While the human body is resilient, you should never make a habit of having a diet consisting mostly of unhealthy junk food. Preventing your body from taking a proper diet is one way to break down its immunity from ailments among others. The thing is, trying to develop healthy nourishment is getting tougher with the increase of food products that contain preservatives in the market.
The junk food is freaking delightful, and it is low-priced. But within a few hours, you may start to feel off. Your stomach may hurt, or your skin becomes a little greasier than usual.
Andre F. Smith book, Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, defines junk food as, “those commercial products, including candy, bakery goods, ice cream, salty snacks, and soft drinks, which have little or no nutritional value but do have plenty of calories, salt, and fats. While not all fast foods are junk foods, most are. Fast foods are ready-to-eat foods served promptly after ordering”. The dark side of junk foods is not an unknown fact. Now we will discuss the consequences when you eat junk food.
1. Weight Gain
One of the biggest contributing factors when it comes to unhealthy food and health concern is rapid weight gain. Weight gain can affect our self-esteem negatively, it also severely heightens the risk of developing severe and fatal diseases. An overweight person is at more risk of having a heart attack 20 times more compared to a person who is well within their recommended Body Mass Index.
If you are willing to know your proper BMI, then you need to do some simple calculations. You just need to divide your weight (kg) by your height (m) and divide the answer by your height (m) once again to get your proper BMI.
Eating junk foods does not necessarily cause weight gain but it is one of the most common side effects. A 2004 study found that those who eat junk food generally have a higher body mass index and are more likely to be overweight than those who do not.
Highly processed foods that are high in calories and low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber break down quickly in the body and can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. By eating junk food, you gain too much weight that leaves your body open to several health risks. One of the most common and most dangerous is diabetes.
3. Heart Disease
Heart failure risk will increase for people who are overweight by eating junk foods. One of the leading causes of death around the world is a heart attack and this is directly link to body weight.
According to the American Heart Association, there are two types of trans fats: naturally occurring and artificial, which are created industrially and are the types of trans fats. Most junk food companies use trans fats because they are inexpensive, and they make food delicious.
Trans fats are known to raise your cholesterol levels, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Chest pain or angina, Sweating, Shortness of breath, nausea, and heart palpitations are common symptoms of heart disease.
People who are overweight usually have abnormally high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol can cause blockage in the veins which can then cause heart attacks. As the heart is another muscle in the body, it needs to get the proper amount of oxygen. It needs oxygen to pump blood throughout the body and the narrower the arteries get the harder it gets for the heart to do its job. If this continues the person will experience regular shortness of breath.
4. You get tired
After eating a large junk meal, you feel exhausted. The sleepiness comes from a certain type of amino acid called tryptophan, which becomes more available to the brain via carbohydrates. Since junk foods are typically heavy in carbs, it makes sense that the more junk food you eat, the more tired you’ll feel.
In 2015, a Daily Mail writer tested fast food’s effect on the body by eating fast food for a full week. By the end of the week, she reported that her “concentration levels were much lower than usual and [her] fatigue was a real issue, even after a long night’s sleep.”
A study conducted at the University of Montreal on mice showed that they suffered from withdrawal symptoms after their regular junk food diet was discontinued. In humans, these withdrawal symptoms can lead to the inability to deal with stress, make you feel depressed, and eventually you would turn back to those foods to comfort yourself and handle these feelings. Another study in 2012 found that people who eat fast food are 51% more likely to develop depression.
By consuming too much junk food you may lose out on essential nutrients like amino acid tryptophan, the lack of which can increase feelings of depression. An imbalance of fatty acids is another reason why people who eat more junk food are at a higher risk of depression.
6. Higher Risk for Cancer
Junk food is a special kind of cancer-causing horror. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2016 found that fast food contains toxic chemicals known as phthalates, “a class of high production volume industrial chemicals.” According to the National Toxicology Program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, phthalates are known carcinogens (substances that can lead to cancer).
7. Develop an Addiction
To someone who craves Taco Bell more than pretty much anything else, the addictive properties of junk food make total sense. A 2011 study found evidence that junk food has many addictive properties and is “most likely to create dependence in vulnerable populations,” such as in poor neighborhoods and among obese people, who the study says “eat more fast food than those who are normal weight.” It does not help that we’re inundated with ads that serve as triggers like a beer commercial might trigger an alcoholic.
8. Cause Uncontrollable Cravings
Fast foods are specially designed to be addictive with high levels of salts, sugars, and fats that make you crave them. The addictive nature of junk food can make your brain crave them even when you are not hungry. Eating a sugary cupcake or doughnut may temporarily spike your blood sugar levels making you feel happy and satisfied but as soon as they return to normal you are left feeling more irritable.
Fast food is packed with carbohydrates in which your sugar levels fluctuate rapidly. If your blood sugar levels drop to a low level, it can cause anxiety, confusion, and exhaustion. With a high content of sugar and fats, you tend to eat too fast and too much to satisfy your cravings. This can inculcate an impatient behavior while dealing with other things.
9. Cause Memory and Learning Problems
A study published in the American Journal showed that healthy people who ate fast food for only 5 days performed poorly on cognitive tests that measured attention, speed, and mood. It concluded that eating junk food for just five days regularly can deteriorate your memory. This probably stems from the fact that a toxic diet can cause certain chemical reactions. These chemical reactions lead to inflammation in t the brain which is associated with memory and special recognition.
10. Other Common Chronic Illnesses
As we have noted earlier, eating unhealthy food can cause more than 50 health problems if left unchecked. Chronic diseases such as cancer and chronic respiratory diseases can also arise from an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Chronic illnesses are non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which mean they are not passed down from different persons. Vaccines are also useless in combating NCDs. NCDs also do not simply disappear after a short period. This type of illness will take years of constant and regular treatment and even that is not a guaranteed success.