Healthy Nutrition Information: Need-to-Know Facts for Your Health
March is National Nutrition Month, which means that you might have to take a long hard look at the way you live your life.
Often times, people overlook monthly causes as they would a birthday; it comes once a year, and you don’t have to do anything to prepare for this occasion until the time comes for you to recognize what is really going on.
Many people take this same approach when it comes to healthy nutrition. If you are of the younger generation, chances are you don’t remember the days when the food you ate was grown naturally and didn’t contain ingredients that you couldn’t pronounce. In this day and age, the food perception is different and many people think that if the food is on the shelf, then it must be safe.
Contrary to this popular notion, the food on the grocery store shelf may be safe to eat now, but what does it do to your body in 10 years? 20 years? How about 30 years?
With continuous consumption of processed foods, especially meat and poultry, you run the risk of developing long-term health problems.
Here is some information you need to know about our food sources within the past 40 years, and how you can stay healthy, without waiting for a special occasion to come around once every year.
Poultry’s Dirty Little Secret
Boneless chicken breast could be considered as American as apple pie, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
On average, Americans eat up to 87 pounds of chicken per year. This is an increase of 81%, from 48 pounds in 1980.
Why such a dramatic increase in poultry percentage? Well, most of the meat found in grocery stores today has been synthetically saturated with a combination of water, salt, and other additives through needle injections and high-pressure vacuum tumbling. Sounds appetizing, right?
Recent advancements in technology have caused our food industry to change dramatically in the past 40 years. Food is produced faster, and more chemicals are being added to our favorite meals to reduce cost, and to maintain a longer shelf life.
This is great for the food industry, but what about foryour health?
Meat that has been processed like this and sold in grocery stores is packed with more sodium than is recommended by medical professionals for daily intake. In fact, one 4-ounce serving of chicken can contain as much as 440mg of sodium. This results in one-fifth of the daily sodium allotment—which is 2,300mg.
Too much sodium can lead to an increase in heart attack, and can cause your cholesterol to spike out of control.
Instead of taking the “cheap” route and buying regular processed chicken from the supermarket, go organic instead, and do your research. There are companies in the food industry that raise free-range chickens that aren’t injected with hormones and additives.
This may cost you a little more money out of your pocket now, but this far outweighs the medical costs that you could face in the future.
Sugar, Sugar, Sugar…in Everything
It used to be that juice was squeezed the old-fashioned way and that there was no need to spike it up with more and more sugar.
The sad truth today: sugar is found in almost every beverage that we drink.
When shopping for fruit juice or other drinks for yourself, and for your kids, it is important that you read the label. In relation to juice, most juice companies advertise their brand as 100% juice, which isn’t always the case.
The problem with juice is that the sugar it contains can cause weight gain due to inactivity or an unhealthy diet of the person who‘s drinking it. Juice is healthier than soft drinks, but it does contain a lot of sugar and extra calories that our bodies can’t handle if consumed on a daily basis.
Instead of reaching for mixed fruits juices, stick with one or two varieties. Orange juice is good for you, as well as grapefruit juice, and both don’t contain a lot of sugar.
If you want to drink juice, that’s okay, just don’t go an over-consumption binge without taking other steps in your life to make sure that you stay physically active.
This goes for other things that have high amounts of sugar too, including soft drinks, cookies, pastries, and some of your other favorite snack foods.
Be Aware of Insulin Resistance
Until recent decades, insulin resistance was something almost unheard of except if you were in the medical profession of healthy eating and weight loss.
If you are insulin resistant, your pancreas secretes plenty of the hormone insulin, but your body has a tough time distributing sugar into your cells.
This can cause increased weight gain, and can increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The best way to prevent yourself from becoming insulin resistant? Avoid eating too many carbohydrates and eat nutritionally-balanced meals. Meals that contain good doses of fiber, and that are balanced with protein, carbohydrates and fat can give your body the fuel it needs to keep you at a healthy weight.