The Secrets of Health

January 24, 2018
By Papouchado BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
Papouchado BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Eating those Cheetos again? While Cheetos can be tasty, and have a picture such as a tiger with sunglasses, they are just chemicals waiting to slowly destroy your health. The nutrition facts on these cheetos is often something that a person would ignore. However, they are something of great importance. For example, a regular “snack bag” would be 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 250 milligrams of sodium, and 13 grams of carbs. About the same amount in almonds, would be 163 calories, 14 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, and 6 grams of carbs. Between the two foods, the almonds might seem more unhealthy, because the fat and caloric value, but the almonds are indeed much healthier. The Cheetos have 10 grams of fat and the almonds have 14, but the fats in the almonds are the type of fats that humans need, whereas the Cheetos would have a bad type that is made up of chemicals that the body can only register as fat. Also, the almonds have 0 grams of carbs while the Cheetos have 13. By this comparison, it is shown that the almonds are very healthy and raw, and the Cheetos are not. There are many more of these “food mysteries” that need to be solved to collectively, to help nutrition in America.

Everyone learns the publicly taught “basics of health” in their lifetime, but only some would know if most of that information is true. In addition, some people that work in the government do not know either. The importance of the quality of your nutrition is massive. However, the number of individuals in America that ignore health is horrifying. More than 36.5% of adults in America are obese, 13.9% of children aging 2 - 5 years, and 20.6% of 12 - 19 year olds are obese. A surprising point that not many individuals know, is that most of these humans try to lose that weight, but they are trying to do it by the basic “balanced diet” that they have learned. Of course this did not work, because some of these teachings are indeed wrong.

The sayings that scientists have thought was true for more than 30 years, is that you can lose weight just for counting your “calories in vs calories out”. In recent years, nutritionists, and other scientists have found that this finding is incorrect. Calories in versus calories out means that if you take in more calories (energy units) than you work off or need, you will gain weight, but if you take in less than you work off or need, you will lose weight. Most people have lived off of this study for quite a long time, not knowing really why you gain weight from the excess calories. Eventually, scientists found out that the saying is iffy, when they found how different foods affect our hormones in different ways. For example, 100 calories of fructose, or sugar, would increase your insulin over the long term, leading to higher ghrelin levels and increased appetite. A more realistic example, is eating 100 calories worth of doughnuts, wouldn't fill you up as much as eating 100 calories of carrots, which would make you greatly full. This leads to eating more of those doughnuts or fructose, and eventually gaining weight.

Another health myth, that isn't widely recognized, is dairy. If one asked what the nutrition is behind milk, cheese, and other dairy products, most would answer the question with “calcium”. Although dairy does have a sufficient amount of calcium, there are inferior health benefits to it as well. Mark Hyman, MD, says, “Dairy is nature’s perfect food, but only for a calf.” Of course humans need a mother’s milk as an infant. When you are an adult, however, your body doesn't need this dairy. In addition, dairy increases the amount of acne on your skin. Also, some studies show that dairy is linked to a reduced risk of some cancers, but gives you a high risk of prostate cancer. Because of dairy’s high caloric value, many individuals switched to consuming low fat products, such as skim milk, low fat yogurt, and other low to no fat items. This is good for the human body, because it extracts some calories and, of course, fat. There is indeed a downside to these products, though. When the milk fat is taken out of the milk to make them low fat, it does go somewhere. All of this milk fat is used for making cheese. Cheese is a high calorie, and high fat dairy product. Over some years of dairy companies producing low fat items, there became excess cheese. Because of this, the food industry started making, and advertising more, and more cheesy foods. Some of these foods include mac and cheese, more pizza, and adding cheese to most things. All of this “money over health” mindset made food companies a lot of fatty foods for low prices, which eventually made America less healthy, and more obese.

Dairy isn’t the only food group that is secretly deadly though. Meat is just as bad. Similar to dairy and calcium, most think that the prime source of protein for humans comes from meat. Even though this fact is true about meat, the proteins that it has is not as healthy as those in plant foods, such as quinoa, chia seeds, wild rice, nuts, and many other foods. Scientists have found that meat is harmful to the human body through many studies. It is not just bad for you because it’s high levels of cholesterol. In 2015, the World Health Organization declared that processed meat, which is a carcinogen, increases your risk for cancer. Even eating just 50 grams of processed meat every day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Also, processed meat has recently been classified as a group one carcinogen, which is the same group as cigarettes.  A carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue. However, these facts are only true for processed meat, and sometimes red meat. Many people would know to not eat too much red meat, but they did not know the harm that chicken has as well. Over time, a poisonous chemical, Arsenic, has increasingly been made a part of chicken feed, to ward off diaria. This has lead to small amounts of it being in even organic chicken, causing risk of diabetes, neurological problems, and cancer.

All of these foods come with diseases that include cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, but continue to be recommended. Of course doctors, and scientists would never recommend eating a dairy filled, and meat heavy diet, but websites, such as the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and many others show that people should eat these foods to prevent disease. These facts might seem alarming, and confusing to most, but the reasoning for this is very clear. These organizations are sponsored by companies, such as Yoplait, Tyson, Dannon Yogurt, Cheerios, and other terribly artificial, and disease causing companies. The food industry has wanted money over nutrition for a long time, but now even health associations are thinking the same.

All of these findings tie into America the most. America is one of the leading countries of business, and produces most of the foods for the world. Also, most people in America care about the value of their groceries and foods. There are almost 60,000 food items in an average grocery store in America. Almost 80 percent of these goods are processed meat, cheese, dairy, and junk foods. They key to all of these selling is the value. They have low prices, to make more Americans buy them, without thinking about nutrition, and adding to the unhealthy popularity of America.

In conclusion, nutrition can decide the course of a person’s life. Past generations had grown up learning the false facts of dairy and meat, leading to disease. Recently scientists have been finding more and more nutritional facts about foods, and will keep doing so. From these facts, Americans need to start getting their life back on track, by taking nutrition into account, and stopping obesity. A balanced diet is crucial to a healthy body, but more importantly a healthy mind, and a great life. With the help of knowing everything that the world does with nutrition and food, Americans can and will have a great life too.

    (1)   “Why.” Healthline, Healthline Media.

(2)    “Is Dairy Bad for You, or Good? The Milky, Cheesy Truth.” Healthline, Healthline Media.                             

(3)      “Dairy: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid It at All Costs.” Dr. Mark Hyman, 3 Jan. 2017.

(4) “The State of Childhood Obesity.” Childhood Obesity - The State of Obesity.
(5) “Overweight & Obesity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Aug. 2017.

(6) “World Health Organization Says Processed Meat Causes Cancer.” American Cancer Society.

(7) Andersen, Kip, director. What the Health. What The Health, 7 Mar. 2017.

(8) Couric, Katie, Mark Monroe, Michael Brook, and Stephanie Soechtig. Fed Up. , 2014

The author's comments:

I had always been interested in the simple fact that humans put things through their mouth and into their body to live. It just seemed weird to me. Also I had a period of time when I was a little too conscious of what I ate, but I soon found a balance and wanted to really know more about what a balance actually is.

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