The New Year almost always brings with it new resolutions – many of which are about dieting as a means of improving our health. There are plenty of reasons to look at our eating habits as a means of feeling better, improving our health and even preventing disease.
The SAD way of eating gives SAD results!
Fact: the diet most American consume that we refer to as the Standard American Diet or SAD is a big reason for the epidemic of health problems. We have become the “Fast Food Nation”, regularly consuming foods with loads of carbohydrates, low levels of quality nutrients, excessive sugar as well as sodium and manufactured unhealthy trans fats in the form of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. If that’s not bad enough, often these foods are served in supersized portions! It’s no wonder we have an obesity epidemic with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that more than one in three Americans considered overweight. And according to a study published in the December 2019 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) – Pediatrics, nearly a quarter of young adults and a fifth of adolescents in the United States have prediabetes
"Until recently, young children and teens almost never got type 2 diabetes, which is why it used to be called adult-onset diabetes," states the CDC. "Now, about one-third of American youth are overweight, a problem closely related to the increase in kids with type 2 diabetes, some as young as 10 years old.”
Another study published in January 2016 in The BMJ Open, more than half of Americans’ calories come from “ultra-processed” foods, which contain tons of sodium, synthetic trans fats, and artificial sweeteners designed to make them more flavorful and extend their shelf life – despite their unhealthy attributes. Some examples of ultra-processed foods include:
White bread made with refined (not whole grain) flours
Packaged snack cakes
The first step to healing and staying healthy is with the right food choices that start with reading the labels at your grocery store or making smart choices when dining out. We know the ticket to a long, healthier life begins with eating real food and ditching the junk! In all my protocols, diet is step number one. It has been clearly shown that in all disease that the cornerstone of pathology is inflammation and this holds true for neuro-inflammation as well. Every time our immune system is activated an inflammatory response responds. And in this toxic world we live in, our immune systems are constantly having to defend against not just infectious pathogens, but also against thousands and thousands of toxins even in our food.
The Right Food Choices are Critical for Treating Autoimmune Disease.
One of the practitioners I most admire, Dr. Mark Hyman, says that food is actually what codes our biology and sets us up for either wellness or potential disease states. I highly recommend you check out his book, “Food - What the Heck Should I Eat?” The information regarding food choices, what is healthy, what is not, and the multitude of diets out there can be overwhelming and confusing! Dr. Hyman’s book covers all the current science around food and gives us a wonderful road map toward better health. I also recommend reading “The Autoimmune Solution” by Dr. Amy Meyers, another wonderful physician and resource for better understanding the link between our diets and disease origins.
The more you learn about what actually makes you feel well, the more you’ll commit yourself to treating food as an integral part of your own health plan. And eating healthfully is truly a lifestyle you will want to adopt for a lifetime!
“Overweight & Obesity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Mar. 2018, www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
The BMJ Open, January 2016 study: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e009892
Find Dr. Hyman’s book at https://www.amazon.com/Food-What-Heck-Should-Eat-ebook/dp/B072MF1359
Find Dr. Myers’ book at https://amzn.to/2rYXpON
JAMA Pediatrics - https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4498
Dr. Suzanne Gazda, Integrative Neurology