Controlling our hunger pangs may be one of the answers
I have heard of this ‘Heart Attack Grill’ which has several locations throughout the U.S. but I never visited their site, I was shocked that they are actively promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. The names of their foods are ‘triple bypass burger’, ‘pure lard fries’, and other nonsense. The restaurant is staffed by waitresses dressed as Nurses and the name of the establishment is called ‘Heart Attack Grill’ – that really says it all. No wonder the U.S. has the highest obesity rates in the world; and their healthcare system is in shambles and chaos. One of the reasons why the healthcare system is so battered and bruised like a Rihanna on a Grammy night, is because the population is not healthy – if even a good 40% of the population was not obese, then the healthcare system would not have to deal with as many cardiac arrests, myocardial infractions, strokes, and other debilitating diseases that come along with obesity. I understand that the Heart Attack Grill is a ‘novelty’ store and is just playing on a perception – the perception that American society has shifted to ‘healthy, green’ eating; as evident in the media – but that perception of the ‘healthy’ movement may be somewhat unrealistic. As the stats are still alarming, especially for minorities:
“According to the July 17 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, blacks have a 51 percent greater prevalence of obesity than whites. Hispanics also experience a greater percentage of obesity than whites with a 21 percent higher prevalence, according to the CDC publication.”
There are fast food joints everywhere; clogging up the street corners and stomachs of America – especially in lower income areas where the ‘alternative eating’ possibility (healthy foods) are out of their reach and budget. I acknowledge that this is a concern, but really what may be more significant is our timing and control of our hunger – if we listen to our hunger pangs, this can control and regulate our eating to more appropriate levels. What I mean is that most of our eating is triggered by external stimuli; environmental cues that we associate with eating events such as when we finish school/work, as soon as we get home, etc. Most times we are not necessarily responding to our internal cues (the hunger pangs, the growling belly); so we eat at times when we are not hungry and/or we at times when it is convenient to us or we eat when we want to relax – how many of you all have had a stressful day and when you come home, open up a salty bag of chips? You were not necessarily hungry, but the food was ‘comforting’ – these type of habits contribute a lot to the current obesity state of America as comfort foods are readily available and affordable. There is a whole science of research behind the motivations of hunger that really go deep into it, too long to discuss here, but I advise one to look it up if interested.
With all that said, here are some foods that are not only healthy, affordable, but will satisfy your hunger:
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that protect your heart by reducing both inflammation and the risk of blood clots. These fats also work to keep your cholesterol levels healthy. Eat salmon or other oily ocean fish like tuna, sardines or herring at least two times per week. For a heart-healthy meal, try grilled salmon steaks with a green vegetable and a side salad with a sprinkling of lemon juice instead of high-calorie salad dressing.
Olive oil reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. Choose olive oil for cooking, or make a nice dip for whole grain bread by pouring a bit of olive oil in a small bowl and add a bit of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of oregano.
Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta glucan that helps reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps keep your digestive system healthy. Enjoy oatmeal with just a small amount of brown sugar and plenty of strawberries and walnuts for breakfast. Cold cereals made with oats are also great with low-fat milk or soy milk plus slices of fresh fruit.
Apples contain a phytochemical called quercetin which acts as an antiinflammatory and will help prevent blood clots as well. Apples contain vitamins and fiber, come in several delicious varieties and are portable. Eat an apple with a handful of walnuts or almonds as a healthy snack or add apple slices to your healthy salads.
Almonds and other nuts contain healthy oils, vitamin E and other substances that will help keep cholesterol levels in check. Almonds are also a good source of protein and fiber. Almonds make a great snack on their own, or sprinkle slivered almonds on green beans or asparagus with lemon juice as a deliciously healthy side dish.
Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol has been shown to be good for your heart. Be sure to enjoy red wine in moderation. Studies show that only 4 to 8 ounces of red wine is needed each day.
Whole grains provide vitamins and fiber that will help to keep your heart healthy. Make a deliciously healthy sandwich with two slices of 100-percent whole-grain bread, three ounces of lean turkey breast, lots of sliced tomatoes and avocado, plus lettuce and a bit of mustard. Switch from white pasta to whole grain pasta too.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables contain folate, which helps to keep homocysteine levels down, and vitamin E. Green leafy vegetables have also been associated with better retention of memory as age. Try using fresh spinach leaves or other greens for your favorite salad instead of iceberg lettuce.
Tomatoes are packed with vitamins and lycopene, which has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Add thick slices of tomatoes to sandwiches and salads or enjoy tomato sauce on whole wheat pasta. In fact, cooked tomato sauce and canned tomato sauce that you buy in the store both contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes.
Soy protein has been shown to prevent heart attacks and soy makes an excellent protein substitute for red meat, which will reduce your saturated fat intake. Add tofu to your favorite stir fry or pour soy milk on your morning cereal.
And of course, EXERCISE is a big factor – have we not noticed that the common remedy to most problems, diseases, and stress is exercise.
.:: LiBM ::.
Obesity Statistics Report from Milwaukee Health Examiner