10 Lame Reasons for Not Eating Healthy

Although we've made great headway in the area of eating healthy, many people still question whether it's worth the effort and, more importantly, if it really makes a difference in the long run.  For sure, some of the arguments that they give for not changing their supposedly "unhealthy" diets appear to make sense. 

You may even say that, in some instances, they are 100% correct.

Having said that, some of what critics of nutritious diets say simply isn't true.  Perhaps the problem lies in thinking that it's okay to make outlandish generalizations (one way or the other), or maybe it's just that these people have espoused one of three popular attitudes:

  • "Out of mind, out of sight . . . I won't worry about what isn't blatantly obvious and plainly proven!"
  • "I trust the government, the pharmaceutical industry and mainstream media, period!"
  • "Some people spend too much effort, time and money worrying about what they eat--what you eat doesn't matter that much!"

Whatever their views or motives, though, people who reject the notion that what we eat greatly affects our health are, to put it delicately, unnecessarily "playing Russian roulette" with their health.  What these people fail to realize is that much of what they have been taught (or continue to be told through the mainstream media) about diets and what constitutes healthy eating is patently wrong, heavily biased, based on outdated or unproven "facts," or spewed by people/organizations heavily conflicted (that is, they are more interested in selling a product or defending an industry than they are in the public's health).

Beyond the ubiquitous misinformation, there are the lame excuses people continue to use as excuses for not eating better.  These include:

"People are generally living long lives in spite of eating supposedly 'cruddy' diets!"

Reality Check:  People are indeed living longer than they did, say, 100 or more years ago, but the reasons for that go beyond diet.  Other reasons include better medical care, better sanitation, improved technology, etc.  This does not mean, however, that bad dietary choices and worsening quality of food hasn't taken its toll on humanity. 

We may be living longer, in general, but chronic disease (i.e., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, auto-immune disorders, etc.) have replaced contagious/communicable diseases.  Like the plagues preceding the 1900s, these non-germ-related chronic diseases are also killing large numbers of people--it's just that they take longer to inflict their lethality. 

In theory, we could drastically reduce the high number of deaths (and the low quality of life that precede such) being inflicted by  these diseases, if only we could significantly improve dietary habits and the quality/nutritiousness of our food.

"We're all going to die anyway!"

Reality Check:  Yes, eating healthy can't stop anyone from dying, but it can affect what type of death you will ultimately experience--i.e., a painful, long-drawn-out, rather expensive bout with cancer or a restful, quick outing from "natural causes." 

Also, if you could extend your life by, say, 5, 10, 15, or 20 years, wouldn't that be extra time you could spend being with those you love, traveling to special places, continuing to do what you do for a living, or simply enjoying the simple pleasures of life?

"Studies show that most people who eat healthy aren't outliving those who eat badly!"

Reality Check:  Yes, it's true that the statistics for both groups aren't drastically different.  Statistics, though, can be deceiving or they can lead to faulty, short-sighted conclusions.  First of all, it's difficult for those who want to eat healthy these days to completely avoid all the poisons in our food and water these days--in fact, it's darn well impossible. 

In other words, we're all being exposed to things that are damaging our health and unnecessarily shortening our lifespans.  This, however, doesn't negate or disprove the fact that by eating healthy we can counter or reduce some of the effects of this ubiquitous toxicity and decreasing availability of nutritious food.

Secondly, most people who eat healthy don't start eating healthy from an early age.  This is something that most people pick up in their teens or when they get older, after they acquire the wisdom and education needed to abandon bad habits. 

In other words, both groups of people have sustained significant damage to their bodies by the time they start eating right--and that's assuming that even when people want to eat right they can afford to do so or have access to nutritious food, something which is becoming more and more difficult these days, considering how pesticide-preservative-&-chemical polluted all our food and water has become these days.

"The government wouldn't allow something to be sold to the public if it were bad for us!"

Reality Check:  It would be wonderful if this were true.  Actually, the government can be given a lot of credit for some of the things which have made our food safer.  We can thank the FDA, for example, for requiring most food products to list ingredients.  And we can thank the USDA for having most meats inspected in the US.

Especially, lately, however, the government agencies that are supposed to supervise the quality of our food and water often have incestuous (metaphorically speaking) relationships with the industries they are supposed to monitor and police.  This is especially glaring in the case of GMOs. 

The truth is that we don't know how GMOs will affect us in the long run and, in spite of the lack of appropriate safety studies that are supposed to answer legitimate questions/concerns, GMOs were approved, mostly because food industry bribes and lobbying paved the way for such an irresponsible agenda

"Private industry doesn't want to be sued, so they wouldn't sell something they knew to be harmful!"

