Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An old, old adage truer today than ever: “You are what you eat”.

As Dr. Terry Wahls M.D. points out her first class of a 2 part series called “Food as Medicine”, you are not just you, but also the billions of microbes that live on all of your internal and external surfaces. So, your billions +1 community of self, are collectively what you choose to eat. Makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it. Your choices impact billions of lives.

It also points out again that fighting microbes is the wrong approach. Of course, we must be careful of cleanliness, but our goal must never be “zero tolerance” for microbes. The goal must be healthy balance. Keep your friendly microbes happy, and the unfriendly ones will not have much chance to give you trouble.

But, we do have troubles of many kinds. For Americans, cancer, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, autoimmune diseases like Lupus and Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Crone’s Disease, ADD and ADHD, Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome seem to be on the upswing. Why? Dr. Wahls confirmed last night what I have been suspecting for quite a while. We are starving ourselves. Oh sure, our bellies are full. We eat plenty of carbs, fat, and protein. We may even take all of the RDA of vitamins and minerals, but there is for many of us that “x” factor, the little known and vitally important micro-nutrients of which our American diet is devoid.

So, if we are what we eat, we are mainly corn fed cattle. We follow the herd and blindly eat whatever the American commercial food industry throws into our trough. We drive thru, or if we grocery shop, we buy foods of which most contain corn components; corn fed meat, poultry and fish, fats, sweeteners, and/or starches derived from corn. We eat what is convenient. We are impressed when they engineer the food to be sugar free, fat free, shelf stable, microwavable, etc. If it has enough salt and fat, we think it tastes good. We are very fond of sweet and salty, not so fond of sour and bitter. We especially want our food to be sterile, so packaging has become important to us. Colorful boxes show tasty looking foods ready in a few seconds!

Yes, we are what we eat, and we are beginning to see the terrible price for our bad habits. With steady increases in the above mentioned diseases and disorders, and the huge increase in health care costs, it is high time we pay attention to what is going on and educate ourselves about nutrition. Now is the time for us to get serious about who we are and what we eat.

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