I’m a middle-aged, middle-class able white guy living in the US. Like many in my demographic I’ve been indifferent to my health for most of my life.
Until last year!
Last year a co-worker, about ten years older than me, had a serious, life-changing health event. “Regular check-ups,” his doctor told him, “would have allowed you to catch this much earlier.” At one point one of his doctors (who, whom?, he quickly dropped) told him to get his affairs in order because he was probably going to die. (Spoiler alert: he didn’t die.)
I took a cue from his experience and visited a doctor for the first time in about a decade (which in turn was the first visit in about a decade). Turns out I have two common, but potentially serious, health concerns: high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Which means it’s time for a major, mid-life re-vamping of my diet.
In my youth, every time I ate a burger, or a pizza, or drank beer, or over-consumed fatty and fried foods, I knew the day would come when I wouldn’t be able to consistently indulge, and ignore the detrimental health effects of overdoing the salt, fat, and sugar. That day has arrived.
And, one of the big changes in my diet is more fruit.
“That’ll cause indigestion,” one of my friends said when I told him. And, frankly, that was my first thought as well. But the tummy upset only lasted a couple of days and now I’m a fruit-eating machine. The DASH diet recommends five helpings a day. I typically hit between 3 and 5 every day. That’s a lot of fruit!