3.1 Trillion Dollars. What’s that number? That will be the total expenditure for health care in America in 2016. That is everything from the insurance premiums we pay, to Medicare/Medicaid, cancer treatment, to taking our kids to urgent care. 3.1 Trillion is 17% of our nation’s GDP. The American economy is massive, but what we pay for health care does not need to be.
As we have stated before, every bite of food you put in your mouth affects your health both short term and long term in either a good or bad way. It is scientifically proven that eating a diet composed of a high percentage of animal foods and processed foods leads to the long term chronic diseases that drive our health care costs through the roof. The problem is that we can’t see how it is hurting us in the short term inside our bodies. We can see the fat around our bellies (Over 40% of Americans are projected to be obese by 2030!) but can’t see the damage being done inside our cells, arteries, and organs daily by “S.A.D.”, the Standard American Diet.
While there is what I call “movement” in the right direction and more awareness that we are eating ourselves literally to death, the average American consumes a diet that is optimal for producing bad health as opposed to a diet that would optimize health. Here are the statistics, according to plantricianproject.org, of the S.A.D. as a percentage of caloric input for the average American.
- 63% of calories from processed food (“empty calories”)
- 25% of calories from animal foods (meat and dairy)
- Only 6% of calories from whole plant foods (a piece of fruit or raw vegetable)
- 185 pounds of added sugar per person each year (crazy but true!)
So, S.A.D. is BAD, and on the other end of the spectrum a whole foods, plant based diet is GOOD. The two options produce opposite short and long term health results. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The key is this: You start where you start today, but you need to move and progress from the bad end to the good end of the spectrum slowly over time. If you do this…flip this…whole foods and plant based will become your norm and processed and animal foods will become the exception. The results will benefit you short term, long term, inside, and outside!
Next Up: Goal Setting and Loading Your Pantry. If the right foods are in your house, you will eat the right foods!