Research at Stanford Preventive Research Centre that of $2.5 trillion spent by Americans on healthcare 78% goes to chronic disease, e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, at least 50% preventable, even reversible with lifestyle changes.
Mapping of the human genome has provided medicine the potential to treat many inherited diseases right at the source. We now know that heredity is not destiny. Lifestyle choices, our sleep, stress levels, habits and diet dictate whether or not many disease producing genes are turned on or not. The exciting new field of epigenetics allows us to see how environmental factors after our gene expression in each cell of our body. (See Dean Ornish M.D. and geneticist Elizabeth Blackburn (Noble Prize)
With regards to diet, our biggest problem in North American culture is quantity over quality. As a society we are overfed and undernourished, toxic, chronically inflamed, and on our way to metabolic syndrome, with high blood pressure, serum cholesterol levels, obesity, and prediabetic insulin resistance.
Food can be medicine. Unprocessed, real food is full of components that when you eat well can help create energy, forestall disease, and improve every aspect of your life.
The majority of people have the best intentions trying to eat well, but more likely to end up eating conveniently on what is fast and available, which means too many processed foods high in sugar, fat, and preservatives.
Sugar. In excess, sugar is nearly as toxic as any man-made substance. Glucose raises blood insulin and promotes inflammation. Constant exposure leads to diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.
Fructose (very common in soft drinks, etc.), although not raising insulin, has been shown to possibly even be worse for health.
Obesity is itself a creator of inflammatory chemicals. If you are overweight you need to lose weight to feel your best.
A word of caution: Fat is the body’s favourite storehouse for toxins, which will be released during weight loss. This is why you must lose weight slowly and allow the liver and kidneys to detoxify. This is also why you should never, ever, follow anything like the “master cleanse” (water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, etc.) which simply overwhelms the body with toxins and make you worse instead of better.