Everyone knows that not eating properly is bad for your health, but do you really know all the consequences?
We know that eating junk food isn’t healthy and that it mainly leads to weight gain, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2016, 44,000 people died in our country from cardiovascular diseases caused by a poor diet. This means regularly eating junk food or poor-quality ultra-processed foods, a cause that is now attributed to more deaths around the world than smoking.
While death is the worst consequence of a poor diet, there are other risks associated with not eating properly, even for people who exercise sporadically or somewhat regularly. A proper diet that is low in saturated fats, chemical additives, preservatives and artificial colours is the foundation for preventing a whole list of health issues.
List of risks associated with a poor diet
We’ve been looking at what different studies say about the risks of eating low-quality food and not leading a healthy lifestyle (at least 4 meals a day, avoiding ultra-processed products and choosing water over sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages, plus exercising at least one or two days a week). Here is a summary of their conclusions:
A long list of associated diseases
Most of the studies agree that diet has a big impact on health, to the extent of determining whether a person will get chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular conditions (heart disease and stroke being among the most common), diabetes, osteoporosis, dental issues and obesity.
This was the conclusion of a study conducted by UNSW Sydney, after seeing that laboratory rats given a diet high in fat and sugar suffered memory loss starting on the sixth day of the experiment. After the tests, they saw that the mice showed inflammation of the hippocampus, one of the main areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer, although for now they can’t confirm a direct link to that disease.
Poor sports performance
If you exercise regularly and occasionally eat some junk food, it probably won’t affect your body composition or sports performance. But it would have long-term consequences if you ate this sort of products regularly, as they affect recovery speed, can increase the risk of injury and increase fatigue and tiredness, basically because you are giving your body low-quality fuel.
It is essential to give your body vitamins and minerals from good-quality food, such as fish, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit and nuts.
There are some habits that can lead to insomnia or difficulty sleeping, such as eating processed foods or sugary drinks. In order to prevent insomnia, there are foods high in melatonin (the sleep hormone) and serotonin (the precursor hormone) like cherries, sugar-free cereal, bananas and walnuts.
Not eating properly means the body can’t properly assimilate nutrients, leading to intestinal and stomach issues. This happens when you regularly eat foods high in saturated fat, and even more if they’ve been fried. The oil coats the stomach walls and causes irritation that can lead to heartburn, gastritis and even ulcers, on top of increasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Tips for healthy diet
Healthy diet will help you prevent disease and give you the energy you need to face your day. We recommend these tips on our blog but you can also book an appointment with our nutrition service at any Club DiR to get personalised answers.