Monday, February 11, 1:30 p.m., Carlsbad-by-the-Sea Retirement Community, 2855 Carlsbad Blvd., Avoiding diabetes, Sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Center. To register see their web site at http://www.csusm.edu/el/olli or call 800-500-9377.
Thursday, February 14, 10:30 a.m., Coronado Library, Health benefits of wine and chocolate, Sponsored by OASIS. To register see their web site at http://www.oasisnet.org.
Friday, February 15, 1:00 p.m., Temecula Learning Center, Avoiding diabetes, Sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Center. To register see their web site at http://www.csusm.edu/el/olli or call 800-500-9377.
Thursday, February 22, 10:00 a.m., Santee Library, A day in the life of a Gold Rush physician, Sponsored by OASIS. To register see their web site at http://www.oasisnet.org.
Saturday, February 23, 11:00 a.m., Restoring a legacy: what we can learn from the Native Americans of San Diego County, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, 200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, CA. http://www.anzaborregoarchaeo.org.
In the news
Lessons from the Masai
The Masai (also Maasai) of Africa have been popularized as existing only on the meat, blood and milk of cattle while avoiding plant foods. That observation by early anthropologists was incorrect. It is true that their cholesterol levels were surprisingly low for meat-eaters and they appeared to avoid heart disease. These unique tribespeople are not hunter-gatherers but pastoralists whose cattle have low levels of fat, and they eat more plant foods than was recognized.
Their daily intake includes soups or teas made with dozens of herbs and “snacks” derived from plant resins and gums. These plant-based materials contain substances that not only keep blood cholesterol levels low but have numerous compounds that have anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-diarrheal and clot-inhibiting properties. Some even kill the parasitic worms that are ubiquitous in Central Africa! Add to that their characteristic leanness and their high level of physical activity, it’s no wonder that they don’t die from heart attacks.
The lesson for us? Eating meat or drinking blood (!) and milk are less likely to cause heart disease as long as you have lots of plant foods in your diet and stay thin.
Another step to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: think better thin
“Overweight in middle age is associated with dementia in old age.” Not an original statement by me but it’s from a medical journal article, one of many that show that obesity contributes to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Persons who are overweight have 4 percent less brain tissue and 8 years of premature brain aging; obese persons have 8 percent less brain tissue and 16 years of premature brain aging.
Considering that 40 percent of Americans are obese and that the projection for 2050 is 50 percent – probably an underestimate – what kind of befuddled society will the next couple of generations be living in?
The take-home message: do whatever you can to keep your weight at a level that is normal for your height and frame. To find out what that is, just Google what is normal weight for my height.