Mindful Food Choices Pay Off

Grains and wheat ears from organic agriculture farm.

Grains and wheat ears from organic agriculture farm.

Wafaa Jumaa Zabadneh

Wellness Writer

The foods that we consume on a daily basis are a part of our identity and explicate our preferences when it comes to food. There are endless food options available in American grocery stores, restaurants, and advertisements.

Hence, it is no surprise that food is a large source of entertainment and comfort in American culture. In the market of capitalism and with added responsibilities and experienced daily stress, the opportunity to consider food choices is often limited.

However, simply practicing mindfulness when eating along with making nutritious decisions can have an immense impact on overall health. With adequate nutrition, this can increase individuals life expectancy along with significantly reducing the risk of life-threatening acquired diseases. Likewise, there are simple steps consumers can do to benefit their overall health and to ensure they are receiving essential nutrients.

To start, consumers can read nutrition food labels when grocery shopping by avoiding ingredients such as trans fats, saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Additionally, consumers can strive to eat as many accessible organic foods as possible to avoid eating genetically modified foods. Further, when making a plate of food for a meal, consumers can analyze their plate to ensure adherence to MyPlate guidelines.

For instance, ideally it is recommended that half of the plate should consist of fruits and vegetables while the rest of the plate includes carbohydrates, dairy, and protein. Similarly, in relation to dietary guidelines, America promotes a heavy emphasis on diet culture and jumping into trending fad diets. However, although these fad diets may cause ideal short-term goals for people to achieve an ideal body and ideal mind, these diets can cause detrimental health effects long-term because food groups can often be eliminated.

Realistically, it is okay to consume treats and enjoy food as long as this is done in moderation. Therefore, reflecting on one’s diet can lead to overall better physical and mental health, which is what it means to eat smart!