If given the chance to jot down a couple of things that scares the crap out of people in this age and era, it would be safe to say that clean eating would make it somewhere close to the top of the list. Moreover, it does not come as a surprise to the health experts and professionals seeing the monstrous rise of the consumption of fast food in the 21st Century, where everything but organic has becomes increasingly affordable.
Nutrition is defined as the process of nourishing or being nourished, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for the growth and for the replacement of tissues. The nutrients that are essentials are the one that the body cannot synthesize on its own and thus requires them in an adequate amount in their daily diet consumption. These essential nutrients divide into six categories that includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, mineral and water. For a healthier and a happier life, a balanced diet with all the six essential nutrients should constitute one’s daily food intake.
A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet refers to the one that gives our body the required nutrients that it needs to function properly and correctly. This would mean inculcating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
In order to obtain the essential nutrients from our diet, it is advisable to score the majority of our daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean proteins. Moreover, what are calories you may ask? Well in simple terms, the number of calories in a food is a measurement of the amount of energy stored in the food. Your body burns calories in the simplest of activities such as walking, thinking, breathing, sleeping etc. On an average, a person needs to consume about 2000 calories in order to maintain his/her body weight. However so, a person’s specific daily calorie intake may vary depending on their age, gender and physical activity level. Nevertheless, on the basis on comparison, Men generally, burn and use up calories more than women do, and a person who exercises needs to consumes more calories than a person who does not exercise.
Benefits of Healthy Eating Habits
A healthy eating habit contributes to the betterment of one’s physical, emotional, and mental health. These habits are also responsible for drastically improving one’s overall well being. Not only does organic make you look and feel better, it can also save you the money on future health costs.
Following a healthy diet includes choosing and consuming plenty of lean meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. Eating well also means excluding empty calories most often found in artificial beverages, processed snacks, saturated fats, added sugars and sodium. Sneaking a few more nutrients-packed foods into your diet has plenty of advantages such as:
- Increased productivity
- Controls and regulates Body weight
- Improves mood
- Combats deadly diseases
- Increases longevity
However, adapting a healthier lifestyle and breaking out of bad habits is difficult, but in the end, it is all worth the effort. In addition, it takes small changes over time that yields bigger payoff. Start small, slow, and set achievable goals for each day that will end up translating into long-term results.
What actually goes in: The hard truth
With the emerging advancements in technology, knowledge about healthy Habits about social and networking media has been circulating and gaining momentum for the past couple of years. However, this does not eliminate the factor of the ever-rising consumption of fast food that sees no chances of lessening under the following circumstances. According to statistics:
- An average American spends about $1200 annually of fast foods. Breaking it down, that’s about $100 per month spent on fast food alone.
- Around 28% of Americans finds themselves guilty of grabbing fast foods about once a week; 3% at least once a day.
- 57% of Americans aged from 18 to 29 have fast foods about once a week.
- Americans consume 31% more packaged foods than fresh foods.
- It is estimated that about 550 million Big Macs are sold each year in the US alone. That’s about one each 17 seconds. A Big Mac is guilty of carrying 257 calories each.
These shocking statistics alone narrate to us the current situation and rate at which fast food is being consumed on a daily basis. The industry flourishes and there is no stopping unless affording organic food choices becomes an option.
Dealing with the deadly: A consequence
While ordering take-outs on special occasions and celebratory night’s at-least once a month seems all fine and dandy, developing a nasty habit of eating out regularly can be detrimental to one’s physical, emotional and mental health. Most fast foods, including artificial beverages and sidelines, are loaded to carbohydrates and added sugars with close to little or no fibers in them. When this food is broken down in the digestive tract, it releases glucose into the bloodstream. As a result, your blood sugar level increases and the insulin released causes the extra sugar to be converted into glycogen which is stored in various parts around the body, leading to obesity. Moreover, the increased frequency of spiked up blood sugar levels may cause body’s normal insulin response to fluctuate. This increases the risk of weight gain, insulin resistance, type 2-diabetes and is even responsible for triggering Acne.
Fast food also contains a high amount of trans fat and sodium which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the consumer. High amount of sodium can cause Water Retention, which is why after having a large meal, you may feel puffy and bloated. Sodium also elevates blood pressure and puts stress on the heart and the cardiovascular system.
According to one study, children and adolescents who consume fast foods at least three times a week are more likely to develop eczema.
Added sugars and Carbs in processed foods can increases the acids in your mouth. These acids can cause the breakdown of tooth enamel, which makes the teeth susceptible to bacteria, and in turn, cavities.
Results in a recent survey also concluded that people who consume fast foods are 51% more likely to have depression than people who do not eat those foods or eat only on rare occasions.