It’s Thursday night. You’re tired, hungry and cranky. You have a pile of work sitting beside you in the car, none of which you want to do. At home, fresh chicken is waiting to be cooked, greens are waiting to be cleaned and brown rice is waiting to be boiled. Preparing it all will take time, time that you don’t have time for, let alone the energy. If you wanted to save that time you could pop into the diner on the other side of the red light, aglow in neon lights. Someone else would make your dinner and do your dishes. You could tackle some of those papers as you waited and ate. True, your meal would be considerably less healthy, but it’s just one meal. You were healthy yesterday; you’ll be healthy tomorrow and every day after that. And really, what could one fat-filled, sugar-laced, greasy plate do to you?
More than you’d think.
Junk food’s negative effect isn’t limited to the long-term. When you consume it regularly, your blood pressure is likely to elevate and your risk of heart attack multiplies at an alarming rate. When you consume it just once, the same is true. After eating a diet’s worst nightmare, your blood vessels constrict and free radicals develop. The free radicals assault your cells, causing serious damage and contributing to chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, which leads to . . . stay with me here . . . high blood pressure and heart attacks.
The best way to stay healthy is to avoid the “just this one time” meals, for you are only as healthy as your last meal. If that was a heart attack in a bun, then that’s how healthy you are, which isn’t saying much (gives lunch a whole new perspective, doesn’t it?). Stick to the good-for-you, highly nutritious foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. If you truly can’t contain the urge for white bread or similarly high-energy, low-value foods, couple them with their opposite. A bit of vinegar with your Wonder Bread will dampen the adverse affects, so will wine (not too much) or even nuts. You have plenty of healthy options, but that diner isn’t one of them.