Have you ever wondered how food affects your body? Or what
types of food can enhance your performance in sports?
Health educator Deanna Larson addressed those questions for
HPU students Feb. 13 at the windward campus in a program sponsored
by HPU Athletics and First-Year Programs.
Larson grew up always having junk food available, creating
bad eating habits that she carried when she went off to college.
However, when visiting home from college, she found that her
father was showing early signs of cancer in his esophagus.
I realized that my dad was taking 14 prescriptions for things
like high blood pressure, acid reflex, and cholesterol,” said
Larson. When she realized that her father would die if he missed
a dose of his various medicines, she devoted her time to studying
nutrition to help improve her father’s health.
Larson addressed the media’s influence on the public’s
view of body image.
Models are not perfect,” Larson said. “It’s
the makeup, it’s a great program and a good computer
that make them look perfect.” Larson wants everyone to
realize that, in the media, “good-looking people are
selling crappy food” for the body.
Larson warned that foods labeled “fat-free” are
worse than the original products.
Many fat free foods are made with olestra, which is fake fat,” Larson
said, that depletes essential nutrients for the body and creates
According to statistics taken in 2000, Larson said, “35
percent of all Americans were overweight and many went on diets
to achieve a certain body figure or image.” she added: “95
percent of diets fail because many can’t keep the weight
off.” Diets are dangerous, Larson added. they lead some
people to develop health problems. Roe Gallo, a health author
and friend of Larson has said that skinny does not mean healthy.
Many believe that milk builds strong bones by providing calcium.
They are wrong about the strong bones, Larson said, and there
are healthier sources of calcium: raw nuts, raw seeds, oranges,
Calcium takers” are foods or habits that deplete calcium
from the body. “Smoking, excess salt, caffeine, soda,
and animal protein are calcium takers,” Larson said.
If you want salt on your foods,” she added, “Celtic
sea salt is a healthier substitute.”
For milk lovers, healthier alternatives include soymilk, rice
milk, oat milk, and almond milk.
Soda is dangerous
Diet soda is worse that regular soda,” Larson said. She
referred to research by a college in Texas that found that
soda is an appetite enhancer. Larson pointed out that many
diet sodas contain aspartame, an artificial sweeter, that is
toxic to the body and linked to problems ranging from Multiple
Sclerosis to neurological damage.
Soda also contains phosphoric acid, Larson said, which causes
tooth decay and calcium depletion. Students were surprised
to learn that soda is a great substance for cleaning:
Phosphoric acid is known to eat grease,” she said. “Put
soda in the toilet bowl and let it sit for a while. The acid
eats away the dirty [substances] in the toilet bowl,” Larson
She suggested that water, green tea, and juices are better
for us. The best water is Aquafina, she said, ironically bottled
by the Coca-Cola Company.
Larson especially wanted to get one myth cleared up: animal
protein is not that essential to building muscles, and many
protein supplements pass through the body with causing any
results. The best animal protein is fish, and the best fish
is salmon, tilapia, and sardines.
Athletes should avoid protein shake supplements, Larson said
because theymay have a negative effect on the kidneys and liver.
Healthy protein powders, Larson recommends are rice protein-based
and made by Nativa.
Finally, Larson advised students to eat more than one meal
a day. “Everyone should have six fists-full of food a
day,” said Larson. With only one meal a day, she explained,
the body holds stores food as fat because it does not know
when it will next receive food. With multiple meals, the body
processes its food.
I thought that it was highly informative,” said Ray Anthony
Mendoza, a sophomore nursing student. “Its great to know
the significance of food and how it affects the body.”
For more information, visit gotohealth.com.