Nutrition + Health (from a hacker's perspective)

Caveat: this information on this web page is based upon material gathered from a number of sources including the internet. Therefore, use this material cautiously at your own risk and only with the advice of a physician

Executive Summary
  1. 500 calories from carbohydrates will have a completely different effect on your body than 500 calories from fat
    1. calories from simple carbohydrates (like refined sugar and white flour) race into the bloodstream causing a spike in serum (blood) glucose.
      • The pancreas reacts to the spike by releasing a large volume of insulin into the blood stream which then triggers fat-storage.
      • Insulin production does not terminate quickly which means that glucose removal usually goes too far (causing hypoglycemia) which triggers new hunger pangs.
    2. calories from complex carbohydrates (whole grains) move into the bloodstream at a slower pace thus triggering a lower insulin response
    3. calories from fat move into the bloodstream very slowly causing almost no insulin response
  2. Replace simple carbs (white bread, white rice, white sugar) with complex carbs (whole grain bread, wild rice, etc.)
  3. Replace most carbs with good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
  4. Dietary fats and proteins are required for the production of hormones and enzymes
  5. You must consume one multi-vitamin tablet each every other day (or one half every day)
  6. you must consume 2000 IU of Vitamin-D each day (higher values may lead to constipation)
  7. We all need daily physical exercise (45 minutes minimum; five days out of seven). Good health comes from "sensible nutrition" and "sensible exercise".


Thinking their bodies are like automobiles, many people incorrectly think that food is only a fuel. In reality food is both "a fuel" and "raw material to enable self repair and growth" 

Overloading Man and Machine:

A wise biologist once said:

Technology Maximum Rating Applied Load Result
Electrical Motor 8 HP 10 HP Motor will burn out
Human Muscle 8 HP 10 HP Muscle and skeleton will grow (over time) to support the new load

Under-loading Man and Machine:

Unlike gorillas, the human body is always engaging in resource conservation. Since it takes a lot of energy to maintain muscle tissue, the human body will dismantle (cannibalize) under-used muscle and supporting bone. This is an example of the "use-it or lose-it" scenario which was first made apparent after once-healthy long-duration cosmonauts returned to Earth only to discover that they could not walk.

Technology Maximum Rating Applied Load Result
Electrical Motor 8 HP 6 HP Nothing. It is more efficient and safer to use an overrated motor
Human Muscle 8 HP 6 HP Muscle will shrink (over time) to support the new load.
Bone will shrink to match the weaker muscle.

But consider this extreme example which we see in human society:
Technology Maximum Rating Applied Load Result
Electrical Motor 8 HP 1 HP Nothing. But some oils may dry out over time allowing oxidation
Human Muscle 8 HP 1 HP Muscle will atrophy in a very short time and function will be lost
  • Non-exercising cosmonauts lost the ability to walk after only 10 months
  • Non-exercising astronauts lost 2% of their bone mass every month.
    Bone minerals were excreted in their urine.

Food as a Fuel

Food as a Building Material

Nutritional Summary

2015 Addendum

You Need Physical Exercise!

Stress + Inflammation


Biology can be best described as the merger of two related process: anabolic and catabolic. The anabolic process builds while the catabolic process destroys.

    Metabolic = Anabolic + Catabolic

A short time after we are born anabolism (building) is running high while catabolism (destroying) is running low. As we age anabolism starts to drop while catabolism starts to rise. Once catabolism rises above anabolism, natural death is not far behind.


The hormone symphony that controls our lives is nothing short of a miracle and yet some hormones have a much greater effect than others. Anabolic hormones like testosterone (which exists in both men and women by the way) help us grow and maintain muscle mass but catabolic hormones like cortisol make sure we won't keep that mass unless we exercise.

One of the more negative aspects of cortisol is that it is released during times of injury or stress. One of the more diabolical facts associated with aging is that the body's sensitivity to stress increases with age which only results in more production of cortisol. So although it is not a good idea to try to eliminate cortisol from the body, it is probably a good idea to control your stress so cortisol is not released too often or too long.

For some reason that medicine does not yet understand, this age-related sensitivity to stress can be reduced with moderate daily exercise.
Exercise lower stress
No Exercise higher stress

Your car might last much longer if you didn't use it but it is just the opposite for your body. It doesn't make sense but it is true.

