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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Optimal Health Vs. Degenerative Diseases

If you’re anything like me, you probably think you’re pretty healthy and that degenerative diseases only happen to other people. “It’s just the luck of the draw if something happens to me,” and “I seem healthy and try to eat pretty well, so my body must be receiving all the nutrients it needs. The food I eat is sufficient.”

Those were just some of the thoughts I had before my journey to good health. This month is National Nutrition Month, and so I would like to share with you valuable information about nutrition and how we can make a difference in our own and our family's health. Today, we are going to start by learning about health and nutrition in our society and the link between nutrition and disease.

Optimal Health…
Health, as officially defined by the World Health Organization, is a state
of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity. Webster's Dictionary adds that health is a
state of 100% function. Health is all about function. Function of the body,
its organs, tissues, and cells. Only when we are functioning at 100% are we truly healthy. Our organs, tissues, and cells are in need of optimal nutrition to operate at peak efficiency. With today’s society filled with a plethora of processed and fast-food selections it is difficult to achieve 100% functioning of the body. Consequently to help attain an optimal state it is highly recommended to use supplementation to supply the missing nutrients.

Our Health: A Most Valuable Asset…
Our health, or rather lack of it, has become a costly process. Our lives depend on our body’s ability to function, and yet we continue to make poor lifestyle choices that undermine the very health we must have to continue living! Major health trends are appearing because of our poor diet choices.
80% of healthcare costs are attributed to four leading causes of death: Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, and Diabetes. In 1900, Infectious Diseases attacked from the Outside - Today Degenerative Diseases are decaying us from the Inside. Following is a list of staggering proportions:

$503.2 billion = 2010 estimated cost of Cardiovascular Disease
$228.1 billion = 2009 estimated cost of Cancer
$174 billion = 2009 estimated cost of Diabetes

In 2010 we will see an increase in obesity and diabetes, healthcare costs increase, healthcare benefits cut, fewer primary care physicians, and technology that focuses on treatment rather than prevention.

Therefore the consensus should be that if you take care of you, the body creates health...if you don’t, the body degenerates.

Looking further at the nutrition and health of today’s society we find that:
• 95% of Adults do not consume the recommended 5-9 servings per day of fruits and vegetables
• 66% of Americans are overweight and at risk of related health issues
• 44 Million Americans are at risk for Osteoporosis
• Up to 80% of U.S. Adults may have sub-optimal Vitamin D levels
• 70% of health issues are related to poor nutrition and lifestyle.
Additionally, according to the American Heart Association 2009, heart disease and stroke are largely preventable. The American Cancer Society 2008 states that over 60% of cancer deaths are preventable - 30% from tobacco use and 30% from poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and obesity. 90% of type 2 diabetes is preventable by following modestly healthier lifestyles (Arch Intern Med. . 2009; 169(8):798-807). Diabetes is due to five lifestyle factors: low physical activity; poor diet; smoking; high alcohol use; overweight/obesity.

So what do these health conditions have in common? They are all degenerative diseases and they are all, in some fashion, diet related. According to Johnson & Johnson’s executive director of global health services 70% of health-care costs could be prevented through lifestyle modification. Seeing that the typical American diet is nutritionally deficient it could be concluded that nutritional supplementation, as well as lifestyle modification, is a way to achieve optimal health and turn the tide on degenerative diseases. However not all supplements are created equal. Shaklee is the number one nutritional company in the U.S. with products proven to work! We will explore more about what makes Shaklee different in the next blog post on this topic.


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