Two open-heart surgeries.
That’s what my grandfather had to have.
These were the days before stints and easy, out-patient procedures. These were the days of cracking open the rib cage and taking veins from legs – even for the most basic of heart issues – and long, painful recoveries.
The first one was a big deal – triple bypass. That means that 3 out of the 4 arteries leading to his heart, were clogged to the point of having to be replaced.
But he survived that surgery. And then he went on the strict diet the government recommended for his heart health; low fat, lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean protein. NO FATS.
But then, a couple of years later, he had to have another artery replaced. Whatever he was doing to mitigate his problem, wasn’t working.
A few years later he died of a brain aneurism. Even if he had survived that, by now, he would be long gone from old age…probably.
But for years, I’ve wondered about that diet he was on. And as I’ve travelled my own health journey, I’ve realized that he probably wasn’t on the proper diet for true heart health.
He needed fats. He didn’t need lots of fruits. Yes to the veggies. Definitely no whole grains or dairy. And his protein probably could’ve been moderate. NO SUGAR.
I wish we had listened to some other voices.
There’s so much more we know about health and fitness now, than we did back in the 70s. The science is more defined. But there are definitely disparate voices still making opposite claims. There’s a lot of noise.
But some of what my grandfather was strongly advised to do – BY THE GOVERNMENT – has been proven to be simply bad or wrong information. We all pretty much know that dairy is not a food group. It never has been. It was added to the food pyramid as a result of the daily lobby many decades ago.
If you love dairy, that’s totally cool. I don’t for one minute believe it should be banned or ended or whatever. I love cheese, myself. I consume it from time to time. But let’s not kid ourselves into believing a human being needs it to thrive. We don’t. We never have.
Can we digest it? Of course. Can it be a part of a healthy lifestyle? Sure. But is it essential to the point of needing to be on an official food pyramid?
Let’s just say you can live a long, healthy life without ever ingesting a single dairy product. Billions of people have.
But if you were to say something like that, years ago, you might be seen as crazy or a health heretic. You might’ve been a single voice yelling against the noise.
But you would’ve been right.
There’s a trait in human nature that always fascinates me: everyone always believes they would be on the side of the rebel.
Whenever we see a hero on the screen, bucking conventional wisdom and standing against the masses, we always believe we would be on their side. It’s how billions of Christians have assumed they would’ve stood with Jesus…in real time…as his story was actually unfolding.
But the truth is, most people don’t rally around the lone voice in the wilderness. History bears this out time and time again. And even in the story of Jesus, Peter – Jesus’ tightest bro – hung him out to dry when the chips were really down and the stakes got high enough.
We love the safety of numbers. So most of us go along with the crowd and buy into conventional wisdom. We wear the mask. We get the shot. We count the calories. We buy the low fat option. We comply. We don’t make waves.
And that weird dude over there, spouting facts and figures we can’t quite understand? Well, we don’t have the time or the energy to get into his world. He sounds insane anyway. He probably is.
Nah – the government knows best. They won’t steer us wrong. They hire the best experts. Surely the You-tuber can’t be the truth teller.Can he?
We’re watching a weird phenomenon play out right before our very eyes. And I’m not sure everyone is fully paying attention. In real time – as we see it unfold – we are literally seeing one of the big mysteries of Covid 19 begin to get solved…in front of us.
The lab leak theory – that was seen as insane and conspiracy theory and right wing propaganda, etc, etc – is starting to be proven to be true. It’s at least starting to be seen as plausible.
This theory was actually BANNED from Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. BANNED. My son and I had a long conversation about it, on a drive to school one morning. He was explaining to me why Youtube needed to ban it.
It was so nobody got the wrong information. That was his explanation.
I asked ONE question that quieted him and sent his eyes darting around for answers: “Who decides the information is wrong?”
“Well, like people need to understand how the virus originated from a bat and stuff like that,” he replied.
“Yeah…right,” I quipped, sarcastically. He rolled his eyes. And I felt like that dad who still believes Aliens are being kept at area 51.
But then, three months later…I may have been right, after all. But I was being made to feel, by my own son, who was simply regurgitating what he’d been fed on Youtube, like some out-of-touch tinfoil hat wearer.
And that’s one of the biggest issues we face in the world, today. You can’t post a meme on Facebook, without some fact checker slapping a “missing context” link under it.
But who’s fact checking the fact checkers? And who’s fact checking the fact checker fact checkers?
We’re living in a cyber world where people who want you to think a certain way, can influence your point of view by the information they will or won’t let you see. And they mount huge campaigns against that contrarian voice out there, telling you a low fat diet isn’t good for your heart.
After all…they’re just trying to keep you from making bad decisions.
As for me? I’ll take chaotic cross-talk over uniformity of thought, any day of the week. I’ll take having to sift through a hundred weirdos to get to the one voice ringing true, over having only one voice to listen to, chosen by “the powers that be.”
Because you never know when the voice you thought was insane, turns out to be the one with the actual answers. You never know when the rebel is right. You never know when the experts are ALL – like, every single one of them – wrong.
Let’s hear all the voices. Let’s have more information…not less. Even if some of that information turns out to be wrong, let’s force it to stand scrutiny rather than simply crushing it when we don’t like its conclusion.
Maybe, if we have access to the information, more grandfathers will avoid getting their chests ripped open…multiple times.
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