Obesity has reached epidemic proportions, not only in the US, but also worldwide, as other countries have adopted the Western style diet we have in the US. While obesity is rampant, so are other risks for those who are not obese, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. Smart food choices and the power of nutrition can help prevent many of these serious conditions and reduce the health care costs nationwide. Even small changes can make a big difference.
Start by cutting out sugar.
That’s a huge goal. Added sugar seems to be in everything on the grocery shelf. Read the labels and you’ll see ingredients like dextrose, fructose, glucose, molasses, sucrose and other names for sugar. Consider honey and maple syrup as part of the sugar family, too. Some manufacturers use several types of sugar, so each one is far lower on the list, leading you to believe there’s not much sugar in the product. Cutting out sugar is also hard because sugar is addictive. It causes natural opioids and dopamine to be released and that gives you a high.
Since sugar is in so many things, how do you give it up?
Go to natural whole foods. The less food is processed, the less likely you’ll have added sugar or other additives in it. While you might find giving up added sugar tough, you can substitute with healthier natural sugar found in many fruits and vegetables. Switch out a candy bar as a snack for some sweet grapes or an apple with peanut butter. While you can overdo fruit, it’s still better than food with added sugar.
Make your own meals.
If you’ve been reading labels, you know that most premade food has lots of additives. It has to have them to give them a longer shelf life. Now you can make your own healthy foods and increase the power of nutrition in your life by creating meals ahead and freezing them for those nights you want something easier.
- It doesn’t have to be difficult to eat healthier, but you’ll find packaging can make it that way. You’ll often see words like natural or gluten free on packaging to entice you to buy the product. Potato chips are gluten free—-but they certainly aren’t healthy!
- Not everyone has the same nutritional requirements, tastes or ability to digest specific types of food easily. That’s why finding help to create a healthy, nutritious diet can be difficult.
- What you drink is just as important to your nutrition as what you eat. Kick fruit drinks, soft drinks and sugary kids drinks to the side and drink water instead. It’s a magic elixir that will quench your thirst immediately.
- If you’re having problems creating healthy meals or find it a real hassle, at I Am Breakthrough Wellness, we have the perfect solution. We create menus, provide recipes and make eating healthier and creating nutritious meals plans easier.