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Why Do We Eat?

Have you ever asked the question, “Why do we eat food?” Perhaps a response may come without hesitation,”To help us live.” Some others may say “It is fuel to give us energy,” or, “It satisfies hunger.” All of these responses are true, but when we consider food choices in our society, these responses seem to take a back seat to our current practices.

What dominates our diet is how we feel. It is like food is supposed to entertain our taste buds. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard teenagers say that they don’t feel like eating vegetables or they only want a donut before school starts. I have heard children tell their parents that they cannot eat vegetables because these foods make them feel sick. I also hear adults look at certain foods and declare that it looks “nasty” and they cannot eat it.

Unfortunately, foods loaded with vitamins, minerals and other ingredients vital to good health, fall on the “nasty” list. And foods that are calorie dense, refined and contain little nutrients are among the favorites.

I would like to propose three challenges to those who find themselves having feelings concerning food choices.

(1) Why not learn about healthy choices and find quick and delicious ways to prepare them? I tried to find out how many different kinds of vegetables that exist and most responders mention that there are thousands of them. One website commented that there are 4,000 varieties of tomatoes, so with numbers like this, it makes it difficult to count them. The point here is that there is an overwhelming number of healthy choices that are not on our radar. So here’s my challenge: What about exploring them? Find the ones that cook quick and taste delicious; then include them in your diet.

(2) Why not engage the mind and feelings to make healthy choices? Think through a plan and choose foods that deliver the ingredients the body needs to stay healthy. Think before biting into something you regret eating. I must confess that I do like cookies but I limit the amount I eat. My goal is to engage my mind when I feel like eating cookies, and perhaps choose one or two cookies, or none at all. So the challenge: Think and plan to include healthy choices in your diet every day.

(3) Why not pray and ask God to help you make healthy choices? There are several promises in the Bible that reminds us that God will help us. One of my favorites is Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (NLT). The challenge: Ask God to strengthen you to eat foods that help you live.

Engaging the mind and heart, and asking God for help, will give you a platform to include foods that support good health.

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

is a dietitian in Southern California.

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