The things we put into our body, food and drink, as well as other factors in how we treat our bodies, like getting enough sleep and controlling our levels of stress, all of this is either contributing or encouraging toward disease, or, helping to fend off disease from building.
Here is how.
Consider the consumption of wheat, on which many people still remain torn whether it’s healthy or not. I used to tout the belief that, while bread wasn’t great for you, it was sugar that was the ultimate evil. Sugar is horrible for your health. That truth still holds. But on reading this, I learned that wheat is the food to avoid at all costs. At least, if you wish to remain disease-free, age well, not gain tons of weight over the years (and exercise will not keep wheat-related weight gain off), nor develop neurological issues, diabetes, or heart disease.
From the pages of Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis (and, confirmed amidst the pages of many other books), wheat raises your blood sugar more than any other food, even more so than a candy bar. Putting you on the fast track toward diabetes. Over time, eating wheat regularly keeps your blood sugar levels high, which means insulin is moving throughout your blood routinely. This contributes toward the growth of belly fat over the long term.
What is more worrisome: eventually your body can become resistant to insulin.
The more foods you eat which continually spike your blood sugar and cause a release of insulin to rush out and save the day.
Eventually, your insulin can actually stop working. You essentially wear out the system, through overuse. This is when one gets diabetes.
And it is in one’s own doing, based on what they choose to put into their body.
As a side note, this has little to do with gluten. Gluten is the protein that ultimately binds together the dough. It’s what gives the dough its elastic texture.
Gluten isn’t wheat though.
Many people do not understand this distinction. They assume that gluten-free is healthy, safe, and a non-wheat of sorts. And that gluten and wheat are both “bad” and interchangeable. This is inaccurate.
While gluten isn’t good for you either (so one should also avoid this too), it is wheat that is the true destroyer of one’s health over time. And this can happen at any age.
Some people begin seeing devastating effects on their health as a result of wheat consumption in their forties or fifties. Others experience it as early as their twenties or thirties. You cannot possibly know when such will emerge.
A critical note on gluten-free foods. People often feel as though replacing their usual bread products with a gluten-free version is “healthy” and the ultimate no-guilt swap.
Not so fast.
Most gluten-free foods replace wheat with cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, or tapioca starch. These still trigger the same glucose spike-insulin response that wheat does. Even more alarming, they are among the few foods that increase blood sugar even more than wheat does!
Wheat also disrupts pH levels in the body, resulting in the weakening of one’s bones. It ages you horribly. Wheat can give you heart disease. And, it messes with neurological functioning, which makes your thinking murky and muddled. Wheat also destroys your skin, causing inflammation and acne.
And, it is highly addictive. Triggering a boost in your feel-good brain chemicals on eating it. Many people literally report feeling addicted to bread and wheat. Some even go through mild depression for a couple of days initially on cutting it out. This, of course, keeps you eating routinely, and more, of this health destroying item.
Why are so many of us (a vast majority of citizens, with the number continuing to climb) overweight? Perpetually lethargic?
Why nowadays do our citizens have a laundry list of diseases and health problems, from cancer to diabetes, health disease, high blood pressure, and more. When during the early days of humans, diseases were rare to nonexistent.
Why, especially Americans, are we all about fitness, getting “ripped” and perpetually dieting, yet as a collective whole our weight continues to climb and climb? Why, most of the time when people lose weight, do they eventually gain it all back and then some?
Why do we eat huge meals and then find ourselves starving again just a few hours later?
Because a vast majority of our society as a whole is addicted to sugar. Not addicted as in, we like it a lot and really enjoy eating it. Addicted as in akin to drug addiction. Don’t believe me? Start reading about it more.
Eating sugar causes the deposition of fat in the liver. It’s a huge factor in getting diabetes.
It is highly addictive- akin to a cocaine addiction and thus, the reason why so many people have such trouble cutting out sugar entirely (or will do so, but then return to it full force. Then try cutting it out again, then return full force, and so on).
Eating sugar increases your LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). It raises your risk of heart disease and obesity.
And, sugar gives you the false sensation of being full, only to leave you famished an hour or two later- thus, it’s empty calories. It’s also awful for your skin. More than just a little sugar causes uneven skin tone, pimples, and eventually the loss of elasticity in your skin- giving you more wrinkles and sooner.
While studies have shown that an occasional glass of red wine can provide health benefits, the benefits of not drinking alcohol outweigh the supposed positives of having some on occasion.
Routine alcohol use, over time, can and often does lead to things like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems, cancer, learning and memory problems, depression and anxiety, problems functioning socially- such as holding a job, emotional issues, or relationship problems, and of course, addiction.
Thus, while an occasional drink will not hurt you, the safest way to avoid all of the above health issues? Don’t drink much, if at all.
Raw, Whole Foods
The grocery store aisles are littered with all manner of enticing, highly processed, chemical-laden snacks. From Doritos to Cheezits, candy bars, sugar-laden juices, cookies, cereals, pastries, boxed cake mixes, soda, sugary yogurts, salad dressing, tomato sauce, cakes, you name it.
Most of this is terrible for you.
The foods to eat are things like: fish, chicken, turkey, small amounts of red meat, eggs, all manner of vegetables (raw and fresh are ideal), sweet potatoes, a plethora of fruits (again, fresh is the most nutritional), nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, etc), and healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, and such.
The food should essentially be in its pure, natural form.
These are the foods that are medicine to your body.
Foods such as sugar, wheat, soda, lots of processed stuff, alcohol, they are essentially poisons to your body. And they will contribute heavily toward disease for many people.
It isn’t always easy. In fact, in many moments, it will require willpower and strength.
However, make the mindful, stronger choice and consume things that contribute toward fighting disease. The foods and drink will encourage your utmost health and thus, your longest and most vibrant life.