The picky eater ahead in the long run

It seems like in today’s world nutritionists and other assorted health food experts try to link everything we do, feel, and think to what we eat. 

We’ve all seen the info commercials for this food or that pill or that method of cooking. But beyond all the mumbo jumbo, the facts are food is fuel, and the kinds of foods and drinks you consume determine the types of nutrients in your system and impact how well your mind and body are able to function. You have at least three meals a day to make the correct choice for yourself.

The subject of healthy eating can be very confusing. But, it does not have to be. Everyone should take an interest in their food.

We, as food consumers, have the power to curb diseases and some types of cancers everyday just by eating foods that are high in protein, fiber and vitamins. Sound too simplistic? It’s not. Many illnesses are caused by a lack of proper nutrients.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 30 percent of the world’s population suffers from anemia. It is prevalent in both developing and industrialized countries. In fact, iron deficiency anemia affects so many people that it is now widely recognized as a public health epidemic. Simply put, what we eat everyday predetermines our health many years down the road. I’m not saying food is the only factor in diseases and cancers but food can play a large role.

Mental Health America conducted a study testing food and mental health issues and they found, people who follow a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and unsaturated fats were 30 percent less likely to develop depression than people who ate high-fat dairy and fried, sugary foods. And yet, every town has as at least one fast food restaurant waiting to serve you fried, sugary foods.

With all these facts and if it was so easy to prevent diseases why everyone wouldn’t be doing it? Because it is not that easy. The market is flooded with good and bad food choices every day. Over time those food choices add up.

Another piece of the food puzzle is, the general population has a really low food IQ as well. One of the many reasons why I love living in the Goshen area is the education level of food among the community, which I believe is very high. Many local restaurants only serve local food and the farmers markets are some of the best around.

People have always called me a picky eater because of the types of foods I will or will not eat, including fried or any fast food restaurants or sugary drinks like pop.

Making a choice day after day to chose the healthier foods has given me a noticeable advantage over my peers in the long run — advantages in concentration and energy level. However, sometimes eating the healthier options are not in the cards that day. So how do you cope? By not letting yesterday’s choices beat you up today. If you slip once, it’s OK. You have many many other eating opportunities to make better choices. Just be mindful.

Kaila Stevens is a marketing consultant for The Goshen News. She enjoys long distance running, strength training and kayaking. Kaila has a degree in business communication and psychology from Bethel College. During her time at Bethel she ran track, where she was a two-time NAIA All American in the 1600 meter relay. She can be reached at kaila.stevens@goshennews.com.

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