In the 18th century, Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” And that’s certainly true when it come to our plans to live a long, happy, healthy life.
On the road to good health, most people go astray because of just three basic ingredients in their food – salt, fat and sugar. And often these additives are hidden, so you don’t even know they’re there.
Salt or sodium compounds are found in just about all processed foods and show up in many different forms, such as sodium chloride (table salt), sodium nitrate, sodium bicarbonate and monosodium glutamate (msg). One cup of canned soup alone could contain over 1,000 mgs of sodium. That’s a lot. Just 2,000 mgs a day can cause serious health problems.
Hidden sugars of every kind are also found in nearly all processed foods. Some of the most common forms used are sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated fruit juices, honey, molasses and maple syrup. Sugars have other names too and almost all of them contribute to weight problems, diabetes and high triglyceride levels.
Other serious obstacles to good health are processed foods high in fats – especially bakery goods. Most bakery items have excessive amounts of trans-fatty acids and saturated fats plus other detrimental ingredients. These tempting foods promote obesity, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Those are pretty hefty negative side effects.
The easiest way to get rid of these hidden obstacles is by giving up processed foods – cold turkey! It takes desire and focus to change lifetime habits, but it’s not that difficult if you’re committed to your health. Begin by eating more fresh fish, poultry, lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. For example, you can learn to enjoy an apple for dessert.
Whatever you do, you’ll definitely want to cut way down on salt, sugar and processed fats. Once you get used to it, you’ll find that foods in their natural state can be delicious as well as nutritious. Sticking to this plan will keep you from straying off the path to better health and happiness.
Moss Greene is the Nutrition Editor for BellaOnline.com and an authority on essential fatty acids, such as fish oil. Over the past 30 years, shes helped thousands of people to look better, think smarter and feel great naturally. Visit Moss at nutrition.bellaonline.com to learn more and subscribe to her free health and fitness newsletter.