Friday, October 07, 2005

The Real Cost of Poor Nutrition

Every piece impacts the whole……..of your Life Puzzle. (

We take for granted our nutrition. We are grossly under educated about how food works in our body…and our minds. We generally assume—whatever I eat…my body will deal with it. And, yes, once you swallow it…it will have to deal with it! But taking our nutrition for granted impacts our lives in so many other ways than just what happens after you swallow it. In truth…the “real cost” of poor nutrition has an impact on you, your family, the community and the world!

When we eat low quality, highly processed foods instead of nutrient dense, high quality, organic foods—all pieces of our Life Puzzle are impacted.

Poor nutrition leaves our bodies and minds depleted. The consequences are numerous—
Exercise: we tend to exercise less when we eat poorly. Together these two areas of our Life Puzzle set the stage for much of what happens in the rest of our lives. (if you want to solve the health care crisis—you can do it right here. If Americans changed their diets and started exercising—a grand majority of the primary illnesses of our day would go away!)

Feelings: when we eat poorly, energy goes down, we often end up unable to proactively manage our feelings. Depression, anxiety, and an inability to manage daily stress take a toll on our feelings. Food has a powerful impact on our moods.

Thinking: our brains need high quality food to think! Eating a junk food, highly processed diet will reduce your ability to think effectively—and do well in your school, work…life!

Communication: is dependent on how we manage our feeling and thinking. When we eat poorly, we tend to be less capable communicators! And our ‘self-talk’ tends to become quite negative.

Relationships: add up inability to manage feelings, be high level thinkers and good communicators—and you can see how building a healthy relationship becomes much more difficult.

Parenting: your children depend on you to be the model for healthy eating. Also, when you are eating a junk food diet—you end up more irritable, less able to manage the high stress of raising a child (which is a lot of work!)

Sexuality: well, let’s just say…we perform better when we eat well!

Community: imagine a world where everyone ate high quality foods. Would we get a long better? Yes, we would! But another area is the impact on health/disease. When we eat poorly, we increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer—this requires massive amounts of the community’s time, energy and financial resources to help sick people—yet many of these people could’ve avoided becoming sick if they’d eaten better!

Environment: the impact of high industrial farming to produce so much of the highly processed foods today has resulted in depleted nutrition, ruined farmlands (topsoil loss each year is tremendous). It’s also leading to increased rates of cancer as well. Industrial farming impacts our water—of rivers, bays, ground water etc. through run-off of pesticides.

Work: poor nutrition impacts productivity, increases insurance premiums for the increased illnesses. This pulls money out of ‘profit centers’ and reduces your raises, benefits etc. as it funnels into insurance companies coffers to compensate for the illnesses resulting from poor nutrition!

Financial responsibility: ex: diabetes. If you are diagnosed with diabetes at age much will you spend from 45-80 on meters, testing strips, insulin, doctor’s visits etc. (conservative estimate is $3,000 per year out of pocket—if you’re insured, totaling $105,000!) If you could’ve prevented your diabetes through a low fat, high complex carbohydrate, healthy diet—where would you have put this money to work in your life instead of on this?

Special challenges: poor nutrition leads to many illnesses which ‘challenge’ our lives. Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome…on and on it goes!
Finding meaning: living life in relationship to death. Yes, we will all die—whether we eat a nutrient dense, organic diet or a fast food only diet. But what about the quality of life vs. quantity. If two people live for 80 years—one spending half their life fighting illnesses due to poor nutrition, the other living vibrantly, doesn’t it make sense to choose good foods?

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