By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: “How long will it be before we realize the simple truth that the health of every individual depends upon his nutritional status?” So writes Dr. Royal Lee in making the obvious—yet still criminally ignored—correlation between the emergence of heart disease, cancer, and other “modern” diseases and the introduction of industrial food processing and refining, which turned white sugar, white flour, and hydrogenated fats into the foundation of our food supply. “Is any satellite, atomic bomb or guided missile so likely to jeopardize our health as the certainty that insidious food tampering assuredly sucks away, like greedy quicksand, at the very foundation of our health?” Dr. Lee asks ominously. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]
Diet Frights—Sign of The Times
A recent article printed in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Diet Fright” (free copy on request from Lee Foundation), indicates that the food-tampering situation is now being felt in the pocketbooks by those who up to now have kept their eyes comfortably equipped with mercenary blinders, the manufacturers of synthetic hydrogenated fats. These food counterfeiters, when faced with the true publicity that the oleo [margarine] travesty deserves, had this to say: “It’s a hot potato—too controversial for us to talk about.”
What about other “hot potatoes” such as insecticides, stilbesterol, dyes, white sugar, and white flour—to mention only a few of the contaminants and disorganizers of our natural food complexes? How long will it be before we realize the simple truth that the health of every individual depends on his nutritional status? Is any satellite, atomic bomb, or guided missile as likely to jeopardize our health as certainly as the insidious food tampering that assuredly sucks away, like greedy quicksand, at the very foundation of our health, while our ethereal minds float on vistas of “It can’t happen here”?
Truth Will Out
Let’s look at the facts. In the 1900s infectious diseases (pneumonia and tuberculosis) held number one position. Today in first place we find the degenerative diseases (heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer). These diseases as a rule give one time to think—an interval that can only prove embarrassing to those who do not have an answer that can meet the situation.
Never before has there been such an opportunity for those who advocate natural law, an opportunity to explain the physiological basis for “treatment” of disease through means that are natural to the body and not foreign to nature. When we realize that recent estimates place 50 percent of our population in the category of suffering from some chronic condition, we can realize how great is the need for our efforts in this direction.
America’s Sweet Tooth
It is easy to understand the logic of eating by reason instead of by taste alone if we consider the incontestable facts regarding sugar. In a week in an average urban family in the United States, 2.75 pounds of sugar, syrups, molasses, and honey are consumed; of this consumption, 2.66 pounds are of white sugar. Additional sweets in the form of jelly, preserves, and jams amount to 0.59 pound, and candy amounts to 0.37 pound. Among rural families the consumption is still larger. Per week for each family: sugar, syrups, molasses, and honey, 4.97 pounds (4.78 pounds as white sugar); 0.93 pound of jellies, jams, and preserves; 0.39 pound of candy (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Household Food Consumption Survey, 1955).
The February 1957 issue of the Monthly Bulletin of the Indiana State Board of Health states: “Scientists estimate that we Americans eat ten times as much sugar as our great grandfathers did. [Note by Dr. Lee: And our sugar is ten times as refined as that of our great-grandfathers.] They also note that dental conditions have become worse as civilization has developed, and the sweet, sticky foods of today are singled out as the number one enemies of dental health.” That this deleterious effect extends further than the tooth can well be understood.
Dr. Cleave, in the Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service, gives us more statistics by showing that the consumption of sugar in England jumped from 15 pounds per head in 1815 to 85 pounds in 1900 and 104 pounds in 1954. He goes on to say:
“And since the concentration that has been effected in the case of sugar is nearly ten times as great as the case of even the whitest flour, it is desirable to chart the consumption of sugar (for statistical purposes) and ignore that of bread altogether (which would require multiplication by a weighing factor). If this is done, the correlation between the incidence of diabetes and the consumption of sugar becomes immensely clearer, and it is considered that the only reason such correlation is not common knowledge is due entirely to [a lack of] appreciation of the fundamental difference between sugar and other carbohydrates in this respect through ignorance of the help afforded to this problem by the natural law.
“Since what is claimed as the cause of diabetes is essentially the overconsumption of carbohydrates, it would be expected that other diseases resulting from this overconsumption would be conspicuous. This is true at least in the case of obesity and probably in other conditions also. In the case of obesity, the occurrence is so notorious that some authorities have considered it as the cause of the disease. But the deeper view, expressed above, is far more logical, especially since diabetes also occurs to some extent in the thin.”
Like the smoke from the ship coming over the horizon, the result of “man’s inhumanity to man” is gradually showing its shape. Hidden diseases as a result of cell starvation are gradually becoming seen as detectable illnesses. We will have more of the “diet frights,” prepared for them [sic].
The problem of the degenerative diseases has been building up for the past 100 years, since man first learned to use machinery to concentrate and abuse foods. Virchow, the “father of pathology” (study of disease), said that disease has its origin in the cell. These biochemical changes are not easily detected, and it is not until a whole system of organized cells becomes disorganized—destroyed—that we recognize this destruction as a disease entity. We must remember that any disease is at first a disturbance in cell metabolism, brought about by interference with cell respiration or starvation, and that to survive the way nature intended, we must avoid those things that produce these adverse biochemical changes.
By Dr. Royal Lee. Let’s Live, 1958.