The word healthy is overused. You may hear a person say, “No, I’m not going on a diet. I’m just trying to eat healthier,” but what do they mean? Do they mean that they will walk right by the dessert table in the dining commons without stopping to pick something up? Do they mean they will switch to diet soda instead of regular? What is often overlooked is the fact that the way we use the word healthy has become so casual that not much thought is given when it is spoken.
Yes, the banana that you pick up is “healthy,” but what does that really mean? To some, it may mean that it’s a better alternative to the triple chocolate cake, but it’s so much more than that. The banana is a fresh piece of nature that is packed with potassium and vitamin C. It is pure and unprocessed. A better choice by far, but it is described as merely “healthy,” a word that is starting to lose its value.
If being “healthier” is a goal of yours, maybe it is time to start thinking about the way you eat in different terms. Don’t think of the water you choose to drink over soda as simply healthier. Instead, remember that soda not only contains the majority of your sugar intake for the day, but that the acid in it can take its toll on your teeth over time. Think of the water as the best form of hydration for your body that has no negative side effects.
Changing the way you think of things that you consider healthy and unhealthy will cause you to realize what you are putting into your body. Don’t focus on whether your food is healthy or not, focus on what is inside and how your body will benefit from what you are eating. After the nutritional value has been thought about, your body will thank you. Our bodies are craving food that is more than just healthy. They want food that will better us. Ceasing the casual use of the word healthy will help you realize how much certain foods are better over others by their actual value, not just by labeling them as healthy or unhealthy.
Jean Donaldson is a freshman biology major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column reflects the views of the writer only.