A meal at a drive-thru restaurant or ordering from a fast-food joint should be considered a treat, not a staple. Many Americans are eating far more take-out and fast food than they should. It has been found that nearly 40% of Americans eat fast food on a regular basis, and as many as a quarter, eat it daily. In Texas and other southern states, the number is considerable higher.
Although fast food is convenient, regular consumption of this type of food can have a serious impact on your health. We will be discussing the health risks associated with fast food consumption, and the benefits of a healthy diet.
Maintaining your body in top shape will keep you away from many diseases that could easily be prevented if your body is healthy. Keeping your body fit will not only give you more energy but it will also improve your mood. Healthy eating habit is very important in preventing heart disease and some other dangerous diseases. Continuous and regular exercise strengthens the bones, keeps the skin fresh, teeth and eyes intact, and supports healthy growth of muscles.
Fast food and your health
Here are some effects of regular fast food consumption on your body.
- High Cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease and strokes. Fast food is often high in fats and greases, which can increase the risk of developing this condition. Two of the most risk factors for stroke and heart disease are high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Obesity. Over 32.5% Americans are obese. Many fast food items contain excessive amounts of calories. You might think that you eat a healthy diet, but you could be eating too many calories.
- Depression. Studies show that fast food and processed foods can increase your chances of developing depression.
These are just some of the serious health risks associated with regular fast food consumption.
Healthy eating habits can have many benefits
You now know how unhealthy fast food is. The list of benefits of healthy eating may seem too many to believe but you can only imagine how it will help you improve your health condition. Here are the main benefits of healthy eating.
- Weight loss. If you’re slightly overweight, you can eat healthier to lose weight. You may notice a drop in weight when you eat more vegetables and fruits rather than processed and fast food.
- Lower cancer risk. Obesity and unhealthy eating habits have been associated with an increase in cancer risk. A diet high in fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer.
- Heart health and strokes The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada estimates that up to 80 percent of strokes and premature heart disease can be prevented by lifestyle changes and eating better.
- Save Energy – Save Money. Few things in life impact our environment as much as the way we consume. A poor diet, one high in meat and processed food has hidden energy use all along the supply chain. By eating whole, locally sourced foods, you will consume less electricity and natural gas, even if you notice a rise in your home energy costs. The savings will come up and down the supply chain. You have the power to choose the provider of your utility if you reside in an unregulated state like Texas or Georgia. This is not something that should be done lightly. Selecting a provider that has the lowest price, and a plan that is compatible with your energy requirements can save you significant amounts of money each month, reducing the cost of your energy and adding to your annual budget.
- Mood. Research has shown that diet and mood can positively impact your mood. Healthy eating can make you feel better mentally as well as physically.
- Sleep better. Sleep apnea is caused by obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and unhealthy eating habits. This apnea is linked to all kinds of health issues, and can drastically reduce your life expectancy. You may notice a shift in your sleeping patterns if you make dietary changes.
However, these are only a few of the benefits of eating less fast food, and regularly eating healthy food.
Here are some tips to help you eat healthier.
Cook at home.
Cooking from scratch can save you hundreds of bucks and give you complete control over what you put in your body.Once you begin cooking at home, you will find many tools that will help you make healthy meals. Air fryers are a great way to cook healthier. They can fry nearly any type of food without oil. It is also more efficient than other cooking appliances, which can help you save money on your Centerpoint electricity bill.
Reduce your meat intake
Red meats, in particular, have high levels of fat. Excessive consumption of red meat has been associated with high cholesterol and heart disease. It will be good for the environment and your health, as well as for your own health.