Virginal Woolf said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.” Food is an essential part of everyone’s life. It gives us the energy and nutrients to grow and develop, be healthy and active, to move, work, play, think and learn. Choosing the right foods is very important and not always easy. Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids are not only super healthy, but can also increase happiness, lessen symptoms of depression, and quell anxiety. However, the custom of eating junk food in many is expanding day by day and making our future sorrowful and diseased particularly our future generation.

I made my choice to eat healthy foods instead of junk food two years ago and I feel much better now. I believe that eating healthy food is the key to a healthy lifestyle. There are multiple reasons for choosing healthy foods instead of junk food. Making the right choices now will help prevent problems in the future.  Growing up in Ukraine, I ate a lot of traditional foods. One of my most likely traditional meal is borsch. It is a healthy soup that includes cabbage, meat, beetroot, potatoes, carrots, and sometimes legumes.

And most of these ingredients were grown in our own garden in a backyard. Other my favorite dish is vareniki. Vareniki are kind of ravioli with different stuffing, for example, cabbage, mushroom, potato, raspberries, cherries. In Ukraine, my diet was pretty healthy and based on the plentiful grains and staple vegetables grown in the garden. My “junk food” allowance was when I would go buy bread at the bakery on Saturday mornings and spend the “change” (10 cents) on sweets.

 I didn’t grow up with drive-through fast food, to-go food containers, or frozen meals; we didn’t have them back then in Ukraine. I was a healthy kid, average weight, and height.  I moved to the United States in my early teens.

My first day in America, my mother ordered a pizza. I remember taking my first bite into a pizza that tasted heavenly. Pizza felt like a whole new world compared to the food my grandmother cooked for me in Ukraine.  Growing up with my grandparents I always ate Ukranian dishes and nothing American.  I do enjoy my cultural food from my ethnicity, however, when I took the first bite of that pizza it was a taste that I was never going to forget. While my mom still cooked all of our traditional meals in the USA, I became more aware of the food choices outside of my home environment.

 Later instead of eating at my house, I started to eat snacks and other food more with my friends whenever we met up together. I was immediately drawn to all things American snacks, the abundance of convenience foods, and their accessibility. Needless to say, I wanted to try all things “American food” and I gained 11lbs the first couple months I was here.  Moreover, I developed food allergies and started to have digestive issues. When my skin covered in acne, I felt so disgusted with myself; I became terrified of being an outcast and being made fun of how ugly I looked. So, I decided to change my diet in order to lose all the excess weight, get rid of the acne and improve my health.

  Junk foods taste great that is the reason why it is for the most part enjoyed by everybody of all ages.  According to the research by scientists, it has been found that junk foods have negative effects on the health in many ways. Processed and junk foods are the methods of fast and unhealthy weight gain and negatively impact the entire body throughout the life. Fast food can cause us a lot of bad diseases like obesity and high blood pressure. Statistics show that more than 190 million in the American population is obese and the diseases that are related to obesity costs 147 billion dollars every year (Doane).

 A good idea to prevent obesity is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise daily to use up the energy that we consume. The role of healthy food in a person’s life cannot be overstated. When I started paying more attention to my diet, I started to feel better.  I lost inches in my waist. My acne disappeared and my skin started to glow. I had more energy and I slept more peacefully.

I also notice that my thoughts were more positive and my mind was sharper. Almost all our health problems originate from the inability or unwillingness to organize regular diet. Therefore, a healthy diet every day is one of the key factors in a healthy and active lifestyle.  Now, I am trying to maintain a proper balance diet, exercise every day, and avoid harmful habits.  Since adopting a healthy lifestyle, my idea of comfort food has changed drastically. Back in the day, comfort food meant macaroni and cheese, giant calzones or pizza, milkshakes, cheesy lasagna, fries dipped in mayo.

 Now, I’m more likely to reach for a giant bowl of broccoli, black beans and rice with guacamole, roasted sweet potatoes, oatmeal or yogurt and granola when I crave “comfort food.” Before, I dealt with stomach issues, stress, anxiety, and overall malaise. Today, I feel healthier than ever, with more energy and optimism than I had even two years ago.  Eating healthy food is very important because it prevents weight gain and diseases, and improves your appearance and your mental health. According to an article called, “How Your Diet Affects Your Skin” by Susan Bowerman, a director of nutrition training, the condition of your skin really reflects what you put in your body, and a healthy diet is really an “inside-out” approach to healthy skin. Bowerman claims that “A diet that consistently delivers a high load of refined carbohydrates into your system can promote mild, chronic inflammation throughout your blood, including skin problems like pimples and acne.” On the other hand, the healthy diet combined with regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases and disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

 According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of all cases of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes could be prevented if people ate healthier, were more physically active and stopped using tobacco. Everyone should attempt to eat well and take part in physical activity. Healthy eating habits are beneficial for all; whether you’re overweight, underweight or at a healthy weight. Simple changes in diet can make a major impact on a person’s well-being. Eat right, and results will not keep you waiting! 

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