How does modern lifestyle and food habits affect us
As urbanization and industrialization have progressed modern lifestyle, humans have adopted new ways of living and eating. We’ve moved from the rural agricultural communities where traditional diets were first developed, to today’s fast-paced, densely-populated cities. Food is now available in abundance, and this has changed the way we eat. The modern lifestyle and foods we eat have come together to create a new way of being — the ‘Western’ eating pattern.
Modernization has made life more comfortable and convenient. We have more time and money to spend on eating, so we have become more interested in culinary experiences. In addition, the adoption of new food habits has also affected the way we eat.
The Western eating pattern is characterized by three main components: a diet high in carbohydrates, a large serving of fats and a small amount of protein.
Dietary habits have changed dramatically over the last 100 years. Many people now consume more meat, fried foods and fast food than they did in the past. These changes to our eating habits have had dramatic effects on our health, such as an increase in obesity rates and a decrease in cardiovascular disease.
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Fast and convenience food
Fast food has become more and more popular since the 1950s, and so has convenience food. This is mostly because we’re now living in a fast-paced society. We don’t have much time to cook, so we want our meals to be ready as quickly as possible.
We’ve also begun eating outside of the home, which is another reason why convenience foods are in demand. Eating out means we can enjoy a different type of cuisine without having to do the cooking ourselves.
High carbohydrate diet
The Western diet is characterized by a high intake of refined carbohydrates. This has led to an obesity epidemic which has spread around the world. The carbohydrate-rich diet increases our levels of sugar in the blood and insulin in the bloodstream, which can lead to diabetes.
High fat diet
In the Western eating pattern, fats and oils make up about 30% of total calorie intake. This is a dramatic increase from traditional diets that consisted of only about 10%. Fats are high in calories and can be satisfying; therefore, we’re more likely to overeat. In addition, fat is an important nutrient found in many foods. We need fats to help absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.
Convenience food has its shortcomings
We’ve made things easier by developing food that is ready to eat or cook. This has led to the development of convenience foods, which are processed foods that are quick and easy to prepare. While these foods make life more comfortable, they also often come with a price.
Convenience food also lacks nutritional value and can lead to overeating. Most convenience foods contain high levels of refined sugars, salt and preservatives, which have been found to be linked to health conditions like obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
The Western eating pattern also contributes to the rise in so-called ‘lifestyle diseases’ like cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So what does this mean for our health?
There are many factors that play into how you should eat. The truth of the matter is that there are no one-size-fits-all dietary guidelines. In the end, it is your personal preference and the best diet for you is the one that is sustainable.