A quick question for you? Do you consider your diet extreme?
My guess is that you would say…”Probably, not”.
However, what you may not realize is that the S.A.D or Standard (North) American Diet (yes, in most cases, Canada is just as bad as the the United States), is having an extreme impact on your body and your health. The problem is that most people think this is just “normal eating”, and “nothing out of the ordinary”. In fact, some people even think of it as “healthy eating”.
The important thing to remember is that just because a specific way of eating is the norm, it doesn’t make it healthy, or mean that you should follow the trends! Just look around you. TWO out of every THREE people in North America or overweight or obese! That rate has TRIPLED over the past 30 years. This is insanity…yet many people are blinded by the changes because so many other people are in the same situation!
You’ve heard the saying “You are what you eat”. Well, it’s absolutely true that the food you eat has a MASSIVE impact on your health and performance in life. After all, every bit of food you eat becomes fuel for daily living, and is used to build every cell in your body. A body that is fed optimally, it will function optimally. However, feed it poorly, and it will inevitably function poorly. A poorly functioning body is unhealthy and sick, and a recipe for long term disaster.
As Canadians, we used to think this was just an American problem. Unfortunately the “western diet” has permeated many other parts of the world, and brought with it the same sickness that Americans (and Canadians) are known for. Once healthy populations are becoming, fat, sick, and unhealthy by eating the typical western diet. The further these countries move from their traditional diets, the less healthy they become.
Dr. John McDougall, author of The McDougall Plan, experienced this firsthand when he started practicing medicine in Hawaii. He noticed that the first and second generation Asian Americans were slim and healthy and were rarely afflicted with the typical Western diseases that plague our country. However, once these people adopted American eating habits, they began suffering from the chronic ailments that are so commonplace, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. The third and fourth generations were the ones getting sick!1
The Standard (North) American Diet is typically characterized by the following:2
- High in unhealthy fats: trans, hydrogenated
- Low in fiber
- High in processed foods and refined flours
- High in refined sugars
- Low in complex carbohydrates
- Low in plant-based foods
In general, this is a diet high in cereals, pastas, conventional meat, packaged and processed foods, dessert foods (i.e. cakes and cookies), fried foods and dairy. The reason this is called “standard” is because it is simply what nearly everyone eats. In fact, if people who don’t eat this way are those with severe allergies, or are labelled a ‘health nut!’
What impact is S.A.D having on your body?
The following effects may surprise you because they are the same conditions that we typically associate with ‘normal’ aging. These include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Low energy
- Bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea
- EVEN Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease have been linked to this style of eating!
You may not have even considered that most of these conditions have a cause other than aging, or genetics. Additionally, you may not realize that in many cases a proper nutrition plan can essentially prevent or often reverse many of these conditions.
So, what is the answer to a S.A.D diet? Detoxing your body and feeding it what it needs for optimal health.
What is Detoxing?
Most of us have been eating these poor quality processed foods for years. After feeding our body these toxic foods, it is important to cleanse our system and decrease the inflammation and stress that we have placed it under. Of course, toxins aren’t just in food. We are exposed to them in every area of life. We breathe them in (through air pollution), we rub them on our skin (through personal care products that contain harsh chemicals and additives), and we are exposed to them from many different work and home products or environments (such as furniture, industrial chemicals, etc.)
The good news is that the human body is generally quite good at getting rid of these chemicals from our system. Although, a key way is for our liver to shuttle the toxins into fat storage! Through detoxification, we can lighten the toxic load that our bodies are under, make it easier on our system, and allow it to do the job more effectively. This should be done naturally, without the use of medications which would further stress our bodies.
With our clients at FRESH!, we discuss practical ways that you can cleanse your body and lighten the toxic load that it is under. By filtering toxins out and replacing them with life-giving nutrients, you can go a long way toward alleviating and avoiding the chronic diseases that so many in our country (and around the world) are suffering from.
Yours in Health and Wellness
Chief Wellness Officer
FRESH! Wellness Group