Is your health a priority for you? It can be hard, especially nowadays with the fast-paced lifestyle. You’re always on the go, and it seems the only time you stop is when you’re sleeping. Since everything is moving so fast, it affects all aspects of your life, including one of the most crucial things – food. So, to keep up with this kind of lifestyle you have fast food which can satisfy your hunger on the go.
It’s fast and easy, but what about in the long run? You might start noticing some changes in the waistline. Also, it’s well-known that some fast food is not only unhealthy (junk food) but also harmful to your body. Luckily, there are always some healthy alternatives that you can get like sweet monk fruit extract, hummus, dark chocolate, and many others. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the effects of healthy and unhealthy foods on your body, as well as some healthy alternatives you can try to incorporate into your daily lifestyle.
Healthy vs Unhealthy Foods and Their Effect on Your Body
Everything you put into your body has a significant impact on your overall health. But first of all, what is healthy and what is unhealthy food? Well, healthy food is the one that provides your body with the essential nutrients ( minerals, vitamins, proteins, water, fats and carbohydrates) for an energy booster and your overall well-being. Such foods are whole grain products, many fruits and vegetables, lean meats, etc.
On the other hand, unhealthy food is one that has less nutritional value and is high in saturated fat, sugar and calories, such as fast food (burgers and pizzas), chips, sweets, cakes, and the list goes on and on. Consuming large portions of unhealthy foods regularly can negatively impact your health by gaining weight, problems with memory and learning, Alzheimer’s disease, increasing chances of developing chronic cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes and many others. But, why is healthy food important? It can help you boost your immunity system, reduce the risk of diseases and live longer. The second sounds way better, don’t you agree? If yes, then keep on reading.
Healthy Alternatives to Unhealthy Foods
Monk Fruit Sweetener Instead of Table Sugar
Who can say no to sugar? Luckily, if you have a sweet tooth, like me, you would be happy to hear that there is a 100% natural monk fruit extract which is a sweetener that allows you to indulge in all that heavenly sweetness but with fewer health consequences as opposed to table sugar, which is basically a refined sugar.
This small, round perennial plant from the gourd family is called monk fruit or Luo Han Guo, named after the Luo Han monks that first discovered and cultivated it in Guilin mountains, in Guangxi Province, China. What’s great about this natural sweetener is that its extract is over 150 times sweeter than regular sugar.
Its sweetness derives from natural compounds known as mogrosides. More importantly, a thing that will change your life is that the monk fruit extract sweetener has zero calories and zero carbohydrates as opposed to regular sugar. So, replacing table sugar throughout the day can make a big difference in your weight loss journey. Similarly, it adds many other benefits to your health.
Due to its nature, your metabolism digests it differently than the table sugar. Unlike natural sugar, the body breaks down the refined sugar faster causing your blood sugar levels to spike up. As a result, the pancreas releases a large amount of insulin (often too much) to quickly lower the sugar level down. This causes a low blood sugar response two hours after the sugar consumption upon which fats are released into the bloodstream as compensation.
If this keeps happening very often, the excess fats (high cholesterol and high triglycerides) in the blood will only lead to cardiovascular diseases. However, the sugar found in fruits and milk is broken down much more slowly which will not increase your blood levels. That is why monk fruit is better for your cardiovascular health and prevents diabetes. Additionally, it can prevent cancer, improve your immune system, help with allergies, and have many other benefits.
Healthy Popcorns Instead of Regular Popcorns
There is nothing better than cosying up in your bed and binge-watching your favourite show on Netflix. Of course, before you start the Netflix marathon, you will need popcorns. But think twice before you reach for the premade popcorns that contain a high level of salt and sometimes even sugar.
Or even when you make the popcorns at home by adding butter, oil, sugar, or any unhealthy topping. High sodium intake leads to high blood pressure and other complications. The best way you can get the benefits of this whole-grain snack is to make air-popped popcorns and lightly season them. And if you feel like there’s something missing, why not add a touch of sweetness with the tasty monk fruit sweetener.
Dark Chocolate Instead of Milk Chocolate
One of the things you can never go wrong with is a chocolate gift and anyone with a sweet tooth knows the feeling of happiness and peace that comes from just tasting the first bar. However, milk chocolate, which is loaded with sugar and fat, is not the healthiest option.
Some milk chocolates contain 10% cocoa solids, while others have 26-27%. On the other hand, dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids. This is important because cocoa solids are high in flavanol, a plant nutrient that is beneficial to our health. It can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, enhance memory and learning due to the anti-inflammatory properties.
Hummus Instead of Mayonnaise
Sometimes there are some foods that you just can’t imagine your life without, and mayo would probably be one of them. However, this tasty thick and creamy sauce is high in calories and fat. One tablespoon contains over 95 calories. On the other hand, hummus contains only 25 calories, making it a much healthier alternative that gives you more protein and fibre.
To sum up, health should be your number one priority. Even though it can be hard to resist deliciously unhealthy food, remember you can still experiment and make the list longer by finding your own healthier alternatives. So, are you ready to make the switch?