What Don't They Tell You About Nutritional Guidelines
In this hub I'm going to examine the "Conventional" view of wellness. Today's foods are over processed more than ever. The things you thought were safe to eat may be the exact things that lead to a nation of growing medical problems that are totally unnecessary. This lens will teach you to do your own research and in the process provide you with the information needed to make informative decisions regarding your health.
What Is Health
Good health has long been viewed as an absence from disease. So if you were not considered sick, you were considered healthy. This view is currently shifting. While most everyone agrees that the absence of disease is a component of being healthy, it lacks any indication whether you are in a state of well-being. With that we have a state we now called wellness.
Wellness can be considered many things and as a barometer of your health, it is closely linked to the types of lifestyle we each live. Beyond the traditional "treating symptoms", wellness encompasses a personal responsibility to provide for such essential health considerations as proper nutrition, proper weight control, exercise, and eliminating and managing risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse. All of these are import factors in the role of wellness.
Research in Wellness
Recent research in the areas of wellness reveal that Americans who take an active role in their health, who take care of themselves, and manage their lifestyles, lead happier and more productive lives, have fewer work absences, and have much fewer demands for medical services.
In a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it asserted that, in one study, a "wellness approach" culminated in a 17 percent reduction in total medical visits and a 35 percent decline in number of medical visits for minor illness. The participants involved engaged in a 12 month self-care wellness education program.
A "wellness-oriented" lifestyle advocates you to adopt behaviors and habits that endorse better health and an improved quality of life. It also incorporates the recognition that you have physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs, with each region being important for peak levels of functioning.
As you can see, wellness is a favorable and positive approach to living. It's an approach that highlights the whole person. It is the manifestation of the body, mind, and spirit.
So Whats Is Wrong With That?
Now this is where most articles like this end. We all know we need to eat well, exercise, and do things in moderation. Then why is it that many who do follow these guidelines fail or fall short? Could it be the conventional advice we hear from our doctors and even the wife of the President is wrong. Well this is only partially true. It's my contention that even the recommended daily allowances and the types of food, are what is leading the nation to ill health. Let me explain.
Most of Today's Veggies and Fruits Are Not Good For You
We know that we are supposed to eat 8 or more portions of vegetables and fruit a day. Truth be told, very few ever do and the ones who do are no better off. Most of today's produce and fruits are mass produced. Because of this, the ground and soil has been depleted of it's minerals. It takes 13 of today's peaches to have the same nutritional value as 1 peach in 1950. You may be filling your stomachs, but you may be starving yourself nutritionally. To make things worse, most of today's produce and vegetables are genetically modified. There has not been enough research conducted on the produce that comes from genetically modified agri-chemical companies. What are the long-term effects? These same companies also introduce fertilizers and insecticides into your food supply. Those huge giant tomatoes that are perfectly round that you see at the market may contain over dozens of chemical compounds on and in them.
So the recommendation to make sure you eat your veggies and fruits need to be taken with caution. The recommendation should be is to eat organic food and at a minimum, as local as possible. Additionally, most doctors also recommend some type of nutritional supplements to make sure your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs.
Corn Is Not A Vegetable
So vegetables and fruits may seem the least obvious. Yet there are still some other foods that are derived from plants sources called corn. The culprit here is not only is it mostly genetically modified, one of it's main contributors to over ½ of all calories consumed in the United States is in the form of HFCS (high fructose based corn syrup).
This sugar is the cause of many nasty health conditions that silently increases our risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. It is so ubiquitous in processed foods and so over-consumed by the average American that many experts believe our nation faces the prospect of an epidemic of metabolic disease in the future. With little fanfare, and even less scrutiny, HFCS was introduced into the food supply decades ago. It is now commonly found in an astounding array of popular food and beverage products. Sweetened, carbonated soft drinks are considered by many to be the worst offenders, mixes well with a variety of products, including beverages, baked goods, jams and jellies, candies, and dairy products. In fact, between 1970 and 1990, the annual intake of HFCS increased by more than 1,000%, greatly exceeding the change in intake of any other food or food group.
