YOU NEED to eat healthy food if you want a healthy life.
Most of us fall for the temptations of junk food because it is accessible, easy, tasty and quick, but according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation as much as 80% of heart diseases and strokes could be prevented by simply embracing a healthy lifestyle – which includes eating healthy food.
Eating well and making the right nutritional choices is one of the best weapons you have in the fight against heart disease and other chronic lifestyle conditions such as diabetes, obesity and some cancers.
Even small improvements over time add up to make a big difference!
Pietro Cottone is an assistant professor in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders at Boston University School of Medicine in the United States. She says there is evidence of a unique messaging system in a body’s accumulated fat, which changes the brain’s reward system into a vicious cycle of feeling less satisfied the more you eat.
“The only way to return to a normal eating cycle is long-term diet management which definitely cuts out all junk food.”
Diet management basics
- Avoid foods with added sugar and salt.
- Cut down on bad fats. Bad or unhealthy fats include saturated and trans fats, which raise the blood’s cholesterol levels.
Bad fats are found in fatty and processed meats, chicken skin, butter, ghee, cream and hard cheeses, pies, pastries, biscuits, crackers and fast and deep-fried foods.
- Limit sugary snacks and foods such as sweets and chocolates.
Avoid high-sugar drinks or drinks containing high fructose corn syrup, such as fizzy beverages.
Fruit juice may sound healthy, but it is mostly water and sugar, as are varieties of flavoured water. These only provide empty kilojoules and add to weight gain.
- When cooking, use fresh and dried herbs, spices, garlic or lemon juice to add flavour to your food instead of adding extra salt or salty seasoning like chicken or BBQ spice.
- Avoid packet soups, stock cubes, gravy, cheese, many breakfast cereals, breads, salty snacks, processed meats and fast food. These are mostly very high in salt and their consumption needs to be strictly controlled.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. If you drink alcohol, you need to monitor what you drink.
Women should not be consuming more than one drink a day, and men two.
The rough equivalent of one drink is a small glass of wine (120ml), a can of beer (340ml) or a tot of clear spirits (25ml).