By John H.
From a young age we’ve all been told that we have to eat “healthy,” but think for a second. Can you honestly say, word for word, what healthy really is? And are you aware that healthy for one person may not be in anyway healthy for another? Here is a short guide to the different kinds of food some people say are “healthy.”
Fat Free or Low Fat
Generally, when we think of “healthy” we think of low fat or fat free; usually the path of people who want to lose weight. We cut out fat from our diet by not eating foods like cake, ice cream, and hamburgers, but also by eating food that had their natural fat content reduced. This type of healthy is good, but the problem with it is that people only look for the fat content in what they eat, and there’s a lot of things that governs what makes a person gain weight.
When we eat sugar, it is more or less ready to be used by out bodies. When we do not use it, it turns into fat. So unless we are being active, eating sugar can be unhealthy. It’s also not very good too eat too much sugar for a long time because it has been linked to causing Type II diabetes. This means someone’s body cannot breakdown the sugar they eat because they do not produce insulin. Insulin is a chemical our bodies that help digests sugar.
Foods that are low in sodium are low in salt. Salt can be good for you. In fact, we need salt to survive and to keep our bodies working. BUT, too much salt can be bad for your heart because it creates higher blood pressure which may cause damage to many parts of your body, especially your arteries.
Lactose, meaning sugar from milk, shows another perfect example that some kinds of foods, though healthy for most people, are sometimes not healthy for everyone. Milk is filled with calcium and it is always advertised for building strong bones, but there are some people who can’t drink it; these people are lactose-intolerant. Milk, normally part of a balanced diet will be uncomfortable someone who is lactose-intolerant.
There is a difference between fresh food and healthy food. Fresh food are foods that are not processed or made with preservatives. They usually do not have a long shelf-life. A food’s shelf-life means the amount of time it can sit on a shelf before it starts to go bad. Many foods in bodegas and supermarkets have a long shelf life. But many fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and breads do not. Fresh food is healthier because it is not made with preservatives that make other foods, like cookies and chips, last longer without spoiling. Just think, if you eat a lot of preservatives, your body will store it which is bad. So think about whether the food you eat has preservatives or if they are fresh. But this does not always mean it is healthy either! Food like hamburgers can be made with fresh ingredients, but still contain a lot of fat, sugar. As the saying goes, “You are what you eat!”