About Me

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San Diego, Ca
I am just a regular guy who is learning the importance of happiness through diet and exercise. I am in school for sociology and psychology, I do not have a formal degree in nutrition or fitness. I do all research on my own time through books, internet, friends, documentaries, and school. I believe in basics, and I want to clear through the smoke surrounding a lot of nutrition and fitness claims pushed to the public, and find the one's they try to hide.I also like to discuss other topics related to happiness.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cardiovascular Disease : The Great American Tragedy

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, are among the top causes of death within the U.S. However, cardiovascular disease is due mainly to a much larger problem, the lack of exercise and a healthy diet in the everyday lives of the common American citizen. This is due to numerous reasons, but I would like to focus on three main points; the false and contradictory information fed to consumers, the unhealthy options made readily available to consumers, and the lack of physical activity in citizen’s busy lives. With these factors combined we have skyrocketed cardiovascular disease and other health issues into the top spots for causes of death within America.

     People today receive so much information that contradicts the other, or are told all out fabrications by companies trying to sell their product, that they are ignorant to what is truly healthy. You have the dairy industry pushing milk and cheese products, and then scientific evidence showing that our bodies are naturally lactose intolerant soon after the age of two. They tell you it is good for your bones after this age and contains a good supply of vitamin D. However, they fail to mention that vitamin D is put into the milk by factory workers, and our body cannot properly digest dairy. Oatmeal has been a staple of a “healthy” diet for years, but if you trust what the food industry says, then your glycogen levels will spike extremely high every morning after you have your “healthy” oats. Oats break down into glycogen and this skyrockets your bodies natural level of blood sugars. This can be deadly for someone who is diabetic. So you have the government and food industry telling you how important a good breakfast is, promoting milk and oatmeal as a staple, and scientific research in the background showing the detrimental effects they can have on your body. People want to trust the food industry, not realizing that they are just another organization with people who want to make money like everyone else. They come out with supplements that you can take to replace all of the vitamins and minerals that the consumer is now lacking due to the diet they have readily been provided of processed foods, McDonalds, and others loaded with salt and sugar. Most people take these thinking it will balance their diet, unaware that they are not even regulated by the FDA, and also many have detrimental side effects to the liver and kidney. So they shove as many calories as they can into processed foods, so the consumer can eat empty calories for cheap and feel full for a short period of time, and push supplements to make up for the important parts of the food that are lost in this process.

  Not only do consumers receive mounds of contradictory and false information on what a healthy diet truly is, but the unhealthy options are also much less expensive and are more readily available. Americans use this as an excuse to rationalize or justify their eating behaviors. They stop at McDonalds and order a Big Mac because they are in a hurry to get back to work. Or they order the salad, which McDonald’s offers as a “healthy choice” on their menu, not realizing that the salad with dressing contains more calories than a Big Mac. Besides, where else can you go and fill up on less than a dollar? There are fast food restaurants on every corner to lure in Americans and their families with their playgrounds, bright colors and lights, wafting smell being fanned from the building, and value menus full of filling and empty carbs. There may be one “health food” store in the city, with higher prices than the consumer is used to paying for a box of Hamburger Helper or pesticide soaked vegetables from across the country. The government fails to educate the public on how to maintain a healthy diet, and the food industry uses this opportunity to find the cheapest ways possible to shove as many calories, sugars, and salt into foods to get the customer hooked. This eliminates a lot of choice for Americans and pushes them towards an unhealthy diet. But food is not the only thing responsible for bad health, which leads to obesity, and can ultimately lead to heart problems and other cardiovascular diseases. After Americans consume the horrible food choices that are promoted to them, they then sit on the couch and watch commercials about more food options for the next day.

     The lack of physical activity combined with the unhealthy diet practices of the average American has skyrocketed cardiovascular diseases and heart issues into the leading cause of death in America. Americans are in such a hurry everyday that it is easy for them to make excuses about how they don’t have time to workout, or can’t afford a gym membership. Besides, who would want to workout after eating a double bacon ultimate cheeseburger? They don’t realize that they don’t have to have a lot of time to become healthier, and they don’t have to pay expensive membership fees to workout. There are tons of workout videos available for less than $20 that only take 10-20 minutes a day, or others that may be 30-60 minutes and only three times a week. You don’t need a gym membership for these exercises, they can be done right at home in front of the television, where many Americans have come to be very comfortable already. Little changes can lead to larger ones which can then lead to noticeable results, but Americans are too impatient to wait for results and want to try these get thin quick diets and pills. Most, if not all, are extremely bad for your body and yield results that are temporary. Lions are one of the most powerful animals in nature, when do you ever see them taking pills or only eating zebras and drinking crystal light for a month? To stay fit we have to do what has worked for our ancestors before we had Ab Rollers and Stackers and the Atkins Diet. We need a balanced diet that provides our bodies with the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins that nature freely provides. We also need to get off the couch and go run a couple miles, down past the doughnut shop, past the McDonalds, and stop at the local farmers market to grab some fruit.

     Being fit and healthy to avoid issues like heart disease and stroke ultimately comes down to choices. Americans have to choose to eat the right foods and choose to exercise enough if they want to avoid becoming a statistic for cardiovascular disease. The food industry and government definitely make this a difficult task with all of their marketing and personal agendas of greed and profit. The information is always out there for the consumer, but they are responsible for turning off the television set and doing some research for themselves. We as Americans have to make a decision, are we going to grab the nearest food and set on the coach when we have a minute to relax in our busy schedules, or do we want to live a happy and disease free life. All we have to do is search for the truth ourselves, make the right decisions, and prioritize our health within our everyday concerns. If we do not do this, then hundreds of thousands of people will continue to die every year due to an unnecessary disease.

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