Why isn’t pizza the world’s perfect food? I mean, it has all the food groups: meat, dairy, bread, and vegetables. If you get the Hawaiian, it even has fruit! So, why can’t we live on pizza? As with anything, life is a bit more complex…so is the body. Human biology is designed to process natural occurring substances; natural food in particular.
But food is food, right? Not quite. Much of the food available at the local market is mechanically separated, extruded, mixed with preservatives, dyed, and packaged. While scrumptious, guilty pleasures such as chicken wings and aerosol cheese tempt us away from broccoli; there are consequences. And these consequences generally manifest themselves in the form of excess weight, diabetes, and osteoporosis. The pharmaceutical industry has made a hefty profit manufacturing pills to counteract the effects of a processed diet.
With temptations around every corner, what can we do? It all comes down to choices. And choices are driven by our motivations. Who wouldn’t rather have a pizza than broccoli? Cheeseburgers will always lose out to salad. So, what will drive us to make the right choices about how we eat? Perhaps a primer on consequences might help…
Obesity is a major consequence of poor eating choices. In fact, according to the US government, obesity among adults has doubled since the late ‘70s. Obesity can lead to diabetes and hypertension; conditions that can severely restrict your lifestyle. Unhealthy eating habits can also lead to cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol is a major contributor to heart problems, a leading cause of death among Americans. Dietary selections can even lead to some types of cancer. Post-menopausal breast cancer, colon, kidney, and esophageal cancers have all been linked to nutrition.
What foods are best, then? Your body is specifically designed to ingest whole grains and lean meats. Fruits and vegetables will help boost your metabolism and contain anti-oxidants that help combat these sometimes life-threatening maladies. Does this mean that you can never eat pizza or burgers again? Of course not! After all, we need chocolate sometimes! Again, it comes down to choice: homemade pizza with light cheese and veggies will hit the spot. Turkey burgers are making their way into fast food places and nothing beats soy chorizo and eggs (trust me on this one!).
Healthy bodies need healthy minds to make good choices. Making better decisions at the supermarket can save you a fortune on health care, vitamins, and medication: and, it just might save your life!