Health Care is a Hot Topic

Issues surrounding how to stay healthy, medicine, natural medicine, supplements and health care insurance are hot topics.

Every newscast, newspaper and magazine contains “vital information that you must know about health care”.  Between the infomercials and radio talk shows, the typical American should be well informed, in control and healthy. We decided to interview a fictional typical American.

Following, is the transcript of that interview.

Typical American asks:  “What do I need to do to feel better?Answer:  That is an easy question to answer. TA: “OK, big shot, what makes you such a know it all?Answer:  I don’t need to know it all, I just need to know one thing – what the typical American is eating. Everything, in the typical American diet, is backwards: red meat and other fatty foods take the forefront, while fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are pushed aside. In addition to fat and calories, the Western diet is loaded with salt, and sugar. If that weren’t bad enough, it’s critically short on dietary fiber and many nutrients. Add more than 170,000 fast-food restaurants and 3 million soft-drink vending machines spread across the country, huge doses of calories are never far away, and the picture is pretty clear. TA:  “That’s not me.  I have a healthy diet.” Answer:  Sure you do.  The typical American diet consists of products, processed, preserved and packaged, that companies promote through media advertising and price. The objective is to create brand recognition and consumer loyalty.  The fact that you are eating these products is simply a feature of the market segment in which these companies compete.  When you purchase canned food, frozen food, fast food or packaged meals, you are part of a market share created by packaging, advertising, price and perceived convenience.  So, save your breath because you are only kidding yourself. TA:  My fill in the blank (Grandfather, Grandmother) was 90 (something) before they died, so I’m not worried. Answer:  The super market, preservatives and consumer-level refrigeration are all a post World War II phenomena.  So of course they live a long time. That generation ate food that was in season and didn’t have refrigeration, so they shopped frequently, because the food would spoil if the bought too much. Your grandparents either lived on a farm, eating the food grown in their garden, or purchased food from a local butcher, baker, fish monger, dairy and a fresh produce cart or market.  These vendors earned their living selling seasonal food, grown on their farms or by local producers with care and pride.  If their food wasn’t up to snuff – their customers knew it and told them so – they had a vested interested in quality and keeping their customers happy.  Those vendors didn’t rely on slogans – they delivered the goods or perished. TA:  Ok big shot, why are all the experts predicting I will longer than my parents? Answer:  When will you ask a hard question?  You live in a safer world.  All you need to do is go to a museum and look at the tools and machinery your grandparents were using.  Then, take a tour of a cemetery.  Wars, accidents and infections killed people. Anti biotic medications, a safer world and work place are also part of the post World War II phenomena we talked about earlier.  In fact, those same experts you are quoting are predicting that you are raising the first generation that, in all probably, won’t live as long as you. These same experts are noting that your generation will spend more money on “health care” and suffer longer than any preceding modern generation.  Why do you think your health insurance bill is going through the roof?  Oh, by the way, have you looked into the newest advancement – long-term care – yet? TA:  That’s not funny! Answer:  No, it isn’t, but it makes you think doesn’t it? TA:  So what, do you want me to buy your magic supplement pill? Answer:  Well, no.  That kind of thinking is just another trap. What I want you to do is to pull your head out of the sand.  I want you to get it.   The problem is the “wisdom of the day” is a shifting tide.  It changes every time you turn on the TV, read the paper or buy a new book. Some truths are ageless and will never change.  What you are consuming has a direct effect on your health which, of course, is no news to you.  And, if you were to say that when the Father of Modern Medicine, Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.),  made that statement, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”, there wasn’t the problem of preservatives; food dyes and chemicals that plague our modern diet – you would also be right. The things you do occasionally won’t harm you, it is what you do everyday that helps you. TA:  Stop confusing me with facts.  What do you want me to do? Answer: 

  • Take responsibility for you own wellbeing because you have the most to lose.
  • Trust the source of the information you are getting.  Most of the reports you hear or read about some “new “ miracle are sensationalized.
  • Familiarize yourself with dietary recommendations regarding what you should be eating to stay healthy.  I recommend two sources:  Harvard University School of Public Health and the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Department.
  • Review your current diet to determine the changes that you can practically make in your dietary habits.  It is a fools mission to make big promises that you can’t or won’t be able to keep – so don’t.

If you have done your homework, you will have a pretty good picture of what you are doing to yourself. If I were going through this process I would:

  • Make the changes in my diet.  (Remember:  there is a direct correlation between the recommendations put forth by Harvard or the University of Michigan and the amount of supplements it will take to fill the gap in the diet.)
  • Add supplement(s) to fill the gap between what I was eating and what I should be consuming to balance the diet to help stay healthy.  At a minimum, I would compensate for the food preservatives and additives that pollute my body and interfere with digestion with a trace mineral supplement and an enzyme complex.
  • Start slowly (unless I had neglected you diet for 5 years or more).

TA:  You still haven’t told me what to do. Answer:  Watch out!  You’re falling into that trap – again.  This is your deal. But, I will tell you what I do.  First, I know that most fruits and vegetables are grown on farmland that is lacking in more than a few trace minerals.  I would take a trace mineral supplement and see how it goes.  I would expect to experience a difference in the 1st week.  Since most of the food I eat is cooked – and, I know cooking damages or destroys the raw food enzymes my body uses to make all the other enzymes that make my body work – I take an enzyme complex supplement with every meal.  Also, I take a probiotic supplement, before bed, to keep my digestion in tip-top shape. I’m pretty careful about my diet so, my supplements cost about $2.00 a day.  I think that is a good investment. You investment is probably going to be different because you live your life differently than I. If you have done your homework, you can make decisions for yourself.  In the end, you must take control of managing your health or you will be forced to deal with the consequences. There is one final thing I want you to think about. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting that something will change. The lesson is – it’s your life, it is your choice. . . . If you want to change the way things are, you must change the things you do.