Science 5 min read

Study Proves that Food is the Best Medicine

margouillat photo /

margouillat photo /

Drugs are valuable products to the company that patents them. In fact, pharmaceutical companies work hard to remove incentive from medical cures. The best way to combat high drug prices is to eat healthily. 

It goes without saying that the pharmaceutical industrial complex is not necessarily a humanitarian venture, but rather a global, profit-generating phenomenon.

Though the pharmaceutical industry profits off of keeping people alive, there are few drugs that are meant to specifically function as cure-alls for illness, despite efforts of medical research that focuses on the eradication of life-threatening illnesses.

Recently, we looked into the details for why finding a cure is always less lucrative than finding a treatment. Medical researchers are rapidly developing new technology that is capable of revealing aspects of biological research that were previously inaccessible.

The CRISPR genome editing system is an example of new technology that has uncharted potential for medical research and development, but it seems as if the funding for CRISPR and other medical imaging tech are facing an uphill battle. Short term drug treatments remain to be heavily incentivized, and this trend will only continue to rise even as medical technology becomes more advanced.

Eating healthy foods can reduce your dependence on the pharmaceutical industry.Click To Tweet

Looking toward food as a healing measure seems like an obvious approach. Yet, as we continue to struggle with our relationship with food culturally, drastic measures may be necessary to spur a cultural food revolution.

You Are What You Eat

We’ve come to a point in our evolution where we eat things that aren’t food.

Processed foods are comprised of derivatives, preservatives, fillers and flavorants. Producers strive to spend as little as possible while producing massive quantities.

As a result, consumers spend time, money and energy procuring things that are actually making us sick. We judge how good food is by how it tastes and looks instead of what it contains or where it came from.

The blame for this American mentality is cultural, and can not be blamed solely on consumers. They are subject to a barrage of visuals from advertising campaigns that make cheap, processed foods seem enticing.

Often we do not realize the immediate effects that unhealthy food has on our bodies. A study out of the German Diabetes Center shows how a high-saturated fat meal, just mere ounces, can damage metabolic processes.

A few studies even show that there is a connection between autism and a diet based on refined sugars in the developed world. More and more, sugar makes its way into the diets of people in the United States.

Conversely, a different study explains the beneficial health effects of a scientifically created fasting diet. Dieters experienced lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, weight loss with just weekly alteration of their diet. Dieters rejoiced as the rest of their time was spent eating whatever they wanted.

It’s possible that the diet had a placebo effect. Increased awareness of what people are actually consuming tends to produce healthy choices. Yet, the results are impressive.

Medicine and Diet Culture

It’s true that a “healthy” diet should be a normal diet. We all know that eating well lowers are risks for developing certain diseases and conditions. Although some may have genetic predispositions to certain ailments, giving our bodies what they need to function properly is key to limiting risk no matter what.

Redefining the cultural relationship to food might be the only way to help us not become prisoners to big pharma later on in life. For a lot of people, preventative medicine and diet changes are guaranteed ways to avoid diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and liver disease.

Every year, in the U.S. alone, consumers spend upwards of $60 billion USD on diet pills, programs, and methods. The U.S. alone holds about 40% of the global pharmaceutical market, and in 2015 Americans spent over $250 billion USD on medications. Unfortunately, diet pills are not usually very healthy in the long term. The quick fix is a symptom of the feedback loop between consumers, food industry, and big pharma.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Since there is no cure for greed, we might as well figure out a way to incentivize healthy eating in a way that can reach a broader market than those in the U.S who can afford to have access to healthy food options.

One option is to figure out how to change economic incentives for producers so that smaller production is economically viable and even competitive.

We can also work to change the culture for consumers. Marketers should get more creative when selling healthy food. If we change the way that we approach eating so that food is viewed on par with medicine instead of some sort of instant gratification that has no real influence on nutrition, we can change the way that we talk about health in general.

There are a myriad of huge cultural shifts that will have to take place to reduce our dependence on the pharmaceutical industry. Medicine can solve problems temporarily, but eating healthy foods can make medicine superfluous.

What do you see as a truly healthy lifestyle?

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