Eating for convenience rather than for health is the norm these days. When you’re on the go, stopping at a fast food drive-through is the easy way to get a quick bite. Health is affected by a poor diet, just as your car is affected by poor quality gasoline or the wrong kind of gasoline. A fad diet, a diet low in fiber, or high in fats can be detrimental to your body’s organs. Though dietary supplements are important, popping vitamin pills is not the way to become healthy. The real key to good health is awareness of the foods we eat and the food groups. Real food provides vitamins in a “live,” or chelated, form. Chelated vitamins are easier for the body to digest and assimilate.
Food Allergies and Intolerances
Food allergies and intolerances can wreak havoc on the system. For example, people with gluten intolerance, or Celiac disease, suffer extreme gastro-intestinal disturbances. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. A skin rash can also be an indicator of food allergies. Common allergens are peanuts, eggs, and fish. Reactions that manifest as a skin rash include hives, a reddish color and swelling. Suspected food allergies should be brought to the attention of a physician.
The Risks of Poor Nutrition
While extremely low fat diets are appealing for their effect on weight loss, to function properly, the body requires thirty percent of its calories from fat. Fad diets are notorious for causing health problems. A fad diet that causes rapid weight loss in a week’s time may increase the risk for development of gallstones or kidney stones. Low carbohydrate diets can also predispose one to gallstones. Other conditions such as dehydration can also result.
Conditions such as malnutrition, cardiovascular disease, obesity, vitamin deficiency, and bowel disorders are caused by poor nutrition. Many disease processes are exacerbated by lack of sufficient fluids or the wrong kinds of fluids, such as alcohol instead of water. A simple awareness of how your diet incorporates items from food groups, such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat, is the first step in improving the diet.
Malnutrition is a condition thought to be present only in less fortunate countries. What many do not realize, though, is that vitamin deficiency and toxicity exist in countries that are financially stable as well. The choices we make at mealtimes determine our body’s ultimate constitution.
Cardiovascular disease has long been dubbed one of America’s main killers. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, such as salmon and tuna, has been found to be heart-friendly and can be found on most restaurant menus.
Tips for Eating on the Go
Consider the nutrition facts at the restaurant. If they are not apparent, ask for them.
Consider the amount of fat and fiber in the item you wish to order. If it has little or no fiber, is high in fat or salt, don’t eat it.
Eat whole fruits and vegetables. Choose a different one in each color every day: red, green, yellow or orange. A whole fruit or vegetable is just as fast or faster than a burger and fries, and is rich in fiber and vitamins.