The McDougall Newsletter - November 2009
  November 2009   Vol.8 Issue 11

Nuts Come in Hard Shells - For Reasons

Growing up in a low-income family in the suburbs of Detroit we had nuts once a year.  At Christmastime my father brought home a 5-pound bag of mixed nuts all firmly encased individually in rock hard shells. Over the next five days, with the aid of a mechanical nutcracker and a steel pick, the six members of the McDougall family ate almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. These days, eating nuts is as convenient as unscrewing the lid off of a glass jar, and then pouring an ounce of shelled, oil-roasted, nuts directly into your mouth. After seven chews and a swallow, in fewer than five seconds, 120 calories of fat are gulped down. Within three hours much of that fat is stored as metabolic dollars to be spent during the next famine.

How I treat Patients with Elevated Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, is associated with serious health problems, such as strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure.  Most people believe the problem with hypertension is that the elevated pressure damages the arteries and the body’s organs. Actually, it is more often the other way around. The rise in blood pressure is a response to a sick body—the blood pressure goes up as a natural and proper adaptation—as an attempt to compensate for a plugged up cardiovascular system. After years of consuming the rich Western diet, the blood vessels develop blockages referred to as atherosclerosis, the artery walls stiffen, and the blood itself becomes viscous. All this change creates a resistance to flow, resulting in a decrease in the ability to deliver nutrients to the tissues.  The body responds, as it should, with a rise in blood pressure.

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