Home Offbeat 6 – Dangers of Unhealthy Eating and how to switch to a healthy diet

6 – Dangers of Unhealthy Eating and how to switch to a healthy diet

Dangers of Unhealthy Eating

Having a well-balanced, healthy diet provides you with all the nutrients you need to keep you active, help with the growth and repair of your muscles and prevent illnesses. Not only this, but it provides you with the energy you need to function every day. Other benefits include:

  • Weight loss
  • Stronger bones and teeth
  • Improved memory
  • Prevention of heart stroke
  • Cancer risk reduced

A poor diet leads you to a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Moreover, these might also lead heart health risks such as a heart attack and can help you maintain your weight.

Whilst one day of unhealthy eating won’t change much in your health, however, having a poor diet contributes to an increase in stress levels and tiredness and decreases our capacity to work. In the long term, it can be a contributing factor of putting you at risk of threatening health problems and illnesses.

Here are just some of the dangers of adopting an unhealthy diet:

1. Type-2 Diabetes:

Type-2 Diabetes

It can put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you are overweight or suffer from obesity. This is because you lack the ability to regulate the insulin in your body to help control your blood sugar levels because there is extra weight being placed on the body.

2. High Cholesterol:

The other danger of unhealthy eating includes high cholesterol levels. Diets high in saturated fats and trans fats are contributing factors of high cholesterol. It can cause a reduction in blood flow through the arteries because of a build up of cholesterol which causes chest pain, heart attack or stroke. It is recommended you reduce your consumption in foods such as butter, cream, processed meats, cakes and pastries to avoid having high cholesterol.

3. High Blood Pressure:

 Blood Pressure

Furthermore, it can put you at risk of high blood pressure, meaning there is a build-up of pressure of blood flowing through the arteries. If you don’t eat fruit and vegetables and eat foods high in salt, you are more at risk of developing hypertension. By being aware of how much salt you are consuming each day will lower to risk of blood pressure; the recommended amount of salt to consume is 6g per day.

4. Bowel Problems:

Bowel problems could occur as your body has not met the recommended fibre requirement. The consumption of extra fat will further cause digestive issues and you might suffer from diarrhoea or constipation.

5. Problem with memory and concentration:

Problem with memory and concentration

You could suffer from a deterioration of your memory and concentration by consuming an unhealthy diet. Junk foods contain high amounts of fat and sugar which are digested much quicker by the body. As they don’t contain any nutrients, your body tends to store this as energy, so you temporarily feel a sugar rush, which quickly crashes once your metabolism has burned of all the energy. This can cause fatigue and a loss in concentration. Your memory could also be affected as it causes inflammation of the brain and reduce the levels of the chemical needed for learning.

6. Loss of muscle mass:

A diet lacking protein but high amounts of fat means your body will be losing muscle mass. This is because amino acids are the build blocks of your cells which promote muscle growth and repair. Not consuming enough protein means your body’s metabolism will slow down, signs of fatigue and mood swings as well as lower immunity.  A lack of protein means you are at risk of high cholesterol because of the tendency to eat more fatty food, poor sleep and feeling anxious and moody.

A poor diet can result in premature death. According to The Guardian, nearly 20% of the deaths worldwide is due to a poor diet.

How do I maintain a healthy diet?

The key to having and maintaining a healthy diet is to eat the amount of calories relative to how active you are. If you are not active, but eat and drink a lot you are more likely to gain weight and visa versa. The recommended amount of calories per day should be around 2000 for women and 2500 for men.

1.    Eat fruit and vegetables

Healthy Fruits

We should be consuming 5 different portions of fruit and vegetable each day. Try adding a banana in your breakfast cereal or replacing your current snacks for a piece of fruit.

2.    Eat more carbohydrates

1/3 of what we should be eating should be based around carbohydrates. These are foods such as potatoes, rice, bread rice and cereals. You should be eating at least one carbohydrate option in your meal, and even better, eating wholegrain options. Carbohydrates are the main source of our energy, and as long as you are eating healthy carbs then your body will be able to function normally.

3.    Include more fish

fish

Aiming to eat around 2 portions of fish a week, one of which including oily fish as part of a balanced diet. This means that you will be getting a good source of protein and omega 3, which helps to prevent heart disease.

4.    Being active

As discussed, being overweight can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Therefore, by being active and doing a little bit of physical exercise everyday can help with your overall health. Naturally, if you start exercising, you are less likely to binge on unhealthy foods and choosing foods which are higher in protein to maintain the muscle mass.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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