Health conscious consumers tend to visit grocery stores at least once a week. On any given day, the lines at the grocery stores would be long and unbearable. Consumers would purchase the more expensive lean cuts of meats, vine ripened organic tomatoes and vegetables and the sweetest in and out of season produce. When the market dropped, people lost their jobs, lost their homes and became frugal with every dollar. Consumers could no longer afford the healthier diets in their everyday lifestyles. Fast food restaurants took the place of lunch bags filled with healthy lunch choices. Curbside pickup and drive through restaurants became a staple for dinnertime because it was cheaper to buy unhealthy, high sodium ready-made foods than to purchase and prepare healthy home cooked meals. Eating a healthy diet and incorporating exercises into our daily lifestyles will help consumers facing obesity, lethargy and long-term health problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Unhealthy eating habits can be detrimental to the human body. Excessive salt in foods can cause a condition known as hypertension. Excessive salt in consumers with hypertension will cause the body to react by sweating profusely, swelling in the feet and hands, and headaches when pressure builds up in the body. A typical normal blood pressure reading is 120 systolic (the blood pressure when the heart muscle contracts) over 80 diastolic (the blood pressure when the heart is relaxed). Severe high blood pressure could be a reading as high as 230 systolic over 150 diastolic. A reading at this level could result in cardio-vascular disease, kidney disease, heart attack, stroke and death. Uncontrolled high blood pressure readings may require regulation with prescription medication but may also be treated by eating healthy foods high in calcium, magnesium and potassium such as bananas, broccoli, fish, apples and avocados.
Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that circulates in the blood and made by the liver. The body makes some cholesterol on its own. Consumers may also get cholesterol by eating animal products such as whole foods, eggs, fish, meat, butter, cheese and whole milk. Fruits or vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and does not contain cholesterol. Foods containing fiber can reduce blood cholesterol levels and provides a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Bodies require cholesterol to help the brain, skin and other organs and function in the body. Unhealthy eating of foods high in fat will raise the level of cholesterol in the body. If you have too much cholesterol in your body, it can collect on the blood vessel walls, causing the vessels to narrow. Over time, narrowing will clog the blood vessel causing a heart attack or stroke. Healthy eating habits will keep blood flowing in and out of the vital organ needed to sustain life, the heart.
Unhealthy eating overweight consumers stand a greater chance of developing diabetes and being made to take injections every day for the rest of their life. Diabetes is a defect in the body that causes the body not to produce glucose (sugar) to energy. Diabetes is developed when the body fails to produce glucose. Donatelle (2011) stated, “Physicians suggest exercise combined with weight loss and healthy diet to prevent diabetes” (p.330). Diabetes is a life-long condition and the best maintenance is prevention by maintaining a healthy diet.
Healthy diets and lifestyles can help consumers live a long and happy life. Every day consumers should take one complete multi-vitamin specifically designed for their body type. The human body requires a certain amount of vitamins and minerals every day as noted on the US Food Guide Pyramid. Visit your local drug store and ask the pharmacist which vitamin offers the daily value needed, during your next visit to your family physician inquire which vitamins your body requires. Eating foods rich in vitamins and