How What You Eat Affects Your Wellbeing
By Art Ramsay, PhD

The phrase, "You are what you eat" has been around for over a century, and has never been truer regarding your body's health, than it is today. While I would rephrase the quote to read "your body's health is what you eat", it surely describes the state of health in the United States in many ways. While food in and of itself is not entirely the cause of many illnesses, it certainly ranks high with regard to most of them.

 Fast food restaurants lead the way in providing dining disasters. No where else can you get and consume so much saturated fat and sugar-laden food so quickly. The food industry as a whole saturates supermarket shelves with junk food, and controls what is available for us to buy. They have one goal in mind profit. Your health is irrelevant to them. It has not always been that way.

 There used to be farms everywhere, and where there weren't farms, people planted gardens. Food was grown with care and devotion to taste and health. Now food is grown to survive long shipping schedules over perhaps rough and hot roads, and to last longer on food store shelves. Statistics will show you that as food suppliers changed, people's health changed.

 We can thank organizations like CSPI, Center for Science in the Public Interest, for food labels; otherwise, we would not have a clue of what we are putting into our bodies from grocery stores. The old adage "buyer beware" leads us to be proactive in determining what we buy to put into our bodies. We must, however, be diligent with regard to those labels.

 Most of any food or drink label is marketing propaganda to mislead you about the product's contents. You can quickly determine how much of something is in the "serving size' by reading the amount, usually in grams, of the product. Be aware, however, that certain Federal Government requirements offer the manufacturer a way to mislead you.

 Take Trans-fat for example; most chip and other products will say 0 transfat per serving. The 'serving size' can be manipulated to meet the requirements. It does not mean 0 transfat, period. Where the "rubber meets the road" is in the 'ingredients' part of the label. If you see 'hydrogenated' anything, there is trans-fat in the product. In case you are not aware of it, it has been found that transfat causes more damage than saturated fat.

 Another ingredient that is contained in almost any packaged or bottled food product today is sugar, or its brother, fructose corn syrup. I won't get into this bag of worms here, because I have written a post in my blog about it. Sweetener is added to products you would not even consider having sugar, such as ketchup or mayonnaise or peanut butter. Salt and sugar are in everything, thereby overloading our bodies with these products, because most foods, especially fruits, have their own natural sugar.

 So what does all of this mean regarding our health? Everything. It would take many pages and references to validate all I have stated above; and the preceding is just the tip of the iceberg. You can do that if you want; just Google any of the words and see what you get. The point here is that your health is being challenged whenever you sit down to eat, unless you are careful about what is on the table.

 The other aspect I did not mention above concerning fast foods is that we buy them to use in our kitchens as well. We buy canned this and packaged that, microwave dinners so we can get a meal prepared quickly and easily. What is more important to you, your time or your health?

 I have been a health advocate all of my life and have followed the crazy 'studies' that have said one thing this year, and the opposite the following year. It has led us into pandemonium regarding what we eat. But the people doing the 'studies' have gotten smarter and new scientific information has helped give us information that is more accurate. The only way to positively guard your health, from a food standpoint is to get information about what is happening regarding food, and why.

 The Internet has matured to a point where we can find sufficient information about almost anything, including health and what we eat. While I titled this article around food and your wellbeing, you first have to know how your wellbeing is being jeopardized by the food you are eating and what you are drinking.

 Am I being an alarmist about this? I don't think so, unless awakening people to see how they are controlled by the food industry is considered such. I have studied this aspect of my life for many years, and have maintained a healthy and biologically young body due to it. And I am always looking for ways to make it even better.

 If you are interested in attaining and then maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I suggest you start with three actions:

  1. exercise somehow every day
  2. readjust your food and drink intake, and be mindful of how you eat
  3. meditate or do some other spiritual practice

 Since you have a body to do whatever it is you, as a spiritual being, came to this planet to do, having a strong, healthy body will get you there easier and happier. For me, it is not how long I live in the world that matters, but the health I maintain in my body. What is the point of living to some "ripe old age", whatever that means to you, if your body needs a wheelchair, or crutches, or liquid oxygen, or any number of other instruments to keep it alive?

 The bottom line is that what you put into your body affects its health, period. It behooves you, then, to put the best possible foodstuffs and drink into it. Doesn't that make sense?


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