We eat food because it is the fuel our body requires for proper functioning. However, all food items we consume do not provide the same benefits. Some of them, in fact, cause health problems like Diabetes: What is diabetes?, Heart Disease: What is heart disease?, Arthritis: What is arthritis?, and more.
The Role of Food in Our Body
Food contains nutrients which help the cells in our body carry out different functions. These nutrients are essential for the growth and maintenance of our body. When our body does not get sufficient nutrients from the food we eat, our health starts declining.
It is important to make sure that we get sufficient nutrition from our foods or drinks. Otherwise, one of the following may affect us:
- Health problems related to nutrition when nutrition is inadequate
- Gastrointestinal health problems when our eating habits are unhealthy
- Stomach health problems when what we eat doesn’t nourish us fully
Food and Health Problems
There was a time when scientists and researchers used to believe that gene mutation was behind obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and some types of Cancer (What is cancer?). This belief has changed and our diet is now held partly responsible for many health problems.
According to the current scenario, the foods and drinks we consume play a major role in preventing chronic diseases. In the following report, the World Health Organization (WHO) agrees with this – Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health (Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases.)
It is not right to blame every food item in our diet. Sometimes one or two of them, or our overall way of eating is enough for our health to deteriorate. Here is the brief of some foods, health problems related to them, and proposed solutions to overcome those problems:
Caffeine and Health Problems
Caffeine is one of the natural stimulants we get from plant sources. It is often derived from tea leaves, coffee beans, cola nut seeds, and cacao seeds. Caffeine reaches our body through coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, energy drinks, and foods rich in cocoa.
Nutrition and healthy eating on Caffeine. When is our caffeine consumption too much? The Mayo Clinic states that up to 400 mg of caffeine a day is safe for healthy adults. Consumption beyond this may lead to the following side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Increased heartbeat
- Frequent urination
- Muscle tremors
- Migraine headache
Proposed: Caffeine is present in coffee, so it is important to monitor our intake related to coffee and health problems. Sometimes consumption of more than 4 cups of coffee per day increases the risk of premature death of coffee drinkers. Also, consuming more caffeine is not considered good during pregnancy.
Inspecting Sugar and Health Problems
We eat sugar or food items containing sugar because of their good taste. However, sugar is not considered good for our health. Our health remains fine when we consume sugar in its natural form or in minute amounts. When we’re consuming added sugar, we may suffer from:
- High glucose levels
- Increased risks of diabetes, heart disease, and Cancer
- Critical skin conditions
- Increased cellular aging
- Uneven energy fluctuations
- Fatty liver
- Dental problems
Proposed: To avoid, reverse, and balance health problems associated with sugar, rather focus on eating wholesome food and a zero added sugar diet. The best is switching to eco healthy living and eating. Removing foods and drinks with added sugar from our diets and eating sugar only in its natural form, is beneficial for our health.
Inspecting Aspartame and Health Problems
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in low-calorie foods and drinks. Some common sources of aspartame are gum, diet soda, sugar-free ice cream, sugar-free candy, reduced-calorie fruit juice, and low-calorie yogurt. We may also find this food additive in certain medicines.
Despite its popularity and extensive use, aspartame is a controversial product. Some studies claim that Aspartame intake is associated with greater glucose intolerance in individuals with obesity. This artificial sweetener is also associated with the following side effects:
- Increased body weight
- Increased appetite
- Increased risks of metabolic diseases
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease
Proposed: Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Enough scientific evidence is not available yet to confirm or reject the above claims. See the benefits of Eco Healthy Eating: Zero Added Sugar.
If we wish to limit the intake of aspartame, considering its substitutes such as honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, molasses, and stevia leaves is a preferred option. Some side effects are also avoided by regular exercise, eating wholesome food, and by considering Practicing Fasting: Intermittent, Water, Autophagy: An Introduction.
Is there a link between Junk Food and Health Problems?
Junk foods are commonly known as fast foods and we, the present generation enjoys them very much because they please our taste buds. Unfortunately, they are of very little use to our body.
Junk food contains high levels of sugars, salts, and fats. The nature of junk food is addictive and they lead our brain to crave them even if we are not hungry. Regular consumption of junk foods adversely affects our health and may result in the following:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Cardiovascular problems
- Increased weight
- Abdominal pain and headaches
- Dental problems
- Heart disease
- Puffiness and bloating
- Spike in blood sugar
Proposed: Despite increased awareness about their ill effects, the consumption of junk food is increasing. This is a crucial and dire situation and requires serious adjustments in our lifestyles, like eco healthy eating, eating wholesome food, with a zero added sugar diet, and regular exercise.
Inspecting Milk and Health Problems
Cow’s milk is one of the most popular foods in several parts of the world. The presence of 18 essential nutrients makes drinking milk a necessary part of childrens’ everyday schedule. However, some studies suggest that even a glass of milk may impact our health negatively.
