A study conducted this year by the Association for Psychological Science revealed that in tough economic times, people will reach for high-calorie foods as a basic survival instinct.
When test subjects were primed with messages about scarcity, living in the moment and the hardship of our times, 70% of them chose the high-calorie food option in front of them versus the low-calorie choice. These findings spell trouble for the health and well-being of our population during our current economic downturn.
While high-calorie foods are very dense, and result in making you feel full faster, many of these calories are empty and contribute to the deterioration of health. When finances are tight, many people will opt for larger amounts of fatty, calorie-rich and often significantly unhealthy foods over more nutritious options.
Eating snack foods also helps many people reduce their sense of stress, although the effects of this eating are ultimately very negative for the body, and lead to a vicious cycle of eating more and more empty calories to maintain psychological relief. Many additives found in cheap snack foods are addictive, leading people to eat more when they are not even hungry. Ultimately, when the snacks run out, your body is likely to experience a significant crash in mood and in overall performance.
What is the solution when money is tight and you want to keep your body and mind functioning at their best? Exactly what is has always been: healthy, organic foods and daily exercise. While healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meats may not feel as initially filling, the vitamins and minerals that they circulate through your body will keep you feeling much better long-term.
It is also worthwhile to note that while you may pay a little bit more for healthy foods, there is a larger financial benefit to the nation. When the population is healthy, taxpayers end up spending less to treat diseases such as diabetes and the various cancers associated with the additives in our cheap, high-calorie snacks. Exercise may seem counter-intuitive when you are trying to pack on extra calories, however, 30 minutes of exercise per day leads to amazing results. Exercise increases energy, improves mood, maintains a healthy body weight, and wards off illness. Even when times are tough, eating healthy and keeping up with a daily exercise regiment will always pay off in the long run.
Are you willing to pay a little more for healthier food?
– The Alternative Daily