Good Nutrition Doesn’t Come in the Form of a Pill

Are you looking for a quick fix to your health?

Robin and I recently attended the conference on Nutritional Ketosis and Metabolic Therapies.  One session I attended was on the benefits of US Navy divers being in ketosis (a low carb state) to avoid a problem that occurs with being at depth.  This session gave me some insight on society today and how it can impact our health.  His experience that I will describe points out the view that fixing health problems, or being healthy can be accomplished by a pill.  As avid veggie eaters, Robin and I are convinced that good nutrition and health do not come in a pill, it is directly related to your nutrition and lifestyle choices.  Don’t look to a pill to accomplish that. 

asparagus dinner

Doctor Dominic D’Agostino presented research he was conducting for the Department of Defense.  This research was looking at ways to counter oxygen toxicity in US Navy divers and special operations war fighters that are at depth and use a system called a rebreather (no bubbles are produced from this system).  As a scuba diver descends in water, the pressure on the body increases very rapidly.  This increase is to the tune of one atmosphere every thirty three feet.  So, at the surface, the body is under the pressure of one atmosphere; this is what everyone experiences.  At thirty three feet below the surface of the water, the pressure becomes two atmospheres and at sixty six feet, the pressure becomes three atmospheres.  Without going into a mind-numbing explanation of Boyles law (this deals with gases and pressure), when the human body is placed under great pressure, oxygen will become toxic.  US Navy divers and special operations war fighters may experience this and it is called oxygen toxicity.  Dr D’Agostino was working on a nutritional way to overcome this issue, by placing the divers in a state of ketosis.  Ketosis is where the body does not utilize carbohydrates as its main fuel; instead, the body burns fats.  This is essentially today’s “Low Carb, High Fat” diet.  When the body is in such a state, the body is able to avoid oxygen toxicity.  

With success in his research, Dr D’Agostino contacted the Department of Defense and spoke with his contact point.  He explained what he had determined regarding ketosis, and what was needed.  He instructed anyone doing this type of work or mission to become fully adapted to a ketogenic dietary lifestyle, so oxygen toxicity could be avoided.  The contact point asked what was involved in this.  Dr D’Agostino explained the requirements of the low carbohydrate diet and the adaptation period.  The contact at the Department of Defense thought for a moment and then asked, “Can you put this in a pill?”

This exemplifies society today.  Everyone wants a simple, one shot fix to any problem they have.  A “silver bullet” for their health.  What is better?  A healthy lifestyle, or a pill of unknown, unnatural origin, and unintended side effects?  I strongly believe that a healthy lifestyle is substantially better.  Eating clean, fresh and local, avoiding chemicals, refined foods, added sugars, and fake sugars, gives you a healthier life.  This healthy life, in my opinion, is your best bet to increase your odds of avoiding a broad spectrum of chronic disorders that are exploding today.  

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