“You are what you eat” is an adage that has been said forever, but today it is more relevant than ever. Studies by doctors and nutritionists have shown that food choices have a direct effect on a person’s health. Bad food choices can wreak havoc on your teeth, weight and mental health; what you eat also has a correlation with energy levels and the likelihood of developing disease.
Food choices high in sugar are linked to cavity-causing bacteria, and eating a diet full of them can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. A diet without the proper nutrients can make periodontal disease progress faster. Foods that promote tooth decay are ones that are sweet and sticky, such as cakes, candy and dried fruits. According to dr whiteman to maintain healthy teeth, add vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy to your diet, see a dentist such as twice a year for cleanings, and brush after eating any sugary foods.
According to nutritionists, food choices play a significant role in how much you weigh. Refined, sweetened foods that are high in sugars and refined flours can add to weight gain, as your body processes them rapidly and makes you hungry soon after. This can lead to overeating and excessive calorie intake. It is important to limit fast foods, processed foods and high-fat choices, and instead move toward nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetable and whole grains.
Foods give you energy by supplying calories, and what you eat affects both your metabolism and brain chemistry, which then influence your energy. “Sugar crash” is a term people use often, as a high-sugar snack or highly processed meal full of bad carbohydrates can give you a boost as the sugar rushes into your system, only to be processed fast and furious, leaving you sleepy. Instead, choose smart carbs, lean meats, leafy greens and fiber-rich foods to keep your energy steady.
More research is coming to the forefront on the correlation between nutrition and mental health. A number of mental health issues are shown to be influenced by diet: depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and Alzheimer’s. The more processed foods you take in, the more fat, sugar, alcohol and additives are being added to your system. Eating fewer refined, high-sugar foods can regulate your mood, and making sure your diet is full of nutrients can help ward off depression.
What you choose to eat has a dramatic effect on your body; bad foods can contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke. In contrast, the right foods can help prevent such diseases. A diet that is high in plant-based foods has been shown to be the best prevention against the many diseases out there today. In fact, scientists have said that up to 40% of all cancers can be averted if people adopt a more plant-based food diet.
What you choose to eat has a direct effect on many aspects of your health. Keep your teeth healthy, weight down, energy up, mental state happy and your body disease-free by making better choices down the road, and you may just add years to your life.