The Dangers of Junk Food: How Much Damage is it Really Causing?
When you hear the words junk food or fast food what springs to mind?
Greasy burgers, kebabs, take out, and ready meals that take a few minutes in the microwave are all things we would consider as fast food and junk food.
To quote Andre F Smith from Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food:
Those commercial products, including candy, bakery goods, ice cream, salty snacks & soft drinks, which have little or no nutritional value but do have plenty of calories, salts & fats. While not all fast foods are junk food, most are. Fast foods are ready to eat foods served promptly after ordering.
Even the things that are so easy and cheap to buy from the supermarket are considered junk food.
Those extra-large bags of crisps even if they are the deluxe version! The buy-one-get-one-free offer on chocolate bars and bags of sweets. The meal deals that offer you boxes of quick foods, plus a bottle of something for a reduced price. And what do all of these foods have in common? They are processed.
- A food no longer in its natural state.
- Stripped of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
- Can have added sugars, preservatives, and synthetic ingredients.
- Prolonged shelf life.
- Can be harmful to the body.
- Contain excess fat
For a lot of people, the convenience of processed foods outweighs the dangers. But, I wonder how much we actually know about these types of foods? Like how damaging they can be on the body, and once we know how harmful they can be, what we can do to make some changes?
Let’s take a look at some of the dangers that prolonged consumption of processed foods can contribute to:
- Heart Disease
- Weight Gain
- Digestive Problems
- High blood pressure
- Liver & Kidney disease
They are calorie dense and nutrient poor. Eating more junk food means you will be less likely to eat foods rich in the nutrients and vitamins the body needs to function at its best.
The long-term effects are really very damaging if junk food or fast food is the only thing that is eaten. There are many harmful ingredients that can hinder the metabolism which in turn can cause chemical imbalances. The body can become too acidic and saturated with refined sugar which can create an environment for cancer, harmful organisms, and parasites to thrive in.
The fact is, constant consumption of processed foods are dangerous to our long-term health.
Did you know that eating junk food alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin? Or that the fats from junk food can trigger the brain into wanting more unhealthy foods, which can last up to several days?
If you think you might be eating too much of the processed stuff, or want to knock the weekly take away on the head, then the good news is that YOU CAN!
I am not saying that you shouldn’t have the odd treat now and then, we all deserve a slice of cake or a nice meal out. The key is to make sure when we do it, it is a one-off and not an everyday occurrence.
I also know that making changes big or small can sometimes be difficult. I find that my clients get some big wins with some really simple changes.
Try these tips to inspire you to get motivated:
- Do you need something sweet after every meal? Try having a peppermint tea instead.
- Drink plenty of water – flush out all those toxins.
- Cook from scratch.
- Eat more plants – increase your veggies at every meal.
You will not only feel much healthier, you will save money in the long run and will most likely lose weight, without dieting!