04/02/2012 12:44 pm ET Updated Jun 02, 2012

Does Being Healthy Matter?

Is it really important to cut down on sugar? Does it really help to avoid foods that are loaded with saturated fat? Are trans fats really harmful? Does it really make a difference if your food is organic? Is fast food really bad for you?

If you answered "yes" to all of those questions, then give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself with some delicious, organic fruit.

Everything you eat and drink impacts your health and wellness. So do other aspects of life, such as your sleep habits, physical activity, your level of happiness and your ability to manage stress.

Healthy foods and beverages, as well as healthy lifestyle behaviors, lead your body into balance and help it stay in balance. But unhealthy foods, beverages and lifestyle behaviors throw your body out of balance.

When your body is in balance, you have wellness. When your body is out of balance, the door opens wide for disease to creep in.

A common example involves diabetes. If you consume too much processed sugar for too long, you more readily develop diabetes than if you maintain a better blood sugar balance by avoiding processed sugar from foods and beverages.

Similarly, cancer can perhaps be viewed as an imbalance at the cellular level that is influenced by factors such as a poor diet, high stress and exposure to environmental toxins.

Heart disease also can be viewed as an imbalance that is related to several factors, including a poor diet, high stress and lack of physical activity.

However, one thing that none of us know is where the "breaking point" is in our body. The breaking point is that point at which your body is pushed so far out of balance that disease begins to take root and grow.

Too often, people go to health coaches for help after they have been diagnosed with a serious disease. At that point, reversing the disease may be impossible, although often it can be more effectively managed with holistic health strategies. Sadly, very few people seek guidance before disease corrupts their body.

There are three common excuses people have for not taking the proactive approach to their health before disease grips their body. Those three excuses are money, time and desire.

As for money, take a realistic look at your money picture. How much do you spend on coffee each day? How much do you pay for cable TV and Internet services? How much is your monthly cell phone bill? And how much did you pay for the cell phone itself? Is your car a money pit on wheels? Did you really need that much car, with all those gadgets and luxuries? Do you really need another pair of shoes? Please, don't misunderstand me -- there is nothing wrong with spending money on those things. But those things should not come before you've put your health in a strong position.

As for time, I understand that modern-day life is brutally overscheduled. And I empathize with anyone who has a job that makes extreme demands on their personal time. But life and jobs aren't valid excuses for making poor choices about your food and lifestyle. For example, a busy schedule may impinge on the time you have to cook healthy meals. But that doesn't mean that when you eat at a restaurant for convenience that you have to order a double bacon cheeseburger with large fries and a large soda. And, I'm willing to bet that everyone can take one weekend day per month and cook healthy meals that can be frozen for future convenience.

As for desire, I respect the honesty of people who admit they don't care about eating properly or taking good care of their body. However, I urge everyone to realize that eating tasty, healthy food is enjoyable. Exercise and other healthy lifestyle behaviors are enjoyable, too. But languishing in a hospital bed, with tubes coming out of you and machines being responsible for your health, is not enjoyable.

In the end, it comes down to your priorities. The most beneficial choice is to always put your health first. Even small steps taken toward better health can produce great results.

Healthy foods, beverages and lifestyle behaviors make you look so good and feel so good. They reward you with better health. And yes, that does matter -- more than anything else in life.

Without good health you have nothing. And if you are dead, you can't send a text message to anyone.

For more by Mitch Plotnick, click here.

For more on personal health, click here.

I'd love to hear from you about this subject. You are invited to contact me through my book's website at And remember, eat well, be well, and have a great day!