Having a meal from the drive-thru or ordering from your favorite fast-food restaurant should be a one-off treat. However, many Americans are eating more fast food and takeaways than they should. In fact, it has been estimated that nearly 37% of Americans consume fast food regularly.
However, although fast food can be convenient, eating this sort of food regularly can severely impact your health. Below, we will take a look at some of the health issues that regular consumption of fast food can cause, as well as some of the benefits a healthy diet can lead to.
Fast food and your health
Here are some of the effects that the regular consumption of fast food can have on your body:
- Heart disease/strokes: fast food usually contains a lot of fat and grease, which can cause high cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol and higher blood pressure are two of the top risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
- Weight gain: in America, over 32.5% of people are considered obese. Fast food often contains extortionate amounts of calories. Even though you might think you are eating relatively healthy, you might be underestimating the number of calories you are consuming.
- Depression: Studies have shown that eating fast food and processed food may increase your risk of depression.
These are just a few of the serious risks that regular consumption of fast food can bring.
Benefits of eating a healthy diet
Now that you know just how dangerous fast food, here are some of the main benefits that healthy eating has to offer:
- Weight loss: if you are slightly overweight, eating more healthily can help you lose weight. Vegetables and fruits have much less calories than fast and processed food, so you may start to notice that you are shedding a few pounds when you start eating healthy.
- Reduced cancer risk: obesity and unhealthy diets have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may help protect cancer.
- Improves heart health and prevents strokes: According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, up to 80 percent of cases of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented by making lifestyle changes and eating healthier.
- Better mood: emerging studies have suggested that there is a link between mood and diet. Eating healthier can not only make you feel more physically well, but it can also make you feel more revitalized and less sluggish, which is certain to boost your mood.
- Can help you sleep better: sleep apnea can be caused by obesity, alcohol consumption and an unhealthy diet. If you change your diet, you may notice a change in your sleeping pattern for the better.
Now you know the risks associated with a bad diet and some of the benefits of healthy eating, here are some ways you can start eating healthier:
- Start cooking from scratch: cooking from scratch will not only save you hundreds of dollars over time, but it will also make sure you know exactly what is going into your body.
- Buy products that make eating healthy easier: once you start cooking from home, there are plenty of tools that can help you create healthy meals. An air fryer is probably the easiest way to cook healthier, as it can fry almost every kind of food without the oil. Moreover, it is more energy efficient than many other cooking appliances, which could help you save money on your Centerpoint energy bill.
- Cut down on meat: meat, especially red meat, can have a high fat content, and excessive consumption of red meat has been linked with high cholesterol and heart disease. Cutting down on the amount of meat you eat will not only be beneficial for the environment but it will also be better for your health.