Today when I go to buy groceries, I see an ever more and more of the four food groups – I call the Four Fs. These are the:
Fast, microwavable, precooked foods
Compared to the foods our ancestors ate a century ago (which were less than 20 percent processed), our food supply today is 80 percent over-processed! This means the food has been stripped of its nutrients during processing of raw food material. These nutrients were intended by nature to nourish our bodies for energy and for building a stronger defense against disease.
Also, there are now about 60,000 additives (artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, etc.) processed into our food, mostly for cosmetic reasons and preservation, not nutrition. These anti-nutrients are substances that require more good nutrients to help the body metabolize, detoxify, and eliminate these toxins from the body. Because the body has no use for these substances, they must be neutralized and eliminated. Otherwise, the body suffers from free radical damage to cells, tissues, and organs. This destruction seriously affects our energy, health, and longevity.
Everyone knows the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is high in fat, high in sugar, high in salt, and heavily processed with chemical additives and preservatives. In addition, it is low in fiber, low in good (vegetable) protein and without many natural and essential vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. As a result, our diets fall short of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for essential nutrients. Inevitably, our health and our children’s health are suffering. Iron, protein, and B vitamin deficiencies commonly affect many young children, infants, mothers, and the elderly. This leads to anemia and its effects on learning, growth, development, and overall wellness. Calcium deficiency is almost epidemic. This results in an increase in the numbers of patients with osteoporosis, which is a bone degenerative condition common in the elderly, but now even affects young children and young adults.
Children have lower and lower levels of vitamin C and other antioxidant nutrients such as the carotenoids, vitamin E, and selenium. Children low in these critical nutrients for the immune system get sick over and over again.
Allergies, asthma, digestive disturbances such as reflux, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease, and colon cancer are on the increase. Children, as well as adults, suffer from depression, mental and emotional disorders, learning and behavioral disturbances, ADD, and ADHD. Obesity and cardiovascular diseases remain at high levels for young and old alike. Does this sound like a nation bursting with health?
In tomorrow’s post we will talk about lifestyle, stress and priorities.
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