Helping Families Get Healthy Tip #3
By Nurse Kimberly
Tip #3 – Stop Eating Fast Food
The tip I am about to give you is something almost everyone has heard of before. We’ll just get right to it. Helping families get healthy Tip #3 is “Stop eating FAST FOOD”. When I say stop eating fast food I am not just referring to the drive thru McDonalds and Burger Kings on every corner. Fast food is anything that is made from fillers, ingredients you have never heard of, and leaves your fingers covered with grease after you have eaten it.
There are countless reasons why people are attracted to fast food. It’s conveniently quick, very palatable, and available everywhere! Fast food is just like an addictive drug. It gets people hooked and kills parts of the body slowly over time. For example, fast food is similar to cigarettes. The damage done to the body is not immediate. But after years of lighting up, smoking can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and the need to wear oxygen all of the time. Some of the long time smokers I have taken care of in the hospital gasp for every breath. It’s almost like they are drowning and can’t breath.
Eating a diet rich in fast food and pre-packaged fillers will lead to very similar results. This is no exaggeration. It really is true and I see it first hand all the time at work. If eating fast food can cause such devastating health consequences overtime why do people continue to do it everyday. The answer cannot be that quick is more important than their health! I believe people need to understand the “why”. It’s not good enough to just say “fast food is bad for you”. Its not good enough to explain that fast food is part of the reason that two thirds of the adult population and one third of the kids in this country are overweight. People need to know why they should not eat it. There needs to be education about what WILL happen to their bodies and health overtime if they continue to eat “fast food”.
First of all if you are eating mostly fast food and denying your body of wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables, then you are already causing damage. Our bodies need what fruits and vegetables provide. They contain things you are not going to get out of a Big Mac or a frozen mac and cheese dinner. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals our bodies depend on. They also supply our body with FIBER. Fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and clean. It doesn’t count as any calories and it also gives the body a feeling of satiety. That feeling of satiety prevents overeating which can lead to unwanted weight gain. In my opinion, the best thing about fiber is it’s ability to help prevent gastrointestinal diseases and colon cancer. For more on that watch Professor Jay’s video on the miracle substance REBIF.
Okay so those are things we deny our bodies of when we eat fast food. Essential things are bodies need in order to be properly nourished. Now lets talk about what we do get from eating fast food. What other benefits do we get other than convenience and taste?
We get raised levels of LDL (the bad type of cholesterol). What happens when someone has high levels of LDL? The risk of stroke and heart disease shoot way up. What does that mean? It means that if you have a heart attack you could die, need surgery, or cause irreversible damage to your heart. If high levels of cholesterol lead to a stroke, you could die, be paralyzed on one side of your body, lose the ability to speak and communicate, and even need to be placed in a nursing home. This is no joke! I have seen patients in there 30’s have these things happen. Eating fast food all of the time and living a sedentary lifestyle will ultimately lead to weight gain. People who are overweight and don’t eat healthy are being diagnosed right and left with Type 2 Diabetes. What does that mean, other than the need to pop a pill everyday? Type 2 Diabetes can lead to blindness, limb amputation, and kidney failure.
These are only a select few of the tragic and debilitating effects of eating a poor diet. You get the point. My intention is not to sound cruel or mean. After all, I was a fast food junkie. Fast food was part of my love affair with eating and it contributed to my weight of 230 pounds. But I stopped. I realized what I was doing to my body and stopped. Living longer was more important than cigarettes and McDonalds French fries. Sharing the effects that fast food will have on the body overtime is meant to educate. It is meant to help families get healthy.
Put tip #3 into action today. Give up fast food for you and your family. After all, would you hand your child a cigarette? Of course not! Set an example, start today and find alternatives. Pick up a bag of salad, a rotisserie chicken, 2 apples, and a package of whole grain rice for a quick and My Family Plate friendly ABCD healthy meal. If that requires more time than you have, visit one of your local grocers on the way home instead of a drive thru. Many of the markets take orders for healthy prepared meals. Look up their website and call your order in ahead of time. If you care about your health and the health of your family you will put in the effort to “Give up fast food”. If you need help with meal ideas download the My Family Plate Starter Kit. There is a guide with meal plans and grocery lists. This takes the away the stress of knowing what to eat and feed your family. I did it and now so can you. As always feel free to leave comments, post questions, or email us. We are here to help you and your family get healthy.