Why do we need to keep up with the latest scientific discoveries in the area of nutrition and its effects on health? Because when it comes to information about our health, what we don’t know can make the difference between a vibrant healthy life and needless suffering and even premature death. Take for example, President George Washington. We all revere him as one of the first and greatest leaders in United States history.
On Dec. 14, 1799, three doctors were called to Mount Vernon in Fairfax County, Va., to treat a critically ill, 67-year-old man who you may know as “the father of our country”- President George Washington, who had retired two years earlier and was now suffering from a sore throat, fever and shortness of breath. Over a period of 12 hours, his caregivers removed 2 1/2 quarts of his blood (about 40% of his total blood supply) and exposed him to several torturous and toxic medical treatments in an attempt to improve his health. George Washington died.
Do you know how he died? He was sick with what may have been just a case of strep throat. A team of very trusted medical professionals were tending to his care and doing their best to help him. While the exact cause of his death is not known for certain, it may be that he simply bled to death- or more accurately, that he was bled to death.
At the time, it was commonly and wrongly believed that bloodletting, or the withdrawal of blood, could cure illness and disease. While draining George Washington’s blood from his body may not have been the single cause of his death, we know it didn’t help him. But his doctors didn’t know any better. At the time, there was no knowledge in the medical establishment regarding the harmful effects of bloodletting. The doctors simply didn’t know any better. (And they didn’t figure it out until the late 19th century.)
Now we live in a very different time. Today’s doctors are experts regarding human anatomy and physiology, and they also know how to prevent and reverse disease- or do they? In some cases the answer is yes, but unfortunately in the vast majority of cases, the answer is sadly, no.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 out of 10 Americans die from chronic diseases, with chronic diseases accounting for 86% of our nation’s health care costs. The list of chronic diseases and conditions include heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity and auto immune diseases like arthritis. And what do the chronic diseases and conditions we Americans get all have in common? They are all diet related. (Evidence in support of that claim can be obtained by checking out the videos and resources linked on this website and more information will be forthcoming in future blog posts.)
How much of an expert do you think your doctor is when it comes to the relationship between diet and disease? Well, did you know that the Average medical student receives about 2 hours of nutritional education in their entire 8 years of schooling? You can get that much education in an afternoon on the internet (although it might not all be accurate information). And did you know that only 25% of US medical schools even offer a single course dedicated to nutrition?
If 86% of our nation’s health care dollars are being spent to treat diet related illnesses, and if doctors are not adequately educated about how to prevent and reverse these conditions, what hope is there? There is hope- and it is found in taking charge of your own health.
According to a recent study by John Hopkins Medicine, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., (causing 250,000 deaths a year) right behind heart disease and cancer. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be part of that statistic. I would rather live healthy and long, and I bet you would too.
That’s why it’s important to be willing to learn about the latest scientific discoveries about nutrition and health. And you don’t have to know it all. You just need some reliable sources of information. And that’s what we’re here for, but you don’t have to take our word for anything. We will point you to the sources and you can double check them yourself. People love to hear information that supports their bad habits, even if the information is false. That’s why the news media (and the web) is full of misleading and contradictory claims about studies and new discoveries. Take charge of your health. Learn the truth so you can live a healthy, vibrant life.