When it comes to eating mindfully, are you really eating mindlessly? Let’s find out….
The U.S. is known for our western diet, commonly known as SAD (standard American Diet), which is characterized by high sugar intake (ex: high-fructose corn syrup), lots of refined carb, high-fat dairy, tons of red meat, fried foods, and overall instant gratification.
We want something quick, easy, and satisfactory. The only issue is, scratch that, one of the many issues is that many of the food items we include in our western diet are not natural to our bodies.
Our western diet oftentimes can mislead us into thinking we’re making healthier choices when in reality we’re munching on mass quantities of unnatural ingredients or added sugars with poor nutritional value – not whole, clean foods.
Think about it, when you’re given the option between a grilled chicken salad or stuffed crust pepperoni pizza, you’re probably choosing the pizza! The availability is easy, but the toll it’s taking on your body is not.
For short-term and long-term health it is extremely important that we know what we’re actually putting into our bodies. From 1999–2000 through 2017–2018, the prevalence of obesity increased from 30.5% to 42.4%, and the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.
Not only does the SAD encourage weight gain due to its high-sugar, high-fat, high-preservatives focus, but this kind of diet can actually change-up the chemistry of our brains so that we continue to crave what is unnatural. For example, processed foods with the 20+ added ingredients are designed to be extra delicious, releasing feel-good chemicals in our brains. To top it off, these “foods” are made-up of high-fat and high-sugar ingredients which can lead to sugar imbalances in the blood.
Hence, it’s not just your will-power you’re struggling with when you’re trying to stay on your healthy diet plan, it’s literally your body craving those chemical ingredients to get back to that feel-good state.
The best way to avoid this addictive routine is to focus on the nutrition label and including whole-food items or food items with 5 or less ingredients.Hint: If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, put it back! The best label is no label i.e. fruits, veggies, lean meats, etc.
But if you’re going to include some non-perishable food items, understand what you’re grabbing off the shelf by reading the food nutrition labels! Just because something says “low-fat,” “low-sugar,” “low-sodium,” or “healthy,” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for your body. Most of the time, these products are cutting back in one area, but compensating by adding something even more unhealthy to make up for flavor.
For example, “sugar-free” might mean they’re adding artificial sweeteners like sucralose/Splenda or aspartame/Equal which fall on the artificial side of things in comparison to a sweetener life Stevia.
We are organic and natural beings and choosing a diet rich in organic, natural whole foods makes the most sense when it comes to optimally supporting our health! Need some help getting started? Our health coaches work with you to build out meal plans and grocery supplies based on YOUR body’s needs!