Every time we eat out at restaurants (casual or fast food), we are placing our health in the hands of someone else. For the most part, the chef and product developer of the restaurants don’t care if you are pre-disposed to a life-threatening disease, or that you are suffering from hypertension or type 2 diabetes. At the end of the day, they are concerned about making a profit. Logically, then, the more you eat out, the more your health is out of your control as you have no (or very limited) say over how much salt, artery-clogging fats, added sugar, and calories you are placing into your system.
The food industry develops products with financial gains in mind and oftentimes with the cheapest ingredients (eh hmmm..high fructose corn syrup anyone?), instead of putting the health of the customer first. With the health and supplement industries growing in popularity (DON’T FALL INTO THE HYPE…Don’t drink the kool-aid!), food products are laced with nutrition language and claims which are oftentimes deceptive and ultimately leave us confused about what is actually healthy and truly natural (some of you may ask, what is natural anyways?…topic of future discussion!). Meanwhile, the well-paid chemists employed at these multi-million dollar food corporations don’t see the need to complain about the potpourri of chemicals in our food supply (disclaimer: I realize the need for everyone to have a profession to provide for their family, it is the system that I place the blame).
The U.S. medical care model (and Western medicine in general) focuses on the treatment of disease instead of prevention. Don’t get me wrong American medicine serves greatly in traumatic accidents and life and death situations. But on the other side of this, doctors (more often than not), are quick to prescribe a pill for an ailment instead of recommending lifestyle change. (And this is in a society in which prescription drug abuse is perhaps the number one addiction in this country…RIP MJ.) The next time you see the nicely dressed pharmaceutical representatives (with their accompanying nice paychecks) know that they have a lot to do with this. As I write this, I have the absurd image of apple farmers coming into physicians’ offices to push for doctors to recommend their product over pills. If only the apple farmers had the budget 😉 (for more on this topic, see the interesting clip on psychiatric drug use on the videos page) Unfortunately, most medical schools cover very little nutrition in their curricula. The irony of it all is that upon completion of medical school, graduates state the hippocratic oath—the famous words of Hippocrates who in fact emphasized the importance of proper medicine (oops I mean food!). Food is often looked upon as an archaic method of treatment for disease, but what about the prevention of disease. In reality, proper food is prevention, and therefore the best treatment.
With this said, I’m not absolving individuals of their own personal responsibility, but instead acknowledging a far-gone system that isn’t going to help you and your family live a healthier life. Hence, it’s time to take back control!