To say that our diet/eat contributes to our health and makes us the people we are is an understatement. The daily diet of every individual helps to determine the quality and length of our own lives, and quite often it affects the quality of our children’s lives.
Everyone has heard your mother say, “You are what you eat, so eat right!” How many of us have ever stopped to really consider what she was saying? You become a product of what you put into your body. Food is not the only contributing factor, but it is one of the major ones. Your genetics plays a role in your health, too. But you can turn the tide even with poor genetics if your diet is a healthy one.
The diet factor becomes an even more important aspect of our health as we age. Quite often, as our bodies begin to deteriorate, our food and exercise become the reason that we continue to enjoy a quality life, or the reason we are bedridden or otherwise incapacitated. Medical advances have helped to lengthen the life span of the average person by almost 15 years. Along with those advances, have come better living conditions and a better educated public about their food choices. Today’s consumer is more health conscious than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we’re actually eating healthier than ever before. In all actuality, the obesity rate in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. If we are exercising, eating healthier and receiving better medical care than ever before, why are we still fighting obesity issues?
The answer may be found in the statement made previously. You are what you eat. Our daily diet consists of a low intake in fat, and a higher intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates turn to sugar once inside the body’s digestive system. Excess sugar is stored as fat. It’s that simple. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Carbohydrates make you fat. Even the most health conscious consumer can get caught up in the “low fat” misleading labels. Just because it is low fat, doesn’t make it healthy eating. Take the time to know your body, your energy needs, and how to read food labeling for the best health results.
Eating healthy means eating what your individual body needs to keep it running in optimal condition. That often consists of more fruits and vegetables and less processed or manufactured food. The processed and manufactured food is often faster to prepare or consume, but it is not always the healthy choice.
Did you know that your metabolism affects how much food you need, and when?
Metabolism plays a huge role in determining the burn rate of your calorie intake. Your body runs off fuel, just like your car. And, just like your car, if your body’s injectors are clean and efficient, you burn your fuel more effectively. The more effectively we digest our food and turn it into fuel, the healthier we are. Usually, we need less food if we’re making the most of our daily intake.
So, in order to eat healthy for life, we need to understand our individual needs, the role each part of the food group plays in keeping us healthy, and make adjustments as necessary.