Nutrition and national security.
Plus: Recipes that will fuel you up!
“Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch
Wednesday. In case you missed it, Election Day was yesterday. Sure, it is an off year, but some people must still care. So, who won what race? I couldn't tell you because, honestly, I have no idea. But here is what I can tell you—we have a national security problem in the U.S. that no one is talking about. Let’s dive in.
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Our National Security Is At Stake
In the United States, there’s a big problem that’s not often talked about. It’s a problem that’s affecting our military, and it’s not about weapons or politics. It’s about health—specifically, it’s about weight. Right now, many young Americans, about 77% of those between 17 and 24 years old, can’t join the military. And that number is going up, primarily due to obesity.
Think about that: three out of four young people are too heavy to serve. And then, once they do join the military, things often get worse. Even after serving, many end up with serious weight-related health issues. We’ve got a lot of active military folks who are overweight or obese. And our veterans? They’re also facing these problems, even more than the rest of us.
Now, this is where things get interesting. The military eats according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines say to eat low-fat and high-carb foods—lousy advice if you ask me.
This affects not just the military but also what kids eat at school and what we’re all told is healthy. But look around. Americans are following these rules and still getting sicker. We have to ask: Are these dietary guidelines missing something? Are they helping or doing more harm than good?
Some experts think it’s the latter. They say a diet lower in carbs—specifically refined, processed carbs—can help a lot. It can make people lose weight and even turn around health problems like metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. But the guidelines don’t necessarily give this low-carb diet as an option, even though there’s plenty of research suggesting it’s a good idea.
A study from 2018 showed that cutting carbs worked wonders for people with diabetes. Nearly all of them needed less insulin, and some didn’t need it at all. But still, many people in the military are drinking energy drinks full of sugar and caffeine. These drinks can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
Yet, for some reason, the government keeps backing these high-carb recommendations. Since the government started giving us these guidelines in 1980, things have just gotten worse. Kids and adults are much more likely to be obese now.
Our country is on the edge of a health crisis that can quickly turn into a national security crisis if we don’t turn things around. Obesity is climbing in both the general population and the military at an alarming rate. It’s urgent that we look at new ways to eat that are backed by science. The government should update the guidelines to show that eating fewer carbs can help people with obesity and other diet-related diseases. And they should do this regardless of what the Big Food lobbyists tell them to do.
The key takeaway? It’s time for a change. We need a new set of guidelines that promote healthy, whole foods, plenty of protein, healthy fats, and mostly non-starchy carbs like fruits and vegetables. Our collective health and our national security depends on it.
Unfortunately, we need Congress to make this happen, and they aren't exactly known for getting stuff done. But this is important. This is about taking care of everyone and ensuring we’re ready for whatever comes our way, whether that’s a health challenge or serving our country to keep us safe.
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