Let’s be honest, what’s not to love about fast food! It is as delicious as food can get and you can grab a bite anytime you want. Besides, it doesn’t damage your wallet. These are just some reasons America is addicted to fast food, oftentimes helplessly wondering how to stop eating junk food.
Fast-food chains in the country feed around 50 million people in a day. On the flip side, these are also the reasons America has become the most obese country in the world. If you think the problem is only limited to your weight, you are badly mistaken.
What Eating Fast Food Does To Your Body And Mind?
Obesity is the direct cause of some of the most common diseases known to mankind. By this equation, fast food becomes the root of most health problems we suffer. These facts, however, may not give you the real picture. To understand how dangerous fast food is, you need to dig deeper into the effects it has on your health.
So, before we reflect on practical solutions about how to stop eating junk food, take your knife out as we are about to dissect the matter and discuss 5 harmful effects of fast food on your health.
1. It Is Making You Eat More
Fast food is engineered to be addictive. It is not the taste that keeps you coming back; it is the ingredients. Processed food contains a high amount of the silent legal killers such us: salts, sugar, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates.
When you eat a meal, you feel satisfied and full for the time your blood sugar level remains elevated. As it drops, your system craves again.
Psychological studies have proved that sugar addiction is like a cocaine addiction. Just like drugs, these ingredients can trigger the pleasure center of the brain.
On top of that, fast food contains several preservatives including the infamous Monosodium Glutamate MSG AKA Chinese salt. MSG, apart from having many side effects, is an appetite enhancer. It messes with your mind’s ability to figure out when to stop.
Remember, you are not craving the calories because your body needs it, it is your mind that is now addicted to the ‘sugar’ rush.
2. It Is Ruining Your Heart
Things you love are the things that break your heart. Can’t be truer about your favorite fast food. Fast lacks nutritional value. The ingredients it contains are unhealthy and can cause LDL level to increase rapidly.
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota revealed that consuming fast food once a week can increase your chances of dying from a heart disease by 20 percent. Make it three times and the chances spike to 80 percent. It is why doctors see fast food as an epidemic.
Apart from fat, other ingredients such as salts and sugar in your fast food are equally responsible for heart disease. Salts can raise your blood pressure and add put stress on your cardiovascular system. People who are already suffering from coronary artery disease, sodium can increase the chances of stroke or heart attack.
3. It Triggers Depression
The pleasure you find in your fast food platter doesn’t last long. Once your sugar level drops, you feel sad and irritable. That, however, is nothing when compared to the fact that fast food can cause depression.
Depression isn’t a feeling or a mere state of mind, it is a disease just as serious as a heart disease or diabetes. According to a study, regular consumers of processed and fast food have 51 percent higher chances of suffering from depression.
The reason is simple. A healthy mind needs a healthy body. Just like our body, our mind needs a healthy balance of all the nutrients to produce neurotransmitters. Fast food lacks the essential amino acid tryptophan that keeps our brain chemicals balanced. The imbalance can cause behavioral and mental disorders.
4. It invites Diabetes
If the food has a higher amount of sugar, it is an invitation to diabetes. High in saturated fat and sugar, fast food can increase your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Contrary to the popular belief, sugar isn’t the direct cause of diabetes. Sugar can lead to obesity and a higher amount of fat in your body which can hinder your body’s ability to utilize insulin. Actually, your pancreas assumes it isn’t producing enough insulin. And it overproduces to the point where it wears out and stops producing enough of this sugar-lowering hormone. That is when you develop diabetes.
So, when you’re stuffing your tummy with those yummies, remember you are putting your health at risk.
5. It Can Mess with Your Memory
Your heart is not the only thing in the crosshair. Fast food consumption is also associated with memory loss and poor cognitive function. A study conducted in 2011 concluded that people who consume fast food perform much poorly on cognitive tests as compared to those on a healthy diet. Many other studies conducted later proved that fast food can cause your memory to deteriorate.The toxins in fast food cause a chemical imbalance in the brain and result in inflammation in the area associated with recognition and memory. Moreover, a higher amount of sugar can interfere with the production of brain peptides that support memory formation.
Speaking of memory, fast food may also increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases. Alzheimer’s, often called the diabetes of the brain, is a memory loss disease caused when our brain becomes resistant to insulin. This happens when our mind is producing an excessive amount of insulin due to higher sugar intake.
These effects are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many health issues directly and indirectly associated with fast food consumption. Overall, it is a choice that seems the most feasible and fast at first, but in the long run, is just lowering your quality of life.
Get into a routine to avoid falling into the unhealthy lifestyle trap. You can always go for more nutritious, delicious homemade options. Remember, a little effort is all it takes to lead a healthier life. How to Stop Eating Junk Food?
8 Proven Methods to Stop Eating Junk Food
For most people, fast food is more about the convenience of grabbing a bite while you are on your way to work. Some people do not have the money or the time to afford homemade food. Besides, if you are addicted, the cravings will return from time to time. It feels just like the debt trap. There seems to be no way out of it.
With little determination, you can fight this addiction. You need to start with small changes and slowly transform your whole lifestyle. Here are some suggestions that will help you avoid those tasty bites of bad omen.
