Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's no wonder...

. . . people in this country are physically unwell, overweight, etc.

I got the April issue of Reader's Digest yesterday and was reading thru it and half of the articles were about how to avoid this illness, or how to cure another, or this or that.

Did our ancestors many generations ago have Alzheimer's... probably not. Here's what the article I read says about Alzheimer's:

"Chemicals, obesity and smoking have all been linked to Alzheimer's." Monroe, Bridget Nelson. "Avoiding Alzheimer's." Reader's Digest April, 2008: 58.

They didn't have 'chemicals' (including processed foods, sugars and preservatives - convenience foods, or pesticides or even antibiotics to give their cows and chickens so they'd grow bigger), they probably didn't 'smoke' at the rate this country now does, and as a result of the type of diets they ate and lifestyles they lived, they weren't 'obese'.
Here's another article I read:

"The healing power of food extends to your lungs. What you eat - and avoid - may help keep you from developing asthma. Best choices: Have fruit every day, especially apples, oranges, grapes and tomatoes. Eat more healty fats (like olive oil) and DHA omega-3s (fish and walnuts), which seem to prevent damage to lung tissue and reduce inflammation. Worst choices:
Saturated fats, trans fats and cured meats with nitrates, like many cold cuts and ballpark staples. These foods worsen inflammation caused by air pollution and inhibit dilation of the airways, among other things." Michael F. Roizen, MD. "Eat to Beat Asthma." Reader's Digest April, 2008: 56.

I'm just going to put a big DUH here. Going back to the ancestors again... I'm sure they didn't have much in the way of saturated fats or meats cured with nitrates.
On to yet another article:

"Raw garlic may prevent blood clots and keep blood pressure down." Joseph K. Vetter. "Garlic: The Raw Truth." Reader's Digest April, 2008: 54.

RAW is best. Haven't we always known that in the back of our minds. I mean, vegetables in their natural state, are raw. Why would anyone think that cooking them (especially something like sauteeing at high heat) wouldn't make them lose at least some of their nutritional value....

There is something seriously wrong with the mentality of this country when most people don't realize that chemically altering our foods, cooking them vigorously at high temps. and processing the heck out of everything is affecting the health of this nation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect at all. We don't eat a 100% perfect diet, but are doing what we think is best for our family and teaching our children to choose healthy things BEFORE going for the unhealthy. Fresh is definitely best, but that isn't always possible, so I try to buy as much organic food as I can afford (even processed things can be healthIER for you if they're organic, because it means the ingredients are organic and are also as close to their natural state as possible), I try to also buy 100% whole wheat pastas and bread, I also buy unsweetened applesauce and frozen veggies (because they haven't been cooked yet) etc.

But we also do allow ourselves and the kids treats and "bad days." I believe it's healthier for them to have things like sweets as a treat because it teaches them moderation without completely depriving them of something. I think complete deprivation is not good (unless there's some sort of allergy or health reason) because when they're on their own or out with friends they might be tempted to gorge on the unhealthy because they are never allowed to have it at home and that's definitely not teaching them moderation. Jacob and Eli really, truly and thoroughly enjoy their treats when they get them because they really are a "treat" and not an every day occurence.

I believe moderation is they key. People become obese because they make the wrong choices regarding food and lifestyle and eat too much. People have things like high blood pressure because they make the wrong lifestyle and food choices. Seeing a pattern here?

I realize that there are also genetic factors involved in the two health issues I mentioned above, and these are only two of the MANY health issues this country is facing, but do you think there would even be such a thing as a genetic "pre-disposition" to certain illnesses - cancer, hypertension, etc. - if the last several generations of our ancestors hadn't begun eating unnaturally, processing their foods and going toward convenience rather than health? Hmmmm, something to think on.

Here's what I have planned for my next two health posts: exercise and commercial medications/drugs.

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