Tiffiny Hall watches as Dan Churchill spoons freshly stir-fried vegetables into a bowl.
Centr Team

6 reasons eating healthy is worth the effort (and price tag)

Centr Team

There’s nothing more important than good health – it's what Centr's all about. But sometimes making good food choices can feel like a luxury, not a necessity – the kind of self-care we ignore the moment life’s other commitments start building up. We get it: at one time or another, faced with a recipe on one hand and a pre-packaged meal on the other, everybody has thought, “What’s wrong with the easy way out?”

Well, according to science, the answer is ‘a lot.’ The highly-processed food we turn to in our times of need is a trap, one with ramifications for our mood, workouts and long-term health. When it comes to eating healthy, the question shouldn’t be, “Can I afford to?” but “Can I afford not to?” While we've got tips to help with the budget practicalities, here are six reasons you should make healthy food a top priority.

1. You can’t compromise on variety

If you’re used to processed foods or restrictive diets, the variety in a whole foods diet might come as a shock. From organic fruit and veg to nutrient-packed nuts and hard-to-pronounce grains (quinoa – it’s ‘keen-WAH’) and maybe a few things you’d never heard of (what the heck is nutritional yeast?). It might have made you a bit nervous about a healthy food budget.

Maybe you’re used to a fitness meal plan that’s an endless repeat of bulk-bought chicken and broccoli, and possibly the occasional carrot. But the fact is, if you’re not getting a variety of vitamins and minerals from different fruit, veg, proteins, and carbohydrates every week, you’re running the risk of becoming nutrient-deficient. Not to mention it’s boring and unsustainable.

2. Good food means better workouts

Your body is a machine, and like any machine, it needs high-quality fuel. We don’t want you reducing the impact of a great workout by skimping on the essentials a body needs when it’s being pushed.

Plant-based Buffalo Cauliflower 'Wings' from the Centr meal plan.

Who needs junk food when you can snack on our Buffalo Cauliflower 'Wings'?

Centr meal plans are created with the workouts you’ll be doing to reach your goals in mind, right down to perfectly-timed snacks – from pre-workout Buffalo Cauliflower 'Wings' to a post-workout Green Snack Smoothie.

Ultimately, food shortcuts cause health and fitness delays.

3. More processing means more mystery

It might say “Beef noodle stir fry” on the packet, but we're betting that's not all that's in there. Processed foods are often stuffed with sodium and sugar – even foods that don’t necessarily taste very salty or sweet. That’s not by accident. Added sugar and salt is one of many processed food shortcuts. It’s an underhanded way to keep you coming back for more and saves companies from putting in the real work of crafting dishes that taste good and fulfilling all on their own.

By comparison, mindful eating and being informed about what goes into your body are part of Centr's health philosophy. With a whole food meal plan, you can be sure of exactly what goes into your body, right down to the sauces and marinades.

4. You’ll give fad diets the flick

Ridiculous and trendy diets might court a lot of attention in the news, but by and large, they simply don’t work. Anybody who has tried one can tell you why: sustaining the restrictive lifestyle suggested by Keto-enthusiasts can be hard, counter-intuitive work (not to mention largely ineffective.) That’s also why fad diets fall out of favor so quickly – remember the Paleo craze a few years ago? Or even the Atkins diet?

Eating unprocessed and nutritionally rich meals isn’t about unnecessary, unscientific restriction. It’s about embracing the way humans are meant to eat and making intuitive, rational and delicious food choices every day. Even the occasional ‘treat’ meal fits easily into a balanced lifestyle.

A close-up of a large head of broccoli held by a person shopping at a market.

Making thoughtful food choices pays off in the long run.

5. Processed foods make you hungry for more processed foods

Ever chowed down on a massive meal of processed junk food, only to start feeling hungry 30 minutes later? Turns out there’s a reason for that. Processed foods have been found to raise hunger hormones, increasing your appetite and leading you down an unhealthy food spiral. It’s not even clear to scientists just how dangerous processed foods are yet, though none of the news trickling out about it seems to be good.

6. Saving on future health costs

Sometimes we try to trick ourselves into thinking our diet decisions are made in a vacuum. After all, it’s so easy to eat three donuts in one sitting – just how bad can a little excess be? Well, there’s a reason that diet-related heart disease is reaching epidemic proportions. Long-term reliance on processed foods doesn’t just keep us from reaching our health and fitness goals; it makes us actively unwell. Some reports have even suggested a link between ultra-processed foods and chronic illnesses, including a range of other serious diseases.

Eating a balanced, whole foods-heavy diet isn’t simply about feeling better in the short term. It might save you from pricey treatments and poor quality of life down the track.

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