I listen to those Car Talk guys on NPR radio from time to time. They always laugh whenever someone calls in to talk about a problem with their car that they’ve been ignoring for way too long, and don’t want to pay to have it fixed. What’s funny is that if it’s a major problem, people are literally putting their lives in danger. For what? A couple of hours avoided at an auto repair shop? A few hundred dollars? If your tires are bald and blow out, causing your car to flip over, or a tie rod end breaks off, or your brakes fail, you could end up in the hospital. Or dead. Looking back, wouldn’t you have spent that bit of time and money to save your life?
Let’s turn this story about cars into an analogy for your body. If someone suggested that you put a teaspoon of sugar into the gas tank of your vehicle everytime you filled up, they’d think you were insane. They would ask “Why? I’d be ruining a perfectly good engine!!” But what do you think you’re doing everytime you eat a foot-long chili dog? Or a doughnut? Or an Uncrustable?
The same goes for the food choices you make to fuel your body. If you continue to gain large amounts of weight as you get older from those years of bad choices, you’re putting junk into a machine, and gradually it won’t work quite as well as it should. Sooner, rather than later, it quits working.
You body can do amazing things, and it will process just about anything you put into it. Although, when you eat things that are far from natural, as in heavily processed, or containing abnormal amounts of fat or sugar, it puts a heavy strain on many different organs. Namely your liver, kidneys, and intestines have to work extra hard in order to handle food that really, it wasn’t designed to.
The evolution of the human body got a slap in the face during the past century or so. Our insides had never seen a chicken fried steak, or a chicago style deep-dish pizza, or EZ-Cheese, or a deep-fried twinkie.
Many would argue that this is why NOT ONLY are obesity rates going through the roof, but cancer, heart disease, and diabetes numbers are all skyrocketing. The most obvious change that our species has experienced recently is our diet. We went from “Hunter-Gatherers” to “Gorging-Gluttonous-Fat-Sedentary-Sloths”.
The abundance of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fat has far outnumbered the wholesome, healthy ones. From an evolutionary standpoint, how could anyone expect our bodies to cope with such a huge change in diet, and not react the way it has.