Why do people get sick? Sickness is not a natural state-of-being. Learn how to protect your health by changing the way you think about food.
Thousands of scientific studies over the past thirty years have shown that our lack of proper nutrition is perhaps the single most significant factor behind the reason people get sick. Last year over a trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) was spent on health care in the United States alone. What has this staggering expenditure of funds and resources produced? Let's see what the experts have to say.
What do experts say?
Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famous Mayo Brothers in Rochester, Minnesota, made the following statement in 1900: "We are all afraid of germs...but what we should be afraid of is lowered resistance which comes from within... Normal resistance to disease is directly dependent upon adequate food. It never comes of pill boxes... Adequate food is the cradle of normal resistance, the playground of normal immunity, the workshop of good health and the laboratory of long life."
Almost a century later Dr. Julian Whitaker wrote: "The greatest medical discovery of our time is the awesome power within the human body to heal and rejuvenate itself! This tremendous discovery is destined to change the way we practice medicine in America. In the future, instead of cutting the body...instead of drugging it...instead of working against its natural systems...doctors will strive to feed and enhance the body's amazing power to self-heal. We're starting to see the shift in awareness already" (Julian Whitaker, in Wellness Today, July 1993).
What Are Experts Saying?
In the early 1980s, the NCI established a diet, nutrition and cancer prevention research program. In this study a growing number of compounds in fruits, vegetables and cereal grains were found to interfere with the process of cancer development in laboratory research.
Epidemiologists have found that populations that consume large amounts of plant-derived foods have lower incidence rates of some types of cancer.
Eating vegetables and fruits is associated with a decreased risk of cancers of the esophagus, oral, cavity, stomach, colon, rectum lung, prostate, larynx and possibly other cancers (National Cancer Institute 2001).
1,540 people die from cancer every day, more than one a minute (American Institute of Cancer Research, 1997).
Of those who suffer from chronic illness, over 41 million have their daily activities limited in some way because of their condition, and better than 12 million are unable to live independently (Institute for Health & Aging).
Cancer is the chief cause of death by disease in children under age 15 (American Cancer Society, 1999).
Did you know that diet is probably the greatest single factor in the epidemic of cancer (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 2000).
Disease model or wellness model
Since emphasis has been on treating illness rather than prevention, a disease care system has developed rather than a health care system. Dr. George Malkmus states in his book, God's Way to Ultimate Health , "We've been looking at health from a Disease Model for many, many years now. The time has come for a paradigm shift to a Wellness Model."
There is hope
Thankfully, things are beginning to change. The American Institute for Cancer Research conducted The Diet & Cancer Project. This project was an outgrowth of the National Academy of Sciences' landmark 1982 report on diet and cancer in which, for the first time, a clear link between diet and cancer was established.
Findings contained in the report--supported by more than 4,500 research studies and reviewed by the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations--concluded that as many as 60 to 70 percent of cancers could be prevented by coupling healthful dietary and lifestyle choices.
War on cancer a bust
Drs. John Bailar and Heather Cornick published an article in the June 1997 New England Journal of Medicine in which they said: "The effect of new treatment for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing." Bailar continued: "I can't say the money spent on new treatments is definitely wasted, but it certainly hasn't paid off. At this point, I can't see whether it will ever pay off. Frankly, I'm not convinced that there are wonderful cancer cures waiting to be discovered. We have given it our best effort for decades; billions of dollars of support, the best scientific talent available. It hasn't paid off" ("$30 Billion 'War on Cancer' a Bust?" USA Today, May 29, 1997, emphasis added throughout).
Obesity - deadly killer
"Overweight and obesity may soon cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking," Surgeon General David Satcher said. "People tend to think of overweight and obesity as strictly a personal matter, but there is much that communities can and should do to address these problems." Approximately 300,000 U.S. deaths a year are currently associated with obesity and overweight, compared to more than 400,000 deaths a year associated with cigarette smoking. (U.S. Department of Human Services Press Release, December 2001).
