Is Your Food SAD?

Food; we eat it every day, but do we ever think about what it really is? Or what food is supposed to be? Food is defined as “Any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, and repair.”  Does your current choice of foods offer that? Or have you noticed that lately you are constantly tired, can’t seem to find the energy to do more than the minimum required of you each day, have aches and pains that are unexplained, or have trouble staying focused?  The foods you’re eating could be to blame.

Your current eating habits may fall into the Standard American Diet, ironically abbreviated the SAD diet. The SAD diet consists primarily of packaged foods and is high in processed carbohydrates (bread, cereal, pasta, etc.), processed meats, unhealthy fats, refined and artificial sugar, and refined salt, yet low in whole fruits and vegetables. Many people genuinely think their eating habits are healthy. It was just a few years ago that I honestly thought I was a healthy eater because I ate everything ‘low-fat’, ‘no-fat’, or ‘sugar-free’.  I was unknowingly a SAD eater; I cared little about the nutritional value of food and focused solely on calorie counts. Sound familiar?

Developing a healthy and holistic lifestyle won’t happen overnight, but by eating more fresh and whole foods than packaged foods, you’re taking a step in the right direction. So, what is considered whole food? Anything provided by Mother Nature that is still in its purest form, or processed and refined as minimally as possible. All food groups can fit into this category; fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, unadulterated fats, meats, and dairy products.

This week I encourage you to be more aware of what foods you put into your body. Start reading the ingredients listed on your food labels (even better, reach for foods that don’t need food labels!). If the ingredients list is a paragraph long and you can’t pronounce or understand an ingredient, put it down and find a healthier option. You owe it to yourself to eat whole, fresh, natural foods that will help, not harm, your body.

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