We may be living longer, but are we living better?
Thanks to advances in medicine and the development of technologies designed to extend life, Americans are living longer than ever before. Unfortunately, our eating habits are worse than ever before, which has led to an epidemic of preventable diseases. These diseases have severe consequences, and health care costs that have exceeded over 3 trillion dollars (an average of $10,000 per person) this past year alone. Modern medicine may have extended our lifespan significantly, but there’s a big difference between living extra years and living those extra years to the fullest.
While Americans are willing to take greater responsibility for their health, studies continue to indicate that convenience remains the key driver in our food purchase decisions. Consumers find that time constraints make it difficult to make food decisions that are nutrition-based. As a result, we’re making poor food choices, opting for foods that are virtually devoid of any nutritional value what-so-ever; all in the name of convenience. In short, we’ve chosen a “short-term” solution with “long-term” consequences.
We’re always on the go. We’re working longer hours and finding that we have less and less time for anything else, like acquiring and preparing healthy meals. Consequently, pre-packaged, processed and fast food meals have become a staple in the American diet. Too often we find ourselves making spontaneous food decisions in an attempt to maximize our time; as a result, we’re pulling into drive-thrus at the rate of 4 times per week, spending in excess of $199 billion dollars a year on highly processed, sodium loaded, pseudo foods that have been saturated with dangerous hydrogenated fats and likely harbor any number of contaminants from antibiotic residues to e-coli bacteria.
Even when we find the time to make it to the grocery store, we’re still anticipating and preparing for up-and-coming time deficiencies. Instead of selecting natural and whole foods, we’re choosing “convenient” foods; foods that can be “ready to eat” in seconds. These precooked, preprocessed and presweetened foods line the isles and freezer sections of every super market. They’re marketed to look fun, easy to prepare and even healthy. The truth; however, is that the colorful packaging probably has more nutrients in it than the food itself. These foods are laden with artificial flavors, colors, fillers, nitrates, dangerous preservatives and heart disease- promoting substances like saturated and trans-fats (the nasty man-made fats used to give foods a longer shelf life). Consequently, these foods lack the vitamins, minerals and the phytonutrients we need to thrive and the essential macronutrients we need to live.
Our bodies were not designed to handle these chemically loaded non-foods. There are no keys in our genetic make-up designed to utilize these food-synthesizing products. Instead of promoting health, they promote disease. Regrettably, most Americans consume great quantities of these nutrient-poor foods and only meager quantities of healthful foods.
Eating prepackaged and fast foods has become a daily ritual for millions of Americans who only began frequenting fast food establishments for the convenience they offer; however, over time people have unconsciously become hooked on them. And when fast food is habitually consumed, it creeps inside and slowly destroys your body.
Of course we’re all aware of the accumulation of body fat eating these foods causes, but prepackaged and fast foods don’t just stop there. It begins with subtle ailments such as: stomachaches, indigestion, headaches, afternoon energy slumps, moodiness, delayed healing, decreased strength, muscle loss and behavioral symptoms such as confusion, apathy, depression, guilt and memory loss. And, over time, incessantly overindulging on these “over” loaded foods has led to self-destruction, including obesity and a subsequent variety of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, various cancers, hypercholesterolemia and even death.
Advancements in extending a person’s life through medical technology and extending a food’s shelf life through chemical technology is leaving us with much more life and much less health. One lengthens the quantity of life while the other shortens the quality.
Take a look around and you’ll see the repercussions from the way we treat (abuse) our bodies. Seventy-four percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. About 1 in 10 Americans aged 12 and over take antidepressants. Millions of us are so nutrient deficient that we’ve contracted various disease and illnesses causing healthcare costs to surpass 3 trillion last year.
We’re so sleep deprived that half the motorists on the road have driven under the influence of sleep deprivation, a state which has shown identical results on a simulated driving test as someone with legally intoxicating blood alcohol levels. And, currently 1 out of 3 people will develop type-2 diabetes in their lifetime. This chronic illness leads to crippling conditions, which include: blindness, asthma, heart disease, depression and even death. Just a little more than 10 years ago type II diabetes was rarely seen in children; rather it was mostly seen in adults over 40 years old who were overweight as a result of poor eating habits and inactivity. Today, the most concerning aspect of the diabetes epidemic is the more than 5,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes that are estimated to be diagnosed among US youth each year.
Since 1970 chronic degenerative diseases have increased each year, in addition behavioral and scholastic problems in our schools have consistently increased as well.
All these things can be reversed once Americans learn to eat, drink and live life abundantly –not deficiently.
Health is more than just a means of living longer. By definition it’s your quality of life. The real purpose of health is to allow a more satisfying and meaningful life, to enjoy a higher standard of living. We can view quality of life in terms of physical pain or depression. We also can look at how health determines whether we can work, maintain activities of daily life, remain independent for as long as possible, or have the time to get to know our grand-children. It’s up to you.
If your life has become so busy and you’re left feeling overwhelmed at the end of the day due to the fact that your “to do” list never seems to dwindle, then shouldn’t proper nutrition be one of the most important factors in your life? Shouldn’t “make time to eat healthy” be at the top of your “to-do” list? The busier and more stressful life a person leads, the MORE they need to eat right. We need to start using common sense. Stop working ourselves to the bone trying to improve our material life and set aside some time for healthy eating. You’ll live longer, experience less stress, have greater clarity and more energy and you’ll be more productive during your working hours as a result.
It’s no secret that your health has a direct relation with your quality of life. Ask yourself, are you able to enjoy life to the fullest and have the energy and stamina required to live without limitations? Is your spirit and body in sync with one another? What about 10, 20 even 30 years from now? Will you maintain your spirit and energy for the rest of your life?
Scientific evidence increasingly supports the positive role nutrition plays in good health, self-sufficiency, and quality of life. This is especially true in older adults. As we age, we experience certain changes in our lives (e.g., physiological, social, family, environmental, economic), which can affect our dietary intake. Nutrition-related risk factors include inadequate food and nutrient intake, depression, dementia, dependency, functional disability, presence of diet-related acute or chronic diseases or conditions, advanced aging, and living alone. If ignored, these risk factors could weaken nutritional status, increase medical complications, and result in loss of independence.
Men and women in their 40’s and 50’s, in the prime of their lives, extract a toll that really cannot be measured monetarily. What is the price of pain caused from years of abuse and neglect?
Inadequate nutrition has caused the suffering of millions of Americans. Nutrient deficiencies have led to immune system suppression and subsequent illness and chronic disease.
Will your final stage come early or late in life? Will you reflect back and be proud or shamed by the way you cared for yourself? Will you have respected and nurtured your body or disregarded and abused it? Will you be frail, weak and lifeless? Or strong, vivacious and full of life… even as take your last few breaths? There will be no faking it, your body will be a biography of the way you lived your life.
Every day we’re faced with choices, some have minimal effects on your life while others are monumental. You have a choice right now. Although many facets play a role in your quality of life, it’s your nutrition that is key in your quest for maximal health and longevity.
You can continue doing what you’ve been doing… and you’ll continue to get what you’ve been getting OR You Can Make A Change!
The Success Meals team is here to support you and providing healthy meal delivery to Kansas City is our specialty, which is why we are Kansas City’s #1 weight loss meal delivery service and customized healthy meal delivery service!
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Experiencing your sample day from Success Meals is your first step to enjoying customized, delicious meals delivered to your door! Or you can call us today at 913-894-6325… we know you want to have a healthy body and that starts by eating healthy meals. We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals of good health!!