Think about those living in your house, the people you work with, your book club, your classmates, your social network. I am willing to bet everyone reading this can identify more than one person in these groups that is either explicitly unhealthy with a known case of cancer, diabetes, heart disease or other illness. I’m willing to make this bet because It has been shown that over 80% of the American population is suffering with one of these conditions. These conditions have characteristics. They are chronic, they are metabolically related, and they are deadly.
Chronic: constant, habitual
Metabolic: of, relating to, or affected by metabolism
Deadly: result in a fatal outcome
I'm not sure about you, but I don't like the sound of that. Even worse, what if I told you that these illnesses have no medical cure. There is no cure for cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, or hypertension. The drugs prescribed by our healthcare professionals are for the treatment and alleviation of the symptoms, not for the root cause. Unfortunately, lifestyle and diet isn't even discussed at a doctor visit.
However, what if I told you there was a non-medical cure for these diseases?
Let's take a look at the characteristics of these illnesses again to see if we can gain insight on how we might be able to influence the development and outcome of these illnesses.
If these illnesses are correlated directly to the metabolic actions of our past, why couldn't we change our metabolic (food intake) habits and, in turn, reverse the condition. This is the exact prescription that our healthcare professionals should be writing to reverse the tides of chronic disease. However, notice that this prescription is absent of medication and won't be fulfilled at a hospital or pharmacy.
We have been conditioned to seek and adhere to the advice of our medical practitioners in order to most safely and efficiently remove our illnesses; however, in the case of illness due to metabolic and lifestyle decisions, these methods are obsolete. We need to change the way we think about medicine. We are up against many, many years of technological advancement and new therapies for the management of these diseases and have been sold on their chronic nature. We have ignorantly accepted that these are a function of life. However, we now know that if we can change our metabolism, or more simply, change what we put into our bodies we can reverse and avoid these outcomes.
The healthcare industry doesn't like this answer. No one gets paid to write a prescription for avocados or less processed foods. There is no insurance reimbursement for getting a patient off of medication (a topic to be discussed later). Thus, the only way out of the system is to best educate ourselves on prevention, change our current actions, and seek out the best medicine for our bodies, real, whole foods. As stated before, we need to shift our mindset and recognize that the grocery store can be our most powerful source of medicine or the most poisonous source of disease.
It is ironic that before our industrial revolution, many cultures turned to food sources as medicine. We need to return to this way of thinking. However, we are up against two of the most powerful institutions the world has ever known:
Processed food industry (Big Food)
Pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma)
Both systems work in concert with seemingly endless resources (money, lobbying, scientific influence, educational resources, and many more) to serve their best interests, while consciously ignoring the direct correlation between food and health. In order to start turning the tides, we must spread the message and demand better from these systems. As more and more people recognize the importance of the quality of our food inputs (metabolic fuel) the faster we will be able to reverse our dependence on the medications prescribed by Big Pharma and free our country from the burden of healthcare costs and a population susceptible to illness.
In today's society, telling your doctor that you're trading daily cholesterol medication for a daily dose of grass fed meat and fresh vegetables is seen as ludicrous and deadly. However, as more and more people find the "miracle" cure of real food and surprise their doctors with the results, the more acceptable this action will become. As more and more of our dollars shift away from processed foods and out of the healthcare industry, these big institutions will be forced to change. We are already seeing the movement towards more organic foods forcing grocery chains and food producers to make these more accessible.
We need to continue to vote with our dollars. As the old saying goes, "Money Talks." Every meal is an opportunity for us to take margin away from those that own the boxes and bags and put it in the hands of those that produce the fresh foods we deserve. With better food choices, we'll be free from the burden of prescription drugs and therapies allowing governments to have more money available for education, housing, or other social initiatives. This is where paleo, keto, carnivores, vegans, pegans, atkins, south beach, and all in between can come together to battle against this.
We are up against Goliath, but all it takes is one David!