healthy dietDo you eat enough fresh fruit every day? Do you know how much is enough? These days, far too many people don’t eat nearly enough fruit on a week to week basis, let alone every single day. Yet at the same time, ever increasing numbers of people are becoming overweight and obese because they are happily chomping their way through mountains of junk, processed food. What happened to common sense and why do so many people eat such a poor diet?

That’s probably too many questions. But it all boils down to the fact that we seem to have lost sight of what our bodies are telling us they need, while we pay far too much attention to what the advertising media tells us we should buy at the store.

Let’s put things into some kind of perspective. The food industry (and make mo mistake, it is an industry with the primary goal to make a profit) is happy for people to eat whatever can be gotten past the official approval process. As long as there is a market for a food product, the industry will use advertising and promotion techniques to get consumers to buy it. Not that its so difficult to do that, since people need to eat!

TV Advertising and Processed Food

hamburgers bad for youThe problem is that people are influenced by advertising, especially television advertising and the food industry will advertise those products that make it the most profit. The industry is not interested in selling you a bag of apples to make a few cents in profit when it can sell you a pack of frozen junk and make considerably more.

Better still, from the industry point of view, is the fact that people prefer the taste of junk food to fresh fruit not because it really tastes better, but because it is packed full of additives designed to make it seem like it tastes better. Those additives include saturated fat and sugar, both of which are highly attractive to the human sense of taste. What’s more, recent evidence suggests that we can become addicted to these foods, craving more of them the more of them that we eat.

Little wonder that the number of obese people is continuing to rise despite there being so much nutritional information readily available via the Internet and so many really effective diet and fitness programs also readily available.

There is a nasty side effect to eating a diet almost entirely comprised of processed foods, no matter how healthy the label may say they are. The rise in cases of certain cancers seems to be following the rise in the amount of processed food being consumed, but that’s not just any processed food. It seems to be linked with those containing high levels of sugar. A lot of research into the probable causes of prostate cancer in men seems to reveal that high levels of sugar in the diet actually feeds the cancer cells, causing rapid tumor growth and all the complications that go with it.

It seems that there are properties to refined sugar that causes oxidation in our body’s cells and the release of free radicals which cause damage and are also known to promote the growth of cancerous tumors. The sugar itself then feeds the tumors so they can grow faster. In fact, research has shown that cancerous cells need sugar to grow and they consume a lot of it. Source: Food for Thought

Choice

But we are human beings and as such we are the highest forms of life on this planet. We have something no other animal has (as far as we yet know) and that’s free will and the mental ability to choose. We can choose what we eat!

Most people seem to have forgotten that slight detail when they sit through a string of TV commercials drumming into their brains the desire to eat hamburgers, breadcrumb covered chicken bits and pieces, hot dogs, pizza and who knows what else, while washing it all down with one or other popular brand of soda. All that junk is loaded with the sugar that is not only making us fat, it is increasing the risk of cancer! Yet people choose to eat it. Not because its their own free choice, but because that choice has been influenced by clever marketing and advertising.

Of course, no one in the food industry would be so bold as to agree with any of the research on cancer and the recently uncovered links between prostrate cancer and high levels of sugar. They will naturally deny that there is any link between sugar and cancer. They will even deny their products cause people to become obese. This is natural as they must protect their industry.

You should know that this is not idle scaremongering. For more information, please read this fascinating article in the New Your Times from 2011 on the toxicity of sugar entitled: Is Sugar Toxic?

But this is not about what the food industry believes or does not believe. It is not about what politicians say or do not say. It is about your health and your ability as a human being to choose what you eat and do not eat.

Eat More Fruit

eat more fruitThere is one very effective way to combat any dependence on refined sugars and junk, processed foods and that’s to eat more fresh fruit. Not just every once in a while, but every day. An apple, maybe a peach or a pear, some cherries or grapes, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, perhaps a slice of melon or pineapple, or an orange or tangerine. There are plenty of fruit choices you can go for. Even the much maligned (by dieters, at least) bananas are healthier than sugar laden candy bars or cookies!

But there is more to eating fruit than immediately meets the eye.

I already mentioned the risk of getting cancer from eating too much refined sugar. Well, fresh fruits don’t contain refined sugar, but they are sweet to eat because they contain fruit sugars which are less harmful. But that’s not where I’m going with this, apart from the obvious fact that if you have a sweet tooth, then eating fresh fruit is a much healthier way of satisfying it than grabbing a slice of pie or a chocolate bar. Fresh fruit also contains a variety of antioxidants that work to prevent the cell damage that free radicals can do.

So not only is plenty of fresh fruit every day a great, healthy alternative to eating foods overloaded with refined sugars, but it can also go a long way to helping you to enjoy a longer, healthier life with a lower risk of certain cancer. if you need to know what is considered the correct amount of fruit to eat each day, the general consensus is around 5-8 servings per day. You can get more details on how that works out using the Pyramid Servings method.

It’s your choice. Make it a good one!

Terry Didcott