EATING healthy can be quite difficult when you’re addicted to the unhealthy foods that taste so good. But dietician and nutritionist Jenelle Solomon said while there is no one-size-fits-all diet since everyone has unique dietary needs, there are certain principles that you should adopt in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Below, she shares a list of some foods that you will need to avoid when making future dietary plans. These include:
Hydrogenated vegetable oils to make products spreadable (eg, margarine) and to provide shelf stability are used at the expense of nutrition and health. For example, remnants of nickel and copper (catalysing agents) remain after hydrogenation. Partial hydrogenation, which is used to make margarine, shortenings, and some vegetable oils, produces dozens of new, unnatural fatty acid fragments, including trans-fatty acids, and some of these are toxic. So avoid all foods such as pastries, biscuits, popcorn and all other foods loaded with margarine.
Trans-fatty acids alter the balance between good and bad cholesterol and interfere with the liver’s detoxification system. They affect cardiac and vascular function; they impair cell membranes (the phospholipid bilayer), affecting cell metabolism and energy output; they allow for allergic reactivity and immune impairment, and they affect the electrical energy systems of the body membranes. They also interfere with the enzyme systems that transform fatty acids into highly unsaturated fatty acid derivatives found especially in the brain, sense organs, adrenals, and testes.
Foods high in artificial sugars
Sugars don’t add value to the diet. All sugars are not made equally, and artificial sugars in particular cause more harm than good to the body. Sugars are known to be major contributors to health issues such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, metabolic diseases related to fat build-up, and obesity. They also contribute to the ageing process, oral health problems, and are an unhealthy source of energy. So you should pay close attention to the nutritional labels on foods. Juices and drinks, especially sodas, are high in artificial sugars. And pasta, bread, and canned foods are also packed with dangerous sugars.
Try to reduce the amount of salt that you add to your foods. Among the most common diseases causing death are cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, which are influenced and exacerbated by the levels of salt intake. Sodium is in almost every processed food, so you should try to make more foods from scratch.
We need to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Junk food is filled with flavour- enhancing chemicals which are not only dangerous, but addictive. Some examples of these are MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, and aspartame. MSG excites the brain so much that it causes neurological brain damage, but people keep eating it because it tastes so good. A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Research shows a correlation between junk food consumption and impaired reaction times. Additionally, junk food meals are rich in bad calories which contribute to the build-up of unhealthy fats and cardiac diseases.
Solomon also warned against the consumption of too many refined foods, and advised that you should take special note of the source and contents of the water you are drinking. She said you should aim to drink pure water with the right pH (alkaline) level.