01 June 2012
How to Stay Healthy in the World of Fast Food
I've always been the kind of person that stays skinny, no matter what or how much I eat. But although dieting has never been a matter of great concern to me, I did some serious thinking about eating habits, last night. Yesterday, some friends and I decided to skip McDonald's and go to the nearby restaurant. Next to us, a nice young couple was discussing the menu:
She said 'It's a little late for carbohydrates, I think I'll have chicken steak and fresh salad.'
'I'm thinking about beans and steak, I need more proteins. I should gain some weight, don't you think?..', he replied.
Quite interesting attitude towards food, I think. In a world, controlled by the big fast-food chains, more and more people are becoming obsessed by healthy lifestyle. Is there a war between fast-food 'culture' and the cult of youth and beauty? Or is it just a kind of protest against a world in which, children easily recognize Ronald McDonald, but don't know who Pippi Longstocking is...
Of course, not only huge advertising makes fast-food so popular? Truth is, it can be prepared and served very quickly. And we are all becoming busier and busier. We literally fly from the office to the kindergarten, then home, fix something to eat and then off again, to the gym...Sounds like one should have superpowers! It is much easier to get something quick and cheap on our way home. But although these products might look appealing and tasty, they are a major cause of obesity, especially in children. They are not only very rich in calories, but also contain a lot of unwholesome additives, saturated fats, sugar, artificial colours, preservatives and so on. Besides, soon after we had a meal, it is very likely that we feel hungry again, because a hormone imbalance occurs in the organism. We develop a chemical dependency, similar to that of a drug addict, and big chains are constantly increasing the dose as portions become bigger and bigger...
A lot can be said about the dangers of fast-food. The American journalist Morgan Spurlock proved them by his experiment. He ate three McDonald's meals a day every day (and nothing else) for 30 days and ended up overweight, with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attack increased twice for him. In the end, he had a liver of an alcoholic, without drinking any alcohol.
On the other hand, a lot of people have started to develop another mania lately– healthy eating disorder, or orthorexia. This is a fixation on eating healthy, 100% organic food. Well, we sure don't want to be one of them, but if we really are what we eat, we can at least try do pick healthier products. Even if they are more expensive, it is better to chose some of the scarce healthy food available on the market, than spend money on medical treatment later. Here are some tips for healthy eating:
- don't overeat
- eat less meat
- buy more fruit,vegetables and nuts
- cut soda and replace it with water
- drink plenty of water, that will make you fill fuller
- try to eat slowly.
It turns out, nowadays eating has become a process controlled rather by the brain than the senses. We should not underestimate healthy lifestyle, but going to extremes is no good, neither. So we'd better have greasy pizza once a week, and spend some time in the gym, than constantly count calories and stare desperately at the mirror. My personal advise though, is: Avoid fast-food! Ladies, because of its poor nutritious qualities, it reduces the elasticity of skin and hair is not shiny. And gentleman, it lowers the sexual drive and abilities...you choose!