Over the past few decades, pakoras, samosas, doughnuts, pizzas, burgers, rolls, wraps, frankies, french fries, etc have enetrated every corner our country. You step out of your house and you’ll see them being served everywhere from malls, restaurants and roadside corners to office and college canteens.
But have you ever thought why are they called ‘junk’? The word ‘junk’ refers to something that is extra and useless. And all your delicious, favourite foods do complete justice to what the name signifies. The consequences that these junk food have on your health are terrible, irrespective of whether you have them once in a while, twice in a week or every day.
Take a look at how these junk play a crucial role in deteriorating your health.
1. Junk food May be the Reason Behind Your Fatigue:
Although junk food and fast food makes you feel full and satisfied, they lack all the necessary nutrients like proteins and carbohydrates to keep your body energized and healthy.
If you eat junk food every time you’re hungry, you may feel chronically fatigued. It can lower your energy levels to an extent that it may become difficult for you to even perform your daily tasks.
2. Junks Food May Lead to Depression in Teenagers:
A lot of hormonal changes take place in teenagers which makes them susceptible to mood swings and behavioural changes. And a healthy diet plays an important role in maintaining that hormonal balance. Because junk food lack those essential nutrients, the likelihood of teenagers to suffer from depression is increased by 58 percent.
3. It Impairs Digestion:
Those who are addicted to fatty junk food are bound to have digestive problems like Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). That’s because junk food is deep fried. So, the oil from the junk food gets deposited in the stomach causing acidity. They cause irritation of the stomach lining because they are too spicy, and they also lack fibre which is important for proper digestion.
4. It Causes Fluctuations in Blood Sugar Levels:
Junk food is high in refined sugar which puts your metabolism under stress. Refined sugar causes the pancreas to secrete more amount of insulin in order to prevent a drastic spike in your blood sugar levels. Because junk food lacks sufficient levels of good carbohydrates and proteins, the levels of blood sugar drop suddenly after you eat. This makes you feel irritable and further increases you craving for more junk food.
5. It Affects the Brain Function:
A study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity shows that one week of eating junk food is enough to trigger memory impairment in rats. Recent research suggests that bad fats (trans fats) from junk food tends to replace healthy fats in the brain and interferes with its normal signalling mechanism. Studies in animals have also shown that fats from junk food slow down the ability to learn new skills. Have these foods to boost your brain power?
6. It Increases the Risk of Heart Disease:
Junks food increases cholesterol and triglyceride levels which are major risk factors for the development of heart diseases. Moreover, fats from junk food accumulate over the time in your body to make you obese. The more weight you put on, the higher your risk of suffering from heart attack.
7. It Can Cause Kidney Disease:
The reason why you can never say no to fries and chips is because they contain high amount of finely processed salt which increases salivation and secretion of enzymes that enhances your cravings. High amount of bad fats and sodium from salt increases blood pressure and affects the kidney function.
8. It Can Damage Your Liver:
High levels of trans fats found in a number of junk food can cause deposition of fats in the liver, which can cause liver dysfunction.
9. It Can Cause Type 2 Diabetes:
When you eat a healthy diet, your body gets a steady supply of glucose which helps to maintain insulin sensitivity. But when you eat only junk food, the excessive stress exerted on your metabolism can affect the ability of your body to use insulin properly. This can lead to diabetes.
10. It Increases Your Risk of Cancer:
A study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention revealed that consuming too much of fast foods that are high in sugar and fat can increase your chances of developing colorectal cancer. Another study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle showed that men who ate fried foods more than twice in a month had increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat by Andrew F. Smith.
Cancer Council NSW (cancercouncil.com.au)
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser