Let’s face it, one of the biggest problems people face with regards to their health apart from lack of exercise is eating a bad diet. Even worse is when you eat a bad diet and don’t realize you are! If you think that’s not something you need to worry about, then hopefully you’re right. But in any case, you might want to check exactly what you’re eating and drinking each day if you are over weight and feeling unfit, sluggish and lethargic.
The sad fact is that way too many people are eating themselves into an early grave by too often taking advantage of all the super size fast food “deals” that are on offer whenever you go into a fast food restaurant and then washing it all down with a super size soda. Not only are you consuming a huge number of calories at each sitting, but you are also consuming a high level of refined sugar as well as saturated fats that combined help your body store ever more visceral fat and pump more HDL cholesterol intro your blood stream. It all adds up to a ticking time bomb for your heart and other organs.
What to Do?
There are some pretty simple answers to the obesity epidemic that is currently overcoming our population. The problem is that very few people are interested in those answers. But just so that you know, I’m going to give you those simple answers and you can take them away and do something or nothing with them as you please.
1. Stop drinking soda, period. This will cut your sugar and calorie intake by a huge amount over time. Drink water instead!
2. Stop eating junk food. A no brainer, but why, when we all know how unhealthy it is, do so many people still eat that stuff?
3. Stop eating processed food. If a meal comes in a packet or a can, its not healthy, no matter what it might say on the label!
4. Cut your sugar intake from treats. No sugar in coffee or tea, no candy bars, cake, cookies, pie or other sweet treats.
5. If you drink a lot of alcohol, you don’t need to stop, but you should cut back to moderate levels. A glass of red wine a day is beneficial to health!
6. Switch to eating lots of fresh fruit and include lots of vegetables with your meals, which ideally should be home cooked.
OK, so now you see it before you in black and white. Just a few simple things that you need to know about to remain fit and healthy.
Sugar is a killer
You may not think so and you may not even believe any of this. Your call. But read this anyway and then go looking for some correlation in government medical websites and you’ll find plenty of it.
When you eat or drink something that has a lot of sugar (sucrose) in it, like soda or candy (for example), your body breaks it down into glucose in the digestive process and that glucose gets into the blood stream really fast to give you a boost of energy and to feed muscles that are working hard through exercise or physical labor. That’s fine if you’re physically active, but if you’re just sitting around, that glucose has nowhere to go. Your body responds by releasing a large amount of insulin into your blood stream which carries the glucose away and stores it as fat.
That fat (visceral fat) gets stored in the belly area and also around major organs. It is known to be dangerous to health because the fat cells secrete chemicals that doctors now realize can react with healthy cells in the body and cause the creation of cancer cells. Not only that, but when a lot of fat gets stores around major organs, those organs can have their function limited. When its the heart, it can result in cardiovascular problems and even the risk of heart attack. Still want to drink that soda?
Trans fats or saturated fats that are found in many junk foods and processed ready to eat meals are another health problem. They cause an increase in levels of and (HDL) cholesterol in the blood stream. Too high levels of this type of cholesterol can lead to arteries being narrowed because of the build up of this substance on the inside of artery walls. This reduces blood flow and causes the heart to work much harder to pump blood around the body. The result can be an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
As an aside, too much sugar also increases the levels of dangerous triglycerides in the blood stream. This can be an early indicator of the onset of type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Too much sugar combined with a diet rich in saturated fats greatly increases the risk of heart trouble. To make matters worse, if you are very overweight or obese with high levels of visceral fat and HDL cholesterol in your blood and you then start an exercise program that is too strenuous for you at the outset, the risk of heart attack or stroke is greatly increased.
Please, please be careful with exercise especially if you haven’t done any for a while. Always consult with a doctor or physician if you intend starting an exercise routine in these cases or intend to drastically alter your diet. Changes should be made incrementally to give your body time to get used to them.