of people are known to have exceeded 110 years without making any special efforts at all to preserve themselves. Be that as it may, the consensus of opinion is that by taking reasonable care, the degeneration which constitutes the aging process can be slowed down so that old age is postponed.
– Old age defined
Old age is a degenerative disease of the entire body, the progress of which is determined more by the degenerating factors in a person’s lifestyle than by their chronological age.
– Old age described
Everyone knows what old age looks like from the outside, but what changes occur inside the body? In his book The Span of Life, Dr William Malisoff described the atrophy and degeneration of every organ and tissue in the body that accompanies old age and the malfunctions which occur as a result. He said:”The system of organs is so thoroughly connected that all these changes have mutual repercussions. Thus too the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, urinary organs, become atrophied, hardened and degenerated. The capsule of the kidney is thickened, the parenchyma hardened; the connective tissue scleroses and compresses tubules and glomeruli, impairing their action. The changes in the brain, in the spinal cord, in the nerves, are of a similar character. The description of the changes would fill many volumes. We can summarize that they fall into several classes: the atrophies, which have been commented on; the fibroses as replacements by fiber; pigmentations; metaplasias; hyperkeratoses, or skin changes and the like; renunciation of functions, as those of the germ cells and the instance of fat cells which no longer store fat.”
Dr Arnold Lorand of Austria, in his book Old Age Deferred, described old age as a condition in which there is a diminution of metabolism, ie the assimilation and conversion of food into energy, and is characterized by the abundant growth of connective tissue in vital organs, diminution of oxidation and increased auto-intoxication.
Dr Charles de Lacy Evans of England in his book How to Prolong Life: an Enquiry into the Cause of Old Age and Natural Death, written one hundred years ago, was more specific; he said: “The most marked feature in old age is that fibrinous, gelatinous and earthy deposit has taken place in the system; the latter being chiefly of phosphate and carbonate of lime, with small quantities of sulphate of lime, magnesia and traces of other earths.”
He added that the deposits occur in all tissues, including the bones and blood vessels, which harden and reduce in caliber, and quoted a Doctor C. J. B. Williams, who said:” ‘The process is, therefore, to be viewed as almost entirely of a chemical nature, and as consisting of the concretion and accumulation of calcareous salts, phosphate and carbonate of lime in the debris of animal matter.’ ”
Dr de Lacy Evans went on to explain how the fibrinous, gelatinous substances were formed by the oxidation within the bloodstream and tissues of excessive albumin (protein), and how the earthy deposits were derived mainly from grain products and root and leafy vegetables and to a lesser extent from animal products. Dr Evans tended to blame the formation of the fibrinous, gelatinous substances on the presence of oxygen, just as some biochemists do today with their ‘free radical’ theory of aging. More pertinent to the argument, in the author’s opinion, is that if the diet is correct then neither the excess albumin nor the free radicals will present themselves in the first place to improperly use the body’s valuable oxygen. Dr Arthur C. Giese, Professor of Biology Emeritus, Stanford University, in his book Living with Our Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays said: “In our multi-cellular bodies some cells, such as those of the epidermal basal layer, continue to divide throughout life; others–for example nerve and muscle cells–differentiate and cease dividing at birth. Nevertheless, they continue to function for a lifetime, with gradually lessening activity and progressively filling with insoluble wastes and pigments.”
As the tissues slowly acquire these characteristics of old age their decline is further characterized by, and is measurable by, a corresponding decrease in enzyme levels and activity. On the other hand, animal tissue cells grown in cultures in the laboratory, properly cleansed and drained, do not degenerate in this fashion and may outlast the animal from which they originated many times over. It is held by some researchers (at least in theory) that in ideal circumstances immortality is possible. Other experiments with live animals fed on minimum rations showed improved health and a life extension of fifty to one hundred per cent over that of unrestricted control animals on the same diet.
The longest lived populations in the world are accepted generally to be the people of Hunza in northern Pakistan, Vilcabarnba in Ecuador, and Georgia in Rassia. An analysis of these peoples’ living habits carried out under the auspices of the National Geographic in 1971 by Dr Alexander Leaf of New York provided a good reason why they outlived people of the Western world. The traditional diets of these long-lived (by our standards) people contained only half to two thirds the kilojoules of the average American intake, about a quarter the amount of fat and half the protein. Their carbohydrate intake was about the same but was unprocessed instead of processed. As well , these people got more outdoor exercise and were less subject to stress than Americans.
In his book, Dr de Lacy Evans when reviewing a study of centenarians in England in the 19th Century said: “On reviewing nearly 2,000 reported cases of persons who lived more than a century, we generally find some peculiarity of diet or habits to account for their alleged longevity; we find some were living amongst all the luxuries life could afford, others in the most abject poverty–begging their bread; some were samples of symmetry and physique, others cripples; some drank large quantities of water, others little; some were total abstainers from alcoholic drinks, other drunkards; some smoked tobacco, others did not; some lived entirely on vegetables, others to a great extent on animal foods; some led active lives, others sedentary; some worked with their brain, others with their hands; some ate only one meal a day, others four or five; some few ate large quantities of food, others a small amount; in fact, we notice great divergence both in habits and diet, but in those cases where we have been able to obtain a reliable account of the diet, we find one great cause which accounts for the majority of cases of longevity, moderation in the quantity of food.”
