Eating and sleeping are two activities that every single one of us has in common.
Both of these activities are vital to our body functioning, but the right way to go about these has been a hot topic over the last few years. Do you really need 8 hours of sleep? Is breakfast really the most important meal in a day? Is a vegetarian diet better than a meat-based diet?
First off, let’s be clear: All of these questions surround the fact that you need to give your body what it needs. That balance is very subjective from one person’s body to another’s. The fact that vegetables are healthy does not mean that it is good to eat a whole bag of spinach in one sitting.
Having balance and variety in what you consume is beneficial. However, there are definitely some foods that you should limit (or quit all together), and your body will thank you for it!
This category contains foods ranging from macaroni & cheese to a microwavable dinner. Some other examples are: sweetened breakfast cereals, a tiny candy bite that has an ingredient list longer than your toothpaste, energy drinks, and potato chips.
A five-year study of over 100,000 people found that a 10% increase in ultra-processed food consumption is associated with a 12% higher risk for cancer. More than half (57.5%) of the daily calories an average American consume comes from ultra-processed food. Unfortunately, these foods normally are convenient and often taste good.
The next time you are about to have a bite of your chips, take a minute and think about the kind of ingredients have to put in that bag to maintain a several week long shelf-life. Would you want that in your body?
Yes, this does include Diet Coke that claims to have 0 sugar, but is loaded with artificial sweeteners. Sugary drinks are the easiest and most common way to introduce excessive amounts of fructose into your body. When your liver is overloaded with that excess, it turns fructose into fat that gradually accumulates within the liver. This limits its function to process other toxins in your body.
Drinking as little as one can of sugary soda per day has been consistently linked to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
One bottle of Coca-Cola contains 65 grams of sugar, which is equal to consuming 6 donuts.
It is super easy and convenient to make a turkey sandwich on a lazy Sunday afternoon. However, you should also know that deli meats contain a wide variety of additives and preservatives from nitrates and carrageenans.
“These preservatives have shown to increase inflammation in the body and are linked to increase risk in colon cancer,” says Megan Faletra, MS, an integrative dietitian and nutritionist.
I could simply provide a video link showing how each McDonald’s burger is made, and that alone might have you stop eating fast food all together. One patty can be made up from dozens of different cows that were raised in a feed-lot, confinement-based living all their life. Many are pumped with hormones and are full with constant stress.
Care to guess where these hormones and stress end up? You got right...in the burger patty.
Most prepackaged frozen meals are overly processed. They are made with refined flour, are high in sodium and full of preservatives for them to last as long as they can. While you might enjoy eating this type of meal, your body will wonder what nutrients it is supposed to be getting from this.
We know that it is hard to change any type of habit, especially when it saves time. However, one way or another, you are paying for the convenience that you get from consuming pre-made processed food.
There are many healthy options out there that often taste better than their heavily-processed counterparts. For some of them, you just have to learn some basic culinary skills to make. If you are interested in learning more about healthy food alternatives, feel free to check out a few of our other blogs that cover these topics!