Times have changed and brought the better lifestyle. But did it really brought the better health?
In the past two decades, times have changed dynamically. The advancement in science and technology brought huge changes in our life. Compared to our grandparent’s era, life is so different now. The invention of everyday use simple machines made life so easy and convenient. Small everyday machines available in every house like washing machines, mixer grinders, dishwashers, electric stoves, water pumps, taps, geysers, etc to bigger machines in industries, we are surrounded by machines everywhere. They came as a savior and save us much time and energy. We have got so dependent on them that work gets stuck when any of machine stops working temporarily.
However, if we look from another direction, these machines brought a huge reduction to daily physical activities. The secret behind the good health of our grandparents even in their last years compared to us could be their higher frequency of physical activity.
With the advancement in technology, chemicals and machines got invented. Many are used in the farming and agricultural industry at present. Many chemicals among them are used to artificially increase the production of grains. They go through various processes before coming to grocery stores. Usage of variety of chemicals leads to depletion of nutrients in the food items. The same vegetables, fruits, lentils, chicken, etc were more nutritious at the time of our grandparents. They consumed fresh, pure and unpolished. This could be another reason for their better state of health.
The trend of fast foods, processed foods like burgers, pizzas, doughnuts, brownies, candies, bakery items, etc is so in at present. The fashion of dining out at grand restaurants, visiting branded fast food outlets is touching the skies. Today is the time of social media. Here major population loves to show off. Every time they visit any restaurant, they take hundreds of mouth-watering food pictures and upload them here. Other people see such pictures, their eyes and mouth start craving. But no worries, you are in the age of smartphones. Get your favorite unhealthy fast food delivered at your front door without any hassle via digital food delivery applications.
Again if we go 2-3 decades back there was no concept of fast foods, processed foods, packed foods, frozen foods, etc. People eat healthy, pure and organic. They had to work hard physically for completing every daily chore. And that is why diseases like diabetes, cancer, blood pressure, obesity, etc were uncommon at that time. The prevalence rate of these diseases is increasing rapidly between children and adults.
Today Netflix along with some pizza, burgers or any other fast food item is becoming the new definition of relaxation after a hectic week.
Today when you get stressed after facing everyday daily challenges you tend to order online something unhealthy to eat to boost up your mood. But let me tell you, it only helps temporarily.
Parents are getting busier. Often they don't get time to cook. They just order fast food via digital food delivery application without turning on the stove.
Youngsters working from home, staying together with friends largely follow the trend of digital food delivery, as working the whole day long makes one lazy to get up and do the hard task of cooking food.
It is estimated that Americans spend 70% of their monthly food budget on eating outside.
The major population is not understanding or making it too late to understand that these unhealthy eating habits are serving as a slow poison for their health. We strongly need to discuss the consequences of frequent unhealthy eating on our body so that on encountering the deadly outcomes one makes up the mind to bring out the necessary changes in their eating habits and physical activity.
Let's put some light on impacts of unhealthy eating habits on body
Impact of fast food on body
Outside fast food mainly comprises added sugar, carbohydrates and high sodium. These 3 things when consumed continuously in large proportions have a minacious long term impact on our health.
Let's put some light on how unhealthy food impacts our body:
Impact of carbohydrates on the digestive and cardiovascular system: Fast food contains a high amount of carbohydrates. Carbs break down to glucose in the body. Thus the sugar level in the bloodstream spikes. In response to it, the pancreas releases insulin. Sugar is then distributed to the cells and the remaining is stored.
But frequent sugar spikes in the bloodstream leads to insulin resistance, which leads to diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity. Obesity is then further followed by other health problems.
Impact of Trans fat and added sugar on the body: 100 – 150 calories equaling to 6 – 9 teaspoons of sugar should only be consumed per day according to American Heart Association (AHA).
And do you know? A single can of soft drink alone contains 7 – 8 teaspoons of sugar.
Trans fat is insalubrious. It is present in processed food like fries, pizzas, pastries, cookies. It increases your Bad Cholesterol (LDL), lower Good Cholesterol (HDL), leading to type 2 diabetes and heart attacks.
Impact of food containing high sodium on the body: No doubt combination of carbohydrates, sugar and salt makes tasty food. But a higher level of salt leads to water retention in the body making you look swollen and bloated.
Leads to high blood pressure. Puts stress on the heart and cardiovascular system.
The majority of people underestimate the amount of sodium present in the food served at restaurants. We just wolf down over the fast-food without thinking twice that what amount of carbohydrate, sugar and sodium it may contain.
Impact on Respiratory System: Eating outside calorie-dense food frequently without check leads to weight gain and obesity. Each extra pound on the body exerts pressure on the lungs, leading to respiratory problems like Asthma and shortness of breath.
Children consuming outside fast food three or more times a week have higher chances of developing asthma in future.
Impact on the central nervous system: People eating out frequently have higher chances of developing Depression in future compared to those who follow healthy eating habits and rarely eat out.
Impact on the reproductive system: According to a study, processed food contains a chemical called phthalates. This chemical disturbs natural hormonal activities taking place in the body. These chemicals lead to reproductive and fertility problems.
Impact on bones: Fast and processed food contain chemicals, producing a specific kind of acid in the mouth. These acids cause tooth enamel degradation, leading to the development of cavities in the mouth.
Calorie dense food causes weight gain and obesity. Extra weight puts more pressure on bones leading to falling of person and breaking of bones/fractures.
Impact on skin: Frequent consumption of high carbs food leads to acne breakouts and poor skin.
Obesity is also one of the risk factors for acquiring covid-19 infection.
We can say that with the increase in restaurants in the world, the percentage of overweight/obese children and adults have also doubled. In such a scenario getting the option to choose your favourite carbs dense food delivered at the front door of your house in just a single tap is leading towards the unhealthy society and individual's poorer health.
However, every problem comes with a solution if you try it.
Here are some of the practices which truly can help gain control over the habit of consistent eating and ordering fast food:
Practices to avoid unhealthy eating habits
- Purchase a weighing machine and keep a regular check on your weight. This practice seriously keeps you motivated to control your weight in the long run and instils a pang of guilt inside you to not eat unhealthy for a week. And congratulations the cycle goes on for weeks over weeks and a stage comes when your body no longer craves for unhealthy food.
- Uninstall all digital food delivery applications from your mobile phone so next time when you desire to order fast food digitally, the whole process of installing and registering again makes you lazy. And you drop the idea of ordering and eating unhealthy.
- On the day of the holiday decide your menu for the coming week. Take out some time and do all the necessary, time taking, raw preparations for the dishes you have decided for your weekly menu like cutting all veggies, salads, ginger-garlic pastes, tomato pastes, fried onions, etc. So, all the extra time needed to do these pieces of stuff is cut down and preparing your food becomes a matter of minutes. Also having half-prepared food ready in your fridge will refrain you from eating outside unhealthy food to avoid wastage. Hence your frequency of unhealthy food will cut down gradually.
- An hour of exercise, walk, breathing exercises 5-6 times a week is a must.
- Always have a colorful plate of salads with your meals.
- Avoid overeating while watching smart phones. Stop when 70% of stomach is full
- Drink plenty of water. Have yourself a separate 1 L capacity bottle and make a target of finishing 3-4 bottles a day. After few days you'll fall in love with your skin and hairs.
- Have proper sleep cycle.
- Keep your plates decorated and colorful. A person first eats with eyes and then with a mouth. This way you will enjoy your meal. And your body will enjoy digesting it.
Eat healthy, stay healthy and gradually cut down the frequency of eating fast-food as health is the true wealth. Value it before it's gone.
© 2022 Atiya Hilal