When it comes to eating, we have strong habits. Some are good and some are not so good. The food you eat can affect your health andcan risk for certain diseases. You don’t need to make huge changes to eat healthier. And you don’t have to change your habits all at the same time. It’s best to set small goals and change your habits a little bit at a time. Over time, small changes can make a big difference in your health. How can a healthy eating habit help us improve our lifestyle? And ask yourself, do I need to change the way I eat?
We all know food gives us the energy to live. It fuels all bodily processes that enable us to move, think and breathe. There is no aspect of our life that is not influenced by what is eaten. Fueling our body with processed food, fast food, sugar, fat and calorie-dense food, affects who we are, what we do and our ability to pursue dreams and aspirations. So, we must decide what we should eat and should not just because it influences and determines many things in our life.
Strength, agility, coordination, endurance, speed and level of performance are all powered by the foods eaten. What you eat determines how smart you are in tackling your daily physical activities, including housework, job, school, homework, shopping, caring for the family and exercise. Eating healthy enables body movements to be executed with ease.
A poor diet with unhealthy food choices can make each movement a major effort filled with stress, strain and pain. If you prefer sugar-laden simple carbohydrates to healthier whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you alternate between energy spikes and crashes. A diet filled with fried foods soaked in unhealthy saturated fats and trans-fats, and high-fat meat increases your risk for major diseases that impair your physical well being and threaten your life. Replace or limit foods containing unhealthy saturated fats and treat your body to the protective and restorative benefits of unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, fish and nuts.
Food supplies the source of power for your brain as well as your body, and has a direct relationship to mental and emotional health and stability. Learning and memory, illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease benefit from a healthy, reduced-calorie diet that includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon.
Reducing excess calories may offer protection against obesity-related neurodegenerative processes, cognitive impairment and reduced brain volume and function.
Eating a healthy diet keeps you physically and mentally fit. When you look good, you feel good and you have self-confidence and fewer inhibitions; you are more outgoing and have a greater capacity for enjoying life. Unhealthy food choices lead to obesity and illness, prevent you from socializing with friends and family, zap your energy, leaving nothing for you to look forward to at the end of the day other than being home, sprawled out on your couch.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet prevents weight gain, lowers your risk for diet-related illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and depression, and gives you the energy to have a full and rewarding social life. If overcoming bad dietary habits is a problem, speak with your doctor or a dietitian about making better food choices based on your personal lifestyle and food preferences.
(Read the full part of this column from the March issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2016)