Helping others achieve better health and fitness is my business. It is also something I have a strong personal interest in. Here's why, in part: I was told at the age of 15 I could die any minute from strenuous activity, I had my first open-heart surgery when I was 27, my second at 54 and I grew up watching my mom suffer from horrible rheumatoid arthritis for four decades.
Long ago I realized the important impact that my food and drink choices have on my health. Hell, I'm still learning. After all, reading the studies is different from knowing through experience the reality behind them. Having at times (sometimes all at once) cleaned out alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, wheat, meat, dairy and most importantly, perhaps, sugar from my life I have a stronger sense of the impact of these things on my health and how I feel.
Without the comparison of not having certain things in my diet for long enough I cannot have perspective. I don't believe anyone can. It isn't until I quit eating a food or category of foods that I realize how much I crave certain foods. Alcohol and caffeine, I don't miss at all. meat I can live without (I'm not implying that this is the healthy or right choice for me or any other given person. Just that cutting meat out of my diet gave me perspective on the role meat plays in my diet and life.) Dairy is harder, though not so bad. Breads and sugar...ouch!!
The challenge isn't the food, per se. If none of the junk was around I wouldn't seek it out. I'd certainly eat all of the good stuff that is available. The real challenge comes from the food habits I've ingrained in my life and my interest in sharing in what other people are eating and drinking. Truth be told, I don't think anyone else REALLY cares if I'm drinking alcohol if they are - except as it may make them self-conscious.
Good health certainly requires trade-offs and comes with a price. Everything does. But does good health mean missing out? Maybe.- that is up to your perspective. Oh, and you can change your perspective.