I want to talk about the fork for just minute, your fork. It is quite an astonishing fact that over 300,000 Americans die annually of diseases, or complications of diseases that are diet-related. In fact, diet-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancers, strokes, diabetes and osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and cholesterol are, or are among, the top killers of Americans.
New research says that one out of every three people diagnosed with coronary artery disease before age 40 dies within 15 years. The death rate was nearly two out of three for those with diabetes. Study author Dr. Joe Miller III, an assistant professor of preventative cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, says, “Their mortality rate is so dramatic. A third of them were dead at follow-up. It’s a little shocking.”
If you are under 40 and at risk for heart disease because of diabetes or obesity, or simply because you eat the Standard American Diet, you’d better get serious about taking better care of yourself. Just a little over two years ago, I decided to get serious about taking better care of myself (better late than never). At age 30, I realized that I couldn’t coast on my relative youth forever. I began to fear that if I continued on eating as I was, I would end up having a heart attack, or developing cancer.
Man, I haven’t got time for the pain of these diseases! I don’t have the time to go through surgery, or chemotherapy, and recovery. I don’t have the time to sit in doctors’ offices, or on the toilet all constipated, and crabby. (I guess that gives literal meaning to the descriptive phrase, “anal retentive”, doesn’t it?) Life is too short as it is, to spend it all depressed, or in less than good health. Moreover, I can’t afford the cost of all the medicine, and I am not overly excited about dying before my time.
In many ways, it all gets down to the fork, or what we shovel into our mouths with our forks, meal after meal. Thomas Moffett, author of Health’s Improvement, in 1600 A.D. wrote, “Men dig their graves with their own teeth and die more by those fated instruments than the weapons of their enemies.” Think about that for a minute, because it is true. Around 55,000 American troops were lost in the Vietnam War over a period of approximately 8 years. Compare that to 300,000 Americans lost per year to diet-related diseases!
Robert Siegal, talking about his diet in Erik Marcus’ book Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating, says this, “Some people like to tell me that the way I eat is radical. Well I think it’s radical when they take you into the hospital on a gurney and they decide you need a $40,000 operation. I think it’s radical when they saw your ribs open and then they take pieces of artery from your legs and they sew them onto your heart. That’s radical. Eating beans and delicious vegetables and grains is not radical.”
There are decisions to be made. In other words, you have come to the proverbial “Fork in the Road.” Stop digging your grave with your fork, and start digging into delicious fruits and vegetables! One option is to become vegetarian all together, or vegan (no animal meat or dairy products). There is a price to pay for ignorance, whether it is well intentioned or willful. Even the Bible says that people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)
Proverbs warns us not to crave the rich food. It says “When you go to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, that food it is deceptive.” (Proverbs 23:3) Is it worth it to go on eating the deadly deceptive rich Standard American Diet?
Jesus said, “…wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13) In this country, a.k.a., Fat Land, there is a growing epidemic of obesity. Are you on the wide road that leads to destruction? If you are, get off of it now! I got off of that road 2 years ago, and it has made all the difference.
My friend, you have come to a fork in the road. In the words of Muriel Stode, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” In the words of Robert Frost, “Take the Road Less Traveled.”
Related: Eat Healthy While Traveling