Food provides the body with the nutrients it needs to maintain the health of cells, tissues and organs. Regrettably, a lot of the food that is available these days is designed to satisfy the palate and not the demand for nutrients that the body requires. Nutrients do not contain preservatives, artificial colouring, salt, sugar or refined carbohydrates. Although it is difficult to get back to a diet that is completely natural, you can cut out these 10 things to improve your health and quality of life.
The consumption of fizzy drinks is increasing in the world, especially among children and young people, who prefer them to water or natural fruit juices. The ingredients of fizzy drinks damage brain cells, cause vitamin B6 deficiency, osteoporosis, anemia, tooth decay, insomnia and hyperactivity in children, among other health problems. Fizzy drinks labelled as “diet” are also not recommendable because of their high content of aspartame, an artificial sweetener, which causes damage to the nervous system. It is better to take the healthy option and drink water or fruit juices.
A high consumption of saturated fat causes obesity, cardiovascular problems and high cholesterol. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, like butter and cheese. On the hand, trans fats (artificially modified), that are used to conserve packaged food, are completely harmful because they increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduce good cholesterol (HDL). They are used in a lot of products to enhance flavour and appearance. It is recommended that you cut out saturated and trans fats from your diet and use unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, instead.
Processed meats with nitrates
Nitrates are used to preserve meat and give cold meats a reddish colour. The danger comes when nitrates react with amines in the digestive system to form nitrosamines. These are carcinogenic molecules that damage the body. You should reduce your consumption of cold meats, avoid frying fatty meats and increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Products with high sodium content
Excessive consumption of salt causes hypertension. What is more, foods full of salt do not provide nutrients but instead promote obesity, anemia and diabetes. Thanks to the salty flavour of such foods, lots of people usually have a fizzy drink to wash them down, thus again further damaging the body. These products also usually have a high content of trans fats. If you cannot cut out such products from your diet completely, at least avoid eating them more than two times a week.
Processed white flour
When flour is processed, so that it appears white and refined, all of the nutritional value of the grain is taken out. It loses a great amount of calcium, phosphorus, vitamins and iron, among other nutrients. Eating excessive amounts of white bread can cause asthma, diabetes, celiac disease, obesity, depression and hypertension. Change your habits and forget about white bread. If you go back to eating wholemeal bread, you will see an increase in energy and an improvement in your health.
A lot of processed food contains artificial colouring. They are used to give food a more appetizing appearance. Hyperactivity in children has been linked to their use. The colour caramel, for example, is produced with ammonia, a substance linked to the cause of vitamin B6 deficiency. The lack of this vitamin causes blood pressure problems, kidney stones, growth disorders and mental irritability, among other problems.
If you are used to covering your food in salt, then you will not be enjoying its natural tastes. Excessive consumption of salt increases the risk of stomach cancer, liquid retention, high blood pressure, the loss of calcium and thirst, which can lead to you drinking fizzy drinks. Natural foods already contain the amount of sodium that our bodies need. Forget about picking up the salt cellar, or if it is not possible, opt for iodised salt instead.
Stay away from refined sugar
Refined sugar is not a food, it is a chemical that only provides you with calories and damages your health. It contributes to obesity, tooth decay, kidney failure, sight problems and diabetes, among other problems. Furthermore, the consumption of refined sugar produces a psychological dependence. For example, a child that eats a lot of food packed with sugar will not want to give up on this taste in the future. To continue eating sweet foods which are healthier, you need to replace refined sugar with brown sugar or honey. If you do this, you will soon feel a positive change within your body.
You may have thought that artificial sweeteners were a healthier option. However, like refined sugar, they only provide you with calories and they also have serious consequences for your health. Saccharin, for example, can cause allergies, cyclamate has been linked to bladder cancer, corn syrup can cause liver damage and aspartame affects the central nervous system and damages neurons. Artificial sweeteners should be cut out of your diet as much as refined sugar. The best option is always to go back to what is natural.
Fizzy drinks, saturated fat, refined flour and excess salt are all highly damaging to your health and all are served up on your tray in a fast food restaurant. If you start to feel hungry while on the street, you should opt to go to a place with a salad bar. You should always take the natural option. Provide your body with nutrients by eating fruit and vegetables and purify it by drinking water. If you need a sweetener use honey and keep away from packaged foods. Soon you will see your body recover its health and agility.