Whenever the question gets posed as to how we can better deal with health problems the standard answer is – spend more money. This comes from doctors, public health people, researchers, you name it. Generally the notion is that the money will be from government and be directed into their pet project.
The idea that spending more creates better outcomes makes superficial sense. Not surprisingly many believe it, especially when “experts” make the call. Yet this makes a massive assumption; money currently spent is well spent and any improvement has to be expensive.
Education and law enforcement also share the belief that more money is the answer. Yet global surveys show the countries with the best education system results (e.g. Finland and Singapore) do not spend the most. In Western Australia it has been revealed that despite spending nearly 20% above the national average on policing, crime is no lower.
In the US, mass imprisonments have resulted in huge cost but no societal improvement. California is about to release thousands of prisoners, some of whom received long sentences for very minor crimes. In addition, Proposition 47, which will make any drug possession into a misdemeanour, was supported at the ballot box in 2014. This will mean fewer people locked up.
The end result will mean less cost.
WA also spends more on its health system than other Australian states but all we ever hear from lobby groups is how the government does not spend enough.
So is there any hope? Of course there is! But don’t expect anyone from health officialdom to talk about it.
The CSIRO has confirmed what many people have known for some time. A low carbohydrate Mediterranean type diet, combined with exercise, improves diabetes control better than “traditional” low fat diets. In addition they found that the amount of education needed by people on this type of diet halved.
The diet contains vegetables, lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits nuts and healthy fats. The true Mediterranean diet also includes a glass of red wine.
If applied, this will lead to better health for people with diabetes and significantly lower costs. In Australia a conservative estimate is that it would save hundreds of millions per year. In the USA it would be billions.
The low carbohydrate diet was three times more effective in controlling blood sugar than the typical “high grain” diet recommended by dieticians and health authorities. In fact dieticians who have questioned the orthodoxy of high carb diets have faced significant sanctions from their association.
In addition there were improvements in good cholesterol levels.
How great is that? And how simple?
So why won’t you hear much about this. Firstly it goes against the fat is bad mantra. Secondly the Mediterranean diet is not that far removed from a Paleo diet so health authorities are biased against it.
Last but not least, there is no money in it. If people with diabetes had improved health how can you argue for more funding for your latest program? How can you argue that not enough money is being spent?
Diets are not healthy or unhealthy. We can be healthy or unhealthy. What we eat can take us closer to or further away from good health.
The take home message is clear. Public health and various health authorities are a stuck record. They have a belief system and it is not about to change.
Ignore them. The truth is out there. A diet, which has good proteins and fats and is low in processed grains, is good for us. Real food does not need to make health claims. It is just good for our health.
Dr Joe Kosterich M.B.B.S is an author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, who wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life. Dr Joe also gives practical, motivational health talks for the general public and organisations where he is known as “An independent doctor who talks about health”.
His latest book “60 minutes to Better Health” is available on Amazon.