African Americans suffer from health problems quite different from other Americans. Although there is no doubt that there is a hereditary factor associated with some of these health problems, it is my belief that most of these stem from bad dietary habits. Therefore, if the diet is improved, the health can be considerably improved.
   SICKLE CELL DISEASE (SC) is an example of an almost exclusively African American disease, although I understand that it occurs in some others who live around the Mediterranean Sea. The 50,000 or more people who inherit this trait have blood cells which, instead of being round, are, at times, shaped like a sickle– narrowed in shape, unable to transport nutrition properly around the body. Other terms associated with this disease are Sickle Cell (inherited) Trait and Sickle Cell Crisis, depending upon the symptoms or severity of the disease. Some people who have the trait never suffer the debilitating anemia caused by excessive red cell destruction and often necessitating blood transfusions; nor the severe stomach pain and vomiting or the leg cramps and chronic ulcers around the ankles, characterized by the disease. Others constantly or sporadically suffer. Few with moderate or severe symptoms live beyond the age of forty.
   Since the inherited factor is present in all patients with the disease, why do some suffer, in varying degrees, or don’t suffer, from the disease? If a study were to be made of these patients, I believe there would be found a definite correlation between poor dietary choices and the severity of the disease. Those with the factor who reside in Africa  almost never suffer the anemia and other symptoms when their diet consists of yams, seeds and other natural foods which prevent the sickling from occurring. This is not the case of those who eat a typical poor, American diet, heavy on sugar, starches, caffeine, alcohol and other chemicals, and who smoke tobacco.
How can we help to prevent S.C. Crisis from occurring? By re-educating those who have the S.C. trait to avoid eating, drinking and smoking those substances which bring on the disease. Following the A-E will help considerably. Eating the seeds of apricot, peach, pear and apple trees can also help to prevent the crisis. The combination of “soda water” and cigarettes is particularly deadly, as it is with most other chronic diseases affecting humanity.
             HEART DISEASE, KIDNEY DISEASE, CANCER AND DIABETES-- HOW THEY AFFECT AFRICAN AMERICANS. Blacks who have these diseases tend to have them more severely than the population at large. This is partly true because of our American health care delivery system, where those who can afford to pay, tend to receive better care than those who do not.  Probably, the greater part of the truth is that the diet and lifestyle of the average African American is much less healthy than the diet of the whites and Orientals. By the time they reach the physician or clinic for diagnosis of a disease, the affected body structures have deteriorated to such an extent that the prognosis is much less favorable. Physicians and nutritionists can only do so much to rebuild and repair a body that is falling apart, years before it should. Heart disease, or rather the better term for it, cardiovascular disease, involves all the blood vessels of the body. When, through poor diet, all the artery walls become blocked and hardened, not enough nutrients are transported around the body to feed the organs. Blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels rise to abnormally high levels; understand that these items are indicators of a diseased system, not diseases themselves. Therefore, it is of little value to prescribe drugs which lower the indicators without correcting the diet which caused all the problems to begin with.
            In the case of kidney disease, a poor diet, consisting of high quantities of pork, soft drinks, coffee, chocolate, alcohol and other drugs, with such small amounts of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables as to make their value insignificant, will damage the kidneys beyond repair. Often the only solution is to put the patient on dialysis or replace one or both kidneys.
   The same is true for cancer. The poor diet just described damages both the liver and the pancreas, causing the body to “self-destruct” because insufficient amounts of satisfactory nutrition are present to keep the body in reasonably good health.
   Diabetic symptoms round out the list of indicators of a poor diet. As explained in ISSUE 10 and elsewhere, the pancreas is made up of the islets of Langerhans which make insulin to process carbohydrates and prevent dangerous high blood sugar levels; and the digestive enzymes, manufactured elsewhere in the pancreas, which serve to digest reasonable amounts of animal protein and protect the body from cancer. Both areas of the pancreas respond favorably to good nutrition and are destroyed by poor nutrition.
   It is not unusual for a sick body to demonstrate multiple disease symptoms. For example, diabetes with cancer, diabetes with cardiovascular problems, and so on. To make the symptoms go away for an extended period of time, prescribing drugs is not the answer unless the nutrition is greatly improved to correct the underlying condition of bad nutrition.
    The last problem to be discussed in this issue is CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. Lest I be considered a bigot, I ask the reader to consider reading on. Crime can best be explained as “misbehavior against the society in which we live.” It is not an understatement to say that inner city African American kids, as well as other children of other races, don’t have much of a chance to succeed under poverty, jobless conditions.
