Over the past few years, I keep reading health statistics that concern me deeply.
- 88% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy, meaning they have conditions that include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, all which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
- 60% of us have chronic disease, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
- 90% of our health dollars are spent on chronic disease
“Why?” is an important question for me to ask.
Contemplating those figures, a bright future for our children, or any of us, seems against the odds.
Dr. Mark Hyman dove into the issue of our poor health and put his findings into a book, Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities and Our Planet—One Bite at a Time.
Why are we so unhealthy?
It’s because of the food we eat.
Even though it is recommended that 50% of our diet be comprised of vegetables and fruit, only 2% of all farm land is dedicated to fruits and vegetables. 59% of our farmland is used to grow commodity crops (corn, wheat and soy) that get turned into ultra-processed foods.
Our diet is comprised of 60 to 70% ultra-processed food, with children consuming a diet of about 66% ultra-processed food.
Because ultra-processed food is cheap, available and highly marketed.
The use of petroleum based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides have been subsidized by our government programs in an effort to “feed the world”.
What we are finding is that over the past 50 years there is a 6 to 38% drop in the nutritional density of our food.
The fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides have depleted the soil and killed essential microbial life that makes soil out of dirt.
As we keep asking why, what becomes evident is that the matter of having healthy food to eat is complex.
But what becomes clear is that our health is directly linked to the health of the soil where our food is grown.
As I said, Hyman takes a deep dive into the why of our world-wide dilemma of chronic disease and the read is sobering as he describes chapter by chapter the systemic causes and effects that we face.
From the food industry to politics to advertising to mental health to violence to climate issues, our world’s major problems link back to soil health.
Thankfully, with each chapter he highlights programs and organizations that are making a difference and what we can do to make changes.
The changes we need to make can feel overwhelming, but we can cure chronic disease, along with other problems, by focusing on the regenerative farm, the store and the kitchen.
One simple challenge Dr. Hyman offers is to stop drinking sugary beverages. And it’s not just soda, it’s fruit juice and flavored waters that have hidden sugar. Reducing sugar consumption is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health, as high blood sugar leads to insulin resistance that fuels most chronic diseases.
I invite you to read Food Fix, understand the issues we face due to poor soil health, and implement what positive changes you can.
Learn more about regenerative farming:
Watch a series of videos at https://carboncowboys.org.
Take a look at this video from Farmer’s Footprint.
In Food Fix, Dr. Hyman also invites us to take his 10-day sugar detox challenge.
During the trial of this program 600 people lost 4,000 pounds over a 10-day period. Their blood pressure dropped, on average, 10 points and their blood sugar 20 points. Participants reported a 62% reduction of their symptoms of disease.
This is brilliant, Maren. Thank you so much for sharing it and bringing it to our attention!!!
Food Fix is one of the most important books I’ve read in a while.
Dr. Hyman connects the dots of so many of today’s problems back to soil health.