Image by: Kim Scarborough
By Giovanni Fields
The kitchen is undoubtedly one of our favorite places to spend most of our time, as food is one of the three greatest pleasures in life next to sleep and… I’m sure you can guess what the third one is. The point I’m trying to make here is the fact that the taste of food can often be blinding to the effects it has on our body.
Bad foods won’t necessarily kill you on the spot (unless laced with rat poison), but overtime it will slowly prove to deteriorate your health and mental performance, as well as provide you with less severe immediate effects like weight gain, sluggishness, and the feeling of being addicted to sugary foods.
Yea, people, you can in fact become addicted to foods, especially ones like candy, soda and other mischievous treats that find their way in your pantry. So, to keep a healthier livelihood, I’d suggest you keep your indulgence to a minimum, or perhaps even consider supplanting them other more viable options. Below are some of the foods that you should probably consider swapping out for healthier alternatives.
#1) Soda Pop
Sprite, Coke and Pepsi may all be staple beverages in every American household, but it’s an unavoidable fact that these drinks contain insane amounts of sugars and caffeine. Do you know why Coke was initially called Coke in the first place? Long ago during a time period when our ancestors flourished in a growing America, a company called Coca Cola put small doses of what we know of as cocaine in their drinks, thus causing the population to become unhealthily addicted to their product.
Okay, perhaps that is probably just a paranoid rumor from a guy who had one Coke too many, but whatever the case may be, soda does not justify its taste with its lack of health benefits.
Try swapping out different sodas for vitamin rich drinks like cranberry juice, orange juice, or grapefruit juice. While the aforementioned can have generous doses of sugar as well, the health benefits far surpass that of every day soda pop. Of course I could have suggested plain old water, but who wants to drink water when there are so many other options available? Okay, disregard what I just said and keep water as your number one choice. 8 glasses a day, minimum…
Our bodies are mostly made up of the stuff, so replenishing it is essential to our health.
Candy is just so delicious how can we give it up!? Well, things like Lemon Heads, Sour Patch Kids, and Twizzlers may do well with providing you with a mouth-gasm in the heat of the moment, but do keep in mind that when it comes to candy, the effects it can have on your body is akin to that of nicotine, or any other drug. After consuming so much sugar, your body eventually becomes dependent on it and the unhealthy cravings you might develop can result in excessive intake of empty calories and sugars that have no nutritional value whatsoever.
Candy can be addicting, yes, but a few servings here or there won’t kill you—as long as you keep it in moderation. But if you’re just one of the types of people who always has to be snacking on something, try substituting candy for things like grapes, plums or other berries. Fruit can be just as delicious or even better tasting than candy, and has many more vitamins and natural ingredients that can aid your body in functioning properly without hindering it.
#3) Canned Foods & Ramen
Canned foods are indeed convenient due to their long shelf life and quick serve capabilities, but with the abundance of sodium and preservatives lingering from can to can is it really worth it?
Excessive sodium intake can leave your body feeling more dehydrated throughout the day, and if you find yourself eating Chef Boyardee for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the effects of this can heavily weigh down on you in due time. Ramen is no better, either, as studies show the sodium and preservatives dwelling within these square dinners can destroy your brain cells, leaving you with a zombie-like feeling that will undoubtedly leave you less productive.
And the worst part about this is the people who make the stuff, put artificial man-made ingredients in it to “make it taste good” so you keep coming back for more.
Fresh foods may be a pain to cook and may require a lot of time and effort to prepare, but your body will thank you for your efforts by giving you more energy, better focus and a sharper mind. Fresh meats, poultry, and vegetables are the ideal choice when choosing meals for you and your family, and the abundance of sodium and preservatives will be virtually eliminated with dealing with these types of foods.
#4) White Bread
White bread is delicious, especially when coupled with a few slices of roast beef and sharp cheddar cheese, but many surveys have been conducted that prove white bread to be a much lower quality option than it’s more diverse counterparts. According to researchers, white bread has little nutritional value and doesn’t do well with giving your body that “full effect” or the thing that sends signals from your brain that tell you your needs have been satisfied.
Swapping out plain old white bread for wheat or whole grain, according to researches, will do well to fulfill your hunger cravings and give your body much more of the stuff it needs to function in tip top shape. And if your goals include weight loss, then you might even want to consider swapping out bread entirely for crackers, tortillas, or even lettuce leaves.
Have you mastered the art of food preparation? Tell us about how you made your transition from Ramen and sardines to steak and potatoes.