NEW YORK, May 5, 2023 (Newswire.com) - Credello: With obesity becoming a global epidemic, it's no surprise researchers and scientists are trying to find ways to combat it. Obesity is one of the most significant factors affecting cardiovascular rates and heart health across all generations, cultures, and sexes.
But why has it become so common? Some believe it's due to environmental factors, such as microplastics now being found in blood or anti-depressants leaking into the water supply. Others point to cultural lifestyle changes, such as decreases in the need for physical activity thanks to remote work and office jobs and easier access to fast foods.
A study done by the Cleveland Clinic found that 45% of those polled admitted to opting for fast food at least once a week instead of preparing meals themselves.
While there may be no easy answer for the rise in obesity rates, it's clear that the damage it does to the heart and cardiovascular system is well worth trying to stop.
Fortunately, there are several things we can do to help improve our heart health and lower our risk of developing hypertension, heart disease, and even stroke. Here are four of the biggest barriers to a heart-healthy diet in 2023:
1. Lack of knowledge about healthy eating habits
One of the biggest challenges facing people who want to adopt a healthier diet is that they don't know where to start. Many people are used to eating whatever they want without consequence, so changing their habits is often difficult.
It is essential to educate yourself on the different types of foods and how to cook them to make healthier choices without feeling deprived or uncomfortable. Acquiring knowledge about your food sources is also key - learning where your food comes from can help you make more informed decisions about what you eat.
2. Lack of access to affordable, healthy foods
According to Credello's "Price of Health Food" survey, the average cost for home-cooked meals rose 11.3% in January 2023 alone. With the current economic instability and record-high inflation, it's no surprise many are opting for cheaper options than their healthy counterparts.
Unfortunately, saving money now could have detrimental results later. Many pre-prepared or packaged foods are high in sugar, salt, and other unhealthy additives that can pack on the pounds and damage your heart health.
Luckily, there are solutions that can make healthy foods readily available without breaking the budget. Opting for locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and even bread or meats can often be a cheaper alternative than foods shipped to your grocery store. Consider going to your weekly farmer's markets to source healthy, cheap ingredients for your weekly meals.
In addition, don't think the only option for good health means paying a premium for organic and fresh. The term "organic" is loosely regulated by the FDA and doesn't automatically make an ingredient or meal a healthier alternative than the non-organic version. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also an economical option that can be substituted for fresh items in many recipes at a fraction of the cost.
3. Difficulty tracking food intake
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a healthier diet is keeping track of what you're eating. It's easy to go through the day without thinking about what you're putting in your mouth, leading to mindless eating and nutrient deficiency.
It's important to make meal planning a part of your daily routine so you know exactly what's going into your body at all times. This way, you can make healthier choices even when you don't have time to cook from scratch.
4. Lack of motivation to change lifestyle habits
If you're not motivated to change your lifestyle habits, doing so will be difficult, if not impossible. Many people simply stick to the same routine, regardless of how unhealthy it is for their health.
Balancing your work and personal life is essential to make time for healthy eating and exercise. Participating in healthy activities with friends or family can also help increase your motivation. Also, reducing your meat intake or going vegetarian can have an immensely positive effect on your budget and heart health.
The bottom line
There are a lot of obstacles to adopting a heart-healthy diet in 2023, but with some effort and motivation, it's definitely possible. By educating yourself on the food you're eating and finding affordable, healthy alternatives, you can take small but critical steps toward ensuring your heart stays strong for years to come.
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Original Source: These Are the Biggest Barriers to Having a Heart-Healthy Diet in 2023
Lifestyle - JISIP NEWS originally published at Lifestyle - JISIP NEWS