You might be familiar with the concept that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. When it comes to health and wellness, this is far from the truth! Health and wellness is 80% nutrition and what you eat and 20% of everything else you do, including exercise. As it turns out, nutrition is the single most important factor to health and wellness as we get older. Facts:
- The 2016 Health United States Report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 1 in 4 deaths in the US is the result of heart disease. Medical science is clear that atherosclerosis or the hardening of your blood vessels is what leads to heart disease. Cholesterol is what builds the plaques that block our arteries leading to this disease. Western medicine has always focused on medicines to help us manage disease once we are sick. Wouldn’t it be better to just stay healthy?
- The Standard American Diet has changed significantly over the last couple of centuries. It has evolved from the consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains, fish and occasionally meat to a diet dominated by sugars, refined flour, animal products and processed food.
- There a still societies and people groups today that have a predominantly vegetarian diet. These societies all have in common a very low rate of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and some common cancers like colon and breast cancers. Why? Vegetables contain no cholesterol and almost no fat!
It would seem that minimizing cholesterol (eg. egg yolks) and high saturated fats (eg. animal fats) can be a highly effective way to avoid needing blood pressure or cholesterol lowering medications. In the 2017 US News and World Report, a panel of dietitians and nutritionists ranked the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) and Mediterranean diets as the best over eating plans based on how easy the plan was to follow, the effects on weight loss (short and long term), how nutritional and safe the plan was and how well it helps to prevent heart disease and diabetes. The interesting thing about both of these eating plans is that they emphasize a diet high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Low carb and high protein plans like the popular Paleo and Atkins diets ranked #32 and #36 out of the 38 diets reviewed.
Getting healthy is as simple as managing the 80% portion of makes you healthy … what you eat. You’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat” … let me suggest that “you become what you eat”! Let’s start to eat our way to health!
Dr. James Wu
Clinical Director, Solace Wellness Center & MedSpa