Getting Healthier

Does Your Pet Eat Better Than You?

Did you know we feed our animals better than we feed ourselves.  I have two food labels in front of me.  As smart shoppers, all of you readers know that ingredients are listed in descending order of prevalence on a food label, in other words, the firstest is the mostest.

The Good

Does Your Pet Eat Better Than You?In label A, the ingredients are: beef, ground yellow corn, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, wheat middlings, ground wheat, bone meal, salt, yeast culture, fish meal, distillers dried grains, followed by a long list of essential vitamins and minerals.

The Bad

In label B, the ingredients are: corn syrup, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup (all of which are pseudonyms for sugar), crackermeal, modified wheat starch, dried strawberries, natural and artificial strawberry flavors, dried apples, citric acid, xanthan gum, red dye #40, white flour, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, salt, leavening, corn cereal, followed by a long list of chemical stabilizers and preservatives.  Label A is for dog food and label B is for Pop Tarts, which surprisingly has an endorsement from the American Heart Association on the label.  I wonder if a sack of C&H sugar has the same endorsement from the American Heart Association because it contains no fat?

Please Do Not Feed Human Food To The Animals

I remember hiking around the San Diego Wild Animal Park and stopping for a rest near a gathering of vending machines, where you could get soda pop, candy  bars, ice cream, chips, and more.  A large sign above the vending machines warned the crowd of people nursing on these foods: “Please do not feed this food to the animals or they may get sick and die.”  And I remember asking myself, what food is good for a 40 pound child, that may kill a 400 pound ape?   My garden had a 500% increase in production of vegetables when I added some manure and trace minerals to the soil.  Ask any veterinarian or farmer about the importance of nutrition.  They will all agree that all plants and animals on earth are very dependent on their nutrient intake for health, disease resistance, energy, and longevity.  Are you eating the right type of carbs for your body type?

So what makes us think that humans have transcended this crucial need for proper nutrition?  Let me offer a little true confession right here.  While I was an undergraduate studying nutrition at San Diego State University in the 1970s, one semester I was taking 19 hours and 3 labs and working part time and had no time for eating right.  Oh, the irony of things.  The nutrition student with no time to eat right.

My Twinkies!

Well, I bought a case of Twinkies to placate my appetite when I didn’t have time to prepare food.  Over the course of the next 4 months, the Twinkies were kept in the back of my dark colored van, where it baked in the sun in hot Santa Ana fall weather.  I remember an epiphany of realization one day after getting out of a microbiology lab, where we learned about the similarities between the nutritional needs of human cells and bacterial cells.  And I remember looking at my next and last Twinkie and thinking to myself, “These things are just as fresh as the day I bought them.  If bacteria is not interested in this food, then what makes me think that  my body cells are.”

The Average Diet

Does Your Pet Eat Better Than You?The average American lives on Spam, Diet Coke, funnel cakes, pop tarts, Snack Wells, white bread, Crisco,  sugar pies, Cheese Whiz, pizza, coffee, double bacon cheeseburgers, lite beer,132 pounds per year of refined white sugar, and 90 pounds of fat.  Which means that 60% of our calories come from the nutrient depleted junk food of sugar and fat.  Adding to that nutritional disaster, one fourth of us still smoke, half of us drink alcohol on a regular basis,  and 1 out of 3 adults is taking an average of 6 different prescription medications.  We somehow tolerate the incredible amounts of stress, noise, junk food, polluted air, food and water, and no exercise, and we confuse the fact that we are able to survive this semi-suicidal gauntlet with the possibility that we can actually thrive on this lifestyle.

Top Ten Grocery Items

Let me share with you the top ten grocery items sold in America, based upon gross revenues:

Number one is Marlboro cigarettes, followed by Coke classic, Pepsi cola, Kraft processed cheese, diet coke, campbell’s soup, budweiser beer, Tide Detergent, Folger’s coffee, and number 10 is Winston cigarettes.  Any one who is confused about why Americans rate so poorly in world health statistics should just venture into a 7-11 or Quik Trip convenience store and look around.  These high turnover profitable items that are sold in these convenience stores are better for shelf life than human life.

Then, when we don’t feel well, we take a drug to subdue the symptoms, which are actually giving us valuable information to help prevent further damage to our system.  In other words, we keep slamming our thumb in the desk drawer.  Would it make any sense to put your hand on a hot stove, burn it, and then spray your hand with a pain killer so you could put your hand back on the stove to burn it some more??  By subduing symptoms with drugs, we actually increase the chances that something really serious, like cancer, or alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s, or a heart attack will be forthcoming.  This everyday ingredient should be eaten often

Lack of Nutrition Education in Medical Schools

In 1982, I spoke to a group at Scripps Clinic that included physicians and lay public.  Afterwards, a bright young physician came up to me with a very troubled look.  He said, “What you just presented seemed well referenced and makes good sense, yet I just graduated from a very prestigious medical school and received a total of 3 hours of nutrition education in which they said: “You can get all the nutrients you need from a meal at McDonalds.  Supplements are a waste of time and money.”  Somewhere between the inadequate and inaccurate nutrition information given in medical schools, many of our brightest physicians are missing the opportunity to help more of their patients using nutritional intervention.

Poor Health

Does Your Pet Eat Better Than You?So, based upon what the average person is doing to his or her own body, it should not be surprising that:

  • while 3%  died from cancer at the turn of the century, the number is now 24% and climbing with cancer soon to become the primary cause of death in this country
  • 60 million people have high blood pressure
  • 50 million suffer from regular headaches
  • due to our low  dietary intake of fiber and fluid and the resulting chronic constipation, the most commonly shop lifted item in American pharmacies is Preparation H for hemorrhoids
  • the circulatory disorders of heart disease and stroke kill half of all Americans
  • 40 million Americans have osteoarthritis
  • chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have surfaced as significant and medically untreatable conditions for millions
  • the incidence of medically untreatable conditions is skyrocketing, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, alzheimer’s, liver failure, arthritis, various lethal cancers, AIDS, and drug resistant infections
  • after 25 years of consuming massive quantities of dangerous artificial sweeteners and allegedly having a fitness craze, Americans now have a 30% increase in the incidence of obesity
  • statistically speaking, the average American gets 6 colds per year, wears dentures by age 45, is regularly plagued with lethargy, depression, constipation and sinus problems; begins a significant slide in overall health while in their 50s and 60s and dies in their 70s of heart disease or cancer

After spending decades of time, trillions of dollars in therapy, and billions in research, we have come to the blindingly obvious conclusion that we cannot buy health, we have to earn it.  As Francis Bacon said, “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.”  Do you have a toxic body?

We cannot repeal the laws of nutritional biochemistry any more than we can repeal the law of gravity, which we are attempting to do by ignoring the nutritional needs of millions of sick Americans.

 

 

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