I recently had a conversation with a young woman who is studying dietetics in college...
Knowing that hospitals employ dietitians to make their menus, I asked her about what she's learning & how she feels about hospital food. I was happy to hear that she's currently learning a lot about the gut "microbiome," which refers to all the good bacteria in our intestines. That bacteria is essential for our digestive & immune health, and is harmed by poor diet & destroyed by antibiotics. I was, however, saddened to hear that she has no interest in working in a clinical (hospital) setting because for some reason, hospital systems don't follow evidence-based nutrition & health.
There seems to be a complete disconnect between what we are putting into the body and the health of the body.
In the past week, 2 people I know sadly had to go to the hospital for health issues.
Generally, when I have to visit a hospital, I have a mental crisis.
What disturbs me the most, are not the endless halls full of rooms of ailing people or even all the medications they are pumping into them, but it is the food they are serving them. While there are certainly exceptions, often you'll find on a hospital food tray: some form of protein, sides of overcooked carrots or corn, maybe white-flour spaghetti, usually a roll with butter, some kind of sugary fruit juice, perhaps soda, definitely jello, with a side of food dyes and artificial flavoring. This is a recipe for sickness & disease and repeat customers.
Even if the food served is somewhat nutritious, we must also consider what well-intentioned visitors are bringing... delightful comfort foods.. chocolate, candy, cookies, oh my!
"With every bite & drink we take,
we're either feeding disease or fighting it."
The cliche rings true, we really are what we eat! Our bodies, which are a part of nature, are designed to work beautifully, but only if we act in accordance with the laws of nature & biology. It is well established in research that sugar & processed foods FEED DISEASE. So why are we adding fuel to the fire?
Our chemistry is incredibly complicated & thank goodness we don't need to think about all of the countless processes that need to occur in order for us to function.. we just need to feed our intelligent bodies energy/nutrient-rich foods to keep it all going. In an ideal world (someday, I hope), hospitals will serve organic green juice, locally grown vegetables & whole-food supplements. But for now, we must take matters into our own hands.
What would happen to your well-running car if you starting pouring soda or juice in the tank instead of gas?
It may run great on coffee! ;)
Do you think our bodies are designed to get sick and dysfunctional?
Do we get sick due to a lack of antibiotics or drugs?
No, in most cases, we get sick when we act out of alignment with nature, with our genetic code.
As Michael Pollen, food expert & author, states...
"If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't."
While nutrition can seem confusing, if you understand these basic principles, your common sense will guide you.
For more in depth info on hospital food & how to eat for health, I refer you to Dr. Josh Axe's blog, where he thoroughly discusses the matter...I couldn't have put it better myself!
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