Food Culture is Costing Us Our Health
Food is a super-connector that works as a common thread that links people and societies.
Based on geographical locations, people follow specific food trends, which make them distinguished from others.
Often food items and culinary traditions are closely associated with particular cultures.
However, food culture collectively refers to the practices and attitudes followed in food production, consumption, and distribution.
These are the norms set by our society in food strata that goes on without interruption.
These standards are neither beneficial nor valuable in absolute terms.
Food Culture: Inheritance or Preference?
Like all other norms set by our society, food culture becomes inherited by upcoming generations despite the urge for a change.
As a kid, we inherit the foods consumed by our elders, and it might become our ultimate preference.
Mostly it becomes impossible to get rid of foods that are harmful to us because these are regarded highly in a particular set-up.
These food standards, which are only notorious and harmful, must be replaced by some healthy alternates.
No doubt that food culture is part of our historical legacy, but it is the need of the hour to change them for the sake of our health.
We find it very strenuous to revise our food norms and culture as we become used to it.
Bad food culture is disastrous for our young and coming generation, and is up to us overcome it.
Here’s how we can eliminate unhealthy food culture that is costing us our health.
Eliminate Ancestral Food Practices
It is good to follow beneficial ancestral traditions your forefathers have been following.
However, sticking with specific food preferences only because your ancestors have followed them, does not warrant health.
Consider the problems in your dietary habits that are a product of food culture.
For example, our ancestors have been drinking cow milk for eternity without knowing its harmful effects.
Be Meticulous with Your Approach
Adapting to a meticulous approach for food preferences warrants healthful living.
Be careful and prudent while considering your food products.
Be mindful of the life expectancy factor and how it is related to dietary habits.
Prefer Quality Over Quantity
To lead a healthy life, it is vital to choose food products that are worth their originality.
High-quality foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, should be part of your everyday diet instead of processed foods.
Instead of looking for calories, the recommended approach should be to go for quality food products with minimal processing.
Ingredients Matter, Not Brands
Due to massive commercialization, we have become brand conscious.
Rather than looking for the products that offer quality, we prefer going for branded items.
Busy lifestyle has made people so indifferent to their surroundings that they do not consider seeing the ingredients of products before purchasing them.
Understanding food labels has become so essential in the world of highly processed foods.Learn more here from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Therefore, it is essential to make yourself educated in a food culture aspect.
Make it a part of your routine to read the ingredient list.
This way, you will be aware of the health implications of the products that you are buying.
Impact of Mindfulness in Dietary Choices
Being mindful plays a pivotal role in making healthy dietary choices. If we note that:
the prevalence of obesity has increased from 30.5% to 42.4% among adults in the last two decades, according CDC,
we realize that is about time to think about the factors contributing to the increase in obesity.
Our food preferences and culture are responsible for this enormous increase in obesity.
A sedentary lifestyle has also become a norm along with food culture.
It adds fuel to the fire and makes the obesity factor more prominent.
Keep it in mind that fast foods, highly sugary foods, and processed foods are the highest contributors to obesity.
Effects of Digital Food
It is challenging to control unhealthy food cravings when ordering food is only a few clicks away.
Online food and grocery shopping are trending more than over, and it also should be avoided.
It gets even more daunting to purchase quality products, and people often end up ordering items which they probably will not consume.
We have been going through a global pandemic that tells us to be confined within our walls.
However, it has promoted even more the digital marketplace, with restaurants and food companies delivering food at our doorsteps.
It has hugely impacted our eating habits for sure.
To minimize health hazards, we have to be cautious about our purchasing habits and only order things that we need.
Food culture has become a bad habit in our society in terms of production, consumption, and eating.
We need to change this culture now as it is not suitable to our generation in terms of health and fitness anymore.
We have to eliminate precarious dietary habits like overeating, emotional eating, and eating carelessly without knowing their efficacy.
It is also essential to make a new norm to prefer quality foods over processed ones.
Introducing an efficacious culture will not only benefit us but will also be beneficial for the upcoming generation.
- Reed, D. R., Bachmanov, A. A., Beauchamp, G. K., Tordoff, M. G. and Price, R. A. (1997) Heritable variation in food preferences and their contribution to obesity. Behavioural Genetics, vol.27(4) pp. 373–387.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2020) How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label.https://www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/how-understand-and-use-nutrition-facts-label
- Asadollahi, T., Khakpour, S., Ahmadi, F., Seyedeh, L., Tahami, Matoo, S. and Bermas, H. (2015) Effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people. Journal of Medicine and Life, vol.8(4) pp. 114–124.
- Hales, C. M., Carroll, M. D., Fryar, C. D. and Ogden, C. L. (2020) Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2017–2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db360.htm