"Why should I waste my time in eating healthy and missing the pleasure of eating whatever I love, when we are all going to die one day?" Have you heard some version of this statement? I have; many times. In fact, I may have, at one time, believed in a milder version, especially when I had to let go of some of my favorite foods to prevent getting migraines. But I couldn't have been more wrong at the time. Eating healthy is less to do with how long we live or whether we get a disease or not, but something else. It mostly has to do with getting the clean ENERGY that we need everyday to go through our lives.
Can eating healthy guarantee a long, disease-free life? Probably not!
No! No study has ever proven that healthy eating offers 100% guarantee of living longer or not ever getting a disease. However, some studies have seen a correlation between eating largely a plant-based diet and living longer and healthier . There have been numerous studies that link the Mediterranean Diet, which is high in plant-based ingredients, especially fruits and vegetables with longevity  . Eating healthy has also been associated with preventing lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. But again, despite eating healthy, even consistently, sometimes our bad genes can show up to cause diseases.
I am not trying to confuse you, but illustrate that eating healthy, while doesn't offer absolute guarantee of disease-free longevity, it DOES increase the PROBABILITY or doing that. As probability is not 100% assurance, in my opinion, we humans don't find the less than 100% promise of a healthy diet appealing, especially if it comes at the cost of spending time in cooking, choosing costlier food ingredients, and breaking the convenient dependence on packaged foods that are designed to hook us to eat foods high in salt, sugar, and fat for life .
There is definitely some truth to the saying, "I am going to die one day.....so why should I bother changing my anything" Well, I am not trying to be morbid here; but humans are blessed with an average lifespan of somewhere around 80 years (the average life expectancy in the U.S.) So why should we eat healthy?
What does it mean by eating healthy?
This topic deserves its own place on the blog, so for now we can define healthy as food that offers maximum energy and decreases the chances of debilitating lifestyle diseases ranging from headaches, heartburn, to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Many studies and experts propose eating whole-food, plant-based diet as the one that offers the above-mentioned benefits. However, for now we can assume that diet high in whole foods (low in processed foods) and in foods that your body and energy levels thrive on is a healthy diet (more on this later.)
Energy is the biggest currency in our life
For a minute close your eyes and imagine you have a slight headache or heartburn. Or you continually feel low on energy and irritable. Or you are either constipated or have Diarrhea. If this happens day-after-day, how would you feel? You have no particular disease, but you go through your day feeling that you have not given your 100% because you had a headache, heartburn, or were feeling irritable and so on. While there are other factors that can affect our energy levels, stress for example, food plays a major part in determining your physical energy. Food is the FUEL that our body runs on, much like cars. And when we adulterate that food with chemicals, excess salt, sugar, and (wrong) fat, it doesn't work as it should. It doesn't offer the pure energy it is supposed to; it often becomes an ENERGY THIEF. It is interesting to note, we are trying to find that missing energy in foods/beverages that seem to offer energy, but actually robs us of energy in the long term--sugar, energy drinks, etc.
So if you find yourself debating why should I eat healthy, think of the energy expenditure you would need to make in the course of your day. If you find yourself short of energy to go through your day, there is a good, compelling reason to eat healthy.
4. Salt, Sugar, and Fat--How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss