Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Diet important, not just exercise

Published:Tuesday | May 26, 2015 | 12:00 AMDr Douglas Street

Exercise is very important for good health. Some persons even believe that once they are getting good exercise, they can do as they please otherwise. Some believe exercise can nullify the effects of poor dieting. Is this true?

More than ever before, we are depending on others to cook our food for us. Some of us buy convenience foods, such as cup soups and porridge and other foods that require little or no preparation. We consume a lot of fast foods and mass-prepared foods. Of course, these foods were prepared to satisfy taste and are not conducive to good health. These foods are often high in unhealthy fats, salt, sugars, and processed foods and low in antioxidants, vitamins, fibre, and essential oils.

We have high rates of cardiovascular diseases and cancers in our society today. Even some persons who appear healthy have metabolic disorders, which contribute very significantly to these conditions. Their risk for developing cardiovascular disorders is oftentimes comparable to those with chronic illnesses, especially with the high levels of stress that exist in our society.

Some persons, in an attempt to combat these ills, try to get regular exercise. But according to a recent article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, exercise does not 'work-off' the effects of poor diet. In order to get many of the benefits of exercise, a proper diet needs to be in place. Exercising with a poor diet is like trying to wash a mirror with dirty water.

The messages that come from the food industry, coupled with endorsements by popular sports professionals, have been singled out for part of the blame for the false impression that many in our society have. Some of these messages fail to give a true picture of the effects of certain foods on our bodies. They focus on calories and do not highlight the fact that certain calories do have greater deleterious effect than others. Calories from sugars increase stomach emptying and insulin production. This promotes fat storage, inflammation and hunger, which leads to more frequent eating and the cycle continues. Lack of antioxidants also allow free radicals to wreak havoc on the body increasing the risk of clot-formation, damaged blood vessels, damaged DNA, impaired immunity, and inefficient healing. These factors contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancers.

A healthy diet is essential for good health.