Step 1: Plan and Prepare Ahead Your Meals
We usually go for fast food when we do not have other options open. Make a meal plan and complete your preparations for the whole week.
Marinate the meat. Cut the vegetables. Prepare sauces. And freeze it all for the week. This way, you will know that you have the option to go home and eat. You will know that you can go home and prepare your meal within a matter of minutes. This will really help you curb your cravings.
Step 2: Go for Variety
For many people, healthy food is boring. It is if you have just a few options to rotate. Experiment with your homemade menu. Whether its breakfast, lunch, or dinner, keep trying new recipes and you will never lose interest.
There are a lot of chefs who are devoted to healthy food and lifestyle. You can find their recipe books or video to try something new every day. Again, make a weekly menu and shop for the whole week so you don’t have to abandon the plan due to missing ingredients
Step 3: Start Healthy Snacking
Make small snack size packets of nuts and eat a handful whenever you feel hungry. Nuts offer excellent nutritional value and they contain a healthy amount of good fats. The good fats do not harm your heart or body but they can make you feel full.
Keep these packets in your car, at your work, and in your shoulder bag if you carry one around. Nuts also contain a good amount of protein, which also makes you feel full. So, protein bars are also a good option.
Step 4: Deal with Stress
You feel sad, you eat fast food. You eat fast food, it makes you more depressed. It is a vicious cycle. Seek the right kind of professional help to deal with stress, and you will see a significant decrease in your stress triggered cravings.
Therapy, meditation, and yoga can help you manage stress and depression. When you feel happy, you want to be good to yourself. You feel more motivated to take care of yourself. With less stress on your mind, you will find the strength to say no to fast food.
Oftentimes overeating or neglecting yourself in general are symptoms of unprocessed traumas and mental problems. And that’s totally fine, as long as you address your issues to a professional. Talk with someone qualified about your mental health, as eating habits are usually just a part of a more complex issue.
Step 5: Pamper Yourself
One gourmet meal in a fine dining restaurant may cost you more than ten fast food meals, but it is actually worth more. Treat yourself to something much classier like a nice Italian steak with lots of healthy sides. Such meals, though not homemade, are much healthier as they are prepared from fresh and organic ingredients.
Many restaurants actually create meals based on the nutritional requirements of a healthy body. Once you are done, you’ll have neither the desire nor the budget for fast food.
Step 6: Make a Healthy Choice
If you really have to go for fast food, introduce your taste buds to healthy food. As awareness regarding the dangers of fast food increases in America, we see a rise in the number of restaurants that offer quick but clean food. They offer a variety of delicious salads and healthy sandwiches made from fresh produce. Find such restaurants in your area and bid farewell to your toxic relationship with the clown and the colonel.
If you want a healthy and happy life, you need to make this sacrifice. You need to steer away from food that fills you with toxins. Make up your mind. Get into a routine to avoid falling into the unhealthy lifestyle trap. Remember, a little effort is all it takes to lead a healthier life.
Oftentimes when we think about how to stop eating fast food, we change into a seemingly healthy option which actually is not that geat for us…
Step 7: Avoid Food Traps
With the hype about dieting for weight loss and healthy foods for longevity, it is very easy to get tricked into thinking that some dishes won’t mess you up. You are wrong in judging many healthy foods that actually are not! The knowledge about what you are putting down your throat is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to nutrition.
Top 10 “Healthy Foods” That Are Bad For You
Here is a list of 10 “healthy” foods that could be doing more harm than good:
1. Fat-Free Yoghurt
Many people are lured into thinking that foods labeled “fat-free” are healthy, whereas they are not. Unlike sugar, fat doesn’t make you fat. Majority of flavored yoghurt packs are loaded sweetened with sugar which is high in calories. Also don’t go fruit-flavored yogurts because they are no better. Instead, pick Greek yoghurt with fresh cut fruit or honey.
2. Wheat Bread
Wheat is a great source of carbohydrate, and such bread isn’t any better than a white one. All breads are made from the enriched floor, which increases your blood glucose levels without significant nutritional benefits. Rather than picking wheat bread, go for fiber-rich and whole wheat options. If you must have it at breakfast, other better alternatives include sprouted or multigrain breads.
3. Dried Fruit
Although dried fruits are high in fiber content, the majority contain preservative and added sugars to extend their expiry dates. Dried fruits also contain higher amounts of calories than when in fresh form. Take a banana chips as an example; they are richer in fat and contain up to 3 times as many calories than you would get from a ripe banana. When choosing fruits, it is recommendable to go for fresh options or just pick one from your fruit garden. All the nutrients are intact and fiber content has not been altered!
4. Fat-free Peanut Butter
Who said that the monounsaturated fats from peanut butter are unhealthy? Eliminate these good fats from peanut butter and you will be left with nothing healthy, other than added sugar and plenty of calories. In simpler words, if you spot reduced fat in any product, it is a signal that the fat has been substituted with sugar or salt. Simply stick with peanuts in their natural form and don’t overindulge. This will ensure that you are getting all their essential nutrients.
5. Protein Bars
Majority of protein bars are made from processed food bricks combined with artificial ingredients and fillers. If you like snack bars, selecting such will only give an equivalent of calories found in candy bars and a protein touch. Don’t get lured into grabbing them, but instead try alternative high protein foods sources like legumes, or fresh fruit and vegetable snacks.
