Did you know that children who eat salty foods tend to seek out sugary drinks, which leads to obesity? The quality of food that children eat today will have a striking impact on their health throughout adolescence and adulthood. Consuming nutritious foods helps children and teenagers grow, develop, do well academically and feel good about themselves. Good nutrition also helps to prevent eating disorders, obesity, dental cavities and iron-deficiency anaemia. Also, studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better in school. According to reports from the American Dietetic Association, students who eat breakfast have better problem-solving abilities, memory, verbal fluency and creativity. They are also less likely to be absent. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children who do not eat breakfast, or eat an insufficient breakfast, are more likely to have behavioural, emotional and academic problems at school.
Nutrient Robbers are processed foods that not only fail to provide any valuable nutrients or energy to the body, but also rob it of its nutritional reserves as it strives to break them down. Many degenerative diseases have been linked to the consumption of processed foods. These include:
– Refined sugars, biscuits and snacks
– Trans fats, hydrogenated fats and oils
– Fried foods
– Coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, sugar and chocolate
To stay healthy, your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein, the three main components of nutrition. You also need vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are contained in many different foods. Eating a variety of different foods is essential because no single food or food group contains all the nutrients that your body requires to function properly. Moderation means that we need to eat neither too much nor too little of any food or nutrient. Too much food can result in excess weight-gain and an excess of certain nutrients, whilst eating too little can lead to nutrient deficiencies and low body mass.So very often it is as important to look at what we are not eating as to look at what we are eating!
Corrett & Edgson (2012) describe the ABC to conscious eating: Allocate time to eat, Be engaged, and Chew your foods. Eating in a relaxed environment and allowing time for digestion are essential for your body.
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) can begin in early childhood, but the process can be halted or even reversed if you make healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle.
The gradual bone thinning that results in osteoporosis may be slowed down if you consume enough calcium and magnesium, maintain adequate vitamin D levels and participate in weight-bearing exercise. You might be genetically predisposed to diabetes, but if you keep your weight within a healthy range through diet and exercise, the disease may never strike you.
Please be aware not to mistake thirst for hunger. Hydration is the key of life and dehydration can compromise every function of the body. It is important to understand that drinking water is essential for your health, at the same time as being aware that liquids such as tea, coffee, alcohol, fizzy and sugary drinks dehydrate your body.
How Over-eating Can Affect Your Health
Did you know that reflux affects 40% of the American population? Clench your fists and put them together. This is the size of your stomach. Now, imagine trying to fit a double burger and fries into that space, topped up with a fizzy drink; or a late night curry with rice, naan bread and two pints of fizzy Indian beer. Imagine then going to bed and lying horizontal, and wondering why you have reflux or indigestion!