S.A.D. Why are millions suffering from hundreds of chronic conditions? Chances are good that you, or somebody you know, suffers from poor health. What is causing this modern health holocaust? Simply put, it's the result of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). While there are other reasons people get sick, the single largest cause of illness is the Standard American Diet.
Without a doubt, the ranks of the "walking wounded" have become a serious problem in the United States in particular and the Western world in general. What is causing this human disaster, and what can be done about it?
Nutritional Guidelines - Ten Suggested Steps to Control Cancer
The American Cancer Society has ten suggested steps to take control of your life and reduce your cancer risk. The first five steps are protective items to add to your lifestyle and the second five steps are risk factors to decrease from your current lifestyle.
1. Eat More Cabbage Family Vegetables. Studies show these cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) appear to protect against colorectal, stomach, and respiratory cancers.
2. Add More High-Fiber Foods. Fiber occurs in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, including peaches, strawberries, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, wheat and bran cereals, rice, popcorn, and whole grain breads. A high fiber diet may protect against colon cancer.
3. Choose Foods with Vitamin A. Dark green and yellow vegetables such as carrots, peaches, apricots, squash, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin A. These foods may help protect you against cancer of the esophagus, larynx, and lung.
4. Choose Foods with Vitamin C . Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruit, cantaloupe, oranges, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes are good sources of vitamin C. These foods may help protect you against cancers of esophagus and stomach.
5. Maintain Weight Control. Obesity is linked to cancers of the uterus, gallbladder, breast, and colon. Exercise, such as walking, and reasonable calorie intake help to maintain a reasonable weight.
6. Trim Fat From Your Diet. Eat lean meat, fish, skinned poultry, low-fat dairy products, and baked or steamed foods. Limit consumption of pastries and candies. A high-fat diet increases the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
7. Subtract Salt-Cured, Smoked, Nitrite-Cured Foods. Cancers of the esophagus and stomach are common in countries where these foods are eaten in large quantities.
8. Stop Cigarette Smoking. Smoking is the biggest cancer risk factor of all-the main cause of lung cancer and 30% of all cancers.
9. Keep Alcohol Consumption Moderate, if You Do Drink. The risk of liver cancer increases with increased alcohol consumption. Smoking and drinking alcohol greatly increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus.
10. Respect the Sun's Rays . Too much sun causes skin cancer and other damage to the skin. Use at least a #15 sunscreen and wear clothing with long sleeves and a hat during the hours of 11am to 3pm.
Taking control of your lifestyle is the key to helping you feel better and reduce your cancer risk. This information is supplied by the American Cancer Society.
Change eating habits
Most people don't want to change their eating habits until forced to do so. In other words, they are willing to gamble with their health, hoping to beat the odds. Changing the way one eats is not easy. But those who do so will experience a transformation in their lives. This transformation will impact their physical, mental well being as well.
The primary reason people turn from the Standard American Diet is because they feel they have no other option available to them. They have lost their health from one of hundreds of major illnesses and have not been able to find relief from other sources.
What should be our focus?
In Romans:14:17, we are reminded that the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. While it is very important to make sure we nourish our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit, it is critical that Christians keep their focus on the spiritual. The apostle Paul reminds us that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, which includes moderation, self-control and diligence. It takes character to make right choices. This is true in every area of life, including our eating and exercising habits.
What should I eat?
Clearly eating the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) is not conducive to the enjoyment of abundant health. The purpose of this article is stir the reader to change the way he or she thinks about food.
Seven basic rules of health are listed below to arm the reader with information needed to make informed decisions. They are presented in a general nature and are not intended to replace advice from dieticians and other competent medical professionals. These seven rules are not all-inclusive but are meant to provide a framework by which to live.
Basic rules of health
Rule #1: Your life is not your own. Remember, your body is not your own. It is the physical instrument through which God lives in us. In 1 Corinthians:6:20 we read: "For you were bought at a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." Christians must recapture the sense that their bodies belong to God.
Rule #2: Eat to live. As simple and straightforward as this rule is, it is rarely followed. A person's mindset toward food goes a long way in determining his/her future health. Those who live to eat often abuse food by using it as a means to escape daily pressures. Food becomes a type of drug to numb emotional and psychological pain.
