Wellness Wednesdays - Nutrition Is Key
Most people know that nutrition is important, but not everyone understands just how important it is. Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health, and if you want to live a long and healthy life, you need to make sure that you are eating the right foods. People often confuse exercise as the most important factor for maintaining good health, but in reality, nutrition is the biggest component. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of nutrition and provide a guide to help you make healthy choices for your body!
The Typical American Diet
America is known for a few things, some good and some bad, but one bad thing we are known for is obesity and unhealthy diets full of "fast food" and "processed foods." Unfortunately, they are not wrong! Over 40% of Americans are considered obese and that number will rise to 50% by 2025. On top of that, the biggest killers in America are heart disease and diabetes which are two chronic illnesses that are typically caused by bad nutrition. Studies show that other chronic illnesses such as IBS and IBD can also be pinpointed to our diet as well.
There are many factors that can be blamed for these epidemics, but the main culprit is poor nutrition. The main three factors that make poor nutrition so prevalent in America are quickness, convenience, and cheapness. Many Americans rely on fast food and processed foods on a daily basis due to the cheapness, quickness, and convenience of these foods. What many people don't realize is that these foods are highly processed, full of chemical additives, and contain high amounts of sugar and trans fat. Eating fast food and processed foods long-term will lead to obesity, stomach issues, and chronic diseases such as heart disease and type II diabetes.
Here are some common unhealthy foods that should be avoided as often as possible:
- Fast food
This doesn't mean you can't eat these things ever, but eating them every day can lead to weight gain, disease, and a shorter life.
Why Is Nutrition So Important?
Nutrition is important for many reasons, but the main reason is that it helps prevent chronic diseases. As we discussed earlier, heart disease and diabetes are two of the biggest killers in America and both can be prevented with a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help reduce your risk of developing these chronic diseases. In addition to reducing your risk for chronic diseases, eating a healthy diet has also been linked to:
- Reduced risk of death from all causes
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced inflammation
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Improved mental health
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Improved digestive health
- More energy
Everything we eat is digested within our gut by the healthy bacteria that are present there. The gut microbiome is very important for our overall health and can be negatively impacted by poor nutrition.
The gut microbiome is a collection of all the bacteria that live in our intestines and help us with digestion. These bacteria are very important for our overall health as they help us break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off bad bacteria. The gut microbiome has also been linked to mental health, immunity, and chronic disease prevention.
There are many different types of bacteria that live in our gut, and the type of bacteria present depends on our diet. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will promote the growth of good bacteria while an unhealthy diet full of processed foods will promote the growth of bad bacteria. It is important to have a balance of good and bad bacteria in our guts for optimal health. You can improve your gut health by eating a healthy diet, taking probiotics, and reducing stress.
The Basics of Good Nutrition
The basics of good nutrition are important to understand if you want to live a happy and healthy life or even if you are trying to achieve a certain health outcome such as lowering your blood pressure, A1C score, or improving your digestive health.
The basics of good nutrition are to eat a diet full of all-natural, whole foods that haven't been processed or modified by man. This means more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This might sound daunting for someone who has lived on fast food and processed foods for a majority of their life, but it's easier to adopt than it sounds. All it takes is a couple of quick switches of foods that you already eat in your diet.
Instead of sugary cereal, make overnight oats with chia seeds, blueberries, and honey.
Instead of a burger and fries for lunch, pack a sandwich on whole grain bread with a side of fruit or whole grain chips.
Instead of a premade frozen meal, make a quick meal in the air fryer with all-natural ingredients.
There are tons of recipes and resources online for inspiration if you don't know where to start!
5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Diet
We want to make nutrition as easy as possible and use food as medicine so we have laid out 5 easy ways for you to improve your diet.
- Plan Ahead - Planning ahead is important to ensure you are sticking to a healthy diet. If you go to work without knowing what you are going to eat for lunch then you will probably end up ordering food to go from a restaurant, getting fast food, or getting an unhealthy snack which adds up quickly and is very unhealthy.
- Learn To Read Labels - Learning to read labels to recognize bad ingredients and to know when a product is bad for you is very important. This will help you identify foods that are high in sugar, high in trans fat, and full of additives or chemicals.
- Use Apps When Grocery Shopping - There are many apps for smartphones that are designed to make eating healthy easier such as Monash FODMAP app, Spoonful, FIG, and Yuka. Check these apps out to help you make the right choices when grocery shopping.
- Make Cooking As Easy As Possible - Cooking healthy meals doesn't have to be difficult! Find recipes that you feel comfortable with and use an air fryer or crock pot to cook the food. There are videos on YouTube that can show you how cooking be fun and easy.
- Utilize A Meal Delivery Service As Needed - There are many meal delivery services out there that make eating healthy easy and stress-free! ModifyHealth has ready-to-eat Mediterranean diet meals which are perfect for anyone dealing with a chronic condition or anyone who is just wanting to eat a healthier diet. We also have Low FODMAP diet meals which are perfect for alleviating stomach issues caused by digestive conditions like IBS or IBD.
Do You Need Help With Your Nutrition?
If you are too busy, too tired, or too overwhelmed by learning to shop and cook differently then we are here to help you. Our ready-to-eat Low FODMAP diet and Mediterranean diet meals cover all common chronic illnesses and are made from all-natural, organic ingredients. Plus, they will help you achieve any health goals you might have! If you are ready to take the next step towards better health then let us be your guide. Click here to check out our life-changing meal plans!