It was International Men’s Day last Monday and it was so good to see the word getting out there about men getting checkups.

I know that both Peter and I were oblivious to the fact that he was silently getting ill and what scares me the most is that it was mainly my cooking doing it.

Not only slowly killing him but also showing our children how to do it to their future partners too.

Your not being told all options for your health

What I can’t understand though, with all the scientific evidence out there now, and the World Health Organisation speaking out around the need for healthy change, that both the NZ Health Department and the Heart Foundation made no mention whatsoever on how to reverse and prevent the silent killers of heart disease and stroke.  

Don’t get me wrong they do talk about lifestyle changes, exercise and diet but, as I found out, it is not clear on what or how.  Yes they do say manly fruit and vegetables, legumes etc but they are also saying you can eat dairy, meat and fish.

While Peter was in hospital for his TIA (trans ischemic attack) stroke there was a patient next to him with major breathing issues.

The doctors called for a family conference and told them all that if he didn’t stop smoking immediately he would die. They were also told to change too because “you can’t expect him to stop if you are all smoking around him,” they said.

Until they do that sort of thing with diet also, heart disease will remain the biggest killer in our society.

When we left the hospital we were none the wiser that what we were eating was not healthy. We were told to cut down on salt but not guided to anything regarding healthy choices for living. There was no family conference for us.

It has taken us four years to get our heads around it as we struggled to work out why, when we cut red meat, we were still not losing weight or changing Peter’s cholesterol. I would be so angry if, after thinking we were eating healthy, I had still lost him only to find that I was just not given all the information.  

Studies have shown that the reason the doctors don’t discuss a whole food diet with patients is because they believe people will not accept it. Isn’t that the choice of the patient and their family?

Change now for your loved one

I have been so lucky to have a husband that is willing to change, but no one can do it on their own. Partners and family have to be on board as well. Believe me you will all benefit.

I have lost weight even while I am pre-menopausal at nearly 50. We both have a lot more energy and love seeing the change in each other.

Life is too precious to be selfishly eating only what you want to. Yes meat, fish, dairy and eggs taste great, but are they worth dying for?

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