Setting People Up To Get Knocked Down
Tennessee Ernie Ford sang "Sixteen Tons" when I was a young kid. There is a crucial line in that song that basically explains when you do things wrong, you can get hurt by any of several different methods. "If the right hand don't getcha, then the left one will."
There is much concern about what causes diabetes, gallstones, cancer of the colon or breast, hiatus hernia, heart attack and stroke, claudication, amputations, kidney disease, much liver disease, etc.
I am not talking about 100% of the causes of these diseases, I am talking about "most" of the causes of these diseases.
And basically the story is that we set ourselves up to get knocked down in one fashion or another. Like the song says. And if it isn't heart attack, then it's cancer. If it isn't the right hand, then it's the left hand. And if it isn't a heart attack or cancer, then it's diabetes or gallstones or diverticulitis or stroke or varicose veins or hiatus hernia or cancer of the breast and colon, etc.
I think you're beginning to get the idea. And nobody is sensitive to everything, and some people are more sensitive than other people. That is what is meant by "genetics." It isn't the genetic tendency that makes us develop the disease, it is the genetic tendency plus what we do that sets ourselves up to get ourselves knocked down by these diseases.
And so then, if we wanted to be relatively free of disease in our sane normal comfortable American middle class type life and exposures, then we would eat much less, have a much more high fiber diet of whole foods, eat brown rice-steamed vegetables and beans, avoid most canned food, be essentially lean and have less than 15% body fat for men and less than 20% body fat for women. We would drink no more than four drinks of alcohol a week, we would eat red meat two, three, or maybe six times per year, and even then it would be very tiny amounts. At the most, two cigarettes every other day. If you do not do these things, then you literally set yourself up to get knocked down by the diseases listed above.
And so then, we all have the choice, and that is the message.
Neither the right hand nor the left hand must get you, you don't have to step into the ring where they are swinging at you. But if you and I continue to do as we all are, then we will certainly develop some very serious problems by getting hit from either the right or the left hand, as in heart attack or cancer, etc., having set ourselves up to get knocked down.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD