It might help to reduce your stress levels
Sometimes, the world gets to be a little too much. Experiencing some level of stress is understandable and oftentimes inevitable. In those weeks where you feel like you’re making every decision under the sun, taking the pressure off when it comes to mealtime and going with what you know can help to minimize your stress. “Eating the same thing every day will definitely take the guesswork out of choosing a meal, and it provides a routine,” states registered dietitian Kate McGowan to NBC News.
By removing this guesswork, we can avoid overloading our brains with choices and experiencing the dreaded decision fatigue. Psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald states that this can be a huge drain in a psychological sense, contributing to stress and apathy. It can also affect our food choices for the worse (via Healthy Food). To help avoid this, or to pull back on decisions if you feel you’re experiencing decision fatigue, MacDonald recommends trying to plan ahead for meals. Additionally, signing up for a meal box delivery service can be a great way to make sure you’re getting an interesting and varied diet without having to drag yourself to the grocery store after work on a regular basis.
It could limit your body’s access to varied nutrition
So you’ve read an article about blueberries and now your fridge is full of them. No judgment, we’ve all been there. And blueberries can be pretty tasty and good for you. But it’s important to recognize that eating a food every day, regardless of how healthy it is, might not be a super healthy decision in the long term. Nutritionist Auslander Moreno explains this to The Healthy, stating that while many people “hyper-focus” on particularly buzz-worthy foods, “assigning yourself to a confined list of foods because they are the most well-known or well-described will box you in and close you off from various other vital nutrients.” In other words, variety really is the spice of life — and your diet.
But, while Moreno makes a good point, it’s also important to remember that a diet that incorporates a range of these foods, even if you’re eating them every day, can still be super-nutritious. It’s also true that we can sometimes become too focused on getting the most varied diet out there. “If your daily lunch contains a variety of healthful foods, relax and enjoy it,” NYU professor of nutrition and food studies Marion Nestle says to The Atlantic. A salad full of a range of vegetables, grains, and healthy proteins will still be good for you if you consume it daily. It’s just that eating only one healthy thing probably isn’t the answer.
It could increase your risk of metabolic syndrome
What we eat can have an enormous impact on our health, and sometimes what we don’t eat can do the same. If your diet is a little same-old, same-old, it could lead to an increased risk of certain health concerns. This includes metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that can occur simultaneously that, together, raise your likelihood of chronic and dangerous conditions like heart disease or type 2 diabetes (via Mayo Clinic). According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, individuals who had a more varied diet had a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Meanwhile, those with more monotonous diets had a higher chance of experiencing the syndrome.
As metabolic syndrome is identified by the presence of a group of conditions, if you suspect you’re experiencing more than one of the factors (which include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, elevated cholesterol levels, and a larger waist circumference), it might be useful to speak with your doctor. Consuming a varied diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins, while also trying to limit your intake of salt and saturated fats, can help prevent metabolic syndrome.