6. Fruit Cocktail
Most people tend to think that anything that comes from fruits is good for your health. While there may be an idea, but the mode of processing and preserving fruits counts significantly. Grabbing a cup of fruit cocktail can give you about 100 calories, but the sugar content could be enough for a single day. You can get nothing any better from a fruit cocktail unless you prepare one with fresh fruits! It is even convenient to carry a fruit cocktail from your home in a plastic bag if not the cup.
Although pretzels are low in fat, they are high in sodium and are nutritionally unbeneficial. In addition, they are prepared using white processed flour that is enriched with sugar. Irrespective of the amount you consume, you will still find yourself craving for more.
It is always important to check on the label for calorie and sugar or salt content before you brag about munching on the healthiest snack. Opt-out of pretzels and switch to kale chips for more proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The high fiber content in kale chips will keep you full for longer without loading your body with many calories.
8. Sushi Rolls
One may wonder why sushi rolls are not healthy and yet they are made from seaweed, rice and fish. Most of the westernized sushi rolls are loaded with many calories.
While regular rolls of avocado, tuna or salmon can be a great treat, spicy mayo and cream cheese added in sushi rolls make them unhealthy. Instead of sushi rolls, think of sashimi served with ginger and radish. Say no to spicy and crunchy versions because they are enriched with high calorie recipes.
9. Organic Snacks
Nowadays, food manufacturing companies are putting ‘organic’ label in their products to lure consumers into thinking that they are indeed healthy, whereas they aren’t. A spade is still a spade irrespective of how it was made. Substitute organic snacks for healthier fruit versions like apple slices or unsalted pistachios.
10. Granola Bars
While granola bars are better taken than skipping a meal, it’s worth noting that they are rich in sugar, saturated fats, and sodium. This means they are not a healthier choice for taking at breakfast or during the lunch break. If you are too mindful about your weight and healthy foods, try a variety of fruits and vegetable salads instead of skipping regular meals with the hope of achieving your goals fast.
Eating a well balanced diet is very vital for the health of your body, mind and soul. Unfortunately, there are plenty of foods claiming to be healthy but they are not. While skipping meals is not advisable at all, some foods, like those listed above, are worth avoiding if there are better healthier alternatives – like fruits in their freshest forms. Have a great mealtime!
Step 7: Equip Yourself With Super Healthy Stuff
In the age of consumerism, there are plenty of options when it comes to educating ourselves about various health and wellness benefits. More and more people are concerned with putting organic and natural resources into their body and, with the help of Google, we have a larger platform to research and educate ourselves on the products.
There are many people who are searching for alternative resources to help guide their body to better health. The bad news is, without hard data and consistent research, you may not understand which products are right for you.
5 Natural Resources That Really Can Do What You’ve Heard
However, there is one problem that comes with this hurdle. How can one really know which products are working and which products are simply a great marketing ploy to get our money?
When it comes to this, deep research is needed to get to the bottom of the questions you have in mind for alternative resources that can expand your health. There are many who continue to fall into the marketing trap every day, but here are the five natural resources that really can do what you’ve heard and are a powerful asset on the road to health and wellness.
#1 – Tea Tree Oil
While replacing junk in your diet with quality products, don’t forget about your home and body in general. Toxins are everywhere, not only in food.
Tea tree oil is also known as melaleuca to some people and is a powerful resource when it comes to health and wellness for the body. Tea tree oil comes from the melaleuca plant in Australia and possesses anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-fungal qualities.
Every smart mom on the planet should have a bottle of this oil in her purse because it provides so many functional uses for her family. Scrapes and cuts, head lice, and even acne have been reported to be reduced when using this oil.
Without tea tree oil, we are forced to use chemicals to place on the skin if we cut our finger. The benefits of this and these other alternative resources is they are straight from nature and therefore beneficial to the body.
#2 – Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a great natural resource one can use for their teeth. While your mouth may not be top priority when you think of health and wellness, it is a precursor to lasting benefits if you can take care of it. Proper oral hygiene is essential to your good health because certain bacteria could lead to gum disease and tooth infections that could affect your body elsewhere.
Coconut oil is great because it contains antibacterial properties and, when used correctly, can take care of your teeth. In order to use, take a spoonful of coconut oil and place it on your tongue. Next, swish the coconut oil around in your mouth and between your teeth for two to three minutes. This is called a “pull” and gets rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
When you have finished pulling, spit and rinse, making sure not to swallow anything you have just swished. You will begin enjoying great teeth health in no time.
#3 – CBD Oil
CBD oil is the growing rage in our country today. With the legalization of hemp in the Farm Bill of 2018, more people are getting a better understanding of how this ingredient in hemp can help their health and wellness. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the major compound found in this plant and works primarily on our CB1 and CB2 receptors.
On top of that, the human body’s endocannabinoid system becomes activated once CBD is introduced. This means a whole wealth of benefits from blood pressure regulation all the way to reducing depression through the secretion of Anandamide in the body.
Smart consumers will purchase their CBD oil from online vendors like Kats Botanicals who lab test their products for purity and potency. CBD is a natural resource that is truly powerful to the human body.
