Letters for February 28, 2008

Have a heart
Re “On the young conservative” (Know You’re Right, Feb. 21):

Amanda Williams may have a heart, but her brain evidently deserted her, and since one will not work without the other, by default …

Limited Government/Health Care: Good call, maybe when the millions that can’t afford health care die, we can turn them into food for the rest of us.

Individual Responsibility/Second Amendment: But the robbers do know that there are guns in bunches and bunches of homes, and they rob them anyway, and that’s how many robbers start and build their gun collections. They haven’t opened a gun store for felons that I’m aware of.

National Security: I’m a little lost here. Fight to keep our country? I don’t recall it being taken away. Empires fight to keep what was their own? We are fighting, and the thousands of our dead (don’t even bother counting the other side’s losses) and the tens of thousands of brain damaged and maimed were fighting to keep what was their own? Oil in Iraq and Poppies in Afghanistan?

Greg Allen

Young vs. old
Re “Wait a minute, I’m not gone yet” (Right Hook, Jan. 24):

So is there a new genius at the RN&R who decided the liberal-conservative dialogue needed some fresh air? And their answer was to bring in a flatulent old hag like Cory Farley, positioning a young conservative columnist, Amanda Williams, opposite him who, while she might have twice the brain power of Cory, has less than one tenth the writing experience? Now that’s what I call fair and balanced. Mike Lafferty’s commentary will be missed, but probably not my readership of the RN&R, which is over, though I will still probably grab a copy from time to time to line the kids’ guinea pig cage, so I guess Cory’s column won’t be a total waste. [I’d wish Mike] good luck with his next venture, and remember, liberalism isn’t a political philosophy, it’s a state of arrested emotional development.

Matt Bailey

Just the facts, ma’am
During live coverage about the discovery of a female body in South Reno, KRNV anchor Shelby Sheehan states, “Police have not yet identified the body. We hope it’s not Brianna Denison.” Since when has “we hope” been an acceptable phrase in news coverage? And who are “we"? The news team? Is Shelby Sheehan part of the Denison family? Only then I could understand why she would hope it was not Brianna Denison. Would it be somehow better if some other family lost a loved one? Why not tell us, “We hope the victim was poor” or “News channel 4 hopes the victim was a minority?” Stick to the facts. The viewing public does not care what you “hope.”

Tim Doan
Carson City

Fill up on fiber
Re “Let them eat fat” (Feature story, Feb. 21):

Dog and cat owners concerned about the health of their pet will pay a premium for Science Diet, which provides the nutritional mix around which that species evolved. Given a natural diet, the animal will be healthy and thrive. Given an unnatural diet, the animal will become diseased and die.

The same principle applies to human beings. There’s no mystery about what man’s natural diet looks like. Anthropologists have spent entire careers answering that exact question, and study of surviving pre-agricultural societies confirm those findings.

As Dr. Robert Lustig of UCSF explains, our ancient ancestors consumed a minimum of 100, up to 300 grams of dietary fiber every day. By today’s standard’s, that’s a lot. Many Americans average around 10 grams per day, and even the FDA only thinks we need about 35.

Where do we get dietary fiber from? Carbohydrates, which are the product of photosynthesis. Early man relied on fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, modern man adds cultivated grains and tubers. But definitely not plants with the fiber milled out of them or simple sugars (mono- or disaccharides).

Dr. Robert Lustig at UCSF, www.kqed.org/epArchive/R608151000, has done his best to explain the role low-fiber, high-sugar diets play in the current obesity epidemic. Our body’s physiological reaction to both of these factors is the same. They trick the brain into thinking we’re about to starve, and in response it conserves energy by turning us into couch potatoes, at the same time it increases the amount of calories consumed that are stored as fat. And of course it makes us want to eat more, since our body’s fuel gauge (the leptin response) is broken.

When I first heard Dr. Lustig explain obesity in 2006, I was obese and busy watching my calories and exercising every day. But it wasn’t working. Dr. Lustig’s explanation made perfect sense to me, so I switched to a high-fiber, low-sugar diet. I gave up my daily exercise routine and ate as much as I wanted. A year later, I had lost 40 pounds and felt better. As far as I’m concerned, Dr. Lustig has found the answer to obesity and all the health problems associated with it.

The reality is that our bodies aren’t simple energy converters, where you put so many calories in, burn this many, and store the difference as fat. It’s much more complicated than that. Our bodies are hard wired to expect very high levels of dietary fiber and low levels of sugar.

Rich Dunn
Carson City