   It is necessary to explain, in great detail, why this is so. For this we must explain the sociology (the study of the development, organization and problems of the society) of the African American population in the United States. Brought to the United States, beginning in 1619, from Africa where they were kidnapped and imprisoned, they were transported on slave ships to America, the men and women served in the South as slaves, living on plantations, working in the fields of cotton and tobacco or taking care of their masters’ houses.
   They were not allowed to marry; consequently, many of them never knew who their fathers were. There was no family unit of a father and mother striving to make a living and raising their children with love and with discipline together, with the loyalty, devotion and maturity that goes with it. Adult males were known as “boys,” because, to recognize them as adult men meant that they were equal to their masters instead of chattel, items of movable property. Frequently, the males were sold to other plantations, to be moved elsewhere.
   Almost two hundred fifty years later, the Civil War of 1861-1865 came and went. The slaves were freed, but having gained their freedom, they were never taught to establish these family units where husband and wife built a solid, caring, loving, mature, monogamous relationship, where bringing children up, with love, discipline and example-setting was a joint venture.
   Today, in the second decade of the 21st Century, the vast majority still have not been taught this relationship– they still have the same “slave mentality.” Females are impregnated by their temporary male lovers, and both of them go their separate ways. It is not considered a shame to have a child out of wedlock. Men brag about their virility and their offspring, never even considering that bringing a child into the world is an ongoing responsibility of support and nurturing of the body and the mind. Without parents who live and act together to teach them right from wrong, they take their cues from the peer groups that surround them, whose upbringing also did not include parents who taught them right from wrong.
   The children resent not only those who they feel “are keeping them down,” but also their parents whose discipline and love has never been there for them. They begin with little crimes, such as petty theft and stealing cars for joyrides, then extortion and taking and selling drugs to which they become addicted, and finally progress to bank robbery and murder. Innocent children and adults are brutally murdered in or near their own homes. Youngsters cry out for discipline and stability-training in life, and not having found it in their families or the outside world, commit serious crimes and are put into prisons, where they do find a sort of negative discipline and stability. When they are released after serving their time, they resort to their old ways and are imprisoned again. At no point does society attempt to restructure their thinking processes, their attitudes toward behaving in a proper, civilized manner. It’s a tough job, not only the fault of the children as much as it is of the non-parents who have brought them into the world, who, in turn, were also brought into the world and raised under essentially the same circumstances.
   In order to improve the world, what is necessary is to change what exists, so that future generations will be freed from the “slave mentality,” and the world will be a safer, more orderly place in which to live. How?
   1. Young adults must be taught that mature, loving, marital stability, not short-term passion, is the prerequisite for having children and raising them, together, under one roof. Their children, from infancy to teen-age must be taught to “Honor and respect their father and mother;” Also, that their own lives have great value. They can succeed if they follow the rules of civilized life, not the rules of the street.
    2. They should be informed that just because manufacturers pay to advertise their products on billboards, on television and the radio, that doesn’t make them fit for human consumption; they should avoid items which cause them harm, those items on the “A” list.  
    3. Manufacturers of unhealthy items, such as soft drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol and others mentioned in ISSUE 2, should be encouraged to foot the bill for the re-education process, to teach proper nutrition in order to prevent diseases, and to pay the medical expenses caused by using their products, much as the tobacco companies have been brought to task in recent years.
    4. Finally, wealthy benefactors should sponsor the continued education of children through college so that they can improve their lives and raise themselves above the conditions into which they were born.
    The alternative is building even bigger and more expensive prisons for warehousing difficult people and living in a more violent society where no one is really safe. This does not paint a very pretty picture and does not have to be the choice, when re-education can go a long way, and at a lower price, to solving the physical and mental problems of a sizable portion of our population.
    While we’re examining the problems of African Americans, we should bear in mind that whites, Latinos and Orientals are increasingly having the same problems due to the escalating divorce rate and consuming more junk food than ever before. The problems of today’s African Americans, though not due to the same causes, mirror the problems of the American people as a whole.

