Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our diet is spreading- and so are the waistlines of those eating it

In the book "Eat To Live," Joel Fuhrman discusses how the human body can adapt to any diet- whale blubber, hunter-gatherer (nuts, fruits, veggies), seafood and rice (Japan), Mediterranean diet (hummus, eggplant, lamb, olive oil) and live quite well. Any diet except one: the American diet.

This diet is referred to by alternative medicine practitioners as the Standard American Diet ("SAD" for short). Yes, sad indeed. Processed foods devoid of nutrients and packed with calories, sugar, preservatives, salt, the standard American diet is a sure path to weight gain and diabetes.

Now that our diet is spreading around the globe and indigenous populations are beginning to suffer from the same diseases Americans suffer from, it's getting harder and harder to deny that our diet is a major contributor to the suffering and disease in this country (and now beyond, as McDonald's and KFC work their way into more and more countries).

Here is an article by a man who treats soldiers all over the world, and comments on the differences in body type (due entirely to diet) in different parts of the world:

I mean seriously, how bad for you is junk food when you can use a junk food diet as evidence in a legal defense?
Contrary to popular belief, the defense was not arguing that the defendant murdered because he was eating junk food; he was arguing that the defendant was eating junk food because he was not in his right mind! The fact that the previously health-conscious man was now existing on twinkies and junk food was proof something was very, very wrong. Hmm.

You know, I can really relate to this. When I feel balanced, and grounded, and at peace, I eat well. It's kind of a chicken-egg thing. Do I feel that way because I'm eating well or am I eating well because I am more conscious? Perhaps both.

Don't get me wrong. I love junk food. I'm a reformed crapatarian, and I still indulge in a little crap from time to time, as it keeps me from completely falling off the bandwagon and eating crap all the time.

There are however 3 things I never compromise on: I never eat gluten (because of my autoimmune conditions) and I never eat MSG or nutrasweet. Because of these choices, and my practice of chi gung, I am able to live pain-free with no immune suppressants.

I was very sick- kidney failure, anemia, peripheral neuropathy, congestive heart failure, stroke, migraines, fever, joint pain, pleurisy, etc. So don't think "Oh she just wasn't very sick." I was very sick. I was on 9 drugs and chemo.

I am now on one drug- a half-dose of blood pressure medication. And I believe if I would clean up my diet just a little more and also relax more/ work less/ have more fun, I could be off that one pill as well, and feel even better.

Yes, eating junk food makes you feel good for a short while. I will not deny that I love a sugar high. But I'd rather feel great all day than feel giddy for an hour then crash, and pay for it with my health. Don't be seduced by a twinkie! It's not worth it!

Carla Ulbrich, The Singing Patient,
is the author of "How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This?"
Get Carla's Book at