The current trend in achieving good health is to lead a healthy lifestyle, including eating regular diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables, protein, and fiber. It has also been recommended that for good health, one should start counting calories in diets to determine that amount of sugar that is consumed on a daily basis. Using information on the level of physical activity performed within one day, one may engage in counting calories in diets that will surely be expended within 24 hours of each day. It is also important to understand that for good health, the calories derived from the regular diets need to be burned in order to prevent the accumulation of excess calories in the form of fat. Counting calories in daily diets and knowing one’s daily physical activities may thus increase the chances of attaining good health.
More Than Just Counting Calories…
Amid of this hype in counting calories in regular diets for good health, it is also worthwhile to know that certain common food items can be “toxic” to the body. According to the recent medical report published in the journal Appetite, the food items that people commonly crave for may also negatively impact one’s mental or cognitive abilities, which may also influence the chances of achieving good health. The report explained that craving is a unique experience that human beings undergo and this is largely based on specific physiologic reactions to particular items or diets that may or may not support good health. For example, some people crave for chocolate, whereas other long for tobacco or alcohol. The desire for a specific item may thus impart an uncomfortable feeling in an individual and in order to decrease this feeling, a person will engage in an activity to stop this craving. For those craving for tobacco, lighting a cigarette can prevent the increase in intensity of his or her craving. In the case of a craving for chocolates, grabbing a chocolate bar may stop the craving.
The recent medical report explained that it is unfortunate that most items that are usually craved for are not helpful in establishing good health, especially when one is engaged in counting calories to prevent weight gain. These items, such as chocolates, donuts, muffins, and cookies, are also generally not included in the daily diets because its constant presence will actually diminish that yearning for that particular food item or substance. Food craving may thus become a hindrance to those who are attempting to lose weight because consumption of these specific food items in regular diets may tip the scales when counting calories.
Good Health vs. Food Cravings
The medical report described the results generated from a study involving approximately 56 individuals who often experience food craving. Half of the study population was classified as high cravers, possibility a very strong urge for a specific food item, whereas the other half of the study group consisted of low cravers or those that experience a weaker level of food craving for a particular food. The study also involved asking the study participants to engage in simple tasks that may gauge one’s cognitive abilities, such as memory testing for items presented in pictures.
The results of the study showed that after consuming the item associated with their craving, the study participants were slower in their response to the memory test. In addition, the study participants also showed an increase in the mistakes in their answers to the cognitive tests, suggesting that consumption of food items commonly craved for negatively impacted their memory and mental processing capabilities.
The recent medical report is very interesting because it presents an additional effect of certain food items on another aspect of daily living. For years, we have simply equated counting calories as a way of directly controlling weight gain. Counting calories has thus helped millions of people in achieving good health, especially when diets are carefully monitored. However, this medical report has also showed that counting calories does not only help achieve good health but also prevents one’s mental activities to slow down. Based on the results of the recent medical report, food items should always be included when one engages in counting calories, especially if these may be “toxic” to both physical and mental health.