Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Food For Thought (Pass The Mac & Cheese?)

I heard an interesting statistic recently that I found pretty surprising:

60% of all food consumed by Americans is “processed food”

“Processed” is defined in this statistic as food that is made from white flour, white sugar, white rice (yes, those are processed to get to that pretty “white” color), and/or almost all of that stuff that is dried out, powdered, boxed, and packaged in the nice colorful shiny boxes and bags that line our grocery store shelves.

According to this set of statistics, 33% of the same diet is made up of animal products (meat, eggs & dairy), and only 7% consists of vegetables (and of that, HALF is in the form of potato products —french fries and potato chips!).

Prior to hearing these statistics, I was speaking with someone recently who was telling me about some on-going digestive problems they’d battled for years.  Medications had been tried, some offered some relief, some did not; but still, the problem persisted.  They lamented over the fact that they faced taking medication for the rest of their lives.  I suggested that the problem might be caused by a food sensitivity, preventing the digestive system from properly functioning, and offered that they might want to consider eliminating processed foods and animal products from their diet – only for a short time - in order to see if there was any change in their symptoms.

“What would be left to eat?” they’d asked, incredulously. 

I then listed all the foods that don’t fall into either of those categories.  They seemed surprised there were so many.

The statistics I heard explained why.

The guy leading the lecture where these statistics were cited, Joel Fuhrman, made a really powerful statement in conclusion:

“The ‘average American’ dies from cancer or heart disease.  If you don’t want to die like the ‘average American’, stop eating like the ‘average American’.”

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