“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we will have found the safest way to health.”
– Hippocrates, Circa 400 BC
I write often about different diseases, viruses, and immune disorders that plague our bodies leading to a lifetime of weakened health. But, one of the biggest threats to our health in America is the lack of nutrition responsibility in our meal planning. Establishing a balanced nutritional meal and exercise regimen is more than just creating a strong physique. It is establishing a strong defense and recovery system for your body. Providing your body with the proper amount of energy via proteins, complex carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins, and nutrients creates a front-line defense against viral and bacterial intruders. Most people forget that many of these “plagues” on our body can be healed, improved or prevented by just taking the action of learning about how to eat and exercise properly.
As a board certified Infectious Disease MD, I have studied the immune system and promote always evaluating the body’s health from within. “The great advances of genetics and other biomedical discoveries could be more than offset by the burden of illness, disability, and death caused by too many people eating too much and moving too little over their lifetime.” (Institute of Medicine Report, “Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health In Balance”, 2004).
America’s increasing problem of diabetic diagnosis is a contributor to the multiple morbidities in treating patients, which I discussed in a previous blog post. The fact is diabetes has become an epidemic in the states and is usually a very preventable condition (Type II). Diabetes can hinder the treatment of a patient and cause multiple issues, and drug complications. Diabetes is just one of the side effects that can result from abusing the body’s health. We as a nation have ignored or minimized the health crisis and often use these common excuses:
- Many people eat too much and don’t make the best food choices. Some are aware of the need to “change” but feel “stuck.”
- Even with nutritional knowledge, few know how to shop for and prepare healthy yet delicious foods. Culinary literacy is at an all-time low.
- Health professionals need additional training to advise patients about food. Real food.
- Book knowledge is insufficient. Hands-on, experiential training, and role modeling are essential.
- Behavioral change, especially as applied to eat, is complicated.
- What we choose to eat also impacts our environment and economy. (That’s an understatement! )
- Food industry leaders and chefs need parallel information to develop enhanced menus, food products, portion control strategies, and internet tools.
- No one professional group (medical, culinary, behavioral, corporate, food industry, environmental or IT) can address these societal challenges alone.
It is important for us to stop leaning on excuses and start putting our health first! We need to rebuild a healthier generation for ourselves and start setting a positive example for our family and friends. It is time to avoid lazy fast food options and start becoming more active and exercising on a constant basis. We have one life. Let’s live it happy and healthy. Overall balanced nutrition helps protect, heal and strengthen!