Cut Back on Foods That are High in Sugar and Fat

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

How often do we tell ourselves that we’re going to cut back on unhealthy foods? Whether we say that we’re not going to eat any more greasy, fatty, fast foods, or that we’ll stay away from indulging in sugary desserts, eating healthfully is such an easy goal to set, but a hard one to attain. Often, we attribute it to a lack of willpower, however, it also has to do with what happens to our brains when we eat these foods. While it may make it harder to cut back, it isn’t impossible.

According to registered dietician LeeAnn Weintraub, consuming more high-fat and high-sugar foods causes more brain activity that is responsible for reward and motivation. This is how our brains begin to learn to prefer foods that are high in fat and sugar, causing cravings for these kinds of foods.

In addition to causing our brains to learn to crave these kinds of foods, regular consumption of them can also lead to a diet that is lacking in proper nutrients and leave you more susceptible to health conditions such as high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver.

Just because it is hard to cut back on your consumption of fatty or sugary foods doesn’t mean that it is entirely impossible. Some simple changes you make when it comes to your food can lead to some big results. Consider drinking water rather than sodas or juices, bake and grill foods instead of frying them, use fruit to sweeten foods rather than sugar, pay attention to the nutrition labels, and keep track of what you eat in a day.

Cutting back on these unhealthy foods doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy great-tasting foods! Arizona agriculture produces lots of great-tasting, nutritious foods such as meat products, vegetables, fruits, and more! Check out the Fill Your Plate website for more information on where to buy locally-grown products!

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