Eating out is one of the most common luxuries shared by Americans, especially on the weekends. Whether you’re a foodie checking out unique local cuisine or a busy family trying to save money at a nearby buffet, it’s very important to stop and consider what exactly you are putting into your body as you eat. Taste shouldn’t be the only determining factor in your order; you should also stop to consider inflammatory fats, gluten, GMOs, and so much more.
Your body actually relies upon inflammation to defend itself against injury and infection; when the body identifies a problem, it sends extra blood to deliver immune cells for healing. This type of acute inflammation is essential to healing. However, inflammation caused from other sources- like food- can be dangerous. Trans fat, added sugar, refined grains, omega 6 fatty acids, processed meats, and gluten are just a few of the many foods that trigger inflammation in the body. Since chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, it is essential to steer clear of inflammatory foods when you place your order.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are created in laboratories where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and forced into the genes of another plant or animal. Since these living organisms are artificially manipulated, they are connected to a wide range of health problems. Corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets are frequently genetically modified in North America, and unfortunately the majority of packaged foods contain ingredients derived from them. When eating out, try to remain conscious of the potential ingredients in your food- or even ask for a list of ingredients!- so that you can minimize your GMO exposure.
The Story Behind Your Meat
When you order fish at a restaurant, is it farm-raised or wild caught? Is your beef conventionally raised or grass-fed? These questions matter because they determine the quality of meat you are putting into your body as well as the potential negative health effects involved. Salmon, carp, tilapia, sea bass, catfish, and cod are commonly farm-raised in tightly packed tanks or cages with thousands of other fish, and these close living conditions lead to widespread diseases and parasites that must be fought with antibiotics and fungicides. This means that farm-raised fish is not clean meat, and it will poison your body with carcinogens and other dangerous components. Similarly, conventionally raised beef comes from cattle that spend their lives packed in close quarters, fed growth hormones, antibiotics, corn, and soy, never able to graze naturally. This isn’t what your body wants or needs to remain healthy!
For guidance and support becoming a more informed consumer and learning how to select restaurant choices that will support your quest for health, call London Wellness at (941) 584-8487. Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Bonni London is committed to helping you achieve your health goals.