Diet im­por­tant, not just ex­er­cise

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

EX­ER­CISE IS very im­por­tant for good health. Some per­sons even be­lieve that once they are get­ting good ex­er­cise, they can do as they please oth­er­wise. Some be­lieve ex­er­cise can nul­lify the ef­fects of poor di­et­ing. Is this true?

More than ever be­fore, we are de­pend­ing on oth­ers to cook our food for us. Some of us buy con­ve­nience foods, such as cup soups and por­ridge and other foods that re­quire lit­tle or no prepa­ra­tion. We con­sume a lot of fast foods and mass-pre­pared foods. Of course, these foods were pre­pared to sat­isfy taste and are not con­ducive to good health. These foods are of­ten high in un­healthy fats, salt, sug­ars, and low in an­tiox­i­dants, vi­ta­mins, fi­bre and es­sen­tial oils.

We have high rates of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases and can­cers in our so­ci­ety to­day. Even some per­sons who ap­pear healthy have meta­bolic dis­or­ders, which con­trib­ute very sig­nif­i­cantly to these con­di­tions. Their risk for de­vel­op­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­or­ders is of­ten­times com­pa­ra­ble to those with chronic ill­nesses, es­pe­cially with the high lev­els of stress that ex­ist in our so­ci­ety.

Some per­sons, in an at­tempt to com­bat these ills, try to get reg­u­lar ex­er­cise. But ac­cord­ing to a re­cent ar­ti­cle in the Bri­tish Jour­nal of Sports Medicine, ex­er­cise does not ‘workoff’ the ef­fects of poor diet. In or­der to get many of the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise, a proper diet needs to be in place. Ex­er­cis­ing with a poor diet is like try­ing to wash a mir­ror with dirty wa­ter. The mes­sages that come from the food in­dus­try, cou­pled with en­dorse­ments by pop­u­lar sports pro­fes­sion­als, have been sin­gled out as part of the blame for the false im­pres­sion that many in our so­ci­ety have. Some of these mes­sages fail to give a true pic­ture of the ef­fects of cer­tain foods on our bod­ies. They fo­cus on calo­ries and do not high­light the fact that cer­tain calo­ries do have greater dele­te­ri­ous ef­fect than oth­ers. Calo­ries from sug­ars in­crease stom­ach emp­ty­ing and in­sulin pro­duc­tion. This pro­motes fat stor­age, in­flam­ma­tion and hunger, which leads to more fre­quent eat­ing – and the cy­cle con­tin­ues. Lack of an­tiox­i­dants also al­low free rad­i­cals to wreak havoc on the body, in­creas­ing the risk of clot for­ma­tion, da­m­aged blood ves­sels, da­m­aged DNA, im­paired im­mu­nity and in­ef­fi­cient healing. These fac­tors con­trib­ute to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and can­cers.

A healthy diet is es­sen­tial for good health.

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