Friday, April 26, 2013
Yet another weapon formed against us and itís killing us off at an alarming rate.
The scary thing is that we need it to survive, it is called food. 45% of black woman and 35% of black men are overweight. A large percentage of black children are overweight as well, which means unless we educate ourselves and our children the future generations will die from obesity related diseases on top of everything else such as: aids, crack, murder, and prison which are huge killers of black people.
The media shows us images of perfect bodies, but these are people who have our money and can afford food that is good for them and can hire a personal trainer to whip them into shape. But what about the low-income mother that works and goes to school and cannot afford to feed her children all of the nutritional food that they need. She only has time to fix them cereal, Ramen noodles and TV dinners? Make no mistake about it, just because you are thin doesnít mean you are healthy. Just because you are overweight doesnít mean that you are unhealthy, but you will eventually head down the road of being very unhealthy if you donít take care of yourself, no matter how much you weigh. Most of us struggle with time and donít believe we have the time to treat ourselves right, but it can be done. All it takes is a little commitment and a different thought process which will be difficult but not impossible if you just take a moment to think about what our bodies do for us on a daily basis and now think about what we need to do to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
The heart muscle is divided into right and left sides, and each side is further divided into upper and lower chambers, making a total of four separate chambers. The upper chambers are called atria: the lower chambers are called ventricles. The right side of the heart receives the venous blood, which is the blood coming back to the heart through the veins, then pumps this blood to the lungs. All of the blood from the venous system enters the right atrium, then flows to the right ventricle. When the heart muscle contracts, the right ventricle squeezes against the volume of blood that has filled into the chambers and sends this blood to the lungs through the pulmonary arteries. In the lungs, the blood picks up a fresh supply of oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide in the pulmonary capillaries. Oxygen and, to a limited extent, carbon dioxide are carried in red blood cells on a protein called hemoglobin. The freshly oxygenated blood returns to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins then flows to the left ventricle. While the right ventricle contracts, the left ventricle also contracts and pumps the blood in its chamber through the largest artery in the body-the aorta to be delivered to the rest of the body.
Now as you were reading, the process of the beating heart has already done what was described in the above paragraph several times with very little effort from you. We take our bodies for granted and what it takes for our hearts to beat and what we need to do is to make sure that we stay a healthy weight and keep physically fit. If we implement eating right and exercising into our everyday lifestyle one step at a time that will be one less thing Black people have to worry about and we will be that much stronger for the tons of problems we endure on a day to day journey.
The diet industry is raking in billions of dollars on our desires to have the so call ďperfect body.Ē First you have to stay away from the scams that are promising you that you will lose weight by taking a pill while still eating and drinking what you want to, and say that you donít have to exercise. Next you have to stay away from diets and lifestyle changes you canít maintain. If you have to omit foods out your life forever, make sure you want to give them up for your own reasons, other than it will make you lose weight.
The reason for this is you give up the foods you enjoy totally and youíre only doing it because your diet dictates you to do so, if you go back to your old eating habits you will pick up more weight. Which will cause you stress which will cause you to eat more which will make you depressed to the point that you donít want to move. Then you will eventually get to the point where it hurts to move or every time you move, you get tired. Then you decide youíre going to eat less, then you begin to skip meals until you are really hungry which causes you to binge and you begin to make food decisions and then the whole cycle repeats itself until you decide enough is enough. Obesity is a chain reaction to a group of problems that will incur to lead us to a place of being very unhappy and sometimes suicidal. Being overweight leads to people treating you very different just because there is more of you to love. So it is twice as hard if you are overweight and black that means that there are two sets of stereotypes you have to get pass, before a person can even get to know your name.
It is very easy to get the wrong information about diet and nutrition and in this day and age there are thousands of diet pills, diet foods, and diet fads that are setting people up for disappointments. The way you can avoid disappointment is to educate yourself about diet and nutrition and donít take everyoneís word about what a product can do or how a diet plan can change your life. First you have to think about who the product is put out by, most are just looking to make money. Next nutrition and exercise is not one size fits all, what works for one person doesnít work for the next. If someone is on the television saying they lost 150 pounds and has been able to keep the weight off for fifteen years, that doesnít mean that you will be able to too. There are many factors that are involved with weight loss and being successful, such as: environment, values, stress level, culture, financial status and commitment level. You have to look at your situation while choosing what is best for you.