#4 – Acupuncture
Relaxed mind means healthy mind. And less prone one to dig on junk food…
The United States is the number one country in the world for prescribing medications. As a whole, the people living in this country have fallen off the health wagon and climbed on the chemical train.
Hydrocodone is the number one prescribed opiate for pain in our country and, while this does help for a while, it comes with harmful side effects that could be lasting for the user. Alternative remedies like acupuncture can help the user stay away from these prescription drugs and allow them to maintain a balanced state of mind.
Acupuncture has been known to help patients from everything to pain all the way to anxiety. Seek out a professional in this area and learn how acupuncture really does do everything you’ve heard about.
#5 – The Banana
This cheerful fruit is more than just delicious. The banana hosts a plethora of benefits for the body that can be used in one of the largest plagues our country has seen. This is high blood pressure. Currently, Lisinopril is the number one prescription drug given to patients all over the country to combat their high blood pressure.
While prescription medicines do play an important part in lowering blood pressure, increasing your potassium will help you continue on the road to recovery. One needs at least 500 mg per day to reduce their blood pressure. This much potassium is found in a banana and has been reported as being helpful to most people in lowering their blood pressure when eaten daily.
The good news is, there is more than just these five products that are amazing for your body. America in its entirety is unhealthy and uneducated about health and wellness. However, you don’t have to be. Make a decision to continue this path to health for yourself and your family today.
Step 8: Check Yourself for Anemia
You have an average or even a ‘solid’ body type. You sleep well and nevertheless you feel oftentimes tired. Someone had suggested to you to go to a doctor and check your blood, the results was : ANEMIA. How come?!
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that anemia only touches mostly anorectic Instagram stars. You can be even overweight and still have anaemia because your body is missing something. You can be fat and have anemia, due to the fact you eat a lot of junk food.
Like with everything in life – quality over quantity! It’s not about how much you eat, the most important is what you eat, so let’s look closer at the topic.
What is anemia?
Red blood cells have an iron-based protein – haemoglobin – that can support the blood cells carrying more oxygen. When you have a condition called anemia, your blood cannot deliver the suitable oxygen supply to your tissues and organs.
Anything that can disrupt the red blood cells’ normal lifespan may lead to anemia, such as an increased destruction of red blood cells, a decreased red blood cell production, or an excess loss of blood. Depending on the causes, there are various types of anemia.
Women and those living with chronic conditions are at highest risks of developing anemia. Some of the diseases that might lead to the condition are bleeding disorders, cancer, intestinal disorders, ulcers, pregnancy, heavy blood loss during menstruation, and other chronic conditions, or a deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron. Certain types of anemia could be inherited as well.
Symptoms of anemia may vary basing on the causes of the condition and might range from severe to mild. Common signs are high or low blood pressure levels, hair loss, lack of energy, cold feet and hands, headaches, cognitive issues, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, an irregular or fast heartbeat, pale skin, and fatigue.
Men who have less than thirty grams of hemoglobin for a deciliter suffer from anemia, according to the World Health Organization. For women, the level is less than twelve grams.
Approximately 3 million Americans have this condition, and anemia happens when the red blood cell count of the body is less than normal.
Home Remedies For Anemia – The Most Effective Natural Treatments To Apply:
People can easily prevent and cure some types of anemia at the comfort of their own home just by making use of some natural remedies. Here are some beneficial home remedies for anemia until you see your hemoglobin level normalized.
Date is very abundant in vitamin C and iron so that it plays a crucial role in the absorption of iron inside the body. There are 2 simple ways to make use of dates to cure anemia at home:
First, you can try eating some dried dates followed by 1 cup of warm milk in the morning on an empty stomach.
Alternatively, try soaking overnight 2 dates in 1 cup of milk. Next morning, drink the milk and consume the date fruits on an empty stomach.
2. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are also beneficial for curing anemia thanks to their abundant content of iron. ¼ cup of sesame seeds offers almost 30% of the required daily iron intake.
Soak 1 tbsp. of black sesame seeds for 2 hours in warm water. Grind the combination into a paste and then to get the emulsion, strain it. Mix the emulsion in 1 cup of warm milk, add some jaggery and honey and consume it one time per day.
Soak two tbsps. of black sesame seeds for 2 – 3 hours in water. Strain and form a paste of soaked seeds. Add 1 tbsp. of honey and mix well. Have this mixture 2 times on a daily basis.
Pomegranate is abundant in iron and other minerals, like magnesium and calcium. It also offers vitamin C, which can help to improve the iron absorption of the body. This results in an increased haemoglobin level and more red blood cells.
You can also consume a pomegranate in medium size on an empty stomach every morning as one of your healthy mindful eating habits.
Instead, you can take 2 tbsps. of dried powdered pomegranate seeds with 1 glass of warm milk once and twice times every day.
Mix 1 cup of pomegranate juice, ¼ tbsp. of powdered cinnamon and 2 tbsps. of honey. Consume this along with your healthy breakfast recipes on a daily basis.
A diet abundant in green leafy veggies such as spinach is among the best home treatments for anemia. Spinach is abundant in folic acid, vitamin B12, iron, and energy-promoting nutrients that the body requirements to recover from anemia.
