Even if you think you're making smart choices, Michael says the processed foods you buy at the store may affect your health. "Before the Western diet comes in, which is around the turn of the last century, populations did not have high levels of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, all these diseases," he says.
Although "real" food is often more expensive, Michael says you either pay for real food now—or pay the doctor later. In 1960, Michael says 18 percent of our national income was spent on food, and only 5 percent on healthcare. Today, he says 9 percent of our income is spent on food and a whopping 17 percent on healthcare. "The less we spend on food, the more we spend on healthcare," he says.