“I’ll just go to In-n-Out and get a Double Double with Animal Fries. It’s on the way home anyways.”
We all love food. We eat it when we are hungry. We eat it when we are tired. We eat it to feed our brains. We eat it to celebrate holidays, job promotions, our kids’ graduations, anniversaries, and even our birthdays. We not only celebrate; we celebrate the food. Regardless of social status, or economical status, food has become a big part of culture. Time and time again we find that our daily lives continuously revolves around food. Yet, many do not fully understand the true complexity that resides in an individual’s diet patterns.
In examining lifestyles, particular ones which involve health and wellness, it is important to understand the role in which food and diet ultimately play a factor. With food as our main source of energy, fueling our every day functions, it is essential that we take into consideration what we put into our bodies. Like the old saying goes, “we are what we eat.” Using the analogy of gas and a car, we all know that clean gas equals better performance — the same can be said with food in the human body. But, as we can see from statistics, many individuals still fail to realize the impact of their diet. About 3/4ths of Americans display eating patterns that are low in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and oils. Furthermore, most Americans exceed the recommendations for added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium leaving us feeling lethargic and slow — and we constantly wonder why other countries call us “fat” and “lazy”, just some food for thought. We see that eating patterns of many individuals are too high in calories; calories that are not burned and consequently become stored as fat. This fat increases body mass, slows the body down, and makes the heart work overtime. A staggering report shows that more than 2/3rds of all adults and nearly 1/3rd of all children are either overweight or obese, an epidemic that has been perpetually plaguing our society. The numbers are even more astonishing for African Americans as the prevalence of obesity and hypertension complications for these individuals are much higher than the rest of the nation — particularly African American women.
So how do we fix this? The first step, obviously, is to overhaul your diet. As simple as it sounds, it really is simple. Instead of consuming processed sugars which contain nearly zero health benefits, opt to eat fruits which contain natural sugars along with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Consume carbohydrates that have a low GI index such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. Protein, the building block of muscles, is an essential nutrient in bodily functions. Foods which contain protein include chicken, turkey, eggs, and beans, and while beef and other red meats do contain adequate amounts of protein, they also contain high amounts of saturated fats. Remember, a balanced diet equals a balanced body.
So I’ll leave readers with this note: pay for a healthy lifestyle now so you won’t have to pay for medical bills in the future. Your body and wallet will thank you.
**Join us at our Fall conference as we discuss health technology for healthier communities! Visit the event page for more info + tickets: http://bit.ly/2b9xOKp**