As most of you who know me know, I’m an advocate for healthy food. Healthy, balanced, carefully grown and made with basic components. I’ve talked about my view on what “food” really is before, and my belief that if it doesn’t come from the ground or appear naturally in nature, we shouldn’t eat it. I’m not vegetarian, and I’m definitely not Vegan. I don’t necessarily believe in organic (I personally would rather buy local - chances are it is organic, and doesn’t have the caloric energy loss and environmental impact of being flown 3000 miles) - but I definitely don’t believe in fast food, processed food, or any of the wonders the industry is throwing at us. I’m against it just for basic health reasons, but now we have a medical crisis on our hands. A medical crisis of gigantic proportions. Literally. And this is the reason that every one of you should be re-evaluating your position on food. If the obesity epidemic doesn’t bother you, or if you enjoy a daily trip to a fast food outlet, maybe putting this into reality from a monetary & health care perspective will get your attention. I’m going to try, anyways.
In 2002, the Canadian Government cut Physiotherapy from basic medical plans. They also cut back from funding 50% of the Canadian medicare costs to 20%. No big deal, until now. Consider this: We are about to experience a change in our healthcare system that has never been experienced before. We have the Baby Boomer population retiring, which is going to presumably tax our health care system and introduce a changing caseload for all practitioners. On top of this, we have the first generation, which, due to obesity, is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Also, due to obesity, these kids are starting to experience TYPE 2 diabetes as early as age 8 (This is showing up in studies across the Country - and may also have to due with the lack of physical education in schools as well, but different topic for a different blog - I’ll stay on topic). Consider, that prior to now, this disease generally didn’t show up until people were in their 40’s. So now, we have what is being referred to as the Sandwich generation. I am part of this generation, in which my mom will be retiring, and I’ll be part of the team of professionals looking after her & her peers. This generation is expected to have one of the longest lifespans we have experienced yet. As a result, they will be out of the workforce longer, & needing medical care longer - my - and your - tax dollars. And then, right below us, we have a generation that is getting sicker earlier, requiring more medical attention, and due to disease unable to work for as long or as productively as previous generations to make up this cost. More tax money. Do I have your attention yet? Because I’m about to tell you ONE thing you can do to help yourself & your family. Ready???
DECREASE YOUR SODIUM INTAKE.
Really? That’s it? But that seems so simple! - That’s because, it really is.
The #1 killer right now in Canada is Hypertension. ie., High blood pressure, leading to stroke, heart disease, heart attacks, etc. The average daily intake of sodium per person is 4000mg. That doesn’t sound like a lot. But consider that we only need anywhere between 1300 and 2300mg/day to keep up cellular and other physiological functions. That means the average person is taking in an additional 1700mg/day. Why is this such a big deal??? Because, if we all cut back sodium to necessary levels, we could cut back hypertension by 20%……this would save our medical system $85 BILLION per YEAR. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot more (and better!) ways to spend $85 billion. Now do I have your attention? Good. Because I’m going to tell you how to do this, and it’s so easy you’re not going to believe me. Which is why I’m also providing you with resources to the heart and stroke foundation to back me up.
Okay, first thing’s first. Cut out the fast food. Full of sodium and sugar and empty calories and hormones and anti-biotics - you do not need it. Stop eating it.
Next - stop eating processed/packaged foods. Full of preservatives (sodium is one of these!) - they’re tasteless and void of nutrients. Just don’t do it. Avoid the freezer section altogether. You’ll do way better in the produce section. I promise.
Thirdly - Soups and deli meat are full of sodium. Find reduced sodium soup options and avoid deli meat. Deli meat is 77% sodium!!!!!!!!!
Okay. That’s all I have to say for now….and like I promised, resources:
Are you ready to save your life?