The New Healthcare Through a Doctor’s View (Part 2)
Why Does Our Government Subsidize Toward Illness?
Having been in healthcare for many years, Root Cause Medical certainly knows the industry, which.. is now changing. More and more, our government is taking over decisions regarding the food that we eat and the healthcare we receive. Obamacare is moving us towards socialized medicine. Not a pretty option in my opinion, but it depends on the type of healthcare you want.
If you like the standard “here’s my symptom, what pill should I take?” model, then our country’s new healthcare will suit you just fine. If you prefer to take a more active, preventive role in your health, getting to the root cause of why you feel poorly, and trying to repair that in such a way that you completely eradicate the problem and restore good health in the process, you’re destined for disappointment.
We discussed this more in a previous blog: The New Healthcare: A Doctor’s View (Part 1).
America’s Fast Food vs. Healthy Food
What about our food? We know that what we eat influences our health, at least many of us do. And it’s quite clear that junk food, highly processed fast food (laden with high fructose corn sweeteners, pesticides, hormones, and chemicals) is only a catalyst towards the degenerative diseases of our society that we desperately need to move away from.
Since these types of food are known to make us ill, with the result being higher health care costs for everyone, why then does our government subsidize such foods? Why does our government make a hamburger cheaper than an organic healthy salad? Why, based on the cheap prices, do they “drive” our citizens towards a soda instead of a bottle of water? Good questions!
I speak to my patients every day about the value of changing their diet. The basics include a talk about the benefits of fruits and vegetables along with the liabilities associated with fast food.
Often I’m told, “I can’t afford that expensive healthy food.” And, I live in an affluent area of the country, Silicon Valley. If that’s the attitude here, you can only imagine what it is in more financially challenged areas. Actually, we don’t have to imagine. If you can feed a family of 4 for $10 at McDonald’s, why WOULD you pay more to eat better?
I can tell you why. Because cheap food is going to “cost” you big time in the future. It’s going to cost you in the quality of your life and in the misery of your poor health. Last year I would have mentioned that it would cost you in healthcare costs, but now with Obamacare, that’s less of a factor. Hospitals are forced to treat you, regardless of your ability to pay. So eating the cheap fast food will not hit your pocketbook—just your life!
“Overconsumption malnutrition” is an expression that says it all. We eat too much of too little value. The result? Obesity and ill health in the form of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. It is interesting to note that in the U.S., obesity is tied to poverty, where the exact reverse is seen in the third world, underdeveloped countries. Here in America, we “feed” our obesity with cheap, nutrient-deficient “food” that packs on the pounds and speeds degenerative disease. Other countries have an underweight poor population due to the lack of any available nourishment.
Even McDonald’s Can’t Admit the Truth
There is no longer any argument that junk food, fast food, and highly processed food causes disease. McDonald’s and their ilk may try to spin it otherwise, but they know the truth.
Business Insider recently reported a PR nightmare that occurred for McDonald’s when a third party website, providing McDonald’s employees with work and life advice, warned of the negative effects of fast food. They labeled cheeseburgers and fries as “unhealthy choices”.
What was McDonald’s response when they discovered this “advice” being given to their employees? They shut down the website, of course. McDonald’s now says that employees will be able to receive work and life advice over the phone. But sadly it won’t include avoiding fast food. Is McDonald’s solely to blame? You decide, but let’s look at some more data.
Government is Deciding What We Eat
Our government subsidizes certain food industries. Is it the ones that grow fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds? It should be considering the food pyramid tells us, that percentage-wise, we should eat those most. But no—our government spends 98% of its subsidies supporting the production of factory-produced meat, dairy products, processed grain (such as corn that goes to produce high fructose corn syrup), and sugar. Due to these “generous” government subsidies, you can get cheap burgers, milk, and soda. So is it any surprise that’s what Americans eat? What if there were subsidies for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables? Guess what would happen then?
We would be healthier, we would need fewer drugs and the pharmaceutical companies would get mad. Hmmm. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t enjoy politics and perhaps as you can guess, I spend most of my time in the arena of nutritional/medical research here at Root Cause Medical Clinic. I hate the expression “follow the money” because I tend to like to think that people operate on the basis of the greatest good, not on the basis of how much money it will make them. But with that said, I have gained enough knowledge to know that not only is our medical research primarily funded by pharmaceutical companies trying to make their drugs look good (regardless of whether they truly are or not) but that our government also does not have our best interests in mind when it comes to the food industries they support. It saddens me, but I have been forced to face facts. Do these facts mean that we are destined to be unhealthy?
While the statistics right now do point in that depressing direction, I personally refuse to give up. And I meet new patients every day who also refuse to go in that direction and come to me for assistance.
How Do We Change the Face of Healthcare?
So how do we circumvent a government that apparently wants us to eat more sugar, refined grains, cheap meat, and dairy products laden with hormones and drugs?
1. Stop buying soda and desserts. You can save a lot of money right there. And if you smoke, quit. Take the money saved and put it into your food budget.
2. Find a local farmer’s market or food co-op near you. They will typically offer organic produce at prices that are lower than a typical chain store.
3. Start your own garden. One zucchini plant or kale plant has a yield that will keep you fed for quite some time. Have fun with an organic garden (make sure to get organic seeds). Even better, get some neighbors going too. Even with limited space, if everyone is growing something different you can enjoy quite a lot of healthy produce for pennies.
4. Use beans as an inexpensive source of protein. Mixed with rice (also inexpensive) and quinoa or other gluten-free grain of your choice, you have a perfect protein. Chop up some veggies and you have a healthy meal.
5. Limit your animal sources of protein. Eggs are a nice exception because they are inexpensive and versatile. But you don’t need to spend money on grass-fed beef or wild salmon when eggs, beans, green veggies, and nuts are all available—and at a lower cost.
6. Don’t be afraid of fat—at least not good fat. Fresh nuts, avocados, olives, and olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, walnut oil, flax, and other fresh seeds are all excellent sources of good fat and must be consumed in order to keep a healthy brain, nervous system, and heart. You need good fat!
7. The money you’ve saved can now be spent on the organic fruits and veggies you aren’t able to grow yourself.
8. Stop buying bottles of water and pay once for a good under the kitchen sink reverse osmosis water filter. Yes, there’s an initial expense but places like Home Depot offer very good options at reasonable prices. Then get some stainless steel bottles that you can carry your water around in. You’ll avoid the plastic, the cost, and you’ll be nicely hydrated!
9. If you want an easy definition of “real food”, use these two rules:
a) Try to eat foods with no ingredient list.
Example: An organic apple vs apple fruit leather or, goodness forbid, an apple turnover.
b) If you can’t completely avoid a list of ingredients, opt for the food with the shortlist, about 5 ingredients max. And it’s always a rule of thumb to avoid eating anything you can’t pronounce on the ingredient list.
To prove the point, next time you go to the grocery store, check out the ingredients in “Doritos” or pre-sliced deli meat. You’ll be astounded at the number of ingredients, many of which I’m sure most Americans can’t even pronounce. Splurge on the good stuff—your body will thank you for it. Granted, it would be nice if our government and food industry was helping our efforts to be healthy rather than hindering them. But the facts remain. So now we need to decide if we are going to be led like lambs to the slaughter, or if we’re going to take a stand and get healthy despite their ill intentions. Sometimes a little righteous indignation and anger are appropriate. Don’t let someone else’s special interests lure you down the road of ill health. I know what to do and I’m happy to help you. All you need to do is ask for help. I’m here for you. The good news is that you don’t need to live local to us to receive assistance
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.