Why am I passionate about health & nutrition?
Heith Gray, Health & Wellness Coach, The Counseling Center
Honestly, it has absolutely nothing to do with six-pack abs, 10% body fat, how much you deadlift, or how fast you can run a mile.
It has absolutely everything to do with adding years to your life and quality of living to your life.
**Did you know that poor nutrition is the leading cause of deaths in the U.S.?**
Almost all chronic diseases can be prevented or reversed by proper nutrition. According to health.gov about half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. These include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and poor bone health.
Simply paying attention to the quality of foods you are eating can change everything. A person can eat 2000 calories of highly processed foods and maintain a healthy weight. But, does that mean they are actually healthy? Probably not. There is a major difference in the number of calories, versus the quality of calories. This doesn’t mean we don’t need to be aware of how many calories we eat. But I would suggest paying more attention to the quality of the food you are regularly eating. The majority of the time this will automatically put you in a calorie deficit anyways.
Processed foods are bad. They are the main reason why people all over the world are getting fat and sick.
What do I mean by “processed foods”?
Most foods have a process attached to them somehow. Picking apples, grinding up beef, butter is separated from the milk and churned. But there is a difference between mechanical processing and chemical processing. If it’s a single ingredient food with no added chemicals, then it doesn’t matter if it’s been ground or put into a jar. It’s still real food.
However, foods that have been chemically processed and made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances, are what is generally known as “processed food.” Processed foods are usually loaded with added sugar or its evil twin, high fructose corn syrup.
According to Ecowatch.com and other studies, most times a population adopts a “Western” diet high in processed foods and sugar they get sick.
It happens within a few years. Their genes don’t change, their food does.
The carbohydrates you find in processed foods are usually refined, “simple” carbohydrates. These lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels and cause negative health effects.
Now back to added sugar and its evil twin, high fructose corn syrup.
It is well known that sugar, when consumed in excess, is seriously harmful. As we all know, sugar is “empty” calories—it has no essential nutrients, but a large amount of energy.
Empty calories are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the harmful effects of sugar. Many studies show that sugar can have devastating effects on metabolism that go way beyond its calorie content. It can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of harmful cholesterol, and increased fat accumulation in the liver and abdominal cavity.
Not surprisingly, sugar consumption is strongly associated with some of the world’s leading killers…including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
**Bottom Line:** Processed foods and beverages are the biggest sources of added sugar in the diet. Sugar is unhealthy and can have serious adverse effects on metabolism when consumed in excess. So, when considering all aspects of healthy and good quality of life, don’t forget possibly the most important part–quality nutrition. Paying attention to this small detail can literally add quality and years to your life.
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