The relationship between diet and wellness
The key driver for eating is of course hunger. Also, various factors influence our food choices, most especially the environment. For instance, a typical Mediterranean diet is characterized by 35% – 40% carbohydrates including grains and vegetables, 15% – 20% proteins, and unsaturated fats from avocados and olive oil because they are the types of food that are prevalent in the Mediterranean regions. The cardiovascular health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well-known.
However, there are times when certain factors beyond the environment influence our diet type, and they affect our wellness. For instance, biological determinants such as hunger, appetite, and taste influence our food choices, and they can make the difference between healthy and unhealthy living.
Is food the center of your life, and does your everyday activity revolve around food?
Maybe you’re just using food as fuel to get you through the rest of the day, and not just for pleasure. Food affects all spheres of health, including cardiovascular health, renal health, mental health, and even dental health. Pursuing food for the sensory experience is one thing and pursuing food for the functional experience of nutritional benefits is another thing that influences your health and wellness.
Simple tips to make your diet healthier
The simplest key to a safe and successful healthy lifestyle is by eating a healthy diet. 80% of heart diseases, such as stroke and coronary artery diseases, can be prevented through life choices and good dietary habits. Similarly, a healthy weight and good oral health can be achieved by just making the right dietary choices. Here are simple tips to make your diet healthier.
Eat whole grains not refined
Swapping refined grains for whole grains is one of the best dietary choices you can make to prevent the risk of developing high blood pressure. Similarly, evidence even suggests that just one daily serving of whole grains a day could reduce your risk of developing heart diseases even further.
Refined grains provide a certain type of carbohydrate referred to as simple or ‘bad’ carbohydrates. The problem with refined grains is in the way they’re processed in the body. Refined grains are absorbed so fast that they produce a rapid spike in blood pressure and increase the risk of heart diseases.
Whole grains on the other hand are rich in fiber and nutrients that prevent high blood pressure. Also, whole grains are rich in B-vitamins, iron, and magnesium that keep teeth and gums healthy. You can begin by simply swapping white rice for brown rice.
Drink enough water
Fun fact, water is the healthiest beverage out there. Similarly, no soda is a perfect replacement for any form of water you lose. Water has all positive benefits for your health, but sodas have not a single benefit. When you swap sodas with water, you’re taking a step toward protecting your teeth.
Sodas produce acids that erode tooth enamel. Also, sodas are not beneficial for weight loss. Understandably, cutting sodas completely may be difficult, but know that the more you drink it, the greater your cravings for more sodas. You can start slowly and by switching to sparkling water to mimic the carbonated sensation.
Eat more vegetables
Eating more vegetables is one of the healthiest dietary choices. A diet rich in healthy fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of developing stroke, and reduce the risk of developing cancers. Enjoying more vegetables is a great way to naturally improve your health.
Replace sugary beverages with sugar-free or sparkling water
Taking large amounts of sugary beverages predisposes you to gain more weight. It increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, certain heart diseases, and even gout. Also, evidence has proven that individuals who drink carbonated sugary beverages have increased risk for developing dental caries. Water on the other hand improves digestion, helps you lose weight, and staves off dehydration.
Take in more fresh berries than dried ones
Fresh berries are superfruits. Dried berries may have a higher calorie content per weight compared to fresh berries. However, when berries are dried, the drying process concentrates the sugars in them, raising the calorie content by weight. This affects blood sugar and insulin.
For instance, 152 grams (approximately a cup) of strawberry halves provides 89 mg of vitamin C which is equivalent to 99% of the required daily nutrient value (DV). This value provides support for the immune system and excellent antioxidant properties. Dried berries do not provide any Vitamin C. Hence, when eating dried berries or fresh berries, try to strike a balance between the calorie and sugar content by substituting appropriately with more fresh berries than dried ones.
Worst types of food for your health
While certain food groups are generally beneficial for healthy living, some on the other hand may be dangerous for your health. Some food classes are the leading cause of diabetes, heart diseases, and even gum diseases both in the United States and other parts of the world.
Here are the worst types of food for your health and wellness.
No doubt, fried foods are delicious. However, fried foods are bad for you. In fact, the connection between fried foods, obesity, and heart diseases is well known.
Converging lines of evidence from different researchers discovered a relationship between fried food and healthy eating. The researchers discovered that individuals who consume more fried foods have a 28% heightened risk of a major cardiovascular event; a 22% heightened risk of coronary heart disease; and a 37% heightened risk of heart failure compared to those who do not consume fried foods.
Adopting healthier cooking alternatives to frying will go a long way toward protecting your health from a wide range of these chronic diseases. For instance, try cooking with olive oil, which is a healthier form of monounsaturated fat, or baking chicken instead of frying it to let fat drain out of the chicken.
Excessive alcohol intake is one of the leading causes of serious health problems, such as heart disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure. Currently, Type 2 diabetes affects 8% of the world’s population and alcohol is one of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Also, alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of mouth, colon, throat, breast, and liver cancers. The worst part is that alcohol is addictive which may lead to dependence, and this is a serious medical and health concern.
Sugary drinks are associated with obesity, heart diseases, and Type 2 diabetes. Also, they’re one of the leading causes of tooth cavities and tooth decay. Hence, consuming high amounts of sugary drinks can have various adverse effects on your health.
The problem with processed meat is the large amounts of hazardous chemical conversions which have taken place in it. Processed meat has been shown to be a major contributor to colorectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and even untimely death. Hence, limit processed and even red meat to the barest minimum.
Tuna is one of the most widely eaten species of fish. However, canned tuna houses large amounts of mercury which is toxic for health. Mercury is a neurotoxin. This means that it affects the brain, the nervous system, and even the heart.
Hence, high doses of tuna can lead to cognitive abnormalities, blindness, and even deafness. Also, mercury poisoning can affect fertility in adults.
Cultivating healthy dietary habits and making healthy diet choices will keep you away from a wide range of health problems. Understandably, everyone has their own excuses about their diet choices, but the best investment you can make in yourself is to eat the right types of food that are beneficial for your health and avoid the worst ones. The good news is that it costs nothing to make this decision, just self-discipline.
Devise an eating plan that accommodates a healthy balanced diet along with routine physical activity. Modern Family Dental Care is committed to helping you make the best choices for healthy living. We also take your dental health seriously and offer dental services in Davis Lake, Northlake, and Concord Mills. Feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today.