Read your labels and know what is in your food. It is the leading contributor to obesity in the country.
Got MIlk - You May Not Even Want It
What if you had a product that was illegal in New Zealand, Australia, all of Europe, and Canada that was not only found on just about every US store, but also encouraged to be consumed by the USDA, FDA, AMA, etc.? We have that in milk. Not just milk but all dairy products and other types of products that use dairy in their composition. The main culprits are the things that we are feeding and injecting into cows. A single glass of milk can contain a mixture of as many as 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones. Using a highly sensitive test, scientists found the chemicals in samples of cow, goat and human breast milk. So with your cookies you get to ingest niflumic acid, mefenamic acid, ketoprofen, diclofenac, phenylbutazone, naproxen, flunixin, diclofenac, florfenicol, estrone, 17-beta-estradiol, 17-alpha-ethinylestradiol, and pyrimethamine. This cocktail of ingredients are various anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, (natural, sex, and steroidal hormones), and anti-fungal drugs.
Genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH) is used on about 70% of all milk found in the United States. The problem is, finding the 30% is next to impossible. You see, the USDA and FDA do not require that products containing these chemicals be labeled as such. That's right, no disclosure is required, but is banned in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and in the 27 countries of the European Union because of its dangers to human health. It's no secret that girls begin menstruating at much earlier ages, that breast cancer incidence has increased, and that diabetes, and other diseases are on the rise. The correlation between these and the use of rbGH is hauntingly similar.
What About Diet Food?
Well if the processed foods and the GMO foods are bad for you surely low calorie and low fat foods are good for you? Sorry. These are just as bad. One of the main ingredients are sugar substitutes. So would you eat or drink something that links high intake of artificial sweeteners, (aspartame), to high incidence of lymphoma, leukemia, cancerous tumors of the liver, peripheral nerves, and nerve-cell death within the brain? If not, then you should not be consuming the average diet soda or foods with substituted sugars. The long term cumulative effects of artificial sugar substitutes lead to neurological damage to your body.
Research has also indicated that by drinking diet soda you increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 34 percent. Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that includes extra weight around the midsection, elevated insulin levels and increased blood pressure. When these symptoms occur together, they put a person at a greater risk for diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. Read your lables and get rid of the so called diet and low fat food.
Health Care Is Sick Care
As I said in the introduction, highly processed genetically modified food with little nutritional value that can be grown in abundance with the use of pesticides and fertilizers to look large, plump, and tasty is big business. The farm lobby and dairy lobby is huge in the United States. The products that contain the items detrimental to ones health are also extremely profitable. I did not even mention grains, the cheap source of carbohydrates that we all eat way to much of.
Folks, these are the items that you find on the food pyramid recommended by the USDA and FDA. The AMA and the pharmaceutical industry also have an interest in unhealthy people. So while we have a current debate about rising health care topics such as deductible amounts, out-of-pocket maximums, co-pays, drug cards, physicians, hospitals, and coverage, what we ought to be talking about is prevention, nutrition, supplementation, vitamins, minerals, food sources, agri-business, fast-food, toxins, fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, exercise, wellness programs, and lifestyle changes.
Bottom line is folks, like it or not, you are what you eat. If you don't like what you look and feel like, then you need to educate yourself as what is going into your body. Additionally, education in nutrition and what is needed to prevent long term disease has to start now. Things you put into your body now may not effect your looks or how you feel but may make you susceptible to disease later on in your life. Learn about what you put in your body and what you put on your family's dinner table.
Chris is an entrepreneur in the areas of Health and Wellness, Internet Marketing, and Leadership Coaching. He specializes in small business growth and has a health and wellness business. You can find out more about Chris and the company he chooses to devote his passion for health and wellness at www.ISALife.us.
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