Junk food, or cheat food, is a favourite for most of us. One might even say it is irresistible, and why not? They are sweet, they need no preparation, they are cheap, and they are readily available. From chocolate bars to biscuits to cakes and carbonated drinks, we enjoy junk food a lot. While there are those of us who take it occasionally, such as when we are out or on special days, there are those of us who cannot go a day without having one junk food or the other. Such people have gone ahead to replace their regular food with junk food. But is it the best option?
To understand the health effects junk food has on the body, you first need to understand what most of these junk foods contain. Junk foods are known for having little or no nutritional, meaning eating them would not have any positive impact on the body. Instead, they contain some excessive ingredients. One common ingredient in junk foods is sugar. Junk foods are loaded with a lot of sugar and other sweet additives. Although most people may not know this, sugar is very addictive and within a short space of time, your body begins to crave it. That is why many people find it very hard to go a week without having their favourite junk food. It is that bad.
A lot of these junk foods also contain a high amount of fats. Some of them are deep-fried, others are loaded with cheese and butter, and so on. All of that fat is bound to affect your health one way or the other.
Let us now discuss it further by taking a look at some of the health effects of junk food on the body.
1. Leads to Obesity
One of the key effects of junk food is that it leads to an increase in weight, often leading to obesity. This is because of the sugar and fat content in it. Most junk foods are also high in carbs. The combination of all three could cause one to gain weight, triggering obesity. Obesity also comes with its issues, such as diabetes and increased risks of heart diseases. Multiple studies have proved that regular intake of junk and fast food will ultimately lead to weight gain and obesity.
2. Teeth Problems
The sugar content in junk food could also cause tooth problems like tooth decay and cavities. Regularly eating sweets and chocolates could also cause your teeth to lose their colour. Sugar in the teeth could also attract bacteria, leading to cavities and other problems. Fast foods and carbonated drinks contain acidic compounds like acrylamide, amino acids, phosphoric acids which wear down the enamel layer and eventually erodes the enamel.
3. Leads to Depression
Believe it or not, consuming a lot of junk food can lead to depression. This is caused by chemical changes in the body triggered by withdrawal from junk food. The more you consume the sugar and fat present in junk food, the more your body gets used to it, becoming dependent on it in no time. You would feel depressed or down when your body does not get the sugar it needs.
4. Increased Risks Of Diabetes
Consuming a lot of junk food increases your risk of diabetes. This is because it drives your blood sugar levels up and increases insulin resistance as well. Junk foods contain a lot of sugar which can increase your blood sugar level, resulting in Type 1 Diabetes.
5. Increases Your Appetite
Regularly eating junk food could cause lead to an increase in your appetite as your brain demands more food. This could lead to overeating and you could have issues with digestion, such as constipation.
How To Reduce Your Consumption Of Junk Food
Junk foods can be so addictive because of its salty, sweet, and fatty flavors. However, you can break free and learn to reduce how much junk food you eat. Here are some practical steps you can take to reduce your consumption of junk food:
- Plan ahead on what to eat
- Eat more protein
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Replace fizzy, carbonated drinks with water
- Replace junk snacks to healthy nuts and snacks
- Get enough sleep and rest
- Stock up on fruits daily
- Find healthy food restaurants around you.
Although it may be very difficult, challenging, and expensive, it is always better to eat healthier foods. These health effects of junk food discussed above, should motivate you to make healthier food choices. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Replace unhealthy snacks with healthy nuts. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid the harmful health effects of junk food.