You may be eating foods that cause disease, chronic disability and death. The majority of New Zealanders do not realise foods and drinks they have suffering of epidemic proportions. You may wonder why the government has not banned such damaging foods and drinks. Why isn’t there a health warning? Why haven’t we been told about this?
The message is out there; but obviously not loud enough, or clear enough for you to hear. The sad fact is that the way the average person eats in New Zealand is a cause of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and mental health problems. When the words “healthy diet” are used many people switch off.
When these chronic diseases affect you, friends, family or whanau, questions abound. Why did this happen? What could have been done to prevent it? How can we help? This is a time when people seek help from Naturopaths.
What are these disease causing foods?
Poor quality fats in overheated foods and many processed and fast foods have been shown to cause diseases. But before you exclude fats from your diet you need to know that all humans need some fat to live. Poor quality fats can kill; high quality fats can help cure, and prevent disease. Include fish, nuts avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and flaxseed oil in your meals.
Sugar has been shown to increase the risk of disease. It is a challenge for scientific studies to identify how sugar may cause disease, as sugar substances are naturally found in many health giving foods such as fresh fruit and vegetable. However the research does show that if sugars are added to foods and drinks diseases are more likely to occur. Avoid anything that has added sugar including cakes, biscuits, soft drinks. If it tastes sweeter than an apple if probably has added sugar.
Processed meats have been shown to cause disease. The way the meat is processed appears to influence the risk is carries. Better to go for unprocessed meats, (of an organic standard if possible).
Alcohol has been known for centuries to cause disease. The more you drink the greater the risk. In addition some people have bodies that are more sensitive to damage from alcohol. Although one glass of wine (100 mls) a day has been shown to decrease risk of heart disease, it is not necessary to have the wine to get the protective ingredients; these also occur in fruits and vegetables. Be aware that more than one glass of wine increases cardiovascular disease risk; check your glass size some wine glasses can hold 500 mls or more!
Does it sound like you will have nothing to eat? Don’t worry there is an abundance of health giving foods to choose from. Depending on your individual health needs some nutritious foods may be more important for you to have than others. Naturopaths are skilled in helping you to find the foods and drinks that help you to be in the best possible health.
Original Article January 2011
Copyright Jaine Kirtley