To cut down on some of the guesswork I will give you general information that will help you out. Whenever there is a product or a diet plan out, you must study it and come to your own conclusion about will it be the best plan for you. Letís take the Atkins diet, for example. Atkins is a low-carb, high fat, high protein diet. According to my research and study this is not the diet plan for me. Nutrients are grouped into six different categories: Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Macronutrients are carbs, proteins, and fats because we need large amounts in our diet. It is important for your body to acquire all three for proper functioning. Most health professionals recommend around 55 percent carbs, 15 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. There are 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbs but there are 9 calories per gram of fat. For example if there is a sandwich that is 200 calories but has 10 grams of fat, 90 calories come from fat which would make the sandwich high in fat. That would not be a wise food choice to eat all of the time. Now the makers of the sandwich might advertise the sandwich as being low in calorie and that may be true, but that is not the only factor to consider when you are making food choices. You have to consider the whole picture such as, the serving. If the label says there are two servings in that one sandwich and you eat the whole thing that means you just had 400 calories, 20 grams of fat and double everything else. That is how a lot of people get fooled, you think you are eating healthy but you are not.
Carbohydrates are classified into two different categories: Simple carbohydrates, which are sugar and complex carbohydrates, which are starches. Sugars are carbs in itís simplest form. Refined sugars are found in food such as pop, cookies, candy, syrup, honey and table sugar. Refined sugars provide calories (which are known as empty calories) because hey lack vitamins, minerals and fiber. Simple sugars such as naturally occurring sugars are found in more nutritious foods. These include sugars such as fructose found in fruit for lactose found in dairy products. Complex carbohydrates are many sugars linked together. Complex carbohydrates are found in grains, pasta, vegetables, rice, breads, beans, and nuts. When eating pastas and breads, it is recommended that you eat whole grains and whole wheat and that you eat a limited amount made from white flour also eat brown rice instead of white. Fiber is also a carbohydrate and is important to your health. Fiber is not considered a nutrient because most if it is not digested or absorbed into the body.
Carbohydrates alone will not make you gain weight. Eating too many calories form carbs, fats, and proteins will make you gain weight. A deficiency of carbs in your diet can cause a lack of calories (malnutrition) or excessive intake of fat to make up the lost calories.
To figure out how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fats you should have a day. First, you need to see your doctor and ask how many calories a day you should consume. For example, if your doctor says that you should have 1,600 calories a day, you will multiply 1,600 which are the calories you should have in a day multiplied by .55 which is the percentage of carbs you should have in a day that will come to a total of 880 calories form carbs; then you will divide 880 by 4 which are the number of calories per gram of carbs that comes to 220 grams of carbs you should have in a day. Just remember that as you are counting your carbs, limit your empty calories. To figure out your protein needs: multiply your calorie intake by .30 which is the percentage of fat you should have in a day. That will come to a total of 480 calories from fat divided by 9 which are the number of calories per gram of fat that equal 53 grams of fat in a day. To make sure you are correct you should add up the calories from the carbs (880), protein (240) and the fat (480) which comes to 1,600. You can use the same formula with the number of calories you should have daily.
In conclusion you should eat a well balanced diet, watch your sugar intake, drink at least 64 ounces of water a day and exercise at last three times a week. If you canít find the time to exercise incorporate it into your day by walking to the next bus top instead of the closet bus stop; if you drive, park further away form the store and walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Take time for yourself everyday, at least ten minutes of reflection just to thank the creator that you had another day to grace the earth with your spirit. Treat yourself right you are an asset to the world which means you are valuable. Diets donít work, you have to make lifestyle changes and take one step at a time. You canít change overnight or all at once. If you eat the wrong thing or donít exercise that day try again tomorrow, donít give up. Before making decisions about a lifestyle change, research you options and pick changes you can live with. Not because it worked for someone else, because everyone is different. Purchase or borrow books about nutrition. The Everything Nutrition book by Kimberly A. Tessmer is easy to read and more importantly easy to understand. When you are working towards losing weight, you have to address all parts of your life: mind, body and soul to be successful.