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What makes our diets, from organic vegetables to Omega 3 supplements, and what it means

By Edited Jan 19, 2016 0 0

Few of us are keen on having their daily diets analyzed by a specialist, but such a careful look at what we eat could reveal a lot, especially in terms of health consequences. It would be unfair to say that in most cases conclusions could be devastating, but judging by such trends as rising levels of obesity among children and adults or the scary pace of development for diseases such as diabetes, anaemia, cardiovascular disease, all of which are connected directly to our eating habits, things are not looking rosy on our plates.

It is interesting that trends look negative despite the fact that so much effort has been going into making people aware of and better informed about what they eat and what they should eat. In fact, it is safe to say that we are witnessing differences between food attitudes widen as sections of the population, usually middle-class and strongly supported by diet specialists, follow the guidelines and reorient their habits towards a more responsible, more conscious approach to food. Others seem to be unfazed by developments in this area and, especially if they are on low incomes, tend to perpetuate bad choices.

The biggest dietary culprits that deserve to make it to the top of the black list are, unsurprisingly, sugary and fatty foods, processed products, junk and fast food, red meat and anything that is high in carbohydrates. On the other end of the extreme we could place fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, lean meats and grains.

Beyond this first layer, there are also questions of origin of food people are buying that are making it to the top of the agenda. Is fresh produce we are putting in the basket locally produced? If not, where does it stand on carbon miles? Is it organic? Are eggs you eat free- range? Are coffee beans you are buying responsibly sourced? Is fish sustainably caught? Are products from your supermarket fairtrade? It is a dizzying list possibilities that actually matter when we take decisions what to make our diets of, even though many people question their relevance and real impact on health benefits saying this is nothing but a snobbish preoccupation of the rich world, often induced in response to qualms about the rest of the globe starving or doing back-breaking labor to supply these riches.

If there is such advanced awareness of what is good for you and the planet and what is not, why do so many people still dine on sugar-saturated, fatty, unhealthy meals? Why are sweet sodas and candy bars so popular? Part of the answer is their appealing taste. Unfortunately for healthy food enthusiasts, bad stuff often simply tastes good and customers are willing to turn a blind eye to red-light nutritional information on the labels in exchange for some pleasure. We could always take diet supplements, like Omega 3 or vitamin D to make up for lost nutrients. The other advantage that is very hard to overcome is convenience that comes together with processed foodstuffs.

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