Many illnesses today are associated with a poor diet. In fact, approximately 30 to 35 percent of cancer diagnoses and 70 percent of colorectal cancer deaths are linked to diet (Anand et al., 2008). Studies suggest to prevent developing Type 2 diabetes it is recommended to maintain a lower BMI range (21 to 23) and the saturated fat intake should the be less than 7 percent of the total amount of calories (Stevyn et al., 2004). Although diet does not necessarily determine whether or not you will develop a chronic disease, it always matters one way or another what you put in your body.
Food can either be something that heals you and prevents you from developing a disease, or you can slowly be poisoning yourself with poor food choices. Food does not just affect our body; it affects…
- our mental,
- spiritual, and
- emotional state.
Chances are you are more likely to feel energized and focused after a meal containing fresh fruits and vegetables over a meal containing processed foods rich in sugar and salt. You may gain energy for a short period of time but will likely end up in a “crash” that only fuels the need for more food.
Furthermore, an abundance of junk food can cause inflammation and irritation to our tissues and organs. Damaging inflammation is the underlying cause of most diseases. Therefore, it is also the best way to prevent them. The best way to combat a poor diet is to think about the food choices we make and what they are doing to our body. You can diet all you want but unless you have a deeper understanding of what happens to your body when you feed it poorly there will likely be no real motivation to eat healthily.
Use mindful eating to think about your body as a vehicle that takes you through the journey of life. You can either take care of your vehicle and have a smooth ride, or neglect it and barely make it through. Life is too short not to enjoy food. Mindful eating does not ask you to skip out on every tasty treat. Instead, it asks you to be mindful and not abuse food or your body. Sweet treats are allowed but have them in a mindful and conscious manner and really think about what you want to get out of each treat before eating it. Most of the time it only takes just a taste to be sufficient to take care of any real craving or need.
Treats are even more enjoyable when you slow down, chew slowly and really think about the taste. So next time you make a food decision, ask yourself if you are slowly poisoning yourself or if you are fueling your vehicle with the best possible oil at the time.