Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said, “Let food be thy medicine,” over two thousand years ago. Thomas Edison believed, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”
Yet today our children are on track to be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. We spend more dollars per person on healthcare than any other industrialized country. 75% of Americans are considered overweight and 35% of them are considered obese.
More than 66% of Americans are on prescription drugs, and diabetes, heart disease, and cancer rates are skyrocketing.
What happened and how did we get here?
It was the 1950s. The U.S. economy was thriving. We were moving to suburbia. Supermarkets were popping up everywhere. TV dinners, frozen and quick serve meals were all the rage as the population was growing and our lives were getting busier and busier. McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and White Castle were eager to serve a quick meal to our growing families.
The food industry found several ways to keep food fresher longer and add flavor that would keep us coming back time and time again.
By using fillers in meat products, they were able to create a product that tasted good and cost less money. By adding sugar into the products, they created products we crave.
Our brains are wired to crave sugar, fried foods, fat and salt, and they are as addictive as drugs, stimulating the same receptors in the brain that make us feel good. Our brains start to produce less and less of the feel good endorphins and we continue to eat more and more sugar, fried foods, fat and salt to keep us happy.
We get hooked and it takes time and effort to get “unhooked.”
Research shows that today, most children by age 10 already have fatty streaks in their arteries which lead to heart disease and strokes. Dietary choices have the ability to change these statistics.
In 2017, the demand for vegan and vegetarian food saw an increase of over 987%!! The reason: more of us are looking for healthier food options. Does that mean that every person who is looking for vegan and vegetarian options declares that they are vegan or vegetarian? No. But it does mean that more and more of us are becoming aware of the need to eat healthier items.
27% of millennials say having access to vegan food choices
is important to them.
Often at an event that has a vegan or vegetarian offering, these food choices are the first to go. Why? It is well prepared, tastes good, and everyone can feel good about their food choice for that meal!
Millennials appear to be leading the way for these changes. Twenty seven percent of millennials say having access to vegan food choices is important to them when selecting where and what to eat.
In an effort to attract millennials, restaurant chains now offer vegetarian/vegan menu items. Beyond Meat and The Impossible Burger, both plant-based meat-like products, are popping up on menus across the country. Vegan/Vegetarian restaurants are becoming more popular and tout slogans like “the place you take your carnivore friends”.
One of the easiest ways to begin the journey is by reading labels. Take a look and you may be surprised at what you see! After we see whats in the product, its good to know how each component affects our health.
Understanding the consequences of making the wrong food choices will help and keeping them out of the house is a great first step!
Remember, one step in the right direction can help you change your life. Start small. Work on minimizing your consumption of one item like sugar. You are the only one who can make the change for you.