Right now, there’s a good chance that your diet is woefully inadequate when it comes to ensuring you are in the best possible health. In fact, there’s a good chance that your diet may be killing you.
And what is the culprit here? The answer is empty calories and processed foods.
These days, a huge proportion of what we eat is ready prepared and ‘processed’. That means that it has spent a lot of time in a factory and thus bears little resemblance to what the ingredients originally looked like.
A good example is a bag of crisps, which doesn’t tend to have many potatoes left in it at all. Chocolate is made from a cocoa bean but the rest is purely processed. And ready-made lasagne will have had all the goodness fried out of it and a ton of salt, sugar and bad fats added to try and keep it preserved.
All this means that you’re getting calories from your diet — calories that will provide you with energy and make you gain weight — but no nutrition.
Why We Need Nutrition
It is a mistake to think of food as fuel. Calories are fuel and they happen to be in our food. But food is more than that.
Apart from also being a social event and a hobby, food should also be a source of raw materials. The saying that you ‘are what you eat’ is literally true and when you eat any meal, your body will break it down into its constituent parts and then reassemble those parts in order to build your muscle, create enzymes and hormones and even produce neurotransmitters (the chemicals that make our brain work).
When you don’t get these things, you’ll find yourself feeling considerably worse. If you don’t get enough vitamin C for example, then your immune system won’t be able to perform at its best and you’ll be much more likely to get ill. Worse, vitamin C is also crucial for helping you to produce serotonin. Take that away and your mood will plummet. It also helps us sleep!
Similarly, when you don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acid, it can cause inflammation — this makes your joints hurt, it creates brain fog and it can lead to illness.
A lack of amino acid will mean that your muscles are weaker and smaller. And it will result in your skin looking grey and your nails being brittle.
The short-term issues are worthy of a lot of concern but more worrying still is what this does to your health in the long term. The damage here is cumulative and in the end, you will be more likely to suffer from a range of diseases.
What to do About It
The answer is to stop thinking of food as fuel and to instead think about the quality of the raw materials you’re putting into your system. Find ways to get more nutritious food in your diet -even if that means just adding a smoothie into your routine!