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How does fast food affect our health?

How does fast food affect our health?
in Dietitian

Apr 19, 2022

Foods play an important role to maintain our health. Fast foods are generally ready to eat and quick alternative to home cooked food. Fast foods are specially designed to be additive in nature with a high level of salts, sugars, and fats. According to National Institute of Health (NIH), Fast foods are a quick alternative to home cooked foods that are rich in calorie, saturated fats, Trans fat, sugar, and salt. Fast foods are generally calorie dense and lack of proteins, multivitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is the richest source of Tran’s fat. Eating foods, rich in Tran’s fat increases Low-Density Lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol, lower High-Density Lipoprotein (good) cholesterol, and increases the risks of type II Diabetes Mellitus and heart diseases.

Fat Consumption and Its Effect on Health:

  • Excess consumption of Tran’s fat is sending mixed signals to the brain which makes it difficult to process the feeling of hunger. Healthy brain functions require a daily dose of essential fatty acids like omega 6 and omega 3. Deficiency of these two elements increases the risks of attention deficit disorder, dementia and bipolar disorder and other brain-related problems.
  • Fast foods are rich in calorie and simple sugar (especially in the form of sugar and refined flour) that’s causes weight gain i.e. overweight and obesity.
  • Obesity increases the risks of metabolic disorder diseases (e.g. Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension, heart disease, gout, pancreatitis, etc), respiratory dysfunctions including asthma and shortness of breath.
  • Fast foods may satisfy hunger in the short term but long term results are less positive. Regular intake of fast foods may cause depression, constipation and gastrointestinal diseases because it is deficient in fiber.
  • Excess intake of fast foods also hampers in normal growth and development for growing children.
  • Fast foods are rich in sodium that leads to water retention, feel puffy, bloated or swollen in the body. High sodium diet increases blood pressure and puts stress on the heart and cardiovascular system.

Research Highlights The Harmful Effects of Fats on Health:

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 showed that healthy people who eat fast foods/junk foods for five days continuously, performed on a cognitive test that measured attention, speed and mood. It concludes that eating fast food regularly can deteriorate memory power. Regular eating fast foods not only deteriorate memory power, it also increases the risks of metabolic disorder diseases, hampers growth and development in growing children, constipation, gastrointestinal diseases, etc.

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