Carvings December 15, 2021
In the news
Nag, nag, nag – but someone has to do it!
Three disturbing news stories emerged in the past couple of weeks and each one referred to articles that I have posted since the onset of COVID-19, whose sad anniversary occurred this month. Perhaps the most concerning news is that the rates of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have increased dramatically in the past year and the adolescent black population is being hit especially hard. In persons below the age of 19, type 2 diabetes has almost doubled – 95 percent! In one large medical center it tripled in just one year. And these kids are sicker – five (!) times as many presenting with so-called “diabetic coma” than in previous years. As noted in previous posts, young persons with type 2 diabetes get complications such as kidney failure and blindness faster than those who develop it in their 50s or 60s, which had been the pattern of the 20th century.
The International Diabetes Federation has just published a report noting that the rise in type 2 diabetes continues to increase among all ages and is also being seen in pregnant women who develop “gestational diabetes”, which is associated with serious complications for their infants. According to the IDF, one in ten adults in the world now has diabetes.
And now we learn that the coronavirus can hide in fat cells and that fat stores harbor immune cells whose overactivity can lead to the fatal condition known as cytokine storm.
There is a growing consensus among health educators that this is a wake-up call, a stimulus for a strong effort to reduce the rate of obesity – now a staggering 42 percent of American adults. As a nation we simply cannot afford the cost of treating persons with the complications of obesity and type 2 diabetes – soon to reach one trillion dollars a year.
If you’re an average American you probably don’t like fish, or you have it only a couple of times a month. Big mistake. Fish is one of the best sources of protein on the planet and it comes with a very small amount of saturated fat. Most of the fat that we find in fish is the polyunsaturated omega-3, which in my humble opinion is the single most important nutrient that is lacking in the American diet. (Actually, it’s the opinion of scores of nutritionists.)
Unless you’re pregnant, about to be, or under the age of 5 you don’t have to worry about mercury. Non-pregnant grownups can tolerate levels of mercury that are considerably higher than that found in most fish, especially the smaller ones like salmon and sardines.
Half of the salmon in U.S. restaurants is farmed. Fish raised in pens are often fed grain, not what fish eat in the ocean or in lakes and streams. Eat wild when you can.