Fast Food & Finances

Fast Food & Finances

Fast Food & Finances

(An article from Men's Health Magazine)

In 2006, the average U.S. household spent close to HALF of its food budget on meals eaten away from home, according to The Survey of Consumer Expenditures for 2006, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, less than one-third of American households make meals from scratch, according to a 2006 survey by the Institute of Food Technologists.

This means that out of the fewer than HALF of meals that you do eat at home, many of these are likely NOT homemade, but rather consist of processed, packaged, and pre-prepared foods purchased from your supermarket.

Folks, this is a real recipe for disaster. As this Men’s Health investigation found out, many restaurants will not even reveal what’s in their food, which has to make you wonder what they’re trying to hide.

If that wasn’t bad enough, 90 percent of all the money Americans spend on food is for highly processed, non-nutritious food.

How can you possibly expect anything other than to get sick when you aren’t giving your body the major fuel it requires to stay healthy? This is not much different from neglecting your car by pouring in fuel that won’t burn well and is contaminated with many nasty ingredients that plug up the engine.

Would you be surprised if your car did not run properly under these circumstances? Of course not. Then it should come as no surprise that you will not achieve high-level health unless you make a conscious effort to choose foods that are healthy for you. Yes, it takes more time and energy, but the results are clearly worth it in the long run.

When you eat out you can pretty much guarantee that there will be artificial ingredients of some kind in your food. You can also bet on the fact that your meal will NOT come from free-range, grass-fed, locally grown, or organic sources (unless you find a specialty restaurant that caters to that).

You will likely also eat MORE than you would at home, and will certainly be doused with more sugar and, likely, trans fats as well. Just about ANY food that you prepare at home will be better for you than its counterpart eaten out.



PREPARING HEALTHY MEALS AT HOME

Preparing food at home is one of the keys to staying healthy.

The major rule in this area is that if you fail to plan your meals you are planning to fail. You simply must be proactive and determine what your menu will be a few days to a few weeks out. Remember, most Americans spend 90 percent of their food budget on PROCESSED foods. To be healthy, you need to reverse this and spend 90 percent on fresh, whole foods.

You also need to devote some serious time in the kitchen, preparing these foods for your family. I realize that this isn’t always convenient, and, yes, it is easier to just pick up fast food. But your body simply cannot thrive off of this processed garbage. Your body needs real food, and once you switch your diet to primarily home-cooked meals, you will realize just how artificial restaurant food really is.

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