Listening to the new media we are reminded daily of the health insurance crisis in our country. The cost of health care surpassed $2.2 trillion in 2007, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990 and over eight times the $253 billion spent in 1980. So why is it that we have the most sophisticated and advanced medicine in the world and at the same time one of the unhealthiest of populations? As a society many have overlooked the body’s innate power of healing when given the proper nutrients and keeping the offending nutrient deficient foods to a minimum.
According to the Center for Disease Control, (CDC), 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.
These diseases, many of which are preventable and manageable, account for an increasing amount of America’s growing health care costs. Creating a culture of wellness would not only reduce suffering, it would increase our Nation’s economic vitality
Health economist Eric Finkelstein, co-author of The Fattening of America, states that medical costs won’t go down unless Americans make a serious effort “to slim down by improving their diet and exercise patterns.” Exercising daily, respecting portion size, managing carbohydrate intake, at no greater than 100 carbs per day, balancing the list of foods listed below should be a start toward improving health. Set a goal for healthier, lifestyle change eating habits. For instance: enjoy 5 to 10 half cup servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. Grains: Aim for 6-11 half cup servings of whole, gluten free, grains whenever possible. Be aware of gluten sensitivity, celiac disease; find gluten free grain substitutes.
Meat and Beans: Aim for 2-3 servings each day. Choose lean meats. A serving is the size of a deck of cards. Plant protein servings are about the size of a billiard ball. Dairy: Aim for 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Choose low- or non-fat products whenever possible. Be aware of lactose intolerance.
Fats & Oils: Eat fats and oils sparingly and in small portions. Choose heart-healthy oils from fish, nuts, and olives; avoid animal fats as much as possible.
Health comes from the nutrients used to nourish the body. One can not expect to have good health with a grocery cart full of nutrient deficient food, processed to maintain a long shelf life, full of chemicals the body was not designed to deal with, consequently congesting the main detoxification organs like the liver, the digestive track, the kidneys and the skin.
Consuming the Mediterranean type diet, in the portion sizes stated and enjoying daily exercise are key measures that will help reset the downward spiral toward ill health. Don’t permit yourself to become a statistic of poor eating choices. Support from family and friends can help make these lifestyle changes a reality. Become responsible for your choices, your health and well being.
This information is for educational purposes and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment.