A young woman among my Facebook acquaintances wasn’t feeling well but insisted she couldn’t afford to see a doctor. After sharing her symptoms, she asked friends if they had any advice. One replied with a “get better soon.” The others remained silent, so I weighed in with a recommendation that she review her diet. Knowing she was too young to have a subscription to AARP, I directed her to an article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the December 2020/January 2021 edition.
Soon after, she messaged me back. She’d found more than one of his articles helpful.
Even so, I’m not hopeful she’ll embrace his advice. Getting people to change the way they eat is more difficult than teaching a cat to love water. Information about healthy diets abounds in magazines, on the internet, and on television. The message is simple and oft-repeated. We are what we eat. Still, I’ve seen concrete more penetrable than the human brain.
People wouldn’t dream of building their houses with rotted timbers and rusty nails. Yet, each time they sit down to French fries, a hamburger, and a coke, they are doing just that to their bodies. In the gut, these materials build diseases that fill the medical books–strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes.
We, humans, pride ourselves on being at the top of evolution’s hierarchy. Nevertheless, we forget that most of the systems that regulate our existence are under the management of the unconscious. Take the gut, for example. That 30 feet of living tissue produces enzymes and chemicals that sustain our brains, muscles, and immune systems. The sole contribution we make as sentient beings is our food choices. Feed the gut junk and the body becomes junk.
We all know diet is king. Yet, we pay more attention to the oil we put in our cars than to the nourishment we provide our anatomies. Recent research from Wake Forest University reinforces the direct correlation between poor diet and the gut. (“Check You G. I., Joe– and Jane,” by Sanjay Gupta, AARP Magazine, December 2020/January 2021, pg. 20.)
To build a better body, chuck the fats and sugar in favor of beans, nuts, and leafy vegetables. Ignore the advice and reap the harvest of at least 70 chronic diseases and allergies. (Ibid pg. 19)
Will the young woman on Facebook act on what she learns about nutrition, I wonder. I hope so. But as I’ve suggested, logic isn’t popular these days. To prove that, all I have to do is peer out my window during this pandemic and count the number of people going about their business without masks.