The word ‘JUNK’ is self-explanatory for anything that is useless and trash. Knowing it’s terrible health consequences, it’s hard to avoid as the companies have mastered the perfection in taste. It has the right blend of salt, sugar and fat that creates an immense impact on the taste sensation. Let’s see what are the major disadvantages of junk food so that we can keep ourselves away from unhealthy eating.
Physical Health Hazards
Weight Gain/ Obesity
Nowadays a lot of problems arise as an outcome of consuming junk food. These are high-energy-dense food because they contain a lot of calories and offer few nutritional benefits. When you fill yourself up with empty calories, they decrease sensory-specific satiety causing you to overeat and crave for more leading to weight gain and obesity.
Effect on Cardiovascular Health and the Chronic Disease
Junk food tends to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol that raises your bad cholesterol levels, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. In addition to, the excess sodium that’s found in most processed food can raise your blood pressure as well and increase the chance that you will develop heart disease.
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Type 2 Diabetes
Our body uses insulin to move blood sugar from digested food into cells. The refined carbohydrates, or added sugars, in junk food cause spikes and then dips in your blood sugar levels. This leads to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia, where sugar doesn’t get stored, but rather stays in our bloodstream. Over the time, we can develop Type 2 diabetes, a condition that puts you at risk for a number of health-related complications.
Regular consumption of junk food causes deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. High-energy-dense food often lacks protein; calcium; iron; vitamins A, C, D and E; B vitamins; potassium; zinc; and monounsaturated fats. A deficiency in any of these nutrients compromises your immune system. It puts you at risk for illness and infection and may leave you with a feeling of anxiety, depression and irritability.
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Eating junk food with high sugar content, such as soda, candy and baked goods, coats your mouth, gums, tongue and teeth with sugar. This sugar coating attacks enamel and leads to tooth decay and cavities.
Kidney & Liver Damage
Junk foods like chips and fries contain high amounts of finely processed salt, which increases the secretion of enzymes and saliva that enhances your cravings. The sodium and bad fats from salt increase the blood pressure, thereby affecting the kidney function.
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Another disadvantage of junk food is that it can cause liver damage. High levels of trans fats present in junk food get deposited as fats in the liver which can cause fatty liver disease and liver dysfunction.
Processed junk food provides very little dietary fibre which is needed to keep your bowels moving. Hence the inadequate amount of fibre leads to constipation.
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Increases Cancer Risk
A noted study revealed that consuming too much fast food – high in sugar and fat can increase the risk of having colon cancer. Another study showed that men who ate fried foods more than twice in a month had an increased risk of prostate cancer. Growth & Developmental Hazards
It’s a slow poison to the brain leading to the improper development of brain especially in kids and pregnant women.
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Not only do they add inches to your waistline, but scientists and researchers have also indicated that junk food can cause serious damage to your brain. These toxic diets can suppress the activity of a brain peptide called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and synapses that help with learning and memory formation especially in kids and pregnant women.
Increases the Risk of Dementia
This has been one of the scariest discoveries associated with the consumption of junk food. A study has shown that excess amount of fatty acids and sweets can substantially increase the insulin levels in the body. Higher the insulin levels in the body, more the brain stops responding to this hormone and becomes resistant to it. This restricts the ability to recall or think, thus creating the risk of dementia.
It Can Lead To Depression
Excess fat and sugar change the chemical activity of the brain which could lead to withdrawal symptoms that involve the inability to deal with stress and depression. Moreover, with consumption of junk food, the body may lose out on the essential nutrients like the amino acid tryptophan which in turn increases the feeling of depression.
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Makes You Impatient Which Leads to Uncontrollable Cravings
Eating a sugary cupcake or doughnut may temporarily spike your blood sugar levels making you temporarily feel happy and satisfied, but as soon as they return to normal, you are left feeling all the more hungry and crave for more. If blood sugar levels dip to a very low level, it can cause anxiety, confusion and fatigue. With a high content of sugar and fat, you tend to eat too fast. This can inculcate impatient behaviour while dealing with other things. Fast food and processed food may be laden with artificial flavourings and preservatives like sodium benzoate that tends to increase hyperactivity.
So thumbs up to healthy eating and a big NO to junk food. Follow just one mantra ‘Health is Wealth and Fitness the Real Happiness’‘.