Live a Healthy and Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Living healthy lifestyle and going green are two things that are commonly associated with high expenditure. While most people do require personal loans to pay for the lifestyle switch, the money that they save in the long run far outweighs the short term spending.

So how do we test that healthy living can be cheaper? In order to give an accurate picture, let us look at two types of meals: A McDonalds big mac meal and a home-made burger.

Categories Big Mac Home-made burger
Cost

R41. 50

R20.20

Calories

590

293

Total fat

34g

20g

Saturated

11g

8g

Trans fats polyunsaturated

1g

Monounsaturated

9g

Total carbohydrate

47g

9g

Protein

24g

18g

 

In order to understand this chart let us break down the four groups – calories, fat, carbohydrate and protein – and find out how this affects us:

Number One – Calories

This refers to the amount of energy available in the food. The higher the calories, the more exercise you need to do to maintain your body weight.  In order to burn 100 calories via a brisk walk (6km/h) will take the average person 18 minutes. This means you will need to walk for one hundred and six minutes to burn off a McDonald’s burger compared to a mere fifty-three minutes for a homemade burger.

Number Two – Fat

1 gram of fat is equivalent 9 calories.  Therefore, in order to burn off the fat on a McDonald’s burger, you will need to walk for 61 minutes, effectively walking just more than 6 kilometres. On the other hand, to burn off a home-made burger, you will only need to walk 35 minutes or 3.3 kilometres.

Number Three – Carbohydrates

1 carbohydrate is equal to 4 calories. If you take that into consideration, you will need to walk for 34 minutes to burn off all the carbohydrates that you ingested from the McDonalds burger, while only walking for 6 and a half minutes to burn off the home-made – healthy – burger.

Number Four – Protein

Protein is similar to carbohydrates in the sense that 1 gram of protein is also equal to 4 calories. Therefore, one needs to walk for 34 minutes for a McDonald’s burger compared to 6 and a half minutes for a home-made burger.

If you were to then compare these two products based on these four categories, in order to burn off the calories you consumed: For a McDonald’s burger, you will need to walk a distance of 23.5 kilometres, whereas a mere 9.9 kilometres for a home-made one.

Now that we know that eating home-made and health foods is both healthier and cheaper for you, what about the environment?

A recent study in America looked at two aspects of how junk food threatens the environment: Fuel consumption and greenhouse gases.

One – Fuel consumption: In the United States of America (USA) 19 percent of the total energy consumption is used to produce and supply food. The study shows that if people stopped producing fast food and went back to traditional farming and eat healthier food items, the energy consumption can be cut by 50 percent.

Two – Greenhouse gases: The research shows that the amount of gases that a fast food restaurant generates when producing 4 normal sized burgers (2 big macs) is equivalent to driving a vehicle 625 kilometres or 1000 miles. The study showed that producing unhealthy foods – chips – produces twice the amount of greenhouse gases than producing healthier food items – apples-.

Next time you are hungry – remember the environment – and rather make your own hamburger. This burger will be cheaper, healthier and better for the environment.