Why eating a varied diet is so important
Limiting your daily diet only to the food you love may have severe consequences for your well-being!
Humans can become easily addicted to a particular food, even without possessing an addictive personality. When we find something that just "hits the spot" - it's hard to let it go. Some meals can be so incredibly delicious, that you could literally eat only them from dusk to dawn, 365 days a year. While this looks fine on the surface, since you're eating and not starving yourself, there's a bubbling issue below, which I'll try to explain here with a few examples.
From chips to blindness
A teenage boy has become blind after living on a diet of Pringles, fries, plain white bread, and occasional processed meat. The boy from Bristol, England, first began experiencing health problems at 14 years old. He began to suffer problems with his hearing, for which he and his family sought medical treatment. Poor vitamin intake due to his diet was quickly identified as the problem.
And no wonder - his diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day. He also used to snack on crisps - Pringles - and sometimes slices of white bread, and occasional slices of ham, and not really any fruit and vegetables. The boy, described as a "fussy eater" by doctors but otherwise well, was given supplements and advice on how to improve his diet.
Against medical advice, he did not continue with his supplements and did not change his diet. Three years later, he returned to the doctor, this time for a sudden loss of vision. The teenager has been diagnosed with nutritional optic neuropathy, which means his optic nerve had suffered damage due to a lack of supportive nutrients.
The notably absent vitamin B12 in his diet was pointed out as the reason for his rapidly deteriorating condition. He was diagnosed with the most severe form of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can cause various other conditions as well. The vitamin, found mainly in fish, meat, dairy and eggs is crucial for brain function as well as forming red blood cells, new DNA, proteins, hormones, and fats.
If nutritional optic neuropathy is caught early enough, it can be treated. However the teenager's eyesight had deteriorated very quickly, according to his mother, and nobody had spotted any other obvious signs of poor health. Despite his outward signs of good health, he was severely malnourished and had suffered a loss of minerals in his bones, and referred to mental health services for his eating disorder. His optic nerve damage was permanent.
From chicken breasts to breasts
You must have heard many times that the chicken you love eating has been pumped with steroids for more flesh and must have been warned by unsolicited social media posts to avoid eating at places which serve such chicken. But have you ever given a thought as to what would happen if you ate such artificially grown chicken?
Well, the science of those claims has been peer-reviewed and if you are a man, you could grow breasts. According to reports, a 26-year-old Chinese man grew breasts because of the hormones in his fried chicken meals, according his doctors. The man loved eating chicken breasts, fried chicken wings and drumsticks. In fact, he would barely eat anything else to balance his diet. One day he noticed that his chest was getting larger and larger as time passed. His doctors told him that he was growing breasts because of the hormones in his near-exclusive chicken diet and advised him to cut down on this and eat more vegetables, and fruits.
The imbalance of hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone in a male body leads to the enlargements of breast tissue in men and causes a condition called Gynecomastia and is surprisingly common. Nowadays, many poultry products such as fast-food chicken servings are full of hormones which can lead to breast enlargement in men. These growth hormones boost cell division in the body and cause the mammary gland and the surrounding tissue to grow. The same hormonal imbalance in women can lead to excessive growth of hair on the face, chin or other parts of the body, acne on the face, chest or upper back.
Gynecomastia is a serious condition that is extremely difficult to be reversed with medications and often the only way is a surgical intervention. It can also lead to tumours in both men and women, so read this carefully, John Coleman, and slow right down on those nuggets! Fortunately the man underwent a successful treatment and changed his daily diet for good.
With the increasing amount of fashionable, tasty and almost always unhealthy meals all around us, it's difficult to maintain a balanced diet. Most of these meals are designed to hit your brain's reward centre in order to simulate the pleasure of actually eating a good food, so you would be hard-wired to want more at some point.
More on that later in a separate article, but we have to draw a conclusion here. Be diverse in your daily, don't limit your food intake only to the things you love, because your body and your brain require a little bit of everything to function properly. Also apparently you are what you eat, or so I've heard. You don't wanna be just one thing, do you?! Be more and stay healthy by eating diversely!