Do We Have The Right Information?
I'm fired up from some of the reading and coursework I've been doing lately, so I'm going to jump right in. I have a few questions for you this week.
- Have you ever had a doctor ask you what you eat? Chances are really good that your answer is "No".
- I have another question -- if you have a pet, has the veterinarian ever asked you what you're feeding them? The odds are in favor of you answering, "Yes". In fact, think about all the ads for pet food. They emphasize the quality of the ingredients. They talk about your pet having more energy, better mobility, clear eyes, and a shiny, healthy coat simply by feeding them better food.
- So, wait a minute ... it's important for our animals to live a long, healthy, active life and they can achieve that by us nourishing them better. Hmmmm ... since we're mammals, wouldn't the same hold true for us?!?
- Let's go back to advertising. Pet food ads are everywhere. People food ads are too, however they're not emphasizing their great health benefits. It's pretty hard to promote Oreos, Doritos, or any of the super refined items (they're not really food) as a way to thrive and/or get in good physical condition. Sure, some foods claim to help us lose weight or live healthy, but most of them are marginally nutritious and over-processed.
There's a particularly chilling account of how Coca-Cola got involved in twisting the facts in Dr. Mark Hyman's book, Food Fix. In spring of 2012, the mayor of New York City was planning on limiting the sale of large cups of sugary beverages. Other major cities were also considering taxing these same drinks and a video called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth", by Dr. Robert Lustig went viral. Basically, one of Coca-Cola's top executives went on the defensive by funding "research" and requested that scientists "address the negatives and advance the positives". The result was dubious (at best) results like physical activity is more important than diet, that soft drinks and sugar are essentially harmless, and, weight (not health) is important and only all about calories in and calories out. As Dr. Hyman writes, "Any third grader could tell you that 1,000 calories of soda and 1,000 calories of broccoli have profoundly different effects on the body."
Going way back to the very beginning of this rant of mine, there are reasons that doctors don't ask you what you eat. It doesn't occur to them that you might be able to fix your metabolic and chronic diseases simply by eating certain foods and staying away from others mainly because that's not what they learned in medical school. Prevention is not as important as finding the "right drug" to treat something that might have been avoided all together. The super exciting, good news is that some doctors are starting to question the medical model. Many of those who are thinking differently were nudged into it because of their own deteriorating states of wellness.
What can we do about this? Seek out those health care providers who are getting on board with healthy living. Do our own research. There are so many great books, articles, and documentaries out there to enlighten us. Get inspired to do some of your own experimentation. Try eliminating a thing or two that you know isn't supporting your well-being. At the same time, start adding some things like more servings of and maybe new veggies all together into your food plan. Get together with some friends with the purpose of exploring nutrition. Just like your pets, wouldn't you like to feel more energetic, move more freely and without pain, look in the mirror and see clear eyes, and have a full, glossy head of hair?!? I know I would and I encourage you to look for the right information to support that. Remember to be care-full.
Looking for some inspiration or better information? I've got both. Get in touch if you'd like to start an interesting conversation.
Happy Healthy Habit Hump Day,