Fast Food and Obesity May Be Linked

Is fast food and obesity related? Think about it. In America, it’s almost impossible to avoid fast food.

Everywhere you go, you can easily find foods like french fries, cheese-coated hamburgers, ice cream, milk shakes, and anything with bacon on it. Is there a reason America is full of obesity? Is it because of fast food?

Every day you hear about how awful it is that people are dealing with fast food and obesity, but the problem never settles. There is an issue at hand and it is irresponsible to not really think about what you are eating.

Is There A Connection?

There is no doubt that there exists some connection between fast food and obesity in America. Eating this food is a very common experience. Quick, fried, convenient food is what people grew up with for the last fifty years and they are raising their kids on it too.

A huge percentage of Americans are obese and this number is rising. Other countries are experiencing this kind of weight and health issue too–not just Americans.

Why Is This Food So Appealing?

This food takes care of what our bodies are wired to like. We get high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. Think about your nearest burger joint. The most popular items are the ones packed with these ingredients. This is food meant to power and nourish your body for long periods of time in case of droughts. The problem is that we are going only short periods of time before enjoying this type of food again.

It’s Too Easy To Eat This!

This is made way too easy. The food industry has done their job. First of all, these restaurants can be found everywhere. They are unavoidable. To make things even better, they have drive-through windows at almost all of these locations.

Speed in preparation is also a key element in all of these restaurants. So basically you can get this food anywhere and any time. Another element to the quick preparation includes storing large amounts of shelf-stable foods. These ingredients cook quickly with frying and microwaving.

To top this off, fast food has become accepted by society. It’s okay to eat by society’s standards. The marketers even try to convince you that it is hip through commercials and advertisements. It’s like fast food and obesity were meant to be together. It doesn’t have to be that way.

There IS A Dark Side – Fast food and obesity definitely has a connection.

Food industries are a major element in making these foods possible. They contribute a lot to fast food and obesity. However, there is a great debate and concern over problems in the food industry and its shady methods of production.

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High Fiber Foods And Weight Loss

Those people who have a weight problem and consult a nutritionist or other professional will be told of the necessity to eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet, which includes the importance of eating enough dietary fiber. This is a term used often in health matters relating to weight gain. Nevertheless, what does ‘dietary fiber’ mean?

Dietary fiber is found in food products that originate from plants. It is found in all plants and trees that provide us with a large and important sector of our diets. Fruits – fresh and dried, vegetables – fresh and frozen, pulses – dried beans and lentils, whole grains, and nuts, are examples of the range of products that provide us with this vital part of our diet.

Fiber is not found in dairy products – milk, cheeses, yoghurt, nor is it present in meats, including poultry and fish.

A shortage of fiber in a diet can lead to a wide range of medical problems centered on the digestive and intestinal parts of the body: Bowel and colon cancer; constipation; irritable bowel syndrome; diverticulitis; coronary heart disease; diabetes; and over weight and obesity. Consuming the necessary daily intake of fiber can do much to overcome these troublesome medical conditions.

Unlike other components of our diet such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, fiber is not digested by the human body. It moves through the body to the bowel without being broken down.

Fiber takes two different forms, soluble and non-soluble, each form coming from different food groups.

Soluble fiber has been found to help in lowering cholesterol levels and relieving constipation. It is found in the flesh of fruits; vegetables; grains; dried beans, and lentils; and soy products.

Insoluble fiber comes from bran products; the skins of fruit and vegetables; nuts and seeds; and wholegrain foods.

Both types of fiber are equally important in maintaining a healthy digestive system so if a person is getting a sufficient amount of soluble fiber, then they would also be receiving enough insoluble fiber. Both soluble and non-soluble fiber is present in fiber-rich products.

The benefits of eating a diet high in fiber results in a more healthy and efficient operating of the bowels – it keeps constipation, hemorrhoids (haemorrhoids) and diverticulosis at bay. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol levels. Both types of fiber lower blood sugar levels and insoluble fiber in a diet is associated with reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. A high fiber diet assists with weight loss.

However, for over-weight people and those suffering from obesity, the benefits of eating enough fiber in their diet are that it assists with weight loss. Over-weight people have reported losing weight by consuming a diet that contains the recommended daily intake of fiber. One of the reasons for this is that food high in fiber is usually low in calories. As an example, four slices of white bread contains about 3 grams of fiber. However, four slices of wholegrain bread contains about 5.7 grams of fiber, and 10% fewer calories.

A meal with adequate fiber content acts as an appetite suppressant. This means the food is digested more slowly in the body giving a person a feeling of not being hungry, leading to the elimination of eating snack food between meals. Therefore, a person eating a meal with an adequate amount of fiber would eat less and therefore consume fewer calories. A two pronged attack leading to a healthier life style.

It is acknowledged that Westerners do not get enough fiber in their daily diets. The recommended daily intake should be about 30 grams for a mature age male. Whilst this may seem a lot, its easily achieved – eat wholegrain bread instead of white bread; eat an extra vegetable for dinner; have nuts or dried fruit, or a piece of fresh fruit as a snack instead of a bakery product.

It is imperative when eating a high fiber diet also to drink plenty of water to avoid bouts of constipation.

For most people increasing the quantity of fiber in their daily diet means only a very small adjustment, so the benefits would seem well worth the effort of making this adjustment. The over-all benefit is a much healthier life-style without any of the physical problems associated with not eating enough foods high in fiber.

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