- A ½ cup of spinach offers almost 35% of your recommended daily intake of iron and 33% of your daily intake of folic acid.
- Mix 2 tbsps. of honey in 1 glass of spinach juice (fresh). Consume this once per day.
- Consume spinach soup 2 times per day. To make this soup, prepare and puree 1 cup of blanched spinach after adding some water. In a pan, heat one tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil and stir fry some onion and garlic cloves (chopped) in the pan until they turn brown. Add a little salt and pureed spinach to the pan to cook within 5 – 10 minutes over low heat.
You need to follow these home remedies for 1 month at least.
Beetroot is highly good for those who face anemia due to the deficiency of iron, which is the most common of every type of anemia. It contains high iron content, along with vitamins, sulfur, potassium, calcium, and fiber.
In addition to offering nutrients, beetroot can help to supply more oxygen throughout the body and cleanse the body as well. This, in turn, can help a lot in increasing the red blood cell count of the body. There are two ways to make use of beetroot to deal with and beat off the disease:
First, you and try eating beetroots to add into a salad or as a cooked veggie. Eat the peel of the beetroot as well to get the best nutritional value.
Blend in a juicer ½ sweet potato, 3 carrots, and a medium-sized beetroot. Consume the juice once per day.
Rich in iron, bananas can help to stimulate the haemoglobin production and the production of various enzymes that are necessary for the red blood cells formation. In addition, bananas are an excellent magnesium source so that it can aid a lot in the synthesis of haemoglobin. Here is how you can make use of banana at home to deal with signs and symptoms of the anemia issue:
First, you just need to mix 1 tbsp. of amla (Indian gooseberry) juice with 1 mashed ripe banana and consume it 2 – 3 times per day.
Alternatively, try consuming a ripe banana along with 1 tbsp. of honey twice every day to achieve the best result in treating signs and symptoms of anemia at home.
7. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses are considered a nutritional powerhouse, particularly for people with anemia.
It is an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, and other necessary minerals that can help in increasing the production of red blood cells. 1 tbsp. of blackstrap molasses can supply almost 15% of your daily consumption of iron. There are two methods people can try to deal with anemia at home:
First, you can try combining 2 tsps. each of apple cider vinegar and blackstrap molasses in a cup of water. Consume this once per day.
Another option is to mix a tbsp. of blackstrap molasses in 1 cup of milk or hot water. Consume 1 – 2 times on a daily basis. This drink is highly good for women who are pregnant.
The high content of iron contained in fenugreeks can help a lot in maintaining the iron levels in the blood. It can also aid the production of new red blood cells. Both the seeds and leaves of fenugreek could be used in curing anemia. Try these two simple ways to cure anemia with the help of fenugreeks:
You can also use fenugreek leaves in your cooking, especially in soups or salads.
Mix 1 cup of rice with 2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds and cook it. Add some salt in the mixture and eat every day for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
These natural remedies are very useful for restoring healthy red-blood cell count in those living with anemia. Applying well-balanced diet tips is really necessary to prevent anemia from coming back.
9. Dried Blackcurrant
Thanks to the high content of vitamin C and iron, dried blackcurrants have been proven to be an extremely useful cure for anemia. Vitamin C can help to enhance the ability to absorb iron of the body, increasing haemoglobin and red blood cells. Here are some steps you should follow to treat anemia with the help of dried blackcurrants:
- Soak ten to twelve dried blackcurrants overnight in water.
- The next morning, remove the blackcurrants from the water and throw the seeds off.
- Consume the blackcurrant on a daily basis before you eat breakfasts.
- Apply this tip within about 2 – 3 weeks to achieve the best results.
Being abundant in nutrients including iron, apple can help to cure anemia effectively. You can follow these methods to treat anemia right at the comfort of your own home:
- You could also mix equal parts of some honey, beetroot juice, with fresh apple juice. Consume this juice 2 times per day.
- Consuming an apple at least per day is also a great idea for people with anemia. If possible, you should consume green apples and do not remove their skin.
The entire list above introduces 10 most effective tips and home remedies for anemia without requiring people to make use of any drug, pill, or medical intervention so that readers should not skip this article. The recipes revealed and suggested in this writing are 100% based on nature so that they will cause no harmful side effects and work effectively for people at all cases of anemia – a very common disease in our life.
If you have any question about this article or its content, do not hesitate to leave your comments and feedbacks in the section below and wait for the best answers from the author of the article.
Step 9: Befriend Salads – The Easiest Way to Make Yourself a Healthy Meal
If you wonder how to stop eating fast food, likely you are not the biggest fan of salads out there. They may seem plain and unsatisfying to you. Here is our selection of 4 salads that will make you way happier than your greasy fries (from the past).
Healthy Salad Ideas Which Are Going To Be Tremendously More Tasty Than Your Junk Food
Before I say more, I would like to point out that while most of these salads are side dishes, some salads can also be taken as main courses if not main courses. Without further ado, let’s look at them one by one:
1. Apricot Fluff Salad
Consisting of apricot yogurt, apricot gelatin, cubed peeled fresh apricots, miniature marshmallows, and frozen reduced-fat whipped topping(thawed), apricot fluff is a perfect salad to take during the season of spring. Delicious, rich in flavor and quite filling, this healthy salad is impressively low in calories with about 225 calories per serving.
