Is it worth it to modify your diet to improve your health? Recently a meta-analysis study was published that involved over 500 researchers from more than 300 institutions in over 50 countries around the world that looked at just this question. Their results are astounding. If people cut back on drinking sodas 299,521 less people would die every year. Soda however, isn’t as deadly as processed meats such as bacon, bologna, ham, and hot dogs. These are blamed for over 800,000 deaths every year. Worldwide that is four times as many people as those who die from illicit drug use. Imagine the money ours and other governments could save not just on health care but also, on the ‘war on drugs’ if people would just eliminate processed meats from their diet.
What is even more amazing is the lives that could be saved if we would just add some of the amazing foods that our Creator God has prepared for us and our healing. This same study found that eating more whole grains could potentially save 1.7 million lives a year. If we would just eat more vegetables another 1.8 million lives would be saved. Don’t miss out on this next one. If we would eat more nuts and seeds these researchers found another 2.5 million lives would be saved. These researchers didn’t even look at beans but they did look at fruit. Worldwide if all of us ate more fruit we could potentially saver another 4.9 million people.
The number one risk factor for death worldwide that they identified was high blood pressure, the silent killer. It alone kills 9 million people every year. The reason it kills so many is that it contributes to many different causes of death including stroke, heart attacks and heart disease, kidney failure, and aneurysms. In the United nearly 78 million people have been identified as having high blood pressure—that’s about one in three adult Americans.
In the 1920’s researchers did a study in Kenya where they measure the blood pressure of 1000 native Kenyans who ate a low-sodium diet centered around whole plant foods—beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens, fruit, and vegetables. Up until the age of 40 the rural Kenyans blood pressure was about the same blood pressure as Europeans and Americans, around 125/80. However, as both groups aged the Europeans and Americans blood pressure began to climb quickly exceeding the current boundaries for hypertension 130/90 and much, much higher, while the Kenyans blood pressure declined to an average of 110/70. Note that not only is it possible to decrease your blood pressure over time but it is normal for that to happen for people on a plant-based diet! Another study done during this same period looked at hospitalizations in Kenya over a 2-year period. Of over 1800 hospital admissions in one rural hospital there were zero admissions for patients who had an elevated blood pressure. Zero! High blood pressure appears to be a choice. You can get off the hypertension inducing Western diet choosing our Creator God’s diet of fruits, whole grains, beans, and vegetables and reduce your blood pressure thus reducing your risk of stroke, heart disease and heart attack, kidney disease, and aneurysms or you can keep eating Satan’s diet of processed foods and suffer disease and early death.
That’s a simple choice but sometimes hard to put into practice for those of us who have developed the habit eating processed foods. By processed foods I mean both those foods made in a manufacturing plant and those foods that have been processed by an animal eating a plant and us then eating the product of the animal or the animal itself. May I humbly suggest that in my experience asking God to help us change our habits and make better choices on what to eat is the only answer to making permanent lifestyle change. God said, “Ask and it will be given to you.” So ask Him to help you and I know He will, because He wants you to have an ‘abundant life’. John 10:10