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Why Eating Alone Can Be Harmful to Your Health

Eating Together

While it's true that eating is a basic necessity to keep us alive, it's also a very social activity. Throughout history, people have gathered around meals to exchange stories, share cultures, and simply bond with each other. However, in this modern world we live in, a lot of us tend to eat alone due to our busy lifestyles or personal choices. This might seem more convenient, but it actually has some detrimental effects on our overall well-being. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of eating with company and why eating alone can be harmful to your health.



Better Food Choices:


When we eat with others, we tend to make better food choices because we consider the other person’s dietary preferences or requirements. For example, if you are eating with someone who is a vegetarian, you might choose to order a salad or a vegan meal. Consequently, this leads to a more nutrient-dense meal, as people will often choose healthier sides as well. Whereas, when we eat alone, we tend to choose convenience over nutrition which impacts our health in the long run.


Reduces Stress Levels:


Sharing meals with friends or family can help to reduce stress levels, thereby improving our mental health. Laughing and talking with others while we eat sends signals to the brain that we are safe and content, thus lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone secreted by our adrenal glands and is known as the stress hormone; persistent high levels of cortisol can lead to a wide range of health problems, including anxiety, depression, and weight problems (as high cortisol levels impact insulin sensitivity).


Positively Impacts Digestion:


Most of us rush our meals when we eat alone, which could have a detrimental effect on digestion. Eating quickly can lead to overeating, which can cause indigestion, gastrointestinal problems, and heartburn. Eating with others often makes us eat more slowly than we usually would and enjoy our meals instead of rushing. Eating slowly has a positive impact on the digestive system, and it can reduce bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.


Builds Healthy Relationships:


Gathering around a meal is one of the oldest traditions, and it helps to create healthy relationships. Eating with someone shows that you trust and value their presence, and it sends signals to your brain that you are happy with the company. Sometimes sharing meals with others can even help us bond with them and create opportunities for deep and important conversations. Eating alone doesn't allow such relationships to develop, which is harmful to our mental health.


Boosts Your Metabolism:


Eating in the company of others can also improve our metabolism. Sharing food with others can evoke a psychological state of satisfaction and relaxation, which can stimulate metabolism due to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. When we eat alone, we tend to quickly consume our food with little thought, which does not benefit our metabolism.



Eating alone might seem like a more convenient option at first, but it's really not worth it. Gathering around a meal is one of the oldest traditions that brings people together in so many ways. It's not just about the food, it's also about building relationships and nourishing our minds and bodies. Eating with others reduces our stress levels, positively impacts digestion, leads to healthier food choices, builds relationships, and boosts our metabolism. So the next time you're considering eating alone, remember that eating with company has more benefits at the end of the day.


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