WE ARE STILL EVOLVING
Life is unfair. I have to stay away from what we crave. I have to watch the intake of fat, salt, and sugar to stay healthy. I think our body has not evolved to live in time of plenty. Our body is still conditioned to live like hunter gatherers. When you have to run after the animals for meat and walk all day to pick berries and seeds, find edible grass and roots under the hot Sun, you have to consume fat, salt, and sugar whenever you find them. But those things are available easily today; and they are killing us. Like a drug used as effective painkiller is now seen as a curse.
When I was a child in Japan there was a popular caramel candy called “Glico.” It came in the box of ten. I loved it. On the box it said, “One is worth 200 meters” with a picture of a runner. The message is: one candy gives you energy to run 200 meters. But we don’t run 200 meters every time we eat a candy.
Carbohydrate intake turns into sugar. We burn it to generate energy. Surplus sugar turns into fat and is stays in our body. Most of us do not move enough to burn it all up so the amount of stored fat becomes bigger and bigger. Our heart has to work harder to bring oxygen to the increasingly bigger body mass. Consequently obesity has become ubiquitous, and heart decease is now the major cause of death.
Fat is important for survival at the time of want. It supplies source of energy from within. It’s why when food is scarce big people survive better than skinny people. They eat what’s stored in their body. Likewise, salt retains water in our body under the hot Sun: it cools the body and prevents heat-stroke. When I first went to Africa for volunteer work in 1964, the organizer gave everyone anti-malaria pills and salt tablets.
The body of Homo Sapiens has not yet evolved to dislike superfluous nutrient. We lust for big fat juicy hamburger and fries, with sweet soda drinks: all fat, salt, and sugar. We are indulging ourselves to death. So we have to go to gym, to suffer the dictate of diet, and banish natural desire. I know it’s unfair. But that’s life.