by Marshaneil Soumi D’ Rozario | 17 MAR 2018
Food is a basic necessity of life. Ratan Tata once said, “Eat your food as your medicines, otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food”. Our life primarily revolves around food and a nutritious diet. Too much scrutiny of food can lead to more adverse effects. A negative approach towards food can make the food toxic to our body. Hence a positive outlook towards food helps in full utilization of its benefits. Dr Zeenath Fatima, Nutrition & Wellness Center, Preventive Medicine, PG. DNT, MSc, R.D (Registered Dietitian) shares her views on this subject.
How does our way of looking at food also affect our health?
Nutrients are the nourishing substances in food that are essential for the growth, development and maintenance of body functions. When nutrient intake does not regularly meet the nutrient needs dictated by the cell activity, the metabolic processes slow down or even stop. In other words, nutrients give our bodies instructions about how to function. In this sense, food can be seen as a source of information for the body. Thinking about food in this way gives us a view of nutrition that goes beyond calories or grams, good foods or bad foods. This view leads us to focus on foods we should include rather than foods to exclude. Instead of viewing food as the enemy, we look at food as a way to create health and reduce disease by helping the body maintain function. Food acts as medicine to maintain, prevent, and treat disease.
When we say ‘low-carbs or fats are bad’, how is it going to affect our health?
There are three main types of dietary fat :
It enables your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins. Dietary fat influences your heart health and your risk of Type 2 diabetes. An awareness of the different types of fat and their affects on your body can help you make dietary choices that will keep you strong and healthy.
Saturated fatty acids are commonly judged to have a negative health impact as they lead to increased serum cholesterol levels and a higher risk of coronary heart disease. All recommendations stress the importance to limit the intake of saturated fatty acids.
Monounsaturated fatty acids, on the other hand, have a positive impact on the serum lipid profile, lead to decreased LDL-oxidation and favorably influence the metabolism of diabetics. Monounsaturated fatty acids is mainly supplied by plant oils like rape seed or olive oil and not by foods that are simultaneously rich in saturated fatty acids.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids, is important to increase the supply of n-3 fatty acids (ratio of n-6:n- 3: about 5:1) as there is substantial evidence for their protective effects. If the fatty acid composition of the diet is optimized, even a total dietary fat content of 35% of total energy intake can be adequate as long as there is enough physical activity and the diet is rich in plant-derived foods like vegetables, fruits, cereals, potatoes, beans and legumes.
Switching to a low-carb diet often causes you to urinate more frequently than usual, with such fluid loss you may also lose valuable minerals, such as sodium and magnesium. Muscle cramps and & increased heart rate can occur as a result. Ensure you get enough electrolytes on a low-carb plan, and consult your doctor if these symptoms persist, as sometimes they can be a sign of other serious conditions.
A low-carb diet is associated with kidney stones -- usually due to a high protein intake over an extended period of time coupled with inadequate fluid intake.
Some people on a very low-carb diet may also experience dysfunction in thyroid hormones. Insulin production tends to be quite low on a very low-carb diet, so you may experience hypothyroid symptoms such as intolerance to cold and sluggishness.
A low-carb diet includes lots of meat, eggs, poultry, fish and fats. As a result, you will be getting far less fiber, which may result in constipation.
Do negative thoughts about foods also cause the toxins in the body to activate?
Behind most food and nutrition myths, there is a tiny ray of truth waiting to be seen. The large amount of misconceptions and misinformations about foods that are in circulation, debunking these common food myths can lead to several health issues.
Some common food myths are
High protein diets are bad for you -Protein is the building block of life. Daily allowance for protein is 1.8 gms of protein per kilogram of body weight for a healthy individual. It is essential for a healthy heart and a healthy body.
Caffeine has only negative effects on the body -caffeine sharpens memory, keeps you alert through those groggy mornings, relieves post workout muscle pain to quite an extent, and also increases the stamina during exercises.
Fruits are a healthy snack -This is one of the most debatable topics. Some fruits have loads of sugar. We just needto be careful of the amount of those fruits we are eating.
The “weight loss”diet resulted in quick weight loss without meeting your nutritional needs. The sad fact is that fad diets set the individual up for failure. When the diet fails,the dieters may blame themselves and develop a feeling of demoralization and hopelessness that they are unable to lose weight. This can make it harder to make thehealthy changes needed for long-term weight loss.
Negative thoughts about specific foods may cause the following symptoms:
Weakness and fatigue
Nausea and headaches
Inadequate vitamin and mineral intake
Fad diets that severely restrict food groups or nutrients may also mean that you miss out on the protective health effects that a balanced eating plan provides. We don’t know whether fad diets are safe over the longer term, or whether they lead to an increased risk of various diseases.
Why do we get a negative thought on food, please elucidate?
Poor social and economic circumstances affect health throughout life. People further down the social ladder usually run at least twice the risk of serious illness and premature death as those near the top.
Stressful circumstances, making people feel worried, anxious and unable to cope, are damaging to health and may lead to premature death. Social and psychological circumstances can cause long-term stress. Continuing anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem, social isolation and lack of control over work and home life, have powerful effects on health.
Social media also plays a huge role in the popularity of such fads. Sites like Instagram , Facebook and Twitter allow for an unfiltered display of information. Young people are the biggest users of social media, and also the most impressionable age group. These diets can be twice as dangerous to someone at an influential age, and if left unchanged, could lead to lifelong unhealthy habits and even eating disorders.
Is there any study which says that thinking negatively about food has a negative impact on health?
Popular fads and “myths” about foods are having a serious impact on the public’s health, speakers at a food industry conference have warned.
The rise of unqualified “experts” is encouraging people to “follow the latest craze “or make significant changes to their diet or exercise programmes without proper investigation, according to dieticians. “Sometimes this is positive but it can also have negative effects. Consumers need the best advice and not just information on the latest craze.”
Study has done By Kelly Keglovits, UT Austin (August 7, 2017):
Eating a healthy diet with nutritious foods will significantly decrease anyone’s risk of sickness and health problems. In fact, keeping a healthy diet and lifestyle does way more than just control weight and keep you physically healthy; it also has mental benefits like improved mood and boosted energy. With all of these benefits, it seems like eating a healthy diet is the best way to feel 100 percent.
Unfortunately, many people are a little unclear about what healthy eating actually means. Most people know to stay away from overeating, fast food and other foods high in calories and fats. There are some negative diet fads that promise extreme results fast.
Getting to a healthy lifestyle can be a long process, so many people resort to these fads in hopes that they have found the quick fix, even if they seem ridiculous. Unfortunately, many of these diet fads lack the nutrition people need to keep their bodies healthy and functioning. In some cases, they do a lot more harm than good.
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