The Healthy and the Dead
By R. D. Flavin


“I don't always live long, but when I do, I prosper. Stay logical, my friends.” Apparently first coined by Momin Naik in a comment on George Takei's FACEBOOK page earlier this year. The combination of the famous Vulcan blessing and the advice of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis beer advertisements is …, IMO, profound.

      It seems low-carb diets (like the Atkins and various “paleo” fads) are in the news again as possibly causing or leading to cancer. Such predictions have been around years (e.g., Tapper-Gardzina et al. 2002, Foster et al. 2010), though distinctions have been made between plant-based low-carb diets and those derived from animal proteins. Again, we re-visit the debate over whether or not the invention and introduction of agriculture was either the greatest or worst contribution to human history, Sure, it's the stuff of archaeology 101, but the flakes advancing breakfast cereals as cancer-causing agents are ...well, flaky. Once more, the inscription above the temple of Apollo at Delphi ( meden agan) or "nothing in excess" rings true. All things in moderation... Or, rather, all GOOD things in moderation (non-violent BAD things are always a personal choice,usually discouraged, but ...ultimately tried by many ...once or twice). It's The Healthy and the Dead... The Starchy Dead? Add yeast and get The Rising Starchy Dead? Me thinks I watch too much television...

       However, ALSO in the news (again) are claims that low-carb diets are good for you and are way better for your heart (Bazzano et al 2014; Johnston et al. 2014). Carbohydrates range from the simple (sugar) to the complex (polysaccharides such as those high in starch). The good, the bad, and the deadly depend on the individual, yet we return once more to “nothing in excess.” And exercise... More than simply getting off of the couch and walking to the refrigerator... Sex is good, but so is running ...away from overly fatty foods. After all, the heart is only a muscle and can take only so much stress, starch, and sugar before it gives out. And, for no particular reason, I'll plug a self-published book about low-carb diets (Bayan 2012).

      There are many things we, as humans, need on a regular basis to sustain life. Of course, the obvious 'air' (Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, Carbon dioxide, and several others gases), water, and food or some nutritional equivalent. With oddness in the keyboard, I would share that for many years I believed that the saying, “No horse, no wife, no mustache,” was originated by The Old Man of the Mountain (Rashid ad-Din Sinan 1132-1192 CE and the source of our English words 'hashish' and assassin'), but alas, with further inquiry, it appears to have originated in Reader's Digest and repeated a West Point legendary saying used on cadets. Oops... I was thinking of updating it to “No lover, no car, and no tattoos or body piercings,” but no, I'm going to let it go and move on...

      Morgan Spurlock's 2004 Super Size Me sent a message to a deaf audience. Nearly everyone who watched the documentary should have understood the theme as being one of portion control and healthy content. And, of course, how certain businesses, restaurants, and marketing firms have convinced most of us that bigger (hamburgers, fries, sodas, etc.) is better. Now, that's what the deaf (and dumb and fat) understood as the message of the film. The truly audibly deaf saw a well filmed documentary about food which sure looked pretty tasty when the light hit it a certain way (and the moisture droplets of juicy goodness) and all of the other advertizing gimmicks which have been perfected over the years. Indeed, that large plate of pasta or that huge slab of steak is NOT what the doctor ordered. You did... Probably with too much ketchup and salt, as well. BTW, I've heard that portion control is also a major issue in pornography, though I've yet to do the necessary research and investigate..

      One might as well go eat handfuls of salt (Lelon et al. 2014). Hey, your corpse might be preserved better! Choosing between the Healthy and the Dead should be a no-brainer, but when's the last time we did the right thing when it comes to Burger King? Geez, they even got rid of Satisfries!


Bayan, Matthew. 2012. Eat Fat, Be Healthy: When a Low-Fat Diet Can Kill You. Delaware/Luxembourg: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (owned by Amazon).

Bazzano et al. 2014. “Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Randomized Trial..” By Lydia A.Bazzano, MD, PhD; MPH; Hu T, MS; Kristi Reynolds, PhD; Lu Yao, MD, MS; Calynn Bunol, MS, RD, LDN; Ya C, Liu Y,nxi Liu, MS; Chung-Shiuan Chen, MS; Michael J. Klag B; and Jiang He, MD, PhD. Annals of Internal Medicine. 161: 309-318.

Foster et al. 2010. “Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet: A Randomized Trial.” By Gary D. Foster, PhD; Holly R. Wyatt, MD; James O. Hill, PhD; Angela P. Makris, PhD, RD; Diane L. Rosenbaum, BA; Carrie Brill, BS; Richard I. Stein, PhD; B. Selma Mohammed, MD, PhD; Bernard Miller, MD; Daniel J. Rader, MD; Babette Zemel, PhD; Thomas A. Wadden, PhD; Thomas Tenhave, PhD; Craig W. Newcomb, MS; and Samuel Klein, MD. Annals of Internal Medicine. 153, 3:147-157.

Johnston et al. 2014. “Comparison of Weight Loss Among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Meta-analysis.” By Bradley C. Johnston, PhD; Steve Kanters, MSc; Kristofer Bandayrel, MPH; Ping Wu, MBBS, MSc; Faysal Naji, BHSc; Reed A. Siemieniuk, MD; Geoff D. C. Ball, RD, PhD; Jason W. Busse, DC, PhD; Kristian Thorlund, PhD; Gordon Guyatt, MD, MSc; Jeroen P. Jansen, PhD; and Edward J. Mills, PhD, Msc. Journal of the American Medical Association. 312, 9: 923-933.

Lelong et al. 2014. “Relationship Between Nutrition and Blood Pressure: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the NutriNet-Santé Study, a French Web-based Cohort Study.” By HeleneLelong, Pilar Galan, Emmanuelle Kess-Guyot, Leopold Fezeu, Serge Hercberg, and Jacques Blancher. American Journal of Hypertension. First published online September 3, 2014.

Tapper-Gardzina et al. 2002. "Should you recommend a low-carb, high-protein diet?."By Tapper-Gardzina, Yvonne, Nancy Cotugna, and Connie E. Vickery. The Nurse Practitioner. 27,4: 52-53.

Already missing the veal,


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