There was a time when we consumed all our meals directly from nature. True, our efforts were great but we ate a lot healthier. Today, thanks to the development of modern civilization, we’ve managed to create machines, construct buildings, and establish a more convenient way of life; however, our nutritional habits, and our activity levels have significantly decreased. Unfortunately, more and more people in Western society have become accustomed to processed and commercialized food, which is far from what the body needs in order to remain healthy and well functioning.
In the past, the daily menu was based on raw ingredients such as bread, milk and cheese. Indeed, technological advances do offer a plethora of fast food options, however, the processing of frozen foods entails the loss of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Although fast food provides the body with immediate energy, it does not do so for an extended amount of time. In addition, additives are injected into foods to prolong their shelf life and enhance their flavors and aromas – but what about our own lives? The longer a product’s shelf life is, the less nutritional value it contains, and the more detrimental it is to our health.
We cannot revert back to the days of hunting and gathering, but if we consume less commercialized food and increase our natural food intake, we will make a clean profit that will be deposited into our health accounts and decrease our chances of developing illnesses typical of the ‘instant’ era such as: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, cancer, osteoporosis and more. This is the price we must pay in order to live a modern life devoid of traditional physical labor.
So what should we do?
Here’s a basic list that will help control the foods we eat.
Reduce sugar intake – Sucrose, fructose, dextrose, glucose, malt syrup, corn syrup, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses and date honey; all foods that contain these sugars should be avoided. The negative effects of sugar are numerous and well known; it starts with damage to the insulin mechanism and ends with diseases in the heart and liver. It can also cause addiction that can lead to obesity and other problems.
Reduce the consumption of Monosodium Glutamate – It’s true that this improves the taste of food by making it saltier, however research shows that there is a direct link between MSG and the ability to focus and concentrate. Furthermore, the US Food and Drug Administration cautioned that there’s a certain percentage of the population that is more sensitive to this ingredient and is therefore more prone to developing various allergies when coming into contact with it.
Pay attention to the letter ‘E’– Every additive that has the letter E attached to it, has a maximum amount that you should consume. Any deviation from this amount can cause digestive problems such as: Stomach aches, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Reduce sodium intake – One teaspoon of salt is the daily-recommended intake of sodium. Most of the sodium that we consume comes from commercialized foods that we eat and not from the salt we add. It’s highly advisable to check the nutritional facts of every product and make sure that it does not contain more than 400 grams of sodium per 100 grams. Remember that sodium is not forgiving and over consumption can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and many other diseases and health problems. In conclusion, it is best to consume foods that are closest to their natural form. This will only benefit the body in the long run.