Joel's Newsletter


Discussion From an Independent Viewpoint

All opinions expressed in this Newsletter are mine alone, based on over thirty years' experience in the Nutrition field.   Those who would like to follow what is recommended here, do so at their own risk, and keep in touch with your doctor.


Shorthand: “A-E” stands for the ABC DIET + Exercise;


“DOC” stands for Daily One Capsule by Twinlabs, Inc.,




Volume 2 Issue 5        



About the Book

Click on Your Disease

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Issue No. 1
Introduction to
   Health Issues

Issue No. 2
The ABC Diet

Issue No. 3

Issue No. 4

Issue No. 5
   American Health

Issue No. 6

Issue No. 7

Issue No. 8

Issue No. 9


Issue No. 10

Issue No. 11
Nervous System
   and Mental
   Health Problems

Issue No. 12

Issue No. 13

Issue No. 14

Issue No. 15
Our Nation's
    Health Care

 Summary of the ABC Diet. (For an explanation, see ISSUE 2.)
“A” for Avoiding chemical poisons normally considered harmless but which are really harmful:
coffee, tea, soft drinks (soda water) and “energy” drinks, chocolate, tobacco, alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, artificial sweeteners, coloring agents, preservatives, flavoring agents, white flour, fluorides, sugar, and more than a small amount of salt.
“B” for Be Sure to Eat some raw, uncooked vegetables or fruit, with each meal, in addition to cooked vegetables or fruits. One should eat cooked whole grains cereals, brown organic rice, wheat, barley, oats, corn, beans, legumes, peas, seeds and nuts. One should eat some whole grain bread and pasta. Although they do have some fat and protein, the above are considered CARBOHYDRATES the major source of energy for the body.
   Up to, but not more than one-sixth of the daily calories intake may come from
FATS, such as butter and oils from palm, coconut, olive, sunflower, soybean. Fats are important raw materials for many endocrine hormones, including male and female hormones, and cholesterol for healthy nails, skin and hair. Fats also serve as an extra energy source and transport Vitamins A, D, E and K around the body to where they are needed.
   No more than one-sixth of the daily calories may come from
PROTEIN, which may be from animal sources, such as red meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese, or from vegetable sources, such as soy protein or a blend of pea, rice, or potato protein, rice bran, corn bran, apple and oat fiber, mushroom extract and other ingredients. Proteins serve as building blocks for the body. 
   Fortunately for the body, where good nutrition is present and through biochemical processes, carbohydrates, fats and proteins may be transformed into the other when needed. Enzymes, mostly made up of protein, are catalysts, substances which help chemical reactions to be created, or speeded up, by providing a substance which itself is not changed in the process. In order to digest proteins, the enzymes pepsin, trypsin, proteolytic and certain liver enzymes must be present. We must eat fresh sources of enzymes, found mostly in raw vegetables and fresh fruit, on a daily basis,  to enable the body to do its job of living– pumping blood, breathing, thinking, moving, digesting, excreting, and so on.
“C” for Complementing (or supplementing) the diet with the correct supplement, or supplements, to prevent or postpone disease, or to modify a disease of which we already show symptoms.