Things That Were Hazardous To Your Health But Are OK To Use Now (and Vise Versa)

Recent photo of Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017)

While finishing this weeks entry earlier than usual, by the way, I was shocked to learn about Chuck Berry’s death, another of my heroes who has left us to join Heaven’s All-Star Band. He will surely be missed.

My sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans. This has certainly saddened my Saturday.

* * *

More and more articles in publications today shed advice on how to live healthier lives and about the best ways to extend one’s longevity. However, that’s nothing new. It’s been going on since the spawn of written word.

Every generation can remember being told what was good or bad for them; and how much of each would make or break us.

My mother said eating too much sugar, or putting too much butter on something would grow worms in my stomach. Then again, she told me lots of things about stuff that would either make me go blind or go directly to Hell after doing it.

Obesity is among the top five culprits to contribute to an early grave, an epidemic in grand proportions among the present-day population of the US and other countries around the world.


Photo: Stanford University (

Diets for losing weight have been around for ages also.

Everyone is looking for the easier way out for losing excess pounds, rather than eating less and getting up off their rumps to exercise daily.

Take, for instance, the “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet” advertising campaign, based on nicotine’s appetite-suppressing qualities, if one can consider that a beneficial trait.

At the time of that advertisement (1925), cigarettes weren’t considered detrimental to one’s health. As seen in the following  1949-commercial clip from Youtube, more doctors smoked Camels than any other:

It wasn’t until 1964 that the U.S. Surgeon General’s “Report of Smoking and Health” told the public any differently, prompting Congress to mandate a warning be placed on all cigarette packages in the following year, saying smoking was hazardous to one’s health. Cigarette advertisements were banned from radio and television in 1970.

I quit smoking twelve years ago while having a bout with pneumonia, which made it easy for me to stop; but that was a hell of a way to do so. Still, in this millennium, cigarettes are considered to be killers, causing cancer, emphysema and heart disease; yet, I still desire one on occasion, even dreaming about smoking now and then.

I’m waiting for the day when authorities are going to tell us cigarettes are actually good for our health. I’ll be out the door to buy a good, old pack of Newport Lights, my brand of choice back in the day; although, maybe not. I couldn’t justify paying $10 for 20 coffin nails, after having paid about $3.75 per pack, back before putting them down. Even that was a lot of money to pay.

Cigarettes, when I first started smoking, were 35¢ for a pack in the machine; but that was in the dark ages, longer than I care to admit. If I knew for certain I was going to die tomorrow, I’d splurge for a couple of packs and smoke them all today.

Eggs were lambasted in the past for having too much LDL (bad) cholesterol, leading to heart disease; and we should avoid eating them on a regular basis. New studies have found harmful cholesterol is determined and triggered by saturated fats like those found in sausage, bacon and other processed meats. Alone, the amount of LDL in eggs is negligible.

According to the University of Michigan’s Healing Food Pyramid, “Whole eggs offer almost every essential vitamin and mineral needed by humans except for vitamin C.”  Have a glass of OJ along with them, is my remedy for that.

The aforementioned, scholarly documentation states yolks contain vitamins A, D, E and K as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which “lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration and heart disease.”

Whole milk was another no-no of the past. Authorities advised us to drink skimmed or low-fat milk, which I’ve done for years. Research published in the journal Circulation in 2016 concluded that those who consumed the most dairy fat had a 50 percent lower risk of developing diabetes, a disease that can shorten life by 8 to 10 years. It’s back to whole milk for me.

Caffeine in coffee was to blame for high blood pressure in individuals and moderation was preached by health authorities. Recently, Harvard researchers said, “People who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about 15 percent lower risk of premature mortality, compared to people who didn’t drink coffee.”

I should live as long as Methuselah, if that’s the case. Anyone for another cuppa Joe?

Salt was believed to kill, raising blood pressure, causing hypertension and increasing the risk of premature death. Now, research states salt is essential to health. Too little can lead to early death. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. What’s a soul to do?

Chocolate, which in excess, was said to cause weight gain and a predisposition to diabetes, not to mention zits; but the treat is now praised for its bounty of antioxidants that fight cancers and inflammation. However, the benefits only apply to dark chocolate. Milk mixed in chemically binds the antioxidants from doing their work to prevent malady.

The same goes for green tea. Drink it straight for the release of its antioxidants. Add cinnamon for flavor, which also regulates blood sugar.

My go-to, over-the-counter pain medication, ibuprofen, is listed these days as being something that can prompt cardiac arrest and stomach bleeding. I guess I’ll go back to aspirin, but while making sure the tablets are coated to be easier on the stomach lining.

It seems like whatever floats a researcher’s boat at the moment, whichever ingredient a study has determined to be beneficial or detrimental at the time, is what information is published and considered to be the latest recommendation for a healthy existence.

To believe or not to believe, that is the question. Anyone got an answer? Maybe the subject of my latest Cover Your Ears might be the solution.

Thanks for listening and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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2 Responses to Things That Were Hazardous To Your Health But Are OK To Use Now (and Vise Versa)

  1. Judy McFarlane McFarlane mac says:

    Any thing in excess except good Rock ‘n Roll is the way to go.I get all my vitamins from food not bottles or packets cause that’s best.Home made and love the theories of the Mediterranean eating

    • I try to eat well, but still rely on vitamin tabs and other supplements to maintain my health. Exercise is a big part of it; although, I could still use some more, but hiking for my photography works. I like the Mediterranean diet as well. Going overboard on Rock ‘n’ Roll is OK too 🙂

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