Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.
- Hippocrates (460-377 BC)
You need only to view the movie Super Size Me to understand how foods impact the body. In the movie, the director Morgan Spurlock chronicles the adverse health outcomes he experienced from eating nothing but fast food for several weeks. He not only gained weight, he experienced alarming metabolic changes that put him at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
Spurlock was eating foods that gave his body the wrong messages. For instance, in just a few weeks, the excessive amounts of saturated and trans-fatty acids in the fast food diet led to inflammation and higher blood cholesterol. In addition, the fast food diet failed to provide the information necessary for normal metabolic function, which also contributed to the health changes.
Morgan Spurlock is an example of what happens when food is broken down into nutrients, which then impact the metabolic programming of cells and the homeostasis (balance) in the body. There is a growing realization that the effects of nutrition on health and disease cannot be understood without a profound understanding of how nutrients act at this molecular level (Nature Reviews Genetics, 2003).