Great for weight loss, apricot fluff is also a good source of carbs, and sodium with each nutrient contributing to good health. For example, apart from serving as the body’s main source of energy, carbohydrates help fuel some key body components such as the brain, kidneys, heart muscles as well as the critical central nervous system.
On the other hand, sodium helps balance the essential body fluids such as blood and send nerve impulses. Additionally, this critical macronutrient also plays a pivotal role in the process of muscle contraction and helps regulate blood pressure. It goes without saying that apricot fluff salad is very easy to make with a recipe that yields ten servings taking only ten minutes to conclude. With all the benefits above in mind, how about you source the necessary ingredients from the right meal delivery service to make and try out the salad? Fresh and Easy is a very popular meal delivery service for healthy food options.
2. Easy Cucumber Salad
Yummy, light and comprising of English cucumbers, red onion, distilled white vinegar, minced fresh dill, granulated sugar, and table salt, easy cucumber salad is another incredible salad you should try out, especially during spring.
That’s because the primary ingredients for making this healthy salad are often abundant during the warmer and wetter season hence their prices are normally highly discounted. Nonetheless, this salad is among the various vegetable salads with the lowest amounts of calories. For example, a single serving of the salad contains just 30 calories, hence it can help you achieve weight loss within the shortest time possible. Furthermore, these salads are relatively easy to make. As long as you have the right ingredients and instructions, such as online comparison and review posted here, you should be good to go and pick Home Chef or Hello Fresh.
Apart from containing the lowest levels of calories, cucumber and other salads are an excellent source of sodium and potassium. Just like sodium, potassium offers a number of health benefits, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart and kidney disorders, as well as stress and anxiety reliefs. Apart from that, this critical macronutrient helps enhance metabolism, water balance, muscle strength, metabolism, nervous system and electrolytic functions, contributing to good health.
3. Strawberry Baby Herb Walnut Blue Cheese Salad
Consumable both as a main course and side dish, strawberry, baby herb, walnut, blue cheese salad is not only yummy, but it is also filling and fairly light. Comprising of fresh strawberries, toasted walnuts, fresh rosemary, thyme, baby herb leaves, crumbled blue cheese, savanna dry, honey, extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, and salt, this salad is packed with a whole lot of nutrients that greatly contribute to good health. Your taste buds will dance to the flavors of this low-calorie salad.
You can have it as a healthy lunch or dinner option for spring, considering the health benefits of consuming strawberries, walnuts and limited amounts of calories. Furthermore, strawberry, baby herb, walnut blue cheese salad is also an excellent source of protein and fiber, which as we know, each contributes to good health. For example, protein helps the body build and repair damaged or worn out tissues.
Apart from that, this important macronutrient helps the body manufacture hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals that are essential for various processes that take place in the body. Additionally, protein serves as a critical building block of skin, muscles, cartilage, blood, and bones. On the other hand, dietary fiber is another important macronutrient that significantly contributes to good health. Apart from enhancing digestion and promoting weight loss, fiber helps control blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol levels.
4. Greek Salad
Yummy, flavour-rich and easy to make, the Greek salad is another perfect salad choice for a delicious, filling, and healthy lunch or dinner in spring. Just like other tasteful salads suitable for the warmer and wetter season, this Mediterranean-diet-oriented salad can be taken as a main course or a side dish.
Nevertheless, it goes well with a wide variety of pairings including but not limited to brown rice, pasta, pizza, seafood and so much more. Consisting of capers, mixed grape, cherry & Campari tomatoes, pieces of Persian cucumbers, and pitted Kalamata olives, this delicacy is low in calories and high in vitamins A & C, iron as well as potassium.
The health benefits of each nutrient are tremendous. Vitamins A and C, for instance, boost immunity, reduce the risk of contracting or developing chronic diseases, prevent iron deficiency, and manage blood pressure. On the other hand, iron promotes a number of vital functions within the body, including the management of the immune system, the regulation of body temperatures, the control of the gastrointestinal processes, and the management of the body’s energy.
By the way, iron is so important that lack of adequate amounts of it in the body can lead to anemia, a mild to a moderate condition that is characterized by low levels of hemoglobi
Looking for some new and inspiring spring salad ideas? If yes, look no further than the above ideas. Try apricot fluff salad, cucumber salad, strawberry blue cheese steak salad, and greek salad to whet your taste buds and improve your health. You can be confident that each salad is delicious, healthy, easy to make, and rewarding. With that said, how about you start by ordering the right ingredients before putting your culinary skills to test
Here’s Why Organic Food Is NOT Always Better for Your Health
This is how my last visit to the groceries store looked like:
She: “Go take the organic apples, organic carrots, organic avocado, and organic watermelon.”Me: “Sure!”
So I go and take the usual apples, carrots, avocado, and watermelon. She tastes them at home and says: “See? I told you they were better. This apple tastes like a real apple. It’s nothing like the artificial stuff we used to get.”
