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Modern Western Diet & Sugar Leads To Obesity

Obesity is nothing but excess of body weight caused due to overeating, overconsumption of calories and lack of physical activity. Stress, genetics, toxins and side effects of medications can also lead to obesity. India ranks third when it comes to obesity among all countries and has around 30 million people suffering from obesity. One in five men and women are considered obese. The amount of body fat can be measured by using your weight and height. This is called body mass index. For people whose BMI lies in the range of 25 to 29.9, they referred as overweight. For people whose BMI is greater than 30, they are referred as obese. Obesity is contagious. Our social life affects our health more than in any way. If our friend is obese, it is likely for us to be obese. Obesity causes premature aging and death due to increased risk of heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.

Causes of obesity

  • Eating foods which are high in calories or have concentrated form of calories. Vegetable oils, processed foods are rich in calories. It is a very common saying - “The fat you eat is the fat you wear”.

  • People go for low carbohydrate and low fat diet. Often people are mistaken that starch intake makes you fat but it is necessary for energy. The carbohydrate in starches keeps your stomach full for a long period of time and reduces the generation of toxic hunger and thus avoids overeating.

  • Lack of physical activity is again an important reason for obesity or fat buildup.

How does sugar or sugary drinks leads to obesity?

Sugary drinks includes all the beverages like milk shakes, soft drinks, energy drinks and even the fruit juices. They are highly processed and have tons of sugar added to them. It increases the risk of diabetes, obesity and cancer. Even caffeine which is present in such drinks increases the risk of high blood pressure. Diet soda increases the risk of diabetes more than sugar sweetened sodas as they have artificial sweeteners which are more addictive. Artificial sweeteners are around 100 to 1000 times sweeter than regular table sugar. They increase the insulin fat storage hormone and causes belly fat, decreases the metabolism, increases sugar cravings and thus increases the body weight and leads to obesity along with diabetes and heart diseases. The food industry has caught hold of our taste buds and keeps on modifying them with increased sugar levels.

How does plant based nutrition dense diet reverses obesity?

A plant based nutrition dense diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes. One can eat as much as they want because they are very low in calories as compared to modern western diet. These foods have no cholesterol, additives and preservatives. Rather they have lots of fiber and are also low in sodium which helps in burning of fat easily. Consuming squash, white potatoes, corn, rice, green and yellow vegetables, like wax beans, asparagus, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and onions are very effective for weight loss. Nuts and seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are also very effective for treating obesity. One can also incorporate use of essential oils internally like grapefruit oil around 2 drops and cinnamon oil around 1 drop. Plant based nutrition dense diet helps in balancing the hormones and neurotransmitters in our body thus, provides proper signals to our brain when we are hungry.

Take home message

  • Obesity is caused due to over eating of foods which are high in calorific value. It is associated with many other health complications

  • When a person’s BMI is greater than 30, he is referred as obese. For a women whose waist size is greater than 35 inches and for men whose waist size is greater than 40 inches, they are also considered obese.

  • Sugar is the main culprit of all diseases. It causes storage of fat in our body, leading to development of visceral fat.

  • Plant based nutrition dense diet are low in calorific value and sodium, has no cholesterol and high in protein and fiber thus, helps in fighting against obesity.