Many studies have shown that there is a definite link between what we eat and our health.
Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, is not the first person to suggest that staying healthy is the best form of health insurance. Yet what he said in an interview on Freakonomics Radio earlier this month, that instead of getting medical treatment we need to “change the way people eat, the way they live, the lifestyle, and diet,” since he feels that “a bunch of drugs is not going to solve the problem,” set the mainstream media abuzz.
His position is supported by a recent study by the Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development at Wilkes University. The study showed that a bad diet results in a nutritional status that directly and indirectly influences overall health and well-being.
In other words, when you eat food without good nutrients – like fast food, refined food, and lots of sugar – it affects your health in one way or another.
There is no denying that there are other circumstances that can affect your health – toxins, accidents, and stress, to name just a few. But even a novel virus such as COVID-19 can have greater or lesser effects on your body depending on your current state of health.
According to the CDC, there is scientific evidence that some underlying medical conditions increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
• Chronic kidney disease
• Heart conditions
• High Blood pressure
• Diabetes type 2
• Immune deficiencies
Many of these ailments fall into the category of Metabolic Syndrome – a condition that affects more than 30% of Americans! The main underlying factor in Metabolic Syndrome is insulin resistance, which can be effectively treated with diet and lifestyle changes.
“The first and most important step for treating Metabolic Syndrome is the implementation of a new lifestyle with changes in diet and physical activity, as well as the acquisition of healthier habits.” Source: Journal of Clinical Medicine.
According to the National Library of Medicine, people with Metabolic Syndrome conditions were more frequent users of health insurance and the cost of their health care is higher than those without the condition.
Another study shows that patients in three different health plans confirmed that those with at least three criteria for metabolic syndrome had 60 percent higher annual costs compared with patients without metabolic syndrome.
So, it seems that Mackey has a point. Eating well and giving your body all the nutrients it needs, will lead to better health and less need for healthcare.