The irony, huh? I know that some people, who’ve been into organic food for a longer period of time, could really tell the difference. My point with this example is to show you that BIO turned into a trend. It’s an industry that profits out of people who don’t really know what organic means. When they find out, they will realize that organic does not necessarily mean better for their health.
I know that sounds like a controversial statement. So let’s dig into it to see if it’s really true.
What Does Organic Mean, Anyway?
We see the word everywhere, but not all of us really understand what it stands for. At least I wasn’t completely sure before I did my research. There’s some level of confusion that results from different regulations in different states, whose definitions of the term organic vary.
This is how BBC Good Food defines it: “Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.
Organic agriculture is a systems approach to production that is working towards environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production. Instead, the agricultural systems rely on crop rotation, animal and plant manures, some hand weeding and biological pest control.”
Sounds pretty healthy, doesn’t it? But there’s at least one problem there: GMO. Is it really that bad? It’s a complex issue. Personally, I take Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s word for a fact, so I was pleased to find his opinion on the matter. People have been modifying agriculture since forever, and that’s how we got our modern food. “We cultivated, or genetically changed, corn from whatever cavemen ate to these big ol’ sticks of corn that we now much on. This is essentially true for every food in the grocery store.”
Basically, there’s no such thing as non-GMO food. Period. Yes; we absolutely need to work on sustainable agriculture. But we also need seed. The real issue is not GMO, but pesticides. And organic food contributes towards that aspect of production. We can’t ignore that.
It’s a Matter of Discussion
First and foremost, I don’t want you to get me wrong. Yes; I know that organic is better than pesticides. But the issue is a bit deeper than it initially seems.
Look at this research paper, for example. Organic Food and Impact on Human Health: Assessing the Status Quo and Prospects of Research. Some studies have demonstrated the positive effects of an organic diet on the immune system, fertility system, growth, and weight.
But there’s a problem: “The variation in outcomes of comparative studies is very high, depending on plant fertilization, ripening stage and plant age at harvest, and weather conditions. Moreover, there appeared no simple relationship between nutritional value and health effects. It is difficult therefore to draw conclusions from analytical data about the health effects of organic foods.”
When you read an article that promotes an organic diet, they present a “fact” that such food gives you health benefits. That statement is a matter of a dispute, to say the least. Scientists are still working on their research, but the current situation shows that the relationship between organic food and health benefits is not as straightforward as we thought it was.
Next time when you read an article telling you to start an organic diet, question everything they claim. In fact, I invite you to question my own article, too. Question everything. Do your research. Practice mindful eating, instead of treating your stomach like an endless waste bag.
Get plenty of info before you decide to make such an important change in your life. We’re talking about shifting your diet, spending more money on food, and investing in your health. You better be absolutely sure before you decide to do that.
Quality of Your Food Matters But Why Organic Food Is Not Necessarily Better (Although It’s a Safer Choice)
1. The Higher Price Leads to Wrong Assumptions
I want you to take a look at another research paper: Who Are Organic Food Consumers? It’s not offensive at all; it’s just unbiased research that sheds light on the industry.
Here’s one of the most important details you’ll find there: “Hill and Lynchehaun (2002) suggest that because of the high prices associated with organic food, consumers perceive organic food to be higher quality than conventionally grown food, which informs their perceptions of taste.
Interestingly, Fillion and Arazy (2002) conducted a series of blind taste-tests between organic and non-organic orange juice and milk. They found that organic orange juice was perceived as tasting better than conventional orange juice; however, no differences were found between organic and conventional milk.”
This explains my girlfriend’s reaction. She was convinced that the fruits and veggies were better because the price was high and there’s a lot of buzz around the term organic. The trick I played on her was a kind of blind taste-test. Before you say it was insulting, we had a good laugh about it because she’s cool enough to get my jokes. The marketing tricks that producers play are the really insulting thing here.
So before you start paying the higher price because you’re convinced that organic tastes better, get this: it doesn’t! And it’s not healthy for your budget.
2. No; You Don’t Get Immediate Health Benefits
It’s just a placebo. Maria Grass, researcher for Best Dissertation, shares her own experience: “I started feeling a lot better when I shifted my diet to organic food. In fact, I felt more energized, awake, and healthier from the very first week. Surprise, surprise: it wasn’t the organics. After I did my research, I realized that part of it was my mind, but the bigger part was that I was eating more fruits and veggies and zero packaged food. I tried the same diet without ‘organic’ and I felt the same effects.”
That’s just a single experience and it might not be the case for everyone. But we still trust science, right? Well, the majority of scientific studies show no evidence of health outcomes from an organic-based diet. So if you start feeling immediate health benefits, you must realize that the organic food doesn’t take the credit for them. It’s the basic change of diet and your mind that tries to convince you that your money was well spent.
Organic Might Not Be Better for Your Health, But There Are Undeniable Environmental Benefits to Consider!
So no; your health is not really a valid reason for going organic. When we get straightforward results from science that prove that for a fact, we’ll agree on the matter. For now, it’s a discussion and it doesn’t go to the advantage of organic food.
The greatest argument that justifies the production and consumption of organic food is our environment. There are several arguments to support such actions:
1. Organic Production Is Less Cruel to Animals
People buy BIO because they want to put an end to animal cruelty. If they cannot, don’t want to, or are not ready to give up on meat for any reason, that doesn’t mean they should stop caring about the animals.
