Would you be surprised if I told you it’s not the unhealthy food we’re eating but the nutritious food we are NOT eating that’s damaging our health? I recently read an article summarizing research published in the Lancet Medical Journal. It was part of the Global Burden of Disease study by the Institute of Heath Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle. In the article they stated:
Unhealthy diets are responsible for 11 million preventable deaths globally per year, even more than smoking tobacco.
This article found biggest problem is not the junk we eat but the nutritious food we don’t eat calling for a global shift in policy to promote vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes.
The study found that if we just improved our eating and drinking habits, 1 in 5 deaths could be prevented. Read that again, 1 in 5 people would get to live out a longer life simply because of the foods choices they made. That shows you the huge impact our food choices have on us.
When we consciously make decisions to eat food high in processed (and inflammatory) fats and sugars such as fast foods or prepackaged foods, we are therefore choosing not to eat whole foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds and organic meats. You might not think much of it at the time but when there’s proof to let you know those decisions, overtime, can shorten your life span, wouldn’t you think twice about your food choices?
This article timing is perfect because I’ve also been watching Dr. Hyman’s Broken Brain 2 docu-series. Episode 6 I totally nerded out over as it was about how the food eat impacts our brain health and our genes. It discussed choosing the right diet for you based on your particular body and your genetics. Without too much detail the take home message is ultimately to choose a whole food, mostly plant based diet as the standard American diet clearly isn’t working for anyone.
Its important to keep in mind this was a global study, so Canadians can use the take home message and apply it to our lives. The original link can be found here.
I’m not going to leave you with my thoughts alone, I will leave you with some actionable tasks to help you transition your diet. The easiest thing to do is to start SMALL. Pick one fruit and one vegetable you know you enjoy and you know how to prepare and incorporate that into your diet for a week. Whether you just wash some grapes and pack them in your lunch and cut up some carrots and enjoy them with hummus, just do it. Having these items on hand, ready-to-eat, will stop you from grabbing a muffin with your coffee or a chocolate bar at the checkout.
Another easy step is to drink more water and REPLACE some fluids you’re currently drinking with water. “BUT WATER IS BORING” Yes, I hear it all the time. In that case, add some lemon, or mint, or stevia or cucumber, or watermelon. The list goes on. Drink sparkling if you’re craving the bubbles. Just drink more water.
Taking actionable, baby-steps, towards eating better will make a huge difference in your life so you can #livevibrantly.