Are You What You Eat?
Are You What You Eat?

Are You What You Eat?


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You may have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Those in the food industry understand the significance of food presentation. The visual and olfactory cues help create anticipation for the first bite. Food sustains life and can also place it at risk or contribute to your feeling ill if there is a health challenge. So often, people socialize over meals. When you share a meal, you can have opportunities to strengthen social bonds, encourage cultural exchanges, and add meaning to life’s achievements. (See PMC, 2021, “Well-Being and Cooking Behaviour: Using the Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment [PERMA] Model As A Theoretical Framework.”)

The food you consume dramatically impacts your overall health and well-being. Comprehending the connection between your emotions, eating patterns, and overall well-being is essential. Moreover, social gatherings often revolve around meals, but for some, food can become an external force they feel they cannot control. Negative emotions could trigger overeating, smoking, or other behaviours, leading to restricting intake and bingeing patterns. It can be tough to avoid certain foods due to allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. If you are experiencing confusion, breathing loudly, musculoskeletal pain, skin eruptions, or sneezing, you may have a food intolerance or sensitivity. Creating a menu plan and keeping a food journal can be helpful.

Negative Emotions

You might be bored, tired, angry, lonesome, or scared, contributing to negative feelings. Negative emotions may trigger overeating, drinking, smoking, over or under-exercise, working to excess, gambling or other behaviours. You might find that negative feelings and thoughts precede the behaviour. You may need to be careful about what you eat due to allergies, intolerances, and other health issues.

Food Impacts

Food can impact your body differently, from mild to severe reactions. Certain foods may be better or worse for you, depending on your health challenges, such as allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities. If you have diabetes or celiac disease, eating gluten could compromise your immunity and cause a complex inflammatory response. Mass production can make avoiding gluten and certain grains like wheat, semolina, and nuts difficult.

The boundaries between a food allergy, intolerance or sensitivity can be blurred when you experience confusion or disorientation, breathing loudly, musculoskeletal pain, skin eruptions, or sneezing. You may be lactose intolerant and unable to absorb these foods. Unfortunately, your reaction to the food you eat could give rise to an allergic reaction and, laboured breathing and hypotension if you inadvertently eat seafood or nuts. Suppose you are sensitive to certain foods, your immune system may be tested, and you notice your musculoskeletal and digestive systems become painful. In that case, your skin could have a rash, and you become disoriented. 

Healthy Eating

Hopefully, you can enjoy eating without it being an ordeal. Foods commonly found in a healthy diet include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy alternatives and more. Good nutrition is critical to robust health. If you eat more than you physically expend, you experience weight gain.

A combination of healthy exercise and diet can do wonders for your longevity. You may enjoy biking, canoeing, climbing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, jogging, skiing, snowshoeing, and keeping a healthy body weight. Eating in moderation reinforces healthy lifestyles. You are the expert on your body and how food affects it. Your unique understanding sets you apart from others who may have different levels of insight. Caveat – You may need to avoid some foods because of their potential risk to your health. However, you can learn more from others about their experience and knowledge and exercise the dignity of menu choice.


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Cultural capital is linked to verbal and written communications, including exchanging recipes and breaking bread at meals.

What Possible Steps to Take Next

You could talk with a dietitian or medical practitioner and think about the foods that suit you. Have you considered creating a food or menu plan? Keeping a food journal can help you identify reactions to certain foods over a few weeks. Be sure to note what you eat, when and where, and whether you were physically, cognitively, or emotionally stressed. While keeping a food journal can be time-consuming, creating a table or a proforma can help streamline optimizing your health through the food you eat.


PubMed Central (April 2021). Well-Being and Cooking Behaviour: Using the Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment [PERMA] Model As A Theoretical Framework.) 

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