Reality Check:  The truth is that lawsuits are both expensive and difficult to employ.  And, even if you can afford to hire a good lawyer, most industries have better legal representation than what you can afford.  Beyond that, the burden of proof is on the person/organization suing. 

It's one thing to think something is harmful--it's a totally different, rather expensive and time-consuming proposition proving it!  Knowing this, most big companies aren't as worried about lawsuits as you might think. 

For example, we've known or have suspected (with good scientific reason) that things like vaccines, carbonated drinks, most preservatives, cell phones, most painkillers, fumes from gasoline, refined sugar, bleached flour, most artificial sweeteners, toxic food/taste enhancers (like MSG, partially hydrogenated oils, brominated vegetable oil), etc., are responsible for many deaths, chronic disease and significant public health harmfulness, but these products have flourished nevertheless.   

Why, because the science against them was weak or unsupported by research? No, but, rather, because the people who are making huge profits from these things suppress further research, pay for aggressive campaigns to defend these products, and even go as far as sponsoring research that is blatantly biased or downright fraudulent.

"The experts can't make up their own minds regarding what's good for us and what's bad!"

Reality Check:  Yes, it's true that experts seem to take sides, one favoring something, others opposing it.  But this is often due to a number of misleading circumstances.  Experts on the payroll of Big Food, for example, don't see any thing wrong with vegetable oil, margarine, and most packaged/processed bottled and canned products. 

Independent researchers, however, have concluded that most vegetable oils and margarine products contain unnatural, synthetic fats that are very bad for us; they also think that most bottled and canned foods contain dangerous preservatives, obesity-inducing monosodium glutamate, possibly-cancer-causing Bisphenol-A, and liver-damaging high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  

Disagreements of this nature have more to do with who's paying whom to say what; were it not for such financial distractions, experts would agree more often than they do now.  In other words, if scientific facts and personal integrity were the ruling factors you wouldn't see as much disagreement as you see right now.

"These so-called 'health experts' make it look as if everything is bad for us!"

Reality Check:  It may appear that way but that is far from the truth.  The problem is that the list of things that are bad for us is a rather long one; predictably, such a list grows bigger as more studies are conducted, more people get interested in the topic and technology improves. 

Beyond that, people are literally being avalanched with health information these days.  Unfortunately, this has had a desensitizing effect and, for some people, an overwhelming one. 

The key is to pay attention to health warnings, making sure you thoroughly evaluate the information so that you can make a well-informed decision.  In most cases, avoiding or cutting down on something you've been told is bad for you is your best bet, especially if it's something you can live without or which doesn't pose a threat by having it reduced/removed from your diet. 

"If the mainstream media and big corporations say something is safe, then it must be safe!"

Reality Check:  Unfortunately, many people have developed an almost childish blind trust in both mainstream media and the government.  It's almost as if they forget that these sources have often lied to people in the past, sometimes under the guise of "doing what was best for the public." 

For years, for example, both the tobacco companies and government agencies told the public that tobacco products were perfectly all right for human consumption.  They did this in spite of knowing about the many studies and experts who opined otherwise. 

We see the same kind of deceptiveness and profit-motivated legerdemain and trickery today in regards to such things as vaccines, GMOs, liquor, carbonated drinks, painkillers, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food dyes/coloring, food additives, etc. 

"Eating right is unaffordable . . . we must eat what we can afford!"

Reality Check:  If most people realized how much they spend on fast food, on eating out, and on packaged/processed foods, they might then figure out that, for essentially the same amounts of money, they could eat more nutritiously. 

For example, by starting their own container, indoor or greenhouse edible-plants gardens, they could have immediate access to nutritious fruits, herbs and vegetables year round

By making and carrying their own snacks and meals--instead of buying prepared food--they could not only eat healthier (by avoiding fried, heavily-processed fast foods), but also save money.  Buying organic produce, while it's a smart thing to do, is indeed expensive. 

Then again, the idea is that by consuming such you will feel better, get sick less often, and avoid some serious medical problems--in other words, you will, in theory, spend less on medical expenses, lose fewer paid work days, and make more money (by being more alert, energetic, healthier and stronger).

"If something doesn't make us sick right away or noticeably then it must be safe for human consumption!"