Thus perhaps the first rule in dieting for longevity is to eat sparingly, whatever the make up of the diet. Even on a bad diet this rule will still permit better health and extended life because less wear and tear will have to be endured by the body.
So it becomes clear that “old age” occurs because we take into our bodies, mainly via food, harmful substances which overtax the digestive system, cause toxemia of the milieu interieur, overtax the eliminatory organs, and to a greater or lesser extent gradually accumulate in the tissues and cells to increasingly impede their functions.
It follows then that old age can be deferred by selecting foods which provide the best nutrition with the least digestive effort and the least amount of harmful residues, and consuming such foods in great moderation.
– In Conclusion on Longevity
That “a man is an old as his arteries” was stated first by the l7th-Century physician Thomas Sydenham. That “a man’s arteries are as old as he makes them” was stated by Robert Bell, a l9th-Century physician. Perhaps we can proceed one step further to state the obvious: “The arteries and all the organs and tissues are as young as the cells of which they are made and the milieu interieur which sustains them.”
Diet is not the only factor in longevity, of course, but it is by far the main one. The closer we can get to an ideal diet and maintain it, the less will be the wear and tear on our organs and the slower the accumulation of the fibrinous, gelatinous growths and calcareous mineral salts in our cells and tissues.
Think of all those little cells. Says Dr Edward J. Stiegbitz, MS MD FACP, in his book The Second Forty Years: “Superficially, the answer is simple; intrinsically, extremely complex. Whether the cells themselves are, or are not, potentially immortal is largely beside the point. The essential fact is that continuance of such perpetual youth, as displayed by Carrel’s chick heart cultures*, is absolutely dependent upon the maintenance of an ideal environment. Cultures must be aseptically transplanted to fresh media at frequent intervals or growth stops and the cells die, poisoned by the accumulating chemical debris of their living, and starved because their foodstuffs are used up. Contamination with even minute amounts of toxic substances or any inadequacy of any one of many nutritional requisites’ immediately interrupts the marvellous lifestream. The quality of the cellular environment is the determining factor, whether the cells be growing in vitro in a test-tube, or in vivo, in the living and functioning organism.”
*In 1912 Dr Alexis Carrel of the Rockefeller Institute, New York, kept alive some cells taken from the heart tissue of an embryo chicken. Properly nourished and cleansed, the cell culture thrived and appeared to be immortal, at least until 1947 when the experiment was terminated.
Your body is a living and functioning organism and you want it to stay that way. We know what to do. We have discussed at great length the factors responsible for polluting the milieu interieur of the body, and to eliminate them would appear to be easier said than done. Not everybody can arrange to live in a tropical Garden of Eden. We can only do our best with what we have available, and the first step, wherever your live, is to cut down on the things that do the most harm. Eat as much as you can of your food raw. Cut out salt. Think of those little cells. Think of how clean your arteries will be, how comforting it will be never to worry about cancer. Each step you take will improve your wellbeing and increase your life expectancy.
Think of fruit as sustaining food and not just as an accessory adding color to the sideboard, although it is admitted that much of the commercially grown fruit available today looks a lot better than it tastes. Lack of taste means lack of nutrition and possibly at the same time the presence of insecticide traces. Quality is important.
Do the best you can, remembering Dr de Lacy Evans’ words of wisdom: “There is, therefore, a simplicity, a reason, a wonderful philosophy in the first command given to man–Man may live entirely upon fruits in better health than the majority of mankind now enjoy. Good, sound, ripe fruits are never the cause of disease, but the vegetable acids, as we have before stated, lower the temperature of the body, decrease the process of combustion or oxidation–therefore the waste of the system—less sleep is required, activity is increased, fatigue or thirst is hardly experienced; still the body is well nourished, and as a comparatively small quantity of earth salts are taken into the system, the cause of old age is in some degree removed, the effect is delayed, and life is prolonged to a period far beyond our ‘threescore and ten’.”
“There is little question any more that artery plaque reversal can for the first time be considered possible.” Dr Nash in Circulation, official journal of the American Heart Association, September 1977.
“With a cholesterol level of 150 [3.9] or less, plaque reversal in two years is possible.” Dr R. Wissler, Chicago Medical School, addressing the American Heart Association, June 1977.
“The three major killers in modern society, Coronary Heart Disease, Cancer and Strokes, can all be linked to what people eat and drink.” Dr B. Hetzel, Chief of the CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition and Foundation Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.
“The major cancers of our time are diet-caused, mainly by fat and cholesterol.” Dr Ernst Wynder, American Health Foundation, addressing the USA Government Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.
“With this kind of approach diet only, 80% of diabetics in this country could be normal in 30 to 90 days.” Dr James Anderson, University of Kentucky Medical Centre.
“Progressive pernicious anaemia, asthma, Bright’s disease, diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, neuritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer, every form of digestive disturbance, eczema, psoriasis. pityriasis, goitres of all types, tumors, tuberculosis-any and all of these varied forms of so-called disease fall under one head, chemical imbalance of the body, and all subject to restoration to the normal through correction of the body chemistry and thorough drainage.” William Howard Hay, MD (from The New Health Era, 1933).