Convenient Foods Come at a Cost to Your Health
By Stepy Kamei
For many of us, eating a healthy diet can seem like such a struggle. You're not the only one who's noticed that the foods we should be eating tend to require more time to pick up at the grocery store and prepare at home. Meanwhile, foods that are more convenient and easier to prepare tend to be less healthy options. In the busy and chaotic lives we lead, it can be tempting for many of us to opt for the convenient foods, time and time again, even if we know they provide less nutritional value simply because they're so much easier to work into our schedules.
Unfortunately, this is ultimately harmful to our overall health. As challenging or daunting of a task as it may seem, it's ultimately in your best interest to commit to spending the time to preparing meals and snacks made from fresh, whole ingredients. Keep on reading to learn more about the damaging effects convenient foods can have on your physical and mental health, as well as some helpful tips on how to sneak in healthier foods into your everyday routine.
The Downsides of Convenient Foods
First of all, it helps to be clear on what exactly counts as convenient food. Essentially, any food that is processed, packaged, or already prepared, is considered a convenient (and unfortunately, less healthy) food item. Pretty much any item that you can buy from a store that's in a bag, jar, carton, or frozen container, falls into this category.
It's incredibly tempting to add these foods to the grocery store list. After all, they're instantly ready and can be consumed pretty much whenever you need them, which is great for hectic mornings rushing to work, quick midday lunch breaks, and fast dinners before heading out to run errands. Unfortunately, their convenience comes at a cost. These foods are usually stripped of most (if not all) of their nutritional value because many fresh nutrients simply wouldn't be able to last for long periods of time on store shelves.
Since the nutrients are missing, the foods would be pretty bland and tasteless, so substances such as fat, sodium, and sugar are added in order to make up for the lack of taste. While these substances certainly appeal to your taste buds, they pack a one-two punch of offering no nutritional value while simultaneously damaging various aspects of your health. Weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, depression, muscle tension, and anxiety are all common health conditions linked to diets that are high in convenient, processed foods.
Tips on Healthy Eating
Ultimately, it's in your best interest to make eating healthy a priority. Consider the time it takes to prepare fresh, healthy foods an investment into your health and overall longevity. Simply put, it's worth it to make a nutritious diet a top priority in your everyday life. Consider using meal-prep methods on the weekends so your healthy meals are ready to go throughout the entire week! Or cook with your friends and family to make it more interesting and fun for you. As it becomes a regular habit, you'll find eating healthy is easier to do than you may have once worried.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roswell, Ga.