Excess Versus Deficiency
By Greg Samples
Originally published in Everything Knoxville in March, 2015
The health problems of western nations, particularly the United States, and that of third world countries can be seen as opposites. Poor nutrition, both in quantity and quality, are the hallmark of underdeveloped nations. Malnutrition is a problem in the United States too, but it is generally the result of excess rather than deficiency. Excess in America is the leading source of our health issues.
When we take in any food, the body deals with it in one of three ways. The first option is to use it. It uses it for the building of new cells and also for producing energy for our thinking and activity. If the food cannot be used for this, either because it has an unusable makeup or because it is in excess of our energy demand, the next option is to eliminate it, through digestive, excretory and respiratory functions. The third option comes in to play when we exceed our eliminatory functions’ capacity. What is not used or eliminated is stored in the body. If this storage is continued over long periods of time, the excess begins to interfere with the organs’ ability to function. Some of these organs are used for elimination (the second option) and our ability to eliminate excesses and toxins is reduced. At this point, we begin to experience the first symptoms of chronic illness. It may arise in countless ways, depending on our genetic tendencies and the amount and type of excess that we have taken in. At some point, we begin to give these symptoms names, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. But whatever their nature, their origin is in the life-style and eating pattern of the person.
The increase in consumption of animal food and simple sugars, along with the reduction of whole grains over the last century has had a devastating effect on our health. It has come at a tremendous cost, both in dollars and in human suffering. Although much has been said in the media about diet and health, most of the resources invested in research have been aimed at trying to find a magic bullet for whatever affliction is being studied. This is most likely because teaching people how to create their own health naturally rather than applying some manufactured medicine to the problem is not profitable, and it is mostly large pharmaceutical companies with an eye on profit that make the decision on what will be researched. But it is profitable for society as a whole when individuals create true health. Every dollar spent on health care reduces by one dollar what could be spent on some other item which would increase one’s standard of living.
In third world countries, charity and humanitarian aid can have positive effects on the general health of the people. But here in America, our best solution lies within ourselves. Increased knowledge and self discipline are the keys.
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