The Biggest Lies In Healthcare

My friend, you’ve been told a lie.  Several lies, in fact.  I want to expose some of the biggest lies in healthcare and help you see the truth.

You’ve been misled by several authorities that should have been trustworthy.  Some of these lies have been told by accident, and some of them are deliberate.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  If you know of a lie I don’t mention PLEASE comment at the bottom and expose the truth.  They are just the most persistent and harmful, hateful lies I can think of right now.

1.  Food additives are harmless

I could write a book about this one.  The food industry has exploded the number of chemicals added to our food to make it cheaper, look better, taste better, last longer.

The government (more on that later) and the food industry have a category for these food additives:  “Generally Recognized as Safe,” or GRAS.  According to whom?!  There is no requirement that companies demonstrate ANY scientific evidence of safety before rolling out a new food additive.

Some of these food additives have been clearly linked to increased risk of cancer, like trans fats or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils.  Others are associated with behavior disturbances in children, like artificial flavors and colors.  Artificial sweeteners promote obesity, they don’t reduce it.

I don’t generally hold up Europe as an example of how things should be, but in this case I agree with their stance.  Nothing may be added to food without demonstrating its safety.  This is called the “Precautionary Principle,” where you assume something is harmful until it’s proven to be safe.  Kraft, Kellogg’s and many other food companies successfully market and sell their products in Europe without food additives.  Why do we buy the American versions here?!

Please read food labels.  Avoid partially hydrogenated vegetable oils like the plague.  Consider carefully before buying products with artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame, saccharine), artificial colors (the color plus a number), or any chemical whose name you don’t recognize.

There ARE alternatives out there that don’t have these chemicals.  For example, I’ve been frustrated for a long time because it’s difficult to find baking mixes (like cakes, brownies, etc) that don’t have partially-hydrogenated oils.  Check them out at the grocery store next time you are there.  I finally found the Immaculate Baking Company!  My son and I made their brownies and they are delicious!  (Not an affiliate, just a fan, LOL!)

2.  The government will protect you

OK, now I’m going to offend some folks.  The government looks out for its own interests, not yours.  This is because the government is made up of PEOPLE who are flawed and self-interested, just like the rest of us.

Companies lobby congress and give our representatives gifts and contribute to their campaigns.  Legislators and other government workers have their own agendas.  They champion causes that will get them elected.

I don’t trust the government to protect anyone but themselves.  Individuals don’t have the money to influence the legislative process, not compared to corporations and lobbyists.  Our individual concerns get lost in the shuffle.

In fact, there was a recent article published by CNN (not usually my favorite source, but this one is good) about the increasing amounts of pesticides permitted in our food supply.  Companies like Monsanto are gradually persuading the government to relax regulations about how much pesticide can be allowed in our food.

The government works for us, and like any other employee, they need supervision.  We all need to keep an eye on our government and their behavior.

3.  Someone or something else is responsible for your health

This one is a rotten lie.  Unfortunately it’s one that most Americans completely swallow every day.

We want someone else to fix us.  The doctor “fixes” your recurrent sinus infections (while you continue to smoke).  The cardiologist “fixes” your heart disease with stents (while you continue to smoke and eat whatever you want to eat).  The bariatric surgeon “fixes” your obesity with gastric bypass (while you change your diet for a few months but then gradually go back to old habits).

There is a limit to what others can fix when it comes to your health.  However, there is NO limit to what YOU can fix when it comes to your health.

You can choose to treat food as a grand adventure, changing your favorite recipes to make them healthier and exploring new healthy recipes until you find ones you adore.  You can choose to try out many different forms of exercise until you find one or more that you love.  You can choose to learn the practices of mindfulness and gratitude until you can create your own happiness from within.

No doctor can “fix” you.  We are only coaches and cheerleaders.

I love it when patients want to learn how to be healthy.  When they embrace the food adventure and bring ME healthy recipes they’ve found or created, I’m tickled.  When they tell me they took a ballroom dancing class, I want to do a happy dance!  (Sometimes I really do it.  Ask Sarah and Shari, LOL!)

I want you to be in charge of your own health.  You can choose to eat healthy food without nasty chemical additives.  You can choose to keep a close eye on our government and their shenanigans.  You can be the architect of your own health, with the assistance and guidance of your doctor.

QUESTION:  Have you come across any other health care lies?

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