Updated: May 27, 2021
It is projected that the online food delivery market is going to keep growing significantly over the next few years. The pandemic has highlighted this much-needed service in our convenience society. Who doesn’t love ordering your meal online and having it delivered within the hour or quickly picking it up after work? Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, snacks, it does not matter.
But do we know the ramifications of this lifestyle on our health?
More and more we hear of growing numbers of people experiencing high anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Plus the rising numbers of people dealing with digestive issues; IBS, Crohns, Celiac, food intolerances, etc.
Is there a correlation?
Without further research or knowing any numbers I can directly and confidently say: YES.
I personally believe that restaurant food is one of the causes of our declining mental health and surging digestive problems.
Why you might ask? Let me list some reasons.
"Restaurants do not create menus with your health in mind. Meals are created to please your taste buds and to be visually appealing."
First, let's simply look at the food. What are we eating?
Most restaurants do not care where their vegetables come from. They do not serve organic or locally grown produce and their vegetables might be old or even worse, come from a can or a jar. These vegetables hold little to no nutritional value. Plus most restaurants or take-out food has very little vegetables in it, to begin with.
2. Vegetable Oils
Most restaurants like to get their oil cheap because they use a lot of it. These oils are highly processed and high in omega-6 fatty acids. Eating deep-fried food in these processed oils can have an incredibly damaging effect on your health in the long term. Cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of death in North America.
You can make anything taste good with a high amount of salt. And that is what most restaurants do, add a lot of salt. And on top of that most of the regular salt that restaurants use is table salt or kosher salt (same thing) which is a highly processed salt that lacks trace minerals and will only surge our cholesterol and blood pressure. The high amounts of salt will ruin your taste buds and make you crave salt even more.
"Trying to find a vegetable on the menu can be a challenge!"
4. Lack Of Vegetables
Like I mentioned before, most take-out foods contain very little to no vegetables. Those few mushrooms on your pizza do not really contribute much. I am always amazed when trying to find a vegetable at a Chinese restaurant*. Give it a try!
5. Processed Meat
By now most of us are highly aware of the terrible state of the meat and dairy industry. Yet, most restaurants use this type of meat and that is what you are eating. Not only is this type of meat incredibly unhealthy for you due to added medication and hormones, but you are also contributing to the horrifying meat industry.
6. Where does your food come from?
You have no notion of where your food comes from when you order in. The ingredients used might have been shipped from Mexico or have been fabricated in a lab! Food that travels a distance has an incredible impact on our environment and increases your footprint incredibly.
Now if this is not enough to make you think twice, let’s look at a few things that are perhaps less tangible than the above, but certainly worth mentioning.
7. No prana (life force)
In Ayurveda, we say food holds prana, which can be translated as life force. Most restaurant food often lacks this life force because of the processed foods, lack of vegetables, and poor ingredients used.
8. Not seasonal
You might not see this as a big problem, but most restaurants do not create their menu with seasonal vegetables and seasonal ways of eating in mind. This is important because our gut enzymes change with the seasons and we are better able to eat certain foods in certain seasons. Eating out of season can harm your digestion and health.
9. No connection
When we do not purchase and cook our own food we do not get to connect with it. The picking out, preparing, and cooking phase is part of digestion! What? Yes, you could say you are what you eat. You did not get to choose your ingredients and produce, you do not know where it comes from and you did not get a chance to handle the ingredients yourself.
Many people nowadays have a poor relationship with food and eating and one of the reasons is because they do not handle their food themselves often enough. When we do not do that it has a tremendous impact on our health. This might seem intangible, but once you start cooking more you will notice the effect.
"Many people nowadays have a poor relationship with food and eating. Eating too much take-out is one of the reasons for this."
Most restaurants, especially fast-food restaurants, do not create a menu with your health in mind. The menu is created to please your taste buds and to visually appealing. The flavours are over the top and bold to manipulate your tastebuds and keep you coming back for more.
Ayurveda recommends cooking your own food as much as possible. Now I understand that some of us might live a lifestyle where this is challenging. I would suggest you do your research and look for places that care about their food, that care about your health, and that purchase local and seasonal ingredients. There are definitely places out there and I would suggest we support them and reduce our trips to the fast-food chains.
I write about this topic because I care deeply about the state of health of the people in the world. I hope to inspire you to start cooking your own food, start learning about where your food comes from and what effect it has on your body. Good health will follow. I am not even mentioning the ramifications on our planet because of all the non-recyclable material used in take-out food. This is for another post.
Ayurveda says health starts in your kitchen! Cook your own meals and improve your health.
Want to start right now? Book a FREE 20-min consult with me now. Click here!
Click the image below to learn more about my upcoming Ayurveda Summer Cooking Course!
*Always consult your physician before making adaptations to your lifestyle and diet.
*This is Chinese food adapted to what Westerners want. Traditional Chinese food can be very healthy.