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What You Eat Is What You Are

Posted by in Health: Nutrition  ~  June 03, 2012 06:38:51 PM

No, I don’t mean that you’ll turn into a potato chip or a French fry. Of course you won’t. But, what you eat definitely affects your health. Even if you eat the right number of calories for your height, you could still be consuming empty calories.

Eating the wrong foods will definitely have a negative impact on your health. A bad diet could result in health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. A diet with optimal nutrition, on the other hand, can protect you from many health problems. So, in a way, what you eat determines what your health will be.

However, most of us do not receive optimal nutrition from our diets. In fact, many of the most popular foods have little nutritional value. What value they do have is often diminished by over processing and food additives.

Many consumers have been taught to make food choices from the five basic food groups. (No, those groups are NOT caffeine, sugar, salt, chocolate, and fat.) Beyond the knowledge of these basic food groups, most of us have no idea which foods are best for us.

While eating a balanced diet is important, some foods are better for you than others. They are better because they contain more nutritional value than other foods. In fact, some of these foods are so rich in nutrients that eating them may actually allow your body to fight off health problems. They are so healthy that they might even be considered “super” foods. Doesn’t it make sense to pack your diet with these health-promoting foods?

Yet you can’t build your diet around foods rich in nutrients unless you learn some of the characteristics of a healthy food. Fortunately for us, healthy foods are readily available at nearly every supermarket. They are not difficult to find and are more common than you might think.

Here are some common characteristics of healthy foods:

  • They are whole foods. This means that the food has not been subjected to extensive processing, which can strip a food of its nutritional value.
  • They are from all five basic food groups. While the majority of the “super” foods are fruits or vegetables, there are grains, proteins, and even fats represented.
  • They contain antioxidants. Not only are these foods rich in vitamins and minerals they also contain antioxidants, which have been shown to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals.
  • They have been proven to work. In countries where people live longer, studies have shown that resident’s diets are filled with nutrient rich foods.

There’s no need to continue eating foods that could potentially harm your health. With the right knowledge you can devise a diet that is comprised of healthy “super” foods that bolster your body’s natural defences and lower the likelihood that you will become sick. Making the effort to learn about nutrition and apply it to your eating habits will definitely pay off. What you eat doesn’t have to be bad for you!