The Happy Wellness Room
The science is clear: diets of all peoples around the world should include more whole foods, less added salt and sugar, less processed foods, and more fiber (WHO, 2020). Nutritional wellness means the body receives all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs in order to function, and the body gets these nutrients through our food choices. Failing to receive proper nutrition means our bodies cannot function properly. Kobylinska, et al., (2022) defines malnutrition as “a state of the body in which due to insufficient supply or incorrect absorption of essential nutrients, the body composition changes and the body’s functions are impaired.” Impaired body function is the primary cause of most illness and disease. If we don’t nourish our bodies, they will eventually turn on us.
The modern convenience age has seen many inventions that make life easier and simpler, but the commercialization and industrialization of foods combined with the convenience of prepackaged, ready-to-eat food products has created a quickly approaching health nightmare. UPFs (ultra-processed foods) are foods that have been altered so heavily from their original form that they are no longer real food, and the human body knows the difference. One snack cake isn't likely to cause negative health outcomes, but the long-term habit of grab-and-go food certainly can. There is direct correlation from long-term consumption of UPFs to negative health outcomes (Gropper, 2023). Those who consume high amounts of UPFs are at increased risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, coronary heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, digestive illness and disease, cancer, inflammation, obesity, asthma and wheezing, frailty, and metabolic syndrome (Chen et al., 2020, Abstract).