Healthy lifestyles can’t be bought at a drive-thru

Jacqueline Henley

Due to time constraints and the increased availability of processed and fast foods, some Americans find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle.Laurinda Kwan, a naturopathic physician, believes that most Americans who fall victim to poor eating habits and obesity were not properly educated about food.

“It seems like the majority of people don’t understand that choosing a chicken sandwich instead of a burger at McDonald’s or throwing a scoop of chopped onions on top of their chili dog doesn’t make a difference in the end,” she said.

Kwan stated one of the best ways to stay healthy was to avoid fast food.

“The meals found in most fast food restaurants are pumped with trans fats and processed ingredients. If someone wants to be healthy, then they should steer clear from these restaurants and start cooking their own food,” she said.

Cathy Benedetto, who works at a Curves gym, is also alarmed by the amount of processed food the average American tends to eat.

“All of the additives they’re putting in our food are absolutely ridiculous. High fructose corn syrup in particular, which is high in calories and starch, is in everything, and it’s something that most of us can’t even digest properly,” she said.

However, for some, preparing and eating the right meals can get a bit costly.

Kwan mentioned that these limitations in money shouldn’t deter most people from buying healthier foods.

“Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank by going to expensive stores. Whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables are actually pretty cheap. It’s all about where you priorities lie,” she said.

Despite the fast food craze that seems to plague the health of many Americans today, there have been attempts to reverse the effects of eating junk food, one of which is dieting.

Kwan cited that most diets unfortunately seem to be an ineffective way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“When people go on those fad diets, they’re not learning how to do what’s best for their bodies. They don’t care about doing what’s healthy it’s all about that number they see on the scale and nothing more,” she said.

Gloria Sanchez, who now leads a relatively healthy life, has gone on her fair share of diets in the past.

“I have tried every diet under the sun, including Atkins, Beverly Hills, Weight Watchers, Herbal Life, Dr. Phil, South Beach, and many more,” she said.

“I have learned that there really is only one way to lose weight and keep it off, which is to eat proportionally, keep my calories down, and exercise, exercise, exercise.”

To make up for a sedentary life, it’s recommended that most people exercise at least a few times a week.

Kwan advised that the average person gets at least 45 minutes of physical activity three times per week.

Benedetto, on the other hand, stated that most people should be working out for 30 minutes six days out of the week.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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