Why you should stop eating fast food

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Fast Food is a major public health hazard. Because it is so convenient and cheap, it is sometimes hard to resist. Many people crave the taste of their favorite fast food burgers or fries, which makes it even harder to pass up. Unfortunately, fast food can be one of the unhealthiest options out there when it comes to your diet. It is important to understand the impact that eating fast food can have on your health, especially because it has been linked to serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

 

Nutritional Content Of Fast Food

Many people underestimate how bad a fast food meal can be for their health. With so many components of typical fast food fare being fried or greasy, it doesn’t take long for the calories and fat to add up. Most fast food items are very high in sodium and cholesterol as well. On top of that, these meals contain very little fiber, vitamins and other nutrients the body needs to properly function.

For example, a burger can contain 1,000 calories and 65 grams of fat and that is over 50 percent of the recommended caloric intake for one day, and 100 percent of the recommended fat intake. Meals like this can be extremely detrimental to a person’s health, particularly if they are consumed on a regular basis.

 

Risk For Growth And Development

Health risks associated with fast food aren’t just for adults. Children who regularly consume fast food often suffer even more than adults because their conditions only worsen with age. Like adults, children that eat fast food have an increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some studies have also shown that children who eat fast food regularly also have a higher risk for developing asthma, hypertension and high cholesterol.

 

Risk For Illness And Disease

Eating fast food has been linked to the following health conditions:

Type 2 Diabetes: Many fast foods and drinks are loaded with carbohydrates and, consequently, a lot of calories. Your digestive system breaks carbs down into sugar (glucose), which it then releases into the bloodstream. Your pancreas responds by releasing insulin. When everything is working in sync, blood sugar levels stay within a normal range. When you take in high amounts of carbs, it causes a spike in your blood sugar. That can alter the normal insulin response. Frequent spikes in blood sugar may be a contributing factor in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Obesity: Fast food consumption easily lead to excess calorie intake and increases the risk of obesity because of large portion sizes and increased energy density of foods.

Cardiovascular Disease: Often found in fast food, Trans fats that are manufactured fats with no extra nutritional value are considered so unhealthy that some countries have banned their use. They are known to raise LDL (undesirable kind) cholesterol levels. They can also lower HDL cholesterol, the so-called good cholesterol. Having an unhealthy diet is a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease. This condition is caused by the build-up of plaque in the arteries and may lead to heart failure.

Stroke: A poor diet like one obtained from fast food often leads to high blood pressure. In turn, high blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke.

Cancer: According to studies, one-third of cancers are related to poor diet. This is often paired with the fact that obesity is closely linked with cancers of the colon, kidney and esophagus.

High Sodium Levels: Sodium levels contribute to existing high blood pressure or enlarged heart muscle. If you have congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease, too much salt can contribute to a dangerous buildup of fluid. Excess sodium may also increase your risk for kidney stones, kidney disease, and stomach cancer

Central Nervous System: A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed that eating commercial baked goods and fast food (pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs) may be linked to depression. A junk food diet could also affect your brain’s synapses and the molecules related to memory and learning, according to a study. Rats fed a steady diet with over half the calories from fat (similar to a junk food diet) for just a few days had trouble completing a maze they had previously mastered.

Skin and Bones: Food that is high in carbohydrates may also trigger acne. Studies showed a higher risk of eczema (inflamed, irritated patches of skin) among children with a diet high in fast food. When you consume foods high in carbs and sugar, bacteria residing in your mouth produce acids. These acids can destroy tooth enamel, a contributing factor in dental cavities. When the enamel of your tooth is lost, it can’t be replaced. Poor oral health has also been linked to other health problems. Excess sodium may also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis (thin, fragile bones).

 

 

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