“…Sometimes I use PAM, aluminum foil and non-stick bakeware. Sometimes I use the microwave to heat my food. I don’t always buy organic. Sometimes my containers are not BPA-free. I like to use bubble baths, creams, deodorants and soaps that many of you wouldn’t dare put on your body because of “the sketchy chemicals”. I wear sunscreen, but is my sunscreen exposing me to harmful chemicals? I like having a cavity-free mouth, which is why I use fluoridated toothpaste and have my dental radiographs updated every 1.5 -2 years (meaning I expose myself to radiation).
I fly on airplanes, which means I expose myself to even more radiation! My cell phone is always next to me, which could potentially give me cancer. I like to use both stevia and splenda, but I can’t guarantee that stevia is safer than splenda because there aren’t any longitudinal studies on these sweeteners. I took a risk and had lasik vision correction, but who knows what the long term results of that will be? One thing I can guarantee is that LIFE IS SHORT. We are all going to die someday. So rather than attempt to prolong my life by waisting time fussing over every little thing that could potentially shorten my lifespan, I’d rather live my life in a way that makes me happy. Less fuss + less deprivation + less time waisted = more happiness for me. I believe more happiness will have a positive effect on the duration of my lifespan. When making decisions, we have to weigh the risk benefit ratio. I do believe healthy habits (diet and exercise) are necessary for longevity. But this is not the only secret to longevity. I also believe that optimism, engagement (a hobby), an ability to cope with loss, and social connectedness are equally important. So if you’re spending your time reheating all your food on a stove top (but not with a non-stick pan because that might cause osteoarthritis – and not with PAM because that might give you cancer – and not with coconut oil because that might give you heart disease) instead of using the microwave because the microwave might give you cancer…. well, if so, then take a moment to stop and think. Every option has an argument for and against it. It’s great that you are being proactive about your health, but the reality is that we cannot control every variable that decides our fate. For those of you who have a genetic predisposition to a condition, then YES, you must be proactive. Avoid the things that could cause you problems (ask your doctor for help). After all, genetics is your tendency, it’s not your destiny. For everyone else, here’s my advice: everything in moderation. Even moderation in moderation. What do I mean by that? Well, sometimes I use PAM. Sometimes I use coconut oil. Sometimes I use the microwave. Sometimes I use glass bakeware. Sometime I use my digital steamer. Sometimes I use my non-stick skillet. Sometimes I use parchment paper. Sometimes I use a silpat mat. Sometimes I eat the whole egg including the yolk, other times I only eat egg whites. Sometimes I use splenda. Sometimes I use stevia. You get the point. “Don’t Think Too Much. You’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place”.
By Dr. Sara Solomon