Meat, dairy, and cancer are related: The higher amounts of calcium from milk may be the reason for prostate cancer. The analysis of the Use of dairy products, lactose, and calcium and risk of ovarian cancer – Results from a Danish case-control study suggests that milk sugar may enhance the risk of ovarian cancer. Sometimes milk and its by-products may also cause the following problems:
- Lactose intolerance
- Milk allergy
- Bone fractures
- Some cancers promoted via saturated fat
- Infection in the small intestines
Proposed: If we suffer from milk related health problems, rather avoid milk and relevant dairy products.
Inspecting Protein and Health Problems
Protein is an essential building block of our body. It helps in building and repairing muscles, bones, and different organs in a human body. This is the main reason doctors and medical practitioners recommend high-protein diets. This diet also helps in losing weight, reducing fat, and retaining muscle.
We usually get protein from eggs, legumes, whole grains, nuts, dairy products, fish, and meat. Sometimes a protein-rich diet brings risks to our health. Therefore, it becomes necessary to learn about and understand them. Here are some health problems a diet rich in protein may cause:
- Bad breath
- Weight gain
- Heart disease
- Loss of calcium
- Increased risk of cancer
- Kidney damage
Proposed: These risks are avoidable if we limit our protein consumption according to our body weight. Experts suggest that 0.36 grams of protein per pound is the suitable limit for an average adult. More details are available here: Protein Intake – How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day? Note that these limits do not apply to athletes and other sportspersons.
Is Consuming Salt and Health Problems Related?
Sodium chloride (NaCl) is commonly known as salt. It contains 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride. Salt is required by humans and it reaches our body when we consume foods containing salt as one of the ingredients. However, too much sodium in our body increases the risk of the following health problems:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Be sure to consider balanced eco healthy eating based on wholesome foods. Too much salt increases different kinds of health risks. However, too little salt is also harmful.
This is because salt plays an important role in the functioning of our bodies. Some health risks associated with lower consumption of salt are:
- Increased triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
- Heart failure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Insulin resistance
Proposed: Salt is crucial for the proper functioning of our bodies. A balanced amount of salt keeps our body happy. Wholesome food, eco friendly living and eco healthy eating is an efficient way of taking in a balanced amount of salt.
Inspecting GMO and Health Problems
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms and crops related to it are known as GM crops. With the use of advanced technologies, the genetic material of seeds is altered to provide more benefits to crop producers and a few to consumers. Many scientists suggest that GMO food products are safe. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not agree with such claims and has raised the following Health Concerns of GMOs:
- Risks of deterioration of our health
- Likelihood of certain allergic reactions
- Some components of a food product may be nutritional and some may be toxic
- Infused gene(s) in the crop seeds may become unstable
- GMO Foods Cause Gut Damage and lead to digestive tract infection or concerns like gut health and skin problems
Proposed: We may prevent the risks associated with GM foods by avoiding GM crops. Or, living an eco friendly lifestyle and practicing eco healthy eating.
Three Health Problems That Good Nutrition Help You Avoid
Regular consumption of nutrient-rich food helps in avoiding many health problems. Here are some examples showing common health problems and how they are easily avoided by proper nutrition:
Obesity is a major concern all over the world as it causes many health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The high-calorie food we eat along with our sedentary lifestyle, is the biggest causes behind this health condition. The correct way to avoid obesity is to stop consuming foods with added sugar, sugar substitutes, saturated fats, and trans fats. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are full of nutrition and their consumption helps avoid and even reverses obesity.
2. Cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease take many lives every year. An unbalanced diet or a diet rich in cholesterol and fats increases the risk of this disease.
Fortunately, a diet with proper nutrition reduces the chances of it developing. If we eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such diseases remain at bay. Obesity is further reduced when we eat highly nutritional and low-sodium foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Our bones become porous with obesity. According to the FACTS AND STATISTICS provided by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis causes over 8.9 million fractures every year. It means one osteoporotic fracture in every three seconds.
It is easy to avoid osteoporosis with proper nutrition. The consumption of the right amount of calcium and vitamin D each day improves bone health and decreases the risks of fractures.
Eco-Friendly Lifestyle: Definite Solution to Our Health Problems
An eco friendly lifestyle is a definite solution to health problems. When it comes to living an eco friendly lifestyle, a step-by-step approach is beneficial.
We become eco friendly when eating eco friendly food. And we live an eco friendly lifestyle, when we eat healthy and transition to food and drinks that have zero added sugar. Small and simple changes help us to easily evolve an eco friendly lifestyle and eat healthy, until eco healthy eating becomes part of eco friendly living. For instance, a shift towards plant based foods and drinks transforms our regular diet into an eco friendly diet.
As a way of life, and celebrating our bodies, it is worth switching to living an eco friendly lifestyle and including Eco Healthy Eating: Zero Added Sugar and Intermittent, Water, And Autophagy Fasting: An Introduction. This are exciting ways to take care of ourselves.