One of the hardest components of learning to take care of ourselves is learning to eat a healthy diet. It both is and isn’t natural at the same time. A healthy diet is natural because it caters to all of our body’s needs and makes sure to curb any excesses that might otherwise negatively impact our health. By contrast, it isn’t terribly natural as the things that taste the best to us are frequently some of the worst things we can eat. Fats, sugars, and similar foods are all highly appealing to our sense of taste because they are packed with energy. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needs foods like that to ensure they got adequate nutrition. These days all we need to do to get them is go to the local store. There’s no real effort involved and most of us have little difficulty getting adequate nutrition. Yes, we can get busy and have difficulty preparing healthy meals, but that’s entirely different. When life gets hectic we tend to fall back on easy to get fast food. That typically means we get to eat all those unhealthy things we’re supposed to minimize. It feeds you, but it is also working against you maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Sugar is one of those things we are intuitively keyed to seek out and enjoy. Like we highlighted earlier, sugary foods would have been a boon to our distant ancestors. They aren’t nearly as beneficial to us today, but our bodies still tell us that sugary things are wonderful and to have more of them. Sodas and various desserts available as fast food are popular for a reason. They give us that burst of sugar that tastes wonderful, but the problem is that this hurts our bodies in more than one way. The sugar rapidly hits our blood stream and causes a spike in blood sugar levels. This is bad enough on its own as it contributes to a widespread inflammation across the body, but there’s another problem: sugar is easy to process. Your body doesn’t have to work to process sugar and as a result your metabolism ends up slowing since it doesn’t have to work as much. This is a common theme with a lot of things commonly used in fast food.
Refining Your Bread
There’s plenty to say about white bread and other refined carbohydrates, but it is important to note that they’re incredibly common in fast food. These foods are the processed forms of various kind of food. They used processed white flour instead of whole wheat flour. Take a good look at the breads and buns you get in fast food. White bread is more common as people treat it as the cheaper alternative. In truth, you generally want to be eating whole wheat breads and similar products that haven’t been processed as much. That’s because refined carbohydrates often present one of the exact same problems as sugar: they’re too easy to process. Your body doesn’t need to work that hard to processed white breads and similar to sugars this means your metabolism begins to slow due to not needing to work as hard. Carbohydrates are also easily broken down into a form of sugar and contribute to the blood sugar spiking problem as well.
Hard to Process
The last big warning that fast food will hurt your metabolism is simply that so much of it involves a lot of fats. Fried, oily foods aren’t going to help anyone’s health. The problem is that a lot of our favorite fast foods are fried in one form or another. Every little bit adds up too. Fats are hard for the body to process. Yes, they’re a form of stored energy, but the effort it takes to process them is so great that it is more beneficial for your body to simply work to store the fast for later usage. It doesn’t bother to try to process the majority of it and as a result your metabolism begins to slow down since storing something doesn’t take much effort. The slower metabolism in turn means that your body needs less energy and begins to favor storing other resources as well. You begin to accumulate more and more body fat as a result. A higher weight tends to incline us to less activity and so the cycle continues because our metabolism gets even slower.
Food is food when it comes to making sure you’re actually getting something to eat, but not all food is good as a long term solution. We genuinely need to make the effort to eat a healthy diet and work against our body’s inclinations for easily processed or difficult to process foods that don’t work as well with our metabolism. That means making sure we only eat fast food occasionally. Sticking to that rule will help ensure that our metabolism doesn’t get degraded by poor eating habits and can remain at least somewhat healthy even through times where we might have difficulty with maintaining a perfect diet and exercise routine.