If you have a television in your home, chances are you have probably seen someone talking about how they lost 20 pounds in one month, or anything along those lines. People these days are really caring about their appearance. It is definitely a bonus to lose the weight while changing your diet; but the bigger picture here is that making healthier choices will not only help you lose weight, it will prevent you from developing health risks. Although not everyone who has unhealthy eating habits will develop health risks, heart disease and obesity are most common in people who make unhealthy choices.
If someone is overweight, feels fatigued most of the time, and most of their meals are not made at home, chances are they may be making unhealthy choices. Unhealthy eating consists of greasy, processed foods, fast food, junk food, sugary foods and too much caffeine to name a few. I know this list may sound overwhelming, but please do not get discouraged. Most of these foods are the reason people feel sluggish, or with a loss of energy. Unhealthy foods are either high in sugar, fat or salt. Too much of any of these three has negative effects on your body.
Sugary foods are empty calories. They have no minerals, protein, fats or enzymes. Have you wondered why your mom ever said too much candy would rot your teeth? Well when you consume too much sugar, your body must neutralize the effects of the sugar. Your body does this by finding necessary nutrients in your body needed to breakdown the foods you just ate. One of these nutrients needed is Calcium. Your body is now taking the Calcium from your bones and teeth to compensate the lack of nutrients in the foods you are eating. Too much salt is unhealthy as well.
It can cause complications with your heart and bladder. It is very easy to make an unhealthy choice these days. In fact, it is so easy that some of us do it without even noticing. Most of our foods have been tampered with in so many levels before they even reach our plates. These days almost everything is chemically enhanced, or artificially flavored. If we are not educated enough about the foods we intake, we are more prone to keeping our bodies unhealthy. These days, most of our time is spent at work then picking up the kids, going home and taking care of everything that has to be done at home.
Most of the time, if you are like me, you don’t have much time to make a full course meal for your family. Especially when you just clocked out of work after working an eight to nine hour shift. It has become so convenient for us just to stop somewhere on the way home and grab some dinner. Convenience is one of the reasons why we choose to grab something fast, instead of coming home from work and spending 30 to 45 minutes making dinner when you’re already almost passing out because you are so hungry. McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King are only some of the most common fast food restaurants.
Whether it is because it is on your way home, or you are absolutely craving their famous fries, you have probably ate at one of these fast food restaurants once in your life. These fast food places make every attempt to make you think their foods are healthy. They say they have 0% trans fat, they’re beef is 100% real beef (McDonald’s), “Always fresh, never frozen” (Wendy’s), “Time for something good” (Boston Market). All of these make you feel like you’re making the right choice and believing there truly is no harm in buying your food from them.
Unfortunately, when it comes to fast food, we have no control over what goes in and what’s taken out. Fast foods have to be able to maintain freshness for long periods of time. They have to add preservatives to be able to keep the food’s “freshness”. Fast foods also may contain chemicals to enhance the flavor. These flavors are made in labs, and are added to our fast food to appeal to us through its smell and taste. All these things combined make us more inclined to making bad choices, and more prone to health risks.
One of the diseases that can be avoided by changing your diet and eating healthier is obesity. Most of the unhealthy foods we eat, including fast food, contain high numbers of fats and calories in smaller portions of food. Let’s say you start your day out with a Sausage, Egg and Cheese meal from McDonald’s. That’s 890 calories. For lunch, you go ahead and have a Big Mac Meal, Medium Fries, and Medium Coke. That’s another 1,130 calories. You haven’t even had dinner yet and you’ve already consumed 2,020 calories. That’s 20 more calories than the recommended 2000 calories you should eat per day.
McDonalds. (2009) Bag A McMeal Nutrition Facts. Retrieved May 11, 2009, from http://nutrition. mcdonalds. com/nutritionexchange/nutritionInfo. do ;Eating this way, can make you gain weight if you are not burning more calories than you are eating. Another disease that can be caused by eating unhealthy is heart disease. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) Heart Disease was responsible for 652,091 deaths in the United States in 2005. Factors that can contribute to heart disease are high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, or it can be hereditary.
Having unhealthy habits makes it easier to develop the factors listed above. Diabetes is also a contributing factor to heart disease. Diabetes is caused by large amounts of sugar in the foods you eat. Diabetes is also cause by poor diet; it can be genetic, or simply just hormonal. Changing a few things from your diet can prevent you from developing these diseases. Healthy eating is simply making the right choices. Knowing what is in your food before you eat it. Making sure it is not more than your body can handle. Here are some tips to making better choices: Physical Sciences (2007).
Why Good Nutrition Is Important: A general Overall Observation. Retrieved April 26, 2009, from http://www. physical-sciences. com/nutrition. asp “Eat enough calories but not too many; preferably no more than 2000 calories a day. “Eat a wide variety of foods. ” “Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. ” “Drink more water. ” “Limit sugary foods, salt and refined-grain products” “Don’t be the food police”, you can still enjoy your favorite foods. I choose to have a “cheat day” once a week so that I do not feel that I am completely out of the loop. Get moving” Become more active. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Having a healthy diet can make such a difference in your life. You will feel healthier and more energetic. Healthy foods contain vitamins and minerals needed for your body to feel its best. Your body will react positively to the healthy foods because it does not have to work as hard to break them down. By eliminating the stress of breaking down fatty foods, your body has more energy to do the functions necessary to maintain a healthy body. I am someone who had fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I was always feeling sluggish and bloated. All these years I thought that I was just lazy, and sometimes even blamed my lack of energy on my sickle cell trait. I would cringe at the word “exercise” and soda was my water. After changing the way I ate, I started to feel more energetic. I started doing more around the house, and even decided to start an exercise regimen. It is amazing how different you feel once you change what you are putting into your body. I am now a firm believer that “you are what you eat”.