Organic meat comes from animals that haven’t been fed with hormones and pesticides. That’s good, although there’s no proof it’s better for our health. What’s better is the treatment of this animals, who get to live longer and in better conditions.
According to the Federal Regulation for the National Organic Program, the farms and ranches that produce organic meat must provide continuous organic management from the last third of gestation. The regulations obligate these farmers to provide livestock with access to the outdoors, direct sunlight, fresh air, and appropriately clean and dry living conditions. They get better food, too.
Do we even want to compare this to traditional farm animals? There, the animals don’t even have space to lie down, and they live in unimaginably bad conditions. Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history, and it’s amazing to see how people are still not aware of that fact.
Organic meat is better because the conditions where the animals live are controlled with stricter regulations. It’s not entirely cruelty-free (death is still part of the process), it’s an example of how all farms should be handled, regardless whether they produce organic meat or not.
2. Organic May Be Better for the Environment
Now, let’s mention the issue of our environment. Organic farms host more butterflies, birds, and bees. They provide higher overall biodiversity and have better water and soil quality. When compared to non-organic production, organic farms also emit fewer greenhouse gases. So yes; they are better for the environment, and that indirectly makes them better for our health, too.
Palm oil, in particular, is a major issue for our environment and for our own bodies. It’s everywhere, and it slowly consumes our planet. But eating organic doesn’t solve that issue. You could avoid it without going fully organic. You could also opt for manufacturers that use a sustainable source of palm oil, and that doesn’t mean you have to go organic. But keep in mind that “sustainable palm oil” often just a label that’s far from reality.
But we still have to look at both sides of the coin. Even the environmental benefits of organic production are questionable. Organic farms produce less food. When you realize that, the greenhouse gas emissions per unit are not lower when you compare them with non-organic production. Whoa!
Stuart Smyth, professor of agricultural economics at the University of Saskatchewan, highlights another important concern: “To me, it’s a real concern when I see a land that could be more productive entered into an [organic] system that in some cases only produces [a part] of its potential capacity.”
I told you it was complicated, didn’t I?
3. Organic May Be Better for the Agriculture Workers
Let’s be honest: organic production requires much more labor than the non-organic hide. The growers cannot use herbicides, so the workers remove weed by hand. It’s hard work, but it also means that people are getting hired and they are fairly paid for their labor.
Organic production provides enough work, so these people can live in a single place year round, without having to move from one area to another. Let’s not neglect the fact that these workers are not exposed to pesticides, and that’s a huge plus. People decide to buy organic because they want to support these workers and that’s a totally valid argument.
But we gotta be real here. The organic agriculture industry is just as guilty of low wages and labor abuse as traditional farming is. Although handing out short-handled tools is forbidden because it leads to permanent back injuries, Esparza was fined twice in a single year for violating that rule. The ideas behind the wellbeing of workers in organic production are amazing. We should support that. But we must also hold producers accountable and we shouldn’t take the label organic for granted. It doesn’t necessarily mean the workers are being treated well.
4. Organic Production Does Not Support Overfishing
You won’t believe how much fish people consume on a daily basis. Shrimp, salmon, tuna, and cod are currently at the highest demand. People take these fish from the ocean in huge quantities, and they do not create more fish to make up for the damage. Experts say that if we don’t change the global approach to overfishing soon, our societies might collapse within 30 years. Unfortunately, that’s not an exaggeration.
Since it’s impossible to turn every human on Earth vegan, the answer may be in sustainable aquaculture. Instead of using the ocean as hunters, we must get in the role of farmers. That’s what organic production aims for, and it’s definitely a good thing.
5. Let’s Talk about Milk, Too
The study I mentioned above showed that there was no significant difference in taste between organic and normal milk. But I found another study, showing us a different perspective on organic production: it shows that organic milk is actually healthier. The cows have been fed with grass, so the milk has higher quality in terms of fatty acid and protein. The usual, non-organic milk comes from cows on a corn-based diet, and it’s higher in omega-6 fatty acid. That could lead to inflammation and other health issues.
But what about hormones? The truth is that all milk contains them. However, traditional dairy farmers give the cows growth hormone in order to increase milk production. The FDA has a rather controversial stance on the issue. According to them, there’s no significant difference between milk that comes from cows treated with growth hormone (rBST) and milk from cows that haven’t been subjected to that hormone. So if you really don’t want higher levels of hormones that you don’t need in your milk, maybe it’s wise to get the organic type.
Oh wait, it turns out that organic milk has slightly higher levels of estradiol and progesterone than conventional milk. The complications never end in this discussion.
But the one argument that definitely goes in favor of organic milk is that the cows haven’t been treated with antibiotics. We can’t ignore that.
Can we come down to a clean, straightforward conclusion? It’s hard to do that. Organic food may be better for our health and for our environment in some aspects, but it’s not perfect. In some ways, it may even be worse than non-organic production.
Look; I’m happy that people want to eat well. Investing in our health is important, and our health definitely comes through the food we eat. But does this mean we should all go organic? It’s a multi-level discussion. In my opinion, organic production has a lot of potentials but it lacks stricter control and we should take the bio label for granted. What do you think?