Modern people have busy lifestyles that make them eat out more often and consume convenient foods (refined, processed, salty, canned foods), which causes chronic diseases like hypertension, kidney diseases, CAD, ischemic stroke, diabetes and some cancers.
CAD, ischemic stroke, diabetes and some cancers were common in high-income countries, but has now become a common source of mortality worldwide, due not to genetic factors, but to environmental factors, including diet and lifestyle. Low rates of these diseases can be attained without drugs or expensive medical facilities, because these rates have been historically low in developing countries with few medical facilities. However preventing these diseases will require changes in behaviors related to smoking, physical activity and diet; investment in education, food policies, and urban physical infrastructure are needed to support and encourage these changes.
Reductions in dietary fiber and increases in the dietary glycemic load (large amounts of carbohydrates from refined starches and sugar) and high energy density diets, contributes to obesity (BMI of 30 and greater) and overweight (BMI of 25-30). Inexpensive food energy from refined grains, sugar and vegetable oils has become extremely plentiful in most countries.
Whole grains (free of chemical fertilizers and sprays and unrefined) contain all of the B vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids and good quality proteins. It is also a very important staple food for vegetarians. With refined grains most of these nutrients are removed – all that is left, is a dead kernel. Refined grains, robbed of the minerals and vitamins found in the discarded outer layers, strain the digestion process. Even in enriched foods, only two or three B vitamins and iron are replaced; the remaining eight vitamin B’s, minerals and proteins are refined out. Whole grains are prepared for eating through sprouting, soaking and cooking until tender.