You are what you eat, so the saying goes, but it is very true. The food we eat affects us in so many ways, everything from our mood, health, even our complexion. This poses a serious problem in our society since we are constantly at war over what is right to eat. In the United States our diets have been effected by the influx of so many different cultures that we do not have a consistent diet. Many countries have a cultural diet that the population have grown used to and thus can live solely off without having their bodies go completely out of whack. In the U.S. we have German, French, British, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Canadian, and Basque foods to choose from and no cultural basis to fall back toward; unless you are a Native American.
How do any of these foods mess around with our bodies?
A lot of food that is immediately available for Americans to eat is fast food. Fast food has a lot of sodium in it because salt makes a great preservative. We really like stuff with salt in it because it tastes really good. The problem with having so much sodium is that we can have an extreme reaction to high doses of it. Amounts at these levels have also been linked to causing depression.
Trans-Fat is something that a lot of people are becoming aware exists. Trans-Fat is bad because it forces your body to create the bad kind of cholesterol (LDL) and this can lead to an increase in heart attack and stroke. There are two kinds of Trans-Fat, naturally occurring in the gut of some animals or the products made from them (Milk and meat products) and then there is a man-made version. The man made version is used in restaurants as a texture and flavor enhancer, and it is this fat that is killing people.
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on August 14, 2014