23 January 2017

Does Fast Food Make You Happy?

What happens to your body if you eat fast food for just a month?

 body mind and soul
Image/Pexels

Fast food is convenient; all you have to do is to order a meal from your favorite place or go there and eat out. Even better, junk food isn’t too pricey so you won’t spend too much money. That said, the affordable prices and conveniences don’t come without various consequences affecting your health and overall quality of life. 

Fast food
image/pixabay

While most people are familiar with the fact that fast food is unhealthy, they usually aren’t aware of the full spectrum of its effects. This post aims to change that as you’ll get to see what exactly happens to the human organism when a person eats fast food for at least a month.

Weight gain

Okay, you already know this but it’s impossible not to mention the impact of fast food on your waistline. Junk food has little to no nutritional value, while it’s loaded with unhealthy fats and sodium, your body doesn’t get the daily dose of proteins, minerals, and vitamins necessary for good overall health and a healthy weight. 

Weight gain
Weight gain/free stock photos from Pexels

Instead, these foods deliver way too many calories so if you aren’t an active person who exercises on a daily basis; the weight gain is imminent[1]. Since extra weight poses a threat to your health and increases the odds of various diseases, it is necessary to adhere to a well-balanced diet and increase activity levels. For most people, new
fitness trackers are extremely helpful for staying active throughout the day.

You’re constantly hungry

How many times have you eaten French fries or pizza because you were hungry, only to end up feeling hungry again just a few minutes later? While meals like these are popular, they’re not the healthiest choices for your body, not to mention the appetite. Fast food is high in calories, but as mentioned above, they’re low in nutritional content. 

Image/Pixabay


Why is this important? As a result, your body is deprived of much-needed nutrients, and hunger intensifies soon after you eat. On the other hand, healthier meals are high in fiber and healthy nutrients that suppress your appetite and make you feel full for longer. So, when eating junk food constantly, you’ll notice you’re always hungry and eat more frequently than you usually would.

Higher cancer risk
 
junk food increases breast cancer risk
Image source pixabay
One study found that frequent intake of junk food increases breast cancer risk[2]. That’s just one of many scientific discoveries that confirmed the relationship between fast food and cancers. It is needless to mention that due to the lack of fiber content, these unhealthy diet choices also enhance the odds of developing cancers of the digestive system[3].

Problems with digestive system

People who consume fast food regularly usually suffer from digestive problems such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Why does this happen? The answer is easy; junk food is deep fried, and all that oil gets deposited on the stomach lining walls, thus stimulating acid production.
image/pixabay

Plus, spices from fast food irritate your stomach and aggravate digestion, causing constipation, and so on.

You’re bloated and have skin problems

You might find junk food delicious, but it is difficult on your body. These foods are high in sodium content that, besides affecting kidneys and blood pressure, make you feel bloated and puffy[4]. Therefore, if you’ve ever wondered why you are bloated quite frequently, here’s your answer – it’s because you eat way too much junk food.

image/pixabay

Besides bloating, you may also notice that your skin has become greasier and some people develop acne too. This happens due to high carb content. Just like the rest of your body, well-balanced diet is vital for healthy skin as well.

Higher Type 2 diabetes risk

Diabetes rates are constantly on the rise, and fast food plays a big role here. How? Eating junk food enhances the stress on your metabolism and affects the organism’s ability to use insulin properly. Plus, lack of fiber causes a spike in blood sugar levels and contributes to insulin resistance, not to mention that diabetes and weight gain are connected. On the other hand, when eating a well-balanced diet, the body receives a steady supply of glucose and can maintain insulin sensitivity.

Heart health suffers, too

Fast foods are laden with saturated and trans fats known for their negative impact on cardiovascular health. These fats increase levels of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol, contribute to plaque formation and thereby enhance the risk of heart diseases.

The spike in blood sugar levels damages the lining of blood vessels and causes the chronic inflammation. Due to the inflammation, bad cholesterol sticks to the artery walls and block blood flow to the heart. What’s the consequence of this blockage? High blood pressure, heart attack, and so on.

It affects your brain too

Negative effects of fast food go beyond weight gain and higher odds of diabetes or heart diseases, they affect your brain as well. Junk food has a tremendous potential to affect brain’s synapses responsible for memory and learning. Moreover, it impacts one’s emotional health, too. People who eat fast food are more likely to experience mood problems and depression than those who don’t[5].

Conclusion


Although affordable and convenient, fast food is a major culprit for a number of negative effects on your body and overall health and wellbeing. To avoid these unfortunate scenarios, you should start making healthier diet choices. You can also work it out in the morning daily routine! :)

References:


[2] Intake of energy-dense foods, fast foods, sugary drinks, and breast cancer risk in African American and European American women., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25265504
[4] THE EFFECTS OF FAST FOOD ON THE BODY, http://www.healthline.com/health/fast-food-effects-on-body
[5] Link between fast food and depression confirmed, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120330081352.htm
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