Omega-3 vs. Omega-3-6-9

Many people supplement with Omega 3 to reduce (eliminate?) the action of cortisol in inflammation. These people seem to forget that people with Addison's Disease (John F Kennedy was one notable example) cannot produce enough (or any) cortisol. On top of all this, cortisol is one mechanism used by the body to cause fat cells to empty (the opposite action of insulin). For this reason alone, people supplementing with Omega-3 should switch to Omega-3-6-9 so that cortisol is controlled but not eliminated.

Additional Resources

Vaccines (why they are good for humanity)

A brief list of known: Memory Systems



The many paths to knowledge

While it is possible for every human brain to redevelop everything (like math and science) from first principles, it is much more efficient to attend a school where the factual information is passed from instructor to student. This way, all students can avoid the failures and dead-end paths taken by others.

Likewise, an immune system can learn about diseases it has not yet encountered by being exposed to the protein coats associated with viruses collected by scientists. The end-product is known as a vaccine and the information download process is known as an inoculation. In most cases a vaccine is a collection of multiple viruses that have been sliced-and-diced by enzymes during the manufacturing process (rendering them non-infectious). The resulting protein segments of these viruses are then injected into the body where the immune system notices something foreign then begins manufacturing protein anti-bodies for an attack which never materializes but is remembered.

Caveat-1: some viral diseases are so dangerous that it is unlikely you will survive your first natural contact. Or if you do survive, you will never be fully returned to a pre-diseased state. One example is Polio (Poliomyelitis) which was rampant during my childhood in the 1950s but another example is hepatitis which is rampant in human society today. Benjamin Franklin said it best: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of inoculations this might be rephrased: A nanogram of vaccine is worth a kilogram of cure.

Caveat-2: Most modern people today would be embarrassed to admit they are functionally illiterate. So if inoculations are a form of learning then shouldn't people be just as embarrassed to admit their bodies haven't be educated? I suppose ignorance is a form of bliss but this form will get you killed.


Fully 20% of all cancers are caused by viruses with some scientists speculating that the number is as high as 40%. One nasty virus is HPV (human papilloma virus) which comes in ~ 130 versions with the most benign forms responsible for ten kinds of warts. However, there are other versions of HPV which are responsible for skin cancer, genital cancer, anal cancer, and 90% of all cervical cancers.

Two vaccines are available to prevent infection by some HPV types responsible for cervical cancer. Inoculate your daughters to reduce the danger of cervical cancer in their bodies then inoculate your sons to protect your future daughters-in-law.

"Egg Allergies" and "Herd Immunity"

A very simple explanation

During the creation of a vaccine, live viruses are evolutionarily adapted to non-human hosts by being transferred into three-to-four generations of chicken eggs. During the transfer, the virus becomes more bird-like which means it becomes virtually harmless (before slicing-and-dicing) to humans. It also means that people with allergies to egg protein will not be able to utilize a vaccine prepared in this way.

But it is not necessary for everyone in society to be inoculated (although those who are not are in greater danger than those who have). If a significant majority of the population is inoculated then herd immunity will prevent the disease in question from becoming an epidemic (thus protecting un-inoculated people in the herd)

Inoculations do not cause Autism



The medical community published this information in 2001-2002 but internet-based conspiracy theorists and weirdoes have kept the Autism scare alive. I worry about parents who lose a child to a disease which could have been prevented with a vaccine. But in the end it is all up to choice: do you want to live in the modern scientific world or live like the Amish?

Miscellaneous Stuff (copied from elsewhere)

Tattoos etc.

Tattoo inks may be toxic.

BRUSSELS - Fans of tattooing are putting poisonous chemicals into their skin because of widespread ignorance about the substances used in tattooing dyes, the European Commission warned yesterday.  "Would you inject car paint into your skin?" the commission asked in a statement accompanying its report on the health risks of tattooing and body-piercing.  It said most chemicals used in tattoos were industrial pigments originally used for other purposes, such as automobile paints or writing inks, and there was little or no safety data to support their use in tattoos.  In addition, laws demanding tattoo artists use gloves and sterile needles did not include rules about the dyes, meaning they could be impure and dirty without breaking the law. The report said that as well as the risk of catching diseases such as HIV or hepatitis from dirty needles, tattooing could cause skin cancer, psoriasis, toxic shock syndrome or even behavioral changes.

(Toronto Star - July-20, 2003)

Aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet)

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Neil Rieck
Kitchener - Waterloo - Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.