The World’s Biggest Killer

“The World now eats (and dies) like Americans.” – Dean Ornish, M.D.

According to Dr. Dean Ornish, the greatest killer in the world is a bad diet. Yet, the role of diet in our general health rarely seems to get the attention it deserves. This is largely due to a skewed delivery of health care information, and the subsequent ignorance of the general public about the alarming facts of what Dr. Ornish calls the “globalization of illness”.  What are the alarming facts?   Here are a few:

  • In just one generation Asia has gone from having one of the lowest rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes to one of the highest.
  • Cardiovascular deaths equal HIV/AIDS deaths in most African countries.
  • Cardiovascular diseases kill more people each year than all other illnesses combined.

Now you may be wondering what these diseases have to do with diet. The answer is everything. Studies have shown that cardiovascular diseases are preventable and reversible for 95% of people just by changing diet and lifestyle. That's right, the most lethal killer in the world today is directly attributable to a poor diet. So what can you do? Make a healthy diet a lifestyle choice. This does not mean torturing yourself with an extreme, impossible to follow diet. Rather, it is about making sensible choices. Try to eliminate processed foods where possible, avoid the quick, easy fast food options, eliminate smoking, and everything else that is obviously terrible for your health. Instead, adopt a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole foods, and natural products along with an active lifestyle with regular exercise. Not only will you feel better every day, you will also live a lot longer. If saving yourself isn’t enough motivation, and it should be, Dr. Ornish raises a very interesting point. He observes that by using diet and lifestyle changes to reduce preventable diseases we can then free up resources to dedicate to diseases like HIV, Cancer, Malaria, etc. By adopting a better diet we can not only save ourselves, but also contribute to saving others.

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