Karl Denninger has been on an ongoing rant about US healthcare costs. A lot of fun reading, a lot of thoughtful points. But what does this mean for survival and preparedness folks? The connection is actually great news.
Here’s the most recent post from Denninger with links back to various things he’s written about diet and nutrition. The economic side of healthcare has some dire indicators pointing to inevitable economic collapse within a decade or less. I’ll cover those another day.
The salient point here is that Denninger puts the root cause of enormous healthcare costs in America at a little over 25% of the total cost problem. More specifically, 25% of what’s being shelled out in medical coverage deals with Type II Diabetes and related disorders and treatments, and yet this is a preventable health issue on which patients aren’t getting advice or aren’t getting good advice.
Type II is not the one you’re born with, but the one that frequently results from obesity as your body builds up immunity to its own insulin in the metabolic system. So good diet would avoid or reverse these medical problems. But what counts as good diet?
Apparently, Denninger has been living his own advice for at least 5 years and feels the results speak for themselves. He’s not a nutritionist or a doctor of any sort in the medical fields…just a guy who tried something healthier and found that it worked, and he’s sharing the solution he lives by.
Denninger argues for a low-carb diet. It is very similar to paleo diet if you’re familiar with that, but not exactly the same. Here are his points (summarized from the linked article and the other articles he links to):
- Metabolic disorder results from carb/calorie overload, so you need to minimize the calories you get from carbs.
- “Typical” weight gain of 2-3 pounds per year (20-30 pounds per decade) is not healthy even if it is normal in our population, but to avoid it would require calorie counting down to + or – 20 calories on a given day, for ten years. That’s a counting accuracy down to about a teaspoon of sugar, every day for a decade. Not realistic, so counting diets are out.
- Fiber is recommended by experts and good. Fiber has two primary sources: carbs or green vegetables. Fiber from carbs comes with all the calories from carbs. Fiber from green vegetables is extremely low calorie. You can get a full daily dose of fiber from vegetables while only getting about 2% of your daily calorie needs. So where to get the other 98%?
- Three main sources of calories: carbs, fats, proteins.
- We’re trying to avoid carbs, so that leaves fat or protein. Lean protein is impractical and expensive, so fat is a better option for the majority of your calories.
- Fats have two primary sources: animal or vegetable.
- Vegetable fats are too high in Omega 6, while animal fats have a good balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6.
- Normal vegetable consumption would not give enough vegetable oil (vegetable fat) to be concerned about. Processed foods and vegetable oils magnify this by about 1000 times. You’d have to eat 1 or 2 bushels of corn in a single sitting to get the amount of corn oil you’d get in a single spoonful of the processed vegetable oil.
- Processed vegetable oils are often hydrogenated for longer shelf life, which is even more harmful to your metabolic processes.
Conclusion: eat enough green vegetables for daily required fiber, and then fatty animal meat (fish, beef, pork, etc.) to cover the rest of your calorie needs. Aim for organic, avoid any and all processed foods and sugars because everything manufactured has some amount of bad stuff in it these days. Follow this lifestyle guideline, and you’ll maintain healthy weight and healthy metabolism for life, while avoiding the Type II Diabetes and related disorders (amputation, dialysis, etc.)
So what does this mean for the homesteader?
Well, if you’re running a homestead which produces all your food, what do you think you’ll have a lot of?
Green vegetables, and animal and fish meats in full form. All organic (assuming YOU’RE not using pesticides and chemicals), and for a far cheaper price than you’d find at the store.
So if you have a homestead producing your food (or are working towards that), then it will give you the healthiest possible diet for the cheapest price, and you’ll automatically be living Denninger’s health solution to avoid 25% of the typical and irreversible medical costs.