Reality Check:  This fallacy not only motivates some people to avoid improving dietary habits but it also hampers the efforts (sometimes purposely) of the food industry and government agencies overseeing such to maintain and enhance the quality of our food and water supplies.  For some strange reason, for example, regular folks and some so-called "health experts" seem to be oblivious to the concepts of long-term toxicity, pathogenicity, and teratogenicity

For the record, something doesn't have to make you sick right away or make you keel over instantaneously in order to be bad for you! 

Take radiation, for example.  Before scientists realized how harmful it could be, they often exposed themselves to ionic radiation, mostly because, at least at low levels, there were no immediate signs or symptoms of pathophysiological trouble. 

Marie Curie, for example, worked with radiation for years, not realizing that it was slowly poisoning her.  This great pioneer in physics and chemistry made the same mistake we are still making in many areas of public health--i.e., underestimating the potential harmfulness of things we don't completely understand, which have not been tested well enough and which impart a harmfulness that may take years to notice and prove. 

So-called "millimeter wave machines" being placed in major airports by the TSA is a perfect example of this kind of arrogant, head-in-the-sand ignorance.  Without adequate safety studies backing their claims, the TSA has deployed these machines, mostly because they don't appear to immediately impart any kind of harmfulness. 

Well, what about long-term harmfulness?  Such a thing can only be determined with long-term safety studies and experiments.  Pretending that such studies are ever "not-needed," especially when many experts are warning that such technology is dangerous, is foolhardy at best and "criminal" at worst. 

This is especially troubling when you realize that such technology has never been used on living persons in this capacity--that is, for other than medical purposes.  We expose people to potentially dangerous imaging technology, supposedly, because the medical benefits outweigh significant health risks.

How the TSA was able to by-pass this hitherto well-accepted precedent (without FDA approval or participation) is reason enough for legitimate concern.


Without too much effort, we can all indeed just ignore the many dangers connected with the food, water and air that we consume every day.  After all, isn't it easier to just play along, accept and conform.  So what if something is bad for us . . . don't they say "ignorance is bliss?"

Clearly, some people are going to think in those terms and there's little any of us can do to change that type of self-destructive and/or passive mindset.  For those persons, though, who prefer to be more proactive, who want to manage problems rather than be managed by them, and who know that we can indeed reap wonderful benefits from well-thought-out and well-researched action, there is indeed a better path to follow.

Such a path can lead to better health, a sound mind, and more energy for everyday responsibilities and fun activities.

You must also, though, constantly fight the urge to succumb to thoughts and mindsets that only make us lazy, less likely to do the right things, more likely to get sick, and less able to deal with problems we can't possibly completely avoid.

Copyright, 2016.  Fred Fletcher.  All rights reserved.


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5/2/2016 7:00:00 AM
Fred Fletcher
Written by Fred Fletcher
Fred Fletcher is a hard working Consumer Advocacy Health Reporter. Education: HT-CNA; DT-ATA; MS/PhD Post-Graduate Certificates/Certifications: • Project Management • Food Safety • HIPAA Compliance • Bio-statistical Analysis & Reporting • Regulatory Medical Writing • Life Science Programs Theses & Dis...
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Hey, Fred, unfortunately the medical community for the most part still rejects the concept that most diseases these days have a nutritional deficiency or dysfunctionality etiology. That same stubbornness compelled doctors in the past to refuse to wash their hands between patients. It took years and much effort to finally force them to abandon their faulty views. When we finally drill the truth into my colleagues (if ever), we will make much headway in finding cures for most chronic diseases. Great job on this article!
Posted by Dr. Dario Herrera
Here are some "Reality Checks for you, Fred... In reference to your unrealistic claims in the section of this article beginning with " Eating right is unaffordable . . . we must eat what we can afford!"

Reality Check No.1 :

Not everyone has the option of growing their own fruits, vegetables,and herbs. Some of us live in apartments where this is not allowed.

Reality Check No.2 :

Fast food and eating out are luxuries that most of us on low fixed incomes can't even afford. I can't afford to shop in a supermarket for most of my food like others because I would not have enough money to feed myself until my next disability check arrives. That leaves me the dollar stores to fill in the gaping hole in my food budget. Try paying for all your living expenses when your housing, utilities, and medical expenses eat up most of your income. It doesn't leave much left over for food.

Reality Check No.3 :

Some of us have medical issues that cannot simply be fixed with just a change in our diet. We need our over-priced medications, which is another thing that takes a big bite out of our food budgets.

Lastly, those of us who are disabled and unable to work, don't have the option of increasing our income to afford healthier foods.

Posted by Debra
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