Was following the post on Facebook of a woman who came down with kidney stones. So I’ve been been reading about what causes them and the various types of kidney stones, with each type having a somewhat different origin.

Something that jumped out at me was water — how critical being hydrated is to avoid kidney stones; and the related cause of having too much salt in one’s diet because salt can cause dehydration.  She blamed a plant-based diet and specifically the oxalates from spinach for causing the kidney stones, but I wonder if the real cause of her problem was the amount of salt in her diet.  

From what I read, there is no need to add any salt to what we eat, as the food itself already contains within it enough salt for adequate human consumption (the human body does need some salt, but a very small amount).  Yet you see these cooking shows on TV where the chef adds salt to everything without a second thought — mindlessly.  

No doubt, this kind of thing is a prime cause for kidney stones for those who eat food prepared this way.  Best not to add salt to anything (what a huge change for people accustomed to always add that pinch of salt for taste!), and make it a habit to buy the “unsalted” version of whatever you get from the supermarket.  Otherwise, you may find yourself enduring those terrible pains.  And drink plenty of water — you don’t want to get stoned, do you?

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Losing Weight

How many times have I read the exact same post in Facebook but with slightly different words: I’m doing everything right but am not losing any weight — why?  The body has its own timetable for weight loss.  For one thing, the metabolism tends to counter everything a person does.  So if you eat significantly fewer calories, for instance, the metabolism will slow down to counter that.  However, no matter what tricks the metabolism plays, if you have a sustained program for weight loss, the weight will come off at some point.  But if you give up in frustration, it won’t.

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Twenty years or so ago, it was the low-fat craze — they demonized fat.  Then we discovered the body needs fat, and was especially low in Omega 3 fats, so the mantra was eat the right fats.  But now the pendulum has swung all the way over to the over consumption of fat — the Keto diet recommends that 70% of what you eat should be fat.  The Keto people are even now apologists for how “healthy” saturated fat is.  Crazy.

But don’t let it upset you.  Just wait another 20 years and fats will be all bad again.

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Sugar Addicts

I’m on vacation in Charleston, and every morning I go to a bakery selling “gourmet donuts.”  I buy a cup of coffee there, not a donut.  But every morning, without fail, I see a parent come in with their children, and they excitedly buy these donuts that have an incredible amount of sugar and unhealthy fat — just way over the top, yet the parents feed their kids this stuff without a thought in the world, no hesitation at all.

I just have to think that the parents are really just completely clueless about nutrition and food to be doing this, for clearly they would not intentionally harm their own children, would they?  They simply must have no idea at all how really bad refined sugar is for health, for each one of these donuts is like a sugar nuke — the sugary frosting is so incredibly thick (that’s the “gourmet” part, I guess), and so must be an intense explosion for the taste buds as well as an incredible surge of dopamine.  All this a strong reinforcement for a food that could not be worse for health.  Makes one wonder about how reprehensible these parents really are — or does ignorance excuse them?

I also see the same people show up every morning at the donut shop — sugar addicts, whether they know it or not.

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Losing Body Fat

This guy I see at the indoor pool swims religiously every day for 45 minutes and never loses any weight.  He has very bad knees and I think it must therefore sit a lot during the day.  But wasn’t losing any weight at all, and was just enormous around the midsection. He must be at least 100 pounds overweight with a huge waist line.  So a couple of weeks ago, I got up the nerve to tell him about intermittent fasting.  Actually sat down with him and explained how and why it works to reduce body fat.  And he said he would look into it.  Fast forward 2 weeks and I run into him again at the pool.  He’s all excited about intermittent fasting and is doing OMAD.  I’m only doing 20:4 but he’s already passed me and doing OMAD!  Will be interesting to see if he begins to really thin down over the next 6 months.  Drop that 100 pounds of body fat.  There’s a skinny person inside him trying to get out.

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Government and Food

What’s disappointing is how little government interferes with these practices of loading processed foods with sugar, salt, and oil.  The food industry can do just about anything it wants to do, and you don’t hear a peep from government.  Government not exactly looking out for our interests.  And if it is not doing that, what good is it?

Actually, it might even be worse with regard to government and food.  I read recently that our government is subsidizing high fructose corn syrup.  Think about that.  We have an epidemic of diabetes, and yet the government is subsidizing HFCS!!!

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Everyone knows how much sugar in various forms the food industry puts into processed foods — even bread has added sugar now. What is perhaps less well known is how much oil they add to everything as well. So many processed foods that you wouldn’t think require any added oil have oil added to them. Again, just manipulation of the taste to get people to crave the item. Yet the oil adds a ton of empty calories. Doesn’t seem that our food industry cares very much about your health and well being.

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