Challenges from Modern Amenities and Simple Strategies to Combat those
AMENITIES AND BLESSINGS OF MODERN ERA:
We are lucky living in these modern times when science has advanced so much to ease our many health related issues. We are now able to take care of our health much better than what we could few decades ago. In past century alone, we had many innovations. For example, antibiotics were discovered, cholesterol is better understood, blood sugar meter invented, tests like HbA1c developed and we now know that peptic ulcers is caused by H. pylori and many such ingenious discoveries and breakthroughs.
CHALLENGES AND ISSUES FROM THE BLESSINGS OF MODERN ERA:
While these inventions and innovations have provided us so many amenities and blessings, they have brought many challenges and issues to our health also. If we understand these issues well, we can protect our health by avoiding many pitfalls that affect our health adversely. I suggest use of simple common sense to combat these challenges. I have explained some of the major issues and challenges and have suggested recommendations and strategies to keep enjoying the amenities and blessings and yet stay in control to preserve and protect our health.
Our sedentary indoor living in air-conditioned spaces:
Industrial revolution and habit of staying in air-conditioned spaces has made our lives sedentary and living indoor. This has caused majority of us now being obese and Vitamin D deficient. It is now becoming known that Vitamin D has impact at cell
Recommended strategy: Stay active, exercise and walk regularly in open air or join a gym if your work is not strenuous enough. ular and genetic levels of many diseases including depression, diabetes, ADD, cancers and Alzheimer’s.
Processed foods: Another invited problem that we are facing is from processed foods. Processing was found as solution to increase shelf life of foods and delay their going rancid. During processing, nutritious vitamins and oils are removed leaving mostly high glycemic index simple carbohydrate, hence increasing incidence of diabetes, insulin resistance and heart diseases.
Recommended strategy: Consume the whole grains and plant-based food. One simple rule: If the food comes from “agricultural plant” it is good for health, but if it originates from “industrial plant”, avoid it.
Farm bred proteins: Much of our chicken, ham, beef and fish are now farm produced called Concentrated [or Confined] Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Birds and animals are fed mostly corn to fatten them and kept indoors. Antibiotics and growth hormones are used to increase production. Human consumption of resultant animal proteins cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease and it’s other unforeseen complications.
Recommended strategy: It may not be easy to go back by 100 or 200 years, but if we remain cognizant of the issues from farm-produced food, we will change our choices.
Fructose, our new cheap sugar: High fructose corn syrup was in Japan in 1970s. Because it is cheaper and sweeter, the cola and juice industries quickly adopted it to bolster profits and anything sweet is likely to contain fructose today. But while every cell of body uses glucose, fructose is metabolized differently in liver and is thought to be cause of fatty liver disease.
Recommended strategy: Avoid fructose. Only natural source of fructose is fruits and honey. Consume these in small quantity but do avoid all cola drinks and juices.
Industrialization: This started almost 200 years ago bringing with it a large number of amenities. It has raised issues of industrial waste disposal, pollution of our food, drinking water, rivers and environment.
Recommended strategy: We do not wish to lose our triumphs in industries. But conceding to existence of environmental problem will make it easy to mange it. Strict protocols are needed for the industrial waste.
Over use of antibiotics: To fulfill needs of great increase in population and their amenities we are using vast amount of antibiotics and chemicals in industries and agriculture. They do help increase the yield of agricultural produce, poultry and meat and increases shelf life of foods. However, they cause resistance of bacteria and pollute our foods and environment causing worsening many diseases.
Recommended strategy: This requires urgently educating public by awareness programs. That will prevent and minimize the damage to our health.
Chemicals, germicides, pesticides etc.: Hundreds of thousands of petro-chemicals are produced from oil. They are used in fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Many of them are unknown and unverified. They cause many unintended consequence and in long term will bring further perils to human health if not regulated well.
Recommended strategy: This also needs education of everyone about serious possible harm such chemicals are causing to our health. Minimize use of chemicals.
Communication revolution: This is a great leap forward of mankind. Never before a person from one corner of world could speak or see another one many thousands miles away, which is now possible. Until last century the fastest ride on earth was horseback but presently we can go around the whole planet within a day. However, this adds to stress because of being continuously wired, pressurized and time constrained, resulting in physical and mental ill health.
Recommended strategy: This blessing has many real benefits to mankind. Still, these profits need to be weighed against its possible harms caused by tension anxiety and strain, causing illnesses.
Radioactive materials for weapons and medicine: During last century we have witnessed a new race for harnessing atomic energy for peaceful, medicinal as well as aggression purposes. However, they have their inherent problems and are proven to cause cancers. These are better known since its use in WWII and Fukushima atomic energy plant and other similar accidents.
Recommended strategy: We need to have definitive protocols for the use of this potentially harmful invention to ensure that we do enjoy the benefits but avoid its harmful effect on our health. Avoid being near any radiation hazard.