March is National Nutrition Month!
“If somebody’s got beautiful skin, it invites us to a deeper understanding as to what is going on inside their body.” – David Wolfe – Hungry for Change
By now most of our regular blog readers know I’m a nutritionist. My education includes a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Nutrition. This education has provided me with an in-depth understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body, as well as the complex biochemistry of what happens in our body in response to our food choices. That being said, there are many different interpretations of what constitutes good nutrition. Not only does the research constantly contradict itself, but various groups of nutrition professional s in the US disagree about what it means to eat nutritiously. There are “nutritionists” who will create a diet plan for a client that includes foods like light bread, fat-free non-dairy creamer, and aspartame sweetened puddings and drinks. While this diet plan may be low in calories, and help the client reach a goal of losing some weight, is it really good nutrition? For me the answer is no.
Our country is at a crossroads when it comes to food. Our food supply has morphed from farm-fresh whole food to processed sugar, fat, and chemical-laden “food-stuffs”. Along with this change our bodies and health have been transformed too. Two-thirds of the population of the US are overweight or obese. It is estimated that by 2050 1 in 3 adults will have diabetes. And it’s not just adults anymore; our children are also developing type 2 diabetes – previously an adult disease – at a steady rate. How can this be when we are so much more knowledgeable about food science than we were 100 years ago? The answer is clear to me. We have forgotten what real food is. Real food looks like it did when it was harvested from the earth. Real food is not full of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Real food is not coated in pesticides. Real food is not genetically modified to resist insects. Our body recognizes real food and when we eat fresh, wholesome organic food our body reflects this in our health status and our outward appearance. (i.e. brilliant skin!) When we eat refined sugar, chemicals and processed foods our body develops allergies, intolerances and simmering inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of all chronic “lifestyle” disease (type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension). Lifestyle disease is just that – disease caused by choices we make in our lifestyle that lead to an unhealthy state.
This month during National Nutrition Month I challenge you to take a close look at the food you are eating and make it your goal to eat only real food. This will not be easy for some. You will not find real food at the drive thru window. You may have to spend some time washing and chopping fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. You may need to pack your lunch and snacks each day. You will skip those daily Java Chip Frappuccinos. But, I bet if you really commit to make the change, you will not only feel better, but will look better too. Give it a try. Post your successes and challenges on our blog and Facebook page this month and let’s share the journey.
References: www.CDC.gov/diabetes Accessed March 11, 2012