Fueling your bodyMonday, April 9, 2018
It’s common knowledge that if you put diesel fuel into a non-diesel car you can cause a lot of damage to your fuel system and engine. The same can be said for the fuel we put into our bodies. Unfortunately, most people are filling their bodies with improper fuel.
Food is essential to life and is the fuel that will either fill you with energy or be stored as fat and decrease your well-being. In short, every bite you take is either fighting a disease or feeding it. It’s important to educate yourself on the food you eat.
With all of the information out there it’s hard to figure out what constitutes proper nutrition and real food. To educate yourself, start by reading the labels. If the label has a multitude of ingredients that you can’t pronounce or makes extraordinary health claims, beware. Real or healthy foods will either have no label or will have very few ingredients listed.
When you are looking at the labels on the food you eat keep the following three things in mind:
- Sugar - Americans consumes more than 150 pounds of sugar per person, per year. Sugar can be labeled as: fructose, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), fruit juice, natural cane sugar or any other ingredient ending in “ose.” Sugar has been proven to be highly addictive. Also, note the serving size on the label. The sugar content on a drink may indicate 25g but there are two servings. That’s 50g in the bottle.
- Low fat foods - Low-fat or fat-free foods can be very bland and will typically include added sugars to improve the taste. Although the full-fat option may have more calories, it also has the fats the body needs to provide nutrients, which are much better for you than the added sugars. For example, avocados are a fruit with fat at 77% of calories; yet, they are a great source of fiber and contain 40% more potassium than bananas. Salmon is a fatty fish loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Coconuts are very high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are metabolized differently than other fats. They can reduce appetite, increase fat burning and provide numerous health benefits.
- Gluten-Free - If something is labeled gluten-free it doesn’t automatically mean it’s a healthier option. Food manufactures address the bland taste and texture by adding fat and sugar. A 2017 study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics compared 1,700 products and found that gluten-free foods had more fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar than similar, traditional offerings.
“Food is the most powerful drug on the planet,” says Dr. Hyman. “It can improve the expression of thousands of genes, balance dozens of hormones, optimize tens of thousands of protein networks, reduce inflammation and optimize your microbiome (gut flora) with every single bite. It can cure most chronic diseases; it works faster, better and cheaper than any drug ever discovered; and the only side effects are good ones…”
Author Mark Hyman, MD of the book FOOD, What the Heck Should I Eat.
To encourage healthier eating, TVH provides fresh fruit for all the employees. “I find myself eating more fruit and more variety because of the complimentary fruit offered each week,” responded a TVH worker.
In an effort to empower their employees to live a healthier lifestyle, TVH offers Wellness classes, speaking engagements with certified nutritionists, as well as coaching from myself as the Health and Wellness Coach and our on-site HealthStat clinic. It’s easy to take something and complicate it, however, to take something complicated and simplify it is an art. My best advice is to eat foods that are not processed. Eat to live rather than living to eat. Be mindful of your daily sugar intake and reduce it.
If you would like to know more about the TVH Nudge Health and Wellness programs, contact Lucy DelSarto, Health & Wellness Coach for TVH Americas at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.