Our modern day lives are a multifaceted compendium of exponentially evolving technology, social media, and even convenience food ingredients.
These daily parts of our lives are changing every aspect of our lives so rapidly that adjusting to them can be tough.
The most important question, however, is: how are technology, social media and the ever-changing ingredients in our food slowly killing us? The answer is: in a few ways.
While innovations in technology have improved the lives of nearly everyone, almost half of young adults are unable to imagine their lives without their smartphones or tablets. In an average day, 65 percent of American adults check their personal email on a constant basis. 52 percent of adults check their social media and text messages constantly.
Technology And Social Media
Use rates are swiftly climbing and in turn causing the associated anxiety, depression and stress rates to swiftly climb as well. While the social media platform of Facebook is the most commonly used platform for adults, children and teenagers have shifted their preference over to Instagram and Snapchat and around 76 percent of individuals in their teens use these all day long.
A recent study performed by researchers at Indiana University explored the idea that there is a so-called “friendship paradox.” The paradox is experienced by most social media users that leads one to believe their friends on social media are much happier and more popular than them. This belief leads to reduced happiness, social isolation, anxiety, and depression – which are at epidemic levels among young adults.
Increased Levels Of Depression
Lead to increased risk for suicidal ideation, and sadly actual incidents of suicide. In fact, teenagers who spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones or other devices are at a 72 percent higher risk for one of the suicide risk factors.
Heavy Smartphone And Other Electronic Device Usage
It Is also linked to higher instances of sleep disorders. The reason for the correlation is that the blue-light technology found in most smart devices negatively affects human melatonin levels and throws off our body’s circadian rhythms (also known as our body’s internal clock).
Many health experts believe that technology companies should carry warnings on all of their products and advertisements. Warnings should include language similar to warnings found on other addictive things like cigarettes and alcohol. One suggestion is “Don’t text, then try to sleep,” or “turn it off and get some sleep.” You get the idea.
Individuals need to get an average of seven to eight straight hours of deep, restful sleep in order to take full advantage of sleep’s restorative power and to avoid fatigue and sleep deprivation symptoms. Turning off electronic devices at least one hour before bed helps you take advantage of this important advice.
Your bedroom should be used for the purpose it is intended for: restful sleep. Participating in activities that promote healthy sleepiness are beneficial as well. Read a book or magazine, take a warm bath and maintain a cool enough temperature in your bedroom.
Increased Risk For Addiction
By means of self-medicating is another negative consequence associated with overconsumption of technology. Often, in an attempt to alleviate the mental health disorders produced by too much technology, people turn to drinking or using addictive substances.
The combination of drugs and alcohol with depression are a recipe for disaster.
Is yet another way some teenagers try to cope with mental health symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. Using methods like cutting or burning themselves, even without the intention of deliberately causing life threatening harm, accidental death does occur.
Dangerous And Reckless Behavior
In times of feeling hopeless, desperate, or angry, people are much less likely to take good care of themselves or to consider the consequences of their actions. Individuals suffering from depression often put themselves in high risk situations like drunk driving or having unprotected sex – both very reckless behaviors with often deadly consequences.
Toxic Food Ingredients
In an effort to provide fast, convenient, effortless food for the ever-busy consumer, food companies have been allowed to include harmful, even carcinogenic ingredients in our foods that are certainly but slowly killing us with diabetes, cancer, metabolic disorders, heart attacks, and the list goes on.
Here is a list of ten of those common ingredients. Check your package labels and avoid these foods to protect yourself from heart attacks, blood clots, high cholesterol, and cancer.
Palm, Corn And Soybean Oils
Trans fats are formed when regular fats like palm, corn, or soybean oils are hydrogen blasted and transformed into a solid.
These anti-nutrient toxic substances are used to keep packaged foods “fresh”, which means foods containing these ingredients sit on your supermarket shelves for years without ever going stale or rotting. Foods containing trans fats raise your “bad” (or LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and lower your “good” (or HDL) cholesterol.
These toxins also dramatically increase your risk of heart attacks and blood clots. It’s best to avoid these and other trans fats like the plague. Avoid all fried foods as well, as these oils are used commonly in preparing these foods.
Shortening Or Partially Hydrogenated Oils
In addition to clogging up your arteries and being one of the leading causes of obesity, foods that contain shortening or partially hydrogenated oils increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Instead of consuming foods containing either of these ingredients, choose healthier fats that are monounsaturated like peanut, canola and olive oils. Foods that contain omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids are your best bet.
Bread, Pasta, Rice And White Flour
Nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and minerals are all sucked out when bran and germ are removed in whole grain refinement. Because these crucial ingredients are stripped out, the grains become devoid of nutrients and fiber and become way too easy for your body to digest.
The result is skyrocketing insulin and blood sugar, which both lead to a plethora of issues. Replace your white flower and processed grain food with whole grains, brown rice, wild rice, whole-wheat or multigrain bread, pasta, oatmeal and barley.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Quite possibly the most dangerous of all toxic foods is high fructose corn syrup. While the overall amount of refined sugar Americans consume has successfully declined in the past 40 years, unfortunately we’re now consuming almost 20 times more High Fructose Corn Syrup.
In fact, more calories are consumed from High Fructose Corn Syrup than from any other source – and it is contained in FAR too many foods and drinks that we consume and give our children. High Fructose Corn Syrup increases triglycerides, boosts your body’s fat-storing hormones and drive your brain to overeat and gain significant weight.
Adopting a zero-tolerance policy for this poison is the best road you can take.
Artificial “Diet” Sweeteners
Supposedly “diet-friendly,” ingredients like saccharin (Sweet’N Low), Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal), and even sucralose (Splenda) are thought to be even harder on your body’s metabolic systems than just plain old sugar. Studies show that these artificial sweeteners trick your brain into forgetting that sweeter foods usually mean more calories, driving you to continue eating sweets without concern.
Potassium Benzoate And Sodium Benzoate
Dangerous levels of the known carcinogen benzene build up when plastic bottles of soda are exposed to excess heat, or when benzene is combined with vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Benzene is sometimes added to soda to prevent mold growth but it is also linked to cancer and serious damage to your thyroid. Seriously, soda is just not worth the risk.
Yellow, Red, Blue And Green Dyes
Artificial colors have been linked to cancers of the brain, kidneys, adrenal glands, and thyroid. Always look for foods containing the fewest artificial chemicals. These dyes are found far too often in food marketed to children and are by far the most dire.
Monosodium glutamate is a so called “flavor enhancer” that seriously screw with your brain chemistry. Commonly found in processed foods, they are separated from natural host proteins through hydrolysis. Stay safe and use natural flavors to enhance your foods.
Sodium Nitrates And Sodium Nitrites
While similar in name, these two separate and different preservatives are commonly found in popular processed meats including hot dogs, processed lunch meats and bacon. Found on the top of the list of worst offenders, Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites are linked to colon cancer, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Protect your body by always consuming only fresh, organic meats.
In conclusion, while the modern conveniences we have today in both technology and ready to eat foods are time savers, and make our lives seem easier in the short term, are they really worth shortening our lives in the long term?
Adopting a healthier lifestyle begins by making simple, small, changes each day until the new beneficial habits become the norm. You’ll find that you breathe better, sleep better, and feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Before you know it, you’ll stop feeling deprived and begin to feel grateful for the benefits you’ll see soon after you’ve adopted a better lifestyle.