Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moderation - Not!

Often when I engage in a discussion about the importance of avoiding foods with white flour and sugar, foods high in saturated and trans-fats, and foods heavy on preservatives and other harmful additives, the response I get is that it’s okay to eat everything as long as it’s in moderation.  On the surface, this seems reasonable.   
Americans like moderation and are generally repulsed and afraid of extremism. The very nature of the word moderation is somehow soothing and reassuring. But when it comes to your health, is practicing moderation appropriate?

Let’s consider some aspects of moderation.  Is it okay to drive recklessly with moderation? Is it okay to drive moderately intoxicated? Is it okay to smoke in moderation? How about use illicit drugs in moderation? What about cheat on your taxes in moderation? Or commit infidelity in moderation? Would you accept a friend who betrays you in moderation?

In regards to your health, would you like to have any of these diseases in moderation: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, or dementia?  Would you eat rat poison or arsenic in moderation if they really tasted good? How about if you were really hungry?

So maybe moderation isn’t quite the panacea many people make it out to be.

Moderation when it comes to eating poorly will often lead to chronic diseases, diseases which are otherwise often preventable.  In fact, most people eat in moderation yet 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight and over 35% are obese.  A recent study suggests that within 8 years, 77% of men and 56% of women will be diabetic or pre-diabetic. Is that absolutely certain? No. but the trends are clearly alarming. That’s what moderation is producing.

My wife and I had a lively conversation yesterday.  She insists that if I want people to heed my advice, I must embrace moderation.  I usually agree with her (smart lady with great insights), but couldn’t in this regard.  Maybe, I won’t find a listening audience, but I give people more credit.  I think you have been misled for so long, you just don’t know who or what to trust anymore.  I can’t stop spreading the critical information people need to live healthier and I think once people learn the truth, they will make relevant changes and adapt healthier lifestyles. Many people need help to get started.

I can’t stop spreading the word when it comes to eating poorly. It would be unconscionable for me to tell you that it’s okay to eat foods that harm you even in moderation and will cause you to most likely suffer negative consequences as you age.

I can’t follow the herd and tell you that it’s okay to take supplements that haven’t been properly vetted in solid human studies and could be very harmful to your health.

I’m not interested in singing to the choir if that’s what it takes to be heard.

I’m on a mission.

I want to help my fellow Americans find more meaning in their lives, increase their well-being even as they improve their longevity.  I want to help them avoid illnesses that are directly linked to unhealthy lifestyles. The evidence for the power of prevention is now indisputable and I want to share it. 

Folks, stop being deceived by pill-pushing marketers who have but one agenda—to make you part with your money by peddling snake-oil equivalents of magic pills and miracle cures.  If these pills really did what they claimed, they would be drugs that needed prescriptions. Supplement pills solve very few problems. There is no fountain of youth.  Just ask Pounce de Leon.

People need to stop acting like ostriches and sticking their hands in the sand.  The food we eat today is relatively new.  Without refrigeration and pasteurization, we hardly drank milk and ate dairy products until the last century and definitely not milk with added hormones. (In fact, we are the only species on earth that routinely drinks milk after breast-feeding.) The animals we ate were not domestically farmed animals fed antibiotics. Most of our fish came from natural bodies of waters, not fish farms. There were no such things as trans-fats or artificial sweeteners. We ate local food, not foods which traveled large distances months after harvesting.  There were no artificial preservatives and synthetic chemicals even in existence.   

Our forebears were not exposed to the variety of unhealthy and tainted foods we experience on a daily basis. Super-sizing was not even a consideration for the average person.  

Our current food consumption pattern has not been a part of the human experience for any meaningful amount of time and yet most people think they can’t live without these disease promoting foods.

 I hope you agree that health and life are worth preserving, especially when they are yours.  Eating without regard to consequences will often lead to undesirable consequences.

At the end of the day, no one but you can control what you eat or put on your body for that matter. 

Isn’t it time you got serious about your health and stopped depending and hoping doctors can fix what goes wrong?  Is it worth the risk? Stop cancer, heart disease, and dementia before they happen.  As Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  

To paraphrase Smokey the Bear, “Only you can prevent chronic diseases.”  

Please let me help you.

1 comment:

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