The American Diet: Eating in the Car

Did you know that 20% of meals in the U.S. are eaten in the car? Drive-thru restaurants and pressing deadlines are killing us! Convenience, price, and time are all contributing factors to people choosing fast food over-preparing food at home. However, we don’t get the same nutritional or emotional benefits when we eat in our car instead of in a more relaxed setting. Fast food is not what our bodies were built to run on and eating on the go is a bad habit. 

Stop and think about how often you eat out or eat in a rushed manner. Do you take the time to chew slowly during this time, enjoying every bite? How do you feel after quickly eating a greasy meal? Chances are you don’t take the time to chew up the food the way your body needs to in order for it to properly digest. You probably feel sluggish, overstuffed, or simply not your best when the meal is done.

There are many benefits to taking the time to sit down and enjoy your meal. Doing this can help you consume less food, make better food choices, and digest your food better. Savoring your meal can also create a sense of community and warmth with friends and family. Sitting down to a meal takes some time, planning, and commitment to the idea but the nutritional and emotional benefits make it worth the time and effort. 

Eating at home instead of eating out has many health-related benefits including:

  • Healthier ingredients and better cooking methods
  • Better portion control
  • Reduced germ exposure
  • Avoid food allergies
  • Enjoy a more balanced diet
  • Develop healthy eating habits
  • Not rushed to eat

While preparing food at home might seem too time-consuming, hard, or unrealistic there are many ways to get started. Finding recipes that take under 30 minutes to prepare and make, is easy and helps out when you are on a time crunch. There are also plenty of recipes that are for beginners so that you don’t feel overwhelmed with all of the steps and ingredients. Another great way to get motivated to make meals at home is to involve your family or friends. This is a fun way to bond and spend time with those you care about.

Food is meant to nourish our bodies and bring us more energy. Preparing healthy meals will better provide the nutrients we need and help us stay energized longer. Preparing food at home is healthier, saves money, and can help grow relationships.

Enjoy life. Don’t rush through it. Take time to savor a few moments every day. Make a goal to sit down and enjoy at least one meal a day this week!