Those who understand proper nutrition don't eat to deal with emotional discomfort. Instead, they eat to maintain good health through proper nutrition. In other words, they eat to live, not live to eat.
Rule #3: Eat living food. Raw food has been called "living food." Numerous scientific studies have shown the unmistakable benefits of eating a diet of mainly raw fruits and vegetables. Doing so will help ensure that the vitamin and mineral content is preserved.
Living foods (raw or uncooked foods) are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of good health. A diet of mainly cooked food is not going to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to support health.
Many who encourage a largely raw food diet say that an 80/20 ratio is called for. That is to say, 80 percent of one's diet should consist of fresh raw foods, while the remaining 20 percent should be cooked. Uncooked foods have active enzymes in them. While this information is not new to the scientific world, it is largely unknown to the average layman. The importance of eating raw food is understood when one understands the function of enzymes.
Eating raw foods will also maintain the enzymes needed to properly digest them. It is critical that "living food," be the staple of our diet in order to maintain good health. Many authorities claim that a diet rich in "living foods" actually enables the body to rejuvenate itself from certain common ailments.
Rule #4: Eat only "clean" meats. It is clear that God never intended that human beings eat those creatures labeled as "unclean." The reason for this is not explicitly stated in Scripture, but upon closer examination it is quite possible that the primary reason was for health matters. Recent scientific studies support this conclusion.
Modern science is catching up with God's Word. Over 3,200 years ago God declared creatures like shellfish, clams and shrimp were not fit to eat. Now scientists are telling us why.
"All crustacean and mollusk shellfish have no scales and are therefore unclean. Mollusks include clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops. Crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, shrimp, prawns, and crayfish.
"Raw shellfish is a major source of food poisoning in our nation and diseases commonly carried by shellfish include salmonella and the Hepatitis A virus... Clams and oysters can filter between twenty and fifty gallons of seawater a day. The toxins, however, remain in the flesh of the shellfish" (Don Colbert, M.D., What Would Jesus Eat?).
Rule #5: Drink pure water. Make it a habit to drink water free of as many man-made substances as possible. Remember, strive to eat or drink things in the state God created them. For example, drink water in as pure a state as you possibly can.
Rule #6: Exercise on a regular basis. Exercising on a regular basis is vitally important for maintaining health. Walking is a practical form of exercise, which most people can do without spending a lot of money. Others enjoy jogging, tennis, golf, etc. No matter what form of exercise you choose, it is important that you check with your doctor before starting your exercise program. Tell him/her what your exercise goals are, then make sure you exercise according to those goals. It should go without saying, don't smoke. More than 30 years of research has proven beyond a doubt the detrimental effects smoking has on health.
Rule #7: Make sure you get sufficient sleep. Tips for getting a better night's sleep:
- Keep regular hours. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Go easy on caffeine. Caffeine disturbs sleep patterns. Nicotine and alcohol have similar effects.
- Exercise early. While working out early in the day can help you sleep better, exercising within four to six hours of bedtime may make it harder to sleep.
- Schedule in "worry time." If thinking about the day ahead keeps you from falling asleep, set aside a regular time before you go to bed to write down or think about your "to do" list.
Proper sleep habits are just as important as proper nutrition and exercise. By correcting poor sleep habits and revising your routine, your sleep patterns should fall into place. If they don't, talk to your doctor. He or she can give you a thorough evaluation to help you determine the cause and treatment.
Take charge of your health - nobody else will
Remember what Paul said in Romans:6:13: "And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God."
It's time to take charge of your own health by educating yourselves about the laws of health. Be careful to avoid extremes. Strive for balance by staying away from extreme dietary doctrines, which claim to be a cure-all. At the same time, avoid those who argue diet is not important for maintaining good health.
Remember, each of us is responsible for taking care of the body God has given us. As you learn more about the basic principles of health, be sure to put them into action. By doing so, you will be choosing life: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live" (Deuteronomy:30:19).
May God bless you on your journey to better health.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (3 John 2).