Dr. Magryta: Eat to Live
08/28/09 by Staff Writer
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an edited version of the story by Hugh Fisher that appeared in the August 28, 2009, issue of the Salisbury Post.
Live a long healthy life. Keep your mind and your energy. Die with a minimum of disease and pain.
If you eat right, exercise and cut down the number of toxins in your living environment, those could be the positive results, according to a Salisbury doctor who is trying to change locals' living habits.
Dr. Christopher Magryta, of Salisbury Pediatric Associates, shared a mix of healthy directions and cutting-edge science at Catawba College's Center for the Environment Aug. 27, 2009.
His lecture, "Nutrition, the Environment & the Genome," filled the room with about 200 adults, young and older alike.
Magryta's talk emphasized the big picture, suggesting that health is much more complex than knowing your family history, taking diet supplements or cutting out just one food or ingredient.
Magryta told the audience several times that nature and our bodies' design — which he called "the book of life" — should help dictate our choices.
"I think 'natural' leads us in every way possible to the right answers," he said.
But today's modern life is filled with processed foods, chemicals whose long-term side effects aren't known and a lifestyle with too much stress and not enough emphasis on exercise.
To help offset these negatives, Magryta said, exercise and avoid the stress that comes from innate "fight or flight" responses.
Understanding the body's natural processes and working within what's natural will increase health and happiness, Magryta said.
Diet is essential. Magryta suggests eating more brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, cutting servings of meat down to a few times a week (but don't cut them out entirely) and having more fish and whole grains.
The benefits of diet and exercise, he said, include not only more strength and freedom from disease, but a much less painful end to life.