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Front Page » February 14, 2012 » Opinion » Staff column: The salt of the earth should not be in you
Published 1,332 days ago

Staff column: The salt of the earth should not be in you

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Sun Advocate publisher

I am one of those lucky people who gets to go home for lunch at least a couple of times a week. In doing so I make myself a sandwich and sit and watch the noon news. Or should I say the noon health report.

Maybe its just me but it seems because all these stations have found themselves competing with the 24 hour news cycle of CNN and FOX news they have to find things, new things, to fill up their newscasts. Those fillers often include reports about various health studies that have gone on. Some make sense, some are doozies.

I like the doozies. You know the studies that say things like "Blondes don't dye their hair blonde as much as people with other colored hair do" and "Overweight people generally eat more than thin people."

Okay those are silly studies, but some of the real ones are almost as bad.

For instance there was one about salt I saw last week. The health agencies say we should only eat about a teaspoon full of salt a day, yet most of us get many more times that. A study last week showed that almost everyone in the country eats more salt than they are supposed to. A given to be sure, but then they suggested ways to cut down on salt.

First don't eat any processed foods. This is a good reason to be a vegan because about the only thing you can eat that doesn't have any salt in it is celery and green peppers. Okay there are more, but for illustration purposes it gets pretty limited.

This statement made me look through the cupboards. Out go the Lays, Campbell's soup and the Oreos. In the fridge almost all the meat is processed in some way and the milk products (particularly cheese which they said is extra bad) needs to go. As I finished I realized there were only about three things that would be left if I cleaned the kitchen out.

And according to the report, you can't make up for the boring food you would be eating at home by going out either. They just stated plainly to not eat out. All restaurants use too much salt and we are overloading ourselves with sodium.

Well, of course they do. They are in business, and they want you to come back, so they want what they make to taste good and not seem like you are chewing on a wet old cereal box (which is also processed so you couldn't even eat those).

Not going out to eat would also collapse our economy and put a lot of people out of work.

And of course the report had a "workout" component to it too. They said exercise would reduce the salt in your body and would help you with your long term health in all ways.

Now I am not putting down workouts, but it seems to me that a hard workout should produce something more than just you wanting to take a nap in the middle of the morning after an early morning run on the treadmill.

I say work to workout. Our ancestors did it that way. They chopped wood, slopped the hogs, chased chickens around, herded the cows, plowed the fields while walking behind a pair of horses, etc. I always tell my friends that go to gyms that I have plenty of hard work to do around my couple of acres and they can come work out with me and they don't have to pay for it.

They never take me up on it though.

A story about my father kind of points out how I feel about all this stuff.

My dad lived to be 92, As a dairy farmer he worked long hours with physical labor being the main part of his every day job. He ate everything he wanted until he was about 70 and then having not been to a doctor for a long time he had a slight heart attack and they put him on a diet low in sodium and low in fat. Of course there was a drug regimen as well. He had a lot of discipline and stuck to that diet most of the time and lived another 22 years.

When he was 90 I took him out to lunch one day, just he and I. He ordered some real fatty thing from the menu and I pointed out that his doctor wouldn't approve. He really told me off.

"Hell Rick, I'm 90 years old," he said. "Why shouldn't I eat what I want? What's it gonna do, kill me? Let me enjoy what I have left while I can."

I guess you just have to put things in perspective sometimes. and my dad was always good about doing that.

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