Junk Food Wrecking Your Health?
We all succumb to eating junk food – especially when we are on-the-go – and more than likely you know it’s bad for you, but just how bad? This author breaks down some of the potential consequences of continually eating junk food! It’s our scared straight approach!
Drop the junk food
Thanks to our busy schedules and fast paced life, junk food is the preferred food of choice for many people.
Tacos, burgers, and French fries have become part of the modern world’s favorite diet. These quick meals are not only delicious, but they are easily available at affordable rates. Fast food chains entice Customers with lucrative meal deals and discounts.
Customers are made to believe that they are paying less for a tasty and nutritious meal.
In reality, the quick and tasty meals contain fat and salt in high concentration with low calcium and fiber. These foods can cause chronic diseases and severe health problems when consumed regularly.
What are junk foods?
Food that is high in calories and has minimal nutritional value can be termed as junk food. Often we end up eating more junk food than we should. Junk food is high in sugar content.
Sugar can induce cravings that can get us addicted. When we satiate ourselves with more junk food, the quantity of nutritional food consumed decreases.
Some of the examples of junk foods are:
- Soda – Soda is loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners.
- French fries – They are loaded with salt and are often fried in rancid oil.
- Nachos – This snack is high in fat and calories.
- Churros – This sugary snack is made of high amounts of sugar, gluten and corn syrup.
- Tacos – The seasoning contains a lot of chemicals. This snack is high in fat and calories.
- Burgers – Burgers are loaded with chemicals, sugar and high in salt content.
The high salt and sugar content along with unhealthy fats present in junk food can cause havoc on our bodily functions.
For our bodies to function normally, nutrition balanced is necessary. When we substitute nutrition with junk food, it can affect our overall health.
Physiological impact of junk food:
Metabolism undergoes severe stress due to the presence of high fat and sugar content. Excess body weight due to accumulated fat leads to obesity and obese people often experience an energy crash leading to decreased physical activity and performance.
Energy crashes increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart related diseases.
When junk foods are regularly consumed the pancreas will be under pressure to secrete insulin in high amounts to keep the blood sugar levels in check.
The overworked pancreas can eventually slow down leading to diabetes. In turn, diabetes causes blurred eyesight, lethargy and a host of other health conditions that affect the body.
Trans-fat present in junk foods accumulates inside the arteries and in the blood. These fats thicken over time and block the arteries. And high deposits of fat in the blood will lead to high cholesterol levels.
This condition can cause a person to develop unexplained fatigue and weakness. It makes him or her vulnerable to heart diseases.
High amounts of sodium in processed foods can also cause excessive fluid build-up leading to increased risk of kidney stones, diseases and cancer.
Junk foods contain sodium in large quantities. When the intake of sodium increases the urinary excretion of calcium also increases.
Excess elimination of calcium from the system may result in reduced bone mass and high demineralization. This condition increases the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis in women.
Psychological impact of junk food:
Anxiety and depression
Consuming large amounts of junk food deprives the brain of receiving Omega 3 fatty acids making one feel depressed and anxious. Junk food also has refined carbohydrates in large quantities. Increased levels of carbohydrates cause blood sugar to oscillate.
The blood sugar level falls into hypoglycemic levels triggering feelings of depression, anxiousness and confusion.
Hyperactivity and irritability
Junk foods contain a lot of artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives such as sodium benzoate. Consumption of these components in large quantities is shown to result in irritability and hyperactivity.
How can we choose a balanced diet?
Creating awareness about unhealthy food habits can go a long way. One needs to become aware of the food components that they eat. Choose a healthy balanced diet that is rich in
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Healthy starchy foods such as brown rice, potatoes and pasta
- Natural sources of protein such as fish, meat and eggs
- Small portions of milk and dairy products
Junk foods can serve as tasty meals that are cheap and quick to get. However, high amounts of salt, sugar and fat present in them can wreck the functioning of the body.
Regular consumption of fast food can affect our bodies on physiological and psychological levels causing many diseases and depression.
Choosing a nutritious diet is the only way that can keep our bodies and minds in good shape and better health!
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