We all make a few bad choices, especially when it comes to our diets. We cheat on our meal plans, eat a bit more than we should, and add a few “guilty pleasures” to our day. But did you know that some of your bad choices could have long-term consequences for your health? Here are a few bad habits that may be a bit worse than you’d think:
Not Eating Enough Veggies
Without vegetables, your body will stop functioning properly in a very short amount of time. The fiber in veggies helps to reduce cholesterol, fat, sugar, and chemical absorption. Low fiber consumption can lead to dietary problems, a blocked digestive tract, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess body fat. If you want to be healthy, you need to eat veggies. If you want to live longer, you need to eat AT LEAST 7 servings of veggies (and fruits) per day.
Not Eating Enough Fruit
Most of us see veggies as being the “#1 health food” on the planet, but did you know that fruit is just as important? Fruits contain more antioxidants, which your body needs to fight off free radicals and reduce oxidative damage. For every serving of fruit you eat per day, your mortality risk decreases by 10%. Of course, we’re talking fresh fruit–canned fruit is little more than sugar with a little bit of fiber. Fresh fruit is the key to a long, happy, and healthy life!
Cutting Too Many Carbs
Carbohydrates are the nutrient most likely to make you fat, particularly the empty carbs found in most refined flours and processed foods. But did you know that complex carbs (the kind found in whole grains) are actually vital for your health? Carbs are your body’s primary fuel source, so without them, you won’t have energy to hit the gym or get your work done. The high fiber content of most whole grains and complex carbs are vital for a healthy heart, so add more complex carbs to your diet!
Skipping Seeds and Nuts
These may not seem like the most important foods to add to your diet, but woe to you if you skip out on them. Nuts and seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation in the body, promotes healthy brain function, protects your heart, and prevents joint problems. Nuts and seeds are also rich in healthy fatty acids, plant-based proteins, and fiber. All in all, DEFINITELY foods you want to eat for a longer lifespan.
Overdoing it on Meat
Red meat is an amazing source of protein, amino acids, and other compounds vital for a healthy body. But there is such a thing as “too much” red meat. Not only is it high in saturated fat (which leads to cardiovascular disease), but improperly cooked red meat can be carcinogenic. If you want to be healthy, it’s good to add red meat to your diet once or twice per week, but NO MORE!
Eating Sweet, Processed, and Refined Foods
All of the above-mentioned food items are TERRIBLE for your health, for so many reasons. Sugary foods lead to insulin resistance, which in turn causes diabetes. Processed foods contain far too many chemicals to be good for your health, and they can lead to free radical damage, cancer, and other long-term health problems. Refined foods are high in calories but contain almost no nutritional value. If you want to live a long and healthy life, you’ll stick with foods that are as natural and unprocessed and unrefined as possible. Your body will thank you!