Letters to the Editor

Health tips for the new year: Eat meat, hit the gym

Gym members groove their way to fitness during a Zumba class on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2016, at Sequence Fitness in Panama City Beach, Fla. (
Gym members groove their way to fitness during a Zumba class on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2016, at Sequence Fitness in Panama City Beach, Fla. ( AP

Human beings are hunters and gatherers. That’s what our ancestors were as they walked out of Africa. Nomads, like the Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula, did very well eating dates, local fruits, nuts and berries. Occasionally, they were lucky and added fish, gazelle and goat or camel meat. Given the primitive tools of our ancestors, fitness and experience were important to be a successful hunter.

This means that meat was an intermittent dietary staple, especially in the absence of refrigeration. With all due respect for vegetarians and vegans, meat, in moderation, contributes important vitamins, minerals and, above all, iron. Meat helps keep our hemoglobin in the normal range. This is very important for women in particular, because of their monthly menstrual blood loss. To be healthy and not have to take expensive supplements or protein powders, I recommend eating like the hunters and gatherers that we really are.

At the same time, exercise is very highly recommended. An hour of physical activity a day should be the goal. The United States has a skyrocketing, hugely expensive obesity epidemic. Everyone’s girth should be less than 40 inches. Simple, easy to remember. Off to the gym!

Bernd Schumacher, San Luis Obispo

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