It’s March, which means it is National Nutrition Month. This is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Academics focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Even though we keep making changes to our diet, Americans are sicker and heavier than ever. Clearly, there is a disconnect–there is the real misunderstanding of “healthy eating.” Educating clients about the correct ways to improve their health and lifestyle choices and supplementation should be the focus of any nutrition practice.
Mothers spend countless hours on the tennis courts and soccer fields talking about how they and their families are eating healthier and more natural foods. However, ninety percent of a typical American household’s grocery bill is spent on processed foods. This includes food items purchased at the store that come in boxes, bags, cans, flavored beverages, frozen meals and fast foods. Many of them are labeled “natural” or “organic.”
You probably have some of these items in your pantry and our children probably are being fed these foods at school. Some of us may say to ourselves, “My family and I eat really well, I am not part of the 90 percent.” The reality is foods that are grown and manufactured today have chemicals and byproducts.
Take a simple can of chicken noodle soup–the kind your mom used to fix when you started coming down with a cold. One would expect this to be a natural, healthy and nutritious food. Unfortunately, that can of “wholesome” soup has a lot more in it than just chicken and noodles.
Take the time to really look at all the ingredients in the can of chicken noodle soup you are buying. You may be surprised to find ingredients such as monosodium glutamate, mechanically separated chicken, modified food starch, flavoring, sodium phosphate, soy protein isolate or chicken dehydrated.
Food is supposed to fuel our bodies and minds, stimulate our senses and keep hunger at bay. When food is used correctly, it can be the most powerful medicine. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.”
Consuming overcooked, over-processed and chemically manipulated “fake” foods provides Americans with a diet that is high in calories and unhealthy chemicals and low in nutritional value.
As Americans we are overfed and under-nourished. We are polluting our bodies with numerous toxins found in our food supply.
To make matters worse, people are supplementing their unhealthy lifestyles with synthetic supplements. Studies in more than 70 countries have concluded that natural, whole food, complex nutrient supplements may be better absorbed into the body and help with overall health and wellness compared to the standard, everyday synthetic vitamin complexes that most people buy.
Thomas Edison was well ahead of his time. He said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
If our New Year’s resolution this year was losing weight or living a healthier life, it is more important than ever to find professionals to help you find the right balance of lifestyle, food and supplementation. For instance, when it comes to weight loss, let’s try feeding our cells nutrients as opposed to depriving the cells of nutrients by eating packaged, processed low-calorie weight loss meal replacements. Finding holistic practitioners who emphasize how the body can heal itself with the proper nutrition is key to getting the kind of health and disease prevention for which we all hope and aim.