"things you shouldn't digest"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

With my recent venture into health & fitness, coupled with the experience of having two of my cousins battling leukemia - I am now declaring myself a semi-health freak. 'Semi' because I still have a bit of chocolate and junk food once in a while and I still think that 'organic' food is a marketing scheme for the super marts to make more money.

Nontheless, I'm making much healthier food choices these days. How?
I'll tell you right after I enlighten you on the 7 worst foods you shouldn't digest.

#1 WORST FOOD: Processed meat
I know this looks delicious. And meat in general is a good thing. But NOT processed meat. Processed meat referring to meat that is not fresh off the bone, that has been preserved by smoking, curing, or salting with chemical preservatives. Over-indulgence of processed food (aside from meat) are linked to a risk of colon cancer, yikes! Toilet issues are the worst issues to ever have. That's due to the products being high in salt, fat and cholesterol. Have a burger once a month if you have to, but if I can go through 3 months without having one, so can you. Mind over matter.

#2 WORST FOOD: Frozen Meals
They advertise good, look good and gives off good promises. They even sound real healthy too. But that's what all that is, advertising. Research by LIVESTRONG.com has found that most of these frozen meals are high in sodium and over 1,000 calories per meal. So really, is saving that $1 really worth it? The best frozen meals are the ones you cook yourself and freeze in your own freezer. It always pays to prepare your weekly meals in advance, something which I do now on a weekly basis.

#3 WORST FOOD: Donuts
Sure, they're tasty and pretty. They also contain about 200-300 empty calories each and they're always excessively sweet. Ever wondered why those cops eating donuts on stakeouts in movies are always obese? Now you know why. Just remember that one donut s equivalent to one glass of vodka daiquiri. Empty calories, void of nutrients and does your body no good at all.

#4 WORST FOOD: Potato chips
I will admit this; I still indulge in them once in a while. That makes them all the more evil. Especially when they're plain 'bad carbs' that distorts your waistline horribly. That excessive salt chips contain is also responsible for why your body bloats. Too much salt causes water retention in your body; which causes your body to store water and puff you up. Personal experience - still trying to learn from it and to curb that bad choice of food.

#5 WORST FOOD: Low-fat foods
I'm talking about those unhealthy, trans-fat junk/snack food that claims to be 'LOW-FAT'. What it actually is is that it's just another marketing gimmick. Psychologically, people tend to buy TWICE the amount of food that the mind believes to be 'healthier'. When in actual fact, most low-fat products just have to simply decrease the serving size to legally claim so. Which consumers would then think, "It's cheaper (smaller in size) and it's low-fat, I'll buy TWO instead of just one." This leads to you taking in more calories than you would with the regular product.

#6 WORST FOOD: Margarine
Margarine is better than butter but DON'T be fooled. It's just as bad. Margarine claims to be cholesterol-free and that it's a healthy alternative to butter. However, studies show that margarine contains plenty of trans fats that will eventually elevate cholesterol levels. Skip the fake stuff, go for the good stuff like olive oil. I absolutely LOVE extra virgin olive oil, I use it in everything I cook.

Sugar, sugar and more sugar. Did you know that drinking as little as TWO soft drinks a week increases a person's risk of getting pancreatic cancer? It's a known fact that one bottle of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. That much sugar can only do more damage & zero good. Recent studies also show that drinking more than 2.5 cans of soft drinks a day will increase risk of death by cardiovascular disease & risk of developing dabetes. For those reasons above as well as the fact that I hate too much sugar and carbonated drinks made me give up soft drinks completely.

Take good care of your body. It's the only one you've got.

So now, what are the first steps into making healthier food choices?

Why tempt yourself by buying that huge load of junk food? You can't eat what you don't have. Instead, buy a load of healthy food to snack on. My top choices: seaweed, water crackers, tuna, homemade snack sticks, zucchini.

Outside food is usually oily and over seasoned with extra sodium you don't need. The best thing I've done recently is to bring my own food to work. Saves money, keeps you healthy, saves you the hassle of driving out to lunch which saves you time. What I'd usually do is to cook my lunch the night before, store them in the fridge and heat them up again in the morning before I head off to work. Unless if I'm making a tasty tuna sandwich or salads (like my favorite thai prawn salad), I'd prep them the night before.

Getting into the kitchen and making yourself lunch is tough, I know. Been there, done that. I was a complete kitchen noob right until recently when I decided for once to TRY (because my 2011 resolution was try things I've always avoided trying, like going to the gym, which I do now) so I looked up easy recipes online (but healthy ones) and I've managed to wrestle at least 3 stars for my cooking skills. I've also realized I have a knack for it. If only I had tried years ago. So don't waste any more time, TRY. Start with easy.

Not even iced lemon tea, honey lemon, teh tarik, mango lassi - NONE of those. Nothing but water. Water has zero calories and fills you up and is healthy on all accounts. Why even consider anything else?

So really, what other excuses do you have for bad food that's making you overweight & unhealthy? Healthy doesn't always mean salad & greens ONLY. Healthy is simply greens & fruits combined with delicious food sources that are natural (eggs, meat, fish, oats) and NOT chemically enhanced to taste better & last longer.

If you still love processed and chemically enhanced food, you do NOT appreciate the real essence of food. You're only eating for the sake of eating, but not really tasting food (because chemicals aren't legit enough to be considered as food).

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