15 July 2024
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How convenience is pushing our bodies to the limit

Dr Ross Walker
23 June 2021

A major factor in hunter-gatherer eating patterns was availability, and since fresh, organic food decays very rapidly once caught or collected, it had to be consumed immediately. Therefore, if the hunter-gatherers killed a wild animal, there was no storing the carcass in the prehistoric Kelvinator; they either ate it or wasted it. On the other hand, if there was no food to be found, then the hunter-gatherers didn’t eat.

This pattern of feast and famine was the experience of ancient humans throughout their lives. If they were wandering through an area with little edible food and limited amounts to drink, they needed mechanisms to conserve their nutrients and also mechanisms to retain salt and fluid to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Conserving nutrients would ensure a steady supply of glucose to their brains, which in turn prevented their minds from becoming clouded, feelings of disorientation, and unconsciousness.

Therefore, the hunter-gatherers developed protective fat-storage mechanisms to guard them against the perils of an inconsistent supply of food and water. They feasted on anything that was available through either hunting or gathering. The storage mechanisms would eagerly mop up any over-indulgence and save it, to help them to cope with times of famine when food wasn’t so readily available. In this way, human beings’ metabolism became geared to survive through both feast and famine.

Although ancient man’s life was damned inconvenient, his body certainly complemented his lifestyle. Modern man’s body has basically the same metabolic processes as our hunter-gatherer ancestors, but our lifestyle has changed dramatically. The only hunting or gathering we do today is to drive the car to the local supermarket, pick up a large supply of processed, packaged rubbish (disguised as food), place it in the boot and drive home, where we preserve it in the pantry or the fridge. Although this is quick and easy, it does not match our physiology and is a major contributor to our modern ills.

When we consider the necessities for human survival, what are we doing to attain them? Instead of seeking and satisfying these needs through normal, nature-based mechanisms, we have invented all kinds of artificial, synthetic substitutes. We tend to opt for the most convenient route. With careful planning, we can almost eradicate the need to expend any physical and mental energy at all. In the majority of cases this makes survival much easier, but I strongly believe that the convenient acquisition of our basic needs is killing us.

Life in the modern world appears to be squarely focused on the accumulation of wealth and material goods. We are also developing an extraordinary knowledge base that is allowing scientists, engineers and others to design all manner of items that are intended purely to make our lives more comfortable.

Although modern life has many advantages and although our bodies have been designed in an extraordinary manner, with significant reserves and safety mechanisms to ensure prolonged survival, we are pushing these mechanisms to the limit with our modern ‘convenient’ lifestyle. Our growing epidemics of obesity, diabetes and cancer, along with the ongoing carnage from cardiovascular disease, are testaments to this. As I have said, it is my firm belief that ‘convenience is killing us’, and we cannot rely upon the medical profession to solve these problems once they have occurred.

If you do not want convenience to be your killer, start thinking about how you can go back to a more natural style of living within the realm of our modern world.

Thus, our hunter-gatherer physiology is based around feast/famine and constant movement in a totally natural environment, where borderline malnourishment was the norm rather than the exception- certainly not what we are witnessing today in the modern world.

Now that you have some understanding of the what/who/when/where/how and why of atherosclerotic vascular disease, the two big questions are what should be done about it and can you reverse the stuff? Both these questions can be answered very simply. What should be done about it, is that it should either be prevented in the first place or, if you have it, reversed. Basically, the way to approach the entire issue of heart disease is to follow my five-point reversal program.

More of that in the next article.

Heart disease reversal series

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