We all know that homemade food is better than fast food but do you know exactly why is that?
Today I was asked that question and after answering to my friend, I decided to write a post about it.
So … here it is!
Why exactly the homemade food is better than fast food.
First, we need to understand what the term fast food really means?
Fast food is a meal that is already cooked and needs just heating up or it is a semi manufactured product that needs short thermal treatment by cooking. Obesity from fast and easily accessible foods has increased dramatically over the last 50 years. The percent of people in the world who are obese (including children and teenagers) is rapidly increasing.
But why the fast food is so popular?
The most obvious advantage is that it saves time. In today’s fast-paced way of life, there is nothing better than having a meal ready and waiting for you. No matter how delicious fresh homemade food might be, at the end of a hard day’s work when you get home tired and hungry, a pizza or a burger is like a gift from heaven.
The other reason fast food is so popular is because it is almost always very rich in carbohydrates and fats. Perhaps at the moment this does not seem to you as an advantage, but these are the nutrients that your body craves for when you are very hungry.
Here is why you must reduce the fast food?
It is a well-known fact that the fast foods are more harmful than homemade foods, because they contain a lot of salt, fat and calories. Food consumed from fast food places is a major source for obesity in almost every country.
Considering the sedentary lifestyle that most people today are living, the excess fat and calories we eat with these foods are not being fully utilized. The result is that they accumulate in our body as fat cells and we are gaining weight.
With weight gain, other problems such as high blood pressure and joint pain also occur.
Interesting fact: Recent research has found that people living near fast food restaurants have a 13% higher risk of heart attacks than those who live on a greater distance.
According to latest research people who eat fast food four or more times a week increase the risk of death due to heart disease by the mind blowing 80 percent. Regular consumption of fast food creates a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease because of the high levels of saturated fat or trans fats it contains. These fats contribute to high cholesterol levels and, over time, can block the arteries.
Another reason you should reduce fast food is for its lack of essential nutrients.
Well-balanced food diet contains all the essential elements that are necessary for human development including vitamins and minerals. In your opinion, how many of these valuable items for your body are contained in a burger, for example?
Saturated fats, processed foods and fast foods also contain synthetic additives – preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners, flavor stabilizers and enhancers. These foods are called „pseudostressors“. All of them, in one way or another, affect the body and human health and lead with them a whole avalanche of diseases.
How to reduce fast food in exchange for homemade food?
The easiest way is by meal prepping. Have a plan how your breakfast, lunch and dinner will look like in advance. This will avoid the moment when you feel hungry in the middle of the day and have nothing to eat.
Make a list, buy everything you need and take time to cook (I know you probably don‘t have any time, but if healthy eating is really a priority … you need to find some). Cook for 2-3 days ahead. This will save you not only time but money also. Breakfast ideas can be found here.
Benefits of homemade food
Preparing your own food allows you to control what you put in, so you can use natural ingredients instead of junk processed foods.
Here are a few ideas if you are wondering what your menu should include in order to be as healthy as possible:
- Pure meat (without the fat) – sources of protein.
- Fish (such as salmon, tuna, herring) – sources of protein, unsaturated and omega 3 fats.
- Variety of vegetables – sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Whole grains (such as oatmeal, brown rice and wild rice, chia) – sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
- Raw nuts and seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and flax, sunflower, buckwheat) – sources of fat, vitamins and minerals.
- Variety of fruits – sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Limited quantities of dairy products. – sources of vitamins, minerals and a balanced amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
- Plenty of water
Fast food companies are an invention of the modern era. Ready-to-consume food, which is waiting for you when you are hungry in a busy day sounds really good. Unfortunately, the damage from this type of food far outweighs its benefits. I hope the next time you feel hungry, that you will remember what you read and make the right choice.