At a recent conference I was at I saw Dr. Joe Mercola. Joe looks great and seems very relaxed compared to when I saw him 5 years back. As always he is self actualized and living his truth in a fearless way.
In our brief conversation he told me one of the key points he was presenting was that “Sitting is the new Smoking”. He was of course referring to the dangers of sedentary behavior which influences just about every major health bio marker an anti-aging guy like me would be interested in. That includes telomere length which is adversely influenced by sedentary behavior.
While I don’t disagree with Dr Mercola on this one I do have my own candidate for the “New Smoking” which in my view is equally important and a major risk factor for bad health.
Eating out in restaurants.
My version of smoking is also causing major debt issues in America. Americans are eating out more than ever and are spending more and more on high priced foods. Those foods are going up disproportionately compared to food prices and more and more “exotic” restaurants are taking our dollars while mostly hurting our health.
A recent evaluation of menus showed that gourmet restaurants are the fastest growing segment of the market followed by “value gourmet” places that serve still expensive food for just enough less to attract people on the fence. The menus in both places often have stuff on the menu that sounds absolutely wonderful. The ingredients should be healthy. Figs (usually from some place that you and I have never heard of) pomegranate arils, all kinds of amazing salad dressing that should be healthy and all varieties of seafood.
Problem: most of it is mixed, stirred in or slathered in vegetable oils which are high in Omega 6 inflammatory fats, drizzled in sugar containing sauces and reductions, and the meat and fish are almost always farm raised on grain. This can totally ruin your Omega 3 level.
Then there is dessert. Sugar and non sugar carbs combined with fat to equal the same or more calories than all of the rest of dinner combined. Oh yes, I almost forgot, pair that with a generous “pour” of wine that goes beyond the moderation department.
What you get is a big bill, a big load of calories and a whopping dose of insulin/sugar all of which undermines your health.
Now if you are one of the “unlucky” Americans who cannot afford to eat out much you are actually far better off.
Spend time in the kitchen and cook for yourself and your family.
You’ll save money for things like fish oil which will do your health and your wallet a ton of good.
Oh Yeah, and like Dr. Mercola says, "stand while you cook and move around the kitchen!"