How A Poor Diet Can Negatively Impact Your Health
A lot of people say that life is too short to not eat what you like. Nibble those cookies, chow down on that pizza, and drown your pasta in cheesy sauce! What’s better than food to make you feel good? However, as with anything, if you go overboard and eat to excess, it can have a negative impact on your health, both physical and mental. It’s not just gaining weight and looking less than hot that you need to worry about. Poor diet can leave you with a range of physical symptoms including breathlessness, heart disease, and skin problems, as well as mobility issues that could necessitate the use of wheelchairs, crutches, or a disabled parking permit. Mentally, you can also be affected in terms of depression, anxiety, and poor concentration.
Your body needs energy from food to perform any of its basic functions, from breathing to running to speaking. Energy is derived from food in the form of calories and different foods have different caloric content. Generally speaking, it’s best to eat mostly fresh and unprocessed foods, but calories will be processed by your body no matter where they come from. This is why it’s not the end of the world if you have a bar of chocolate every now and again, but your body won’t be happy if you eat potato chips for every meal.
Obesity as a symptom of a poor diet can cause a variety of health issues. People who are obese are more like to suffer from heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. All of these conditions have the potential to be complicated and life-limiting. As well as this, carrying extra weight on your body puts pressure on your muscles, joints, and bones as they struggle to carry the extra load around. This also affects your heart, as it has to work extra hard to pump blood around your body.
Diabetes in particular can lead to extremely negative health implications. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you will have to follow a strict diet and to ensure that your blood sugar stays at a healthy level. If you fail to do this, you can end up with circulatory issues and vision problems, and can even end up having to undergo amputation due to infection or gangrene. This can then lead to further complications, such as having to apply for disability benefits including government payments and a disabled parking permit.
A poor diet can also have a bad effect on your mental health, as your brain is not receiving the adequate energy that it needs to run properly. Depression and anxiety have many factors, including heredity and other lifestyle inputs, but a healthy diet has been shown to improve the symptoms associated with them. Regular healthy eating also offers a routine that can be helpful to those who are coping with depression, and cooking from scratch can prove to be a very therapeutic hobby.
A good diet involves balance. Cutting carbs entirely is not necessarily healthy and neither is banning all sugar or fat. You need elements of all the food groups to ensure a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables should make up about half of any meal, with a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. You can also incorporate any dietary restrictions that you have into this model, be it vegetarianism, veganism, gluten-free, or dairy-free. However, do not avoid any food groups entirely unless you have a medical reason to do so. Fad dieting can have a negative impact on your mental health and lead to unhealthy fixations.
Learning to cook for yourself can be one of the most productive and fun things you can do. You will feel very productive and there is a real sense of achievement to be had in being able to whip up a delicious meal for yourself at any stage with whatever you have in your refrigerator. If you’re intimidated, a cooking class is a good place to start and is also a good place to meet people who are interested in food and who can help guide you on the path to healthy eating.
None of this is to say that food shouldn’t continue to be a source of joy in your life; just be conscious of how the things you put in your body will affect it. Healthy eating does not feel like a chore when it becomes a habit and you will learn to gain the same joy from a delicious salad rather than a greasy takeaway. Your body is like a car – it needs the best fuel possible to make sure that it’s able to carry you on the journey of life, and to support you in all the adventures you end up on. So ditch that poor diet and start fueling your body the right way!