By Phillip J Schiefer
With so much junk food readily available for our consumption, it’s no surprise that obesity and its related illnesses are on the rise. We as consumers blindly purchase the foods, without knowing exactly what we are eating. While some may read labels to look at calories and macronutrients, they completely disregard the ingredients. This is where the real problem lies. Chemicals, preservatives and synthetic ingredients have taken the place of natural foods and we’re allowing them to enter our bodies.
Take a look at the top selling pancake syrup. It is synthesized to taste like maple syrup. Maybe at one point it was actually made from maple syrup. Not anymore. Now, it’s made in with high fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring with the intent for it to look and taste like maple syrup. Now let’s analyze the leading cola soft drinks. We will also find that these ingredients are prominent. They are less expensive than using the real thing, so these companies have found a way to produce lower quality food at a lower rate while the retail prices continue to increase for consumers. This means that the profit margin has drastically increased.
We have been misguided about what is actually healthy and the actual contents and nutrition facts of most foods have not been verified. Believe it or not, large corporations will lie to us about their products, hire their own scientists to perform biased research opinions on their own products. Thanks to the information age, there is so much information available to us. Not all of it is true and this is why we have to conduct our own research and not take everything we hear at face value. With more events coming to light about the food industry, healthy and organic foods are soaring with popularity. It has gotten to the point where it is almost a fad to eat healthy and most people still don’t have a full grasp on what is healthy and what isn’t. A healthy food should be one that actually provides sustainable energy to our bodies, without any side effects. In most cases, that would be foods in their most natural state. The abundance of processed foods combined with a sedentary lifestyle equals a larger waist. Combine these foods, with lack of activity, a television and a couch and we have a widespread problem.
The numbers of overweight and obese people is growing in astronomical proportions each year. We get treated by the doctor and prescribed a medication to mask the issue at hand. We aren’t given advice to change our diet or made aware of what the foods we eat are doing to our bodies. We don’t need medications to divert our illnesses, we need to change our lifestyle to prevent them from happening. Exercising can help to keep our hearts healthy, reduce cholesterol levels, help to regulate our blood-sugar and increase our energy levels. Adding a healthy meal plan to an exercise program will prove to be so much more beneficial to the body than any medication on the market. The answer is simple, yet it seems so foreign to so many people.
What can we do to contribute to a healthier lifestyle? We can make better choices about how we spend our time and money. Spend less time on the couch and more time doing physical activities. Educate ourselves about the foods that we’re eating. If we keep purchasing these imitation food products, they’ll keep making them. We should decide what ingredients we want in our food, not them. Research the ingredients in everything you buy. If you have a question or concern, you can contact these companies directly. If you try calling and they don’t respond, contact them through social media. Write on their wall, comment on their public photos. They’ll appreciate your feedback. If you make your health a priority, you will find yourself in a much better state.