Junk food, it`s called junk for a reason! Junk foods can be a treat to the taste buds, but the ill effects of these foods widely known. Its regular consumption can have adverse effects on your health and may cause irreparable damage to the body. Several scientific researchers have proven that junk food can leave you prone to heart diseases and may eventually make your brain weak and non-functional.
What are Junk Foods?
Any food that has no or negligible nutritional value can be considered as junk foods. Most of the fast foods, including candy, bakery products, burgers and sausages, salty and oily snacks or soft drinks can be categorized as junk food. They have a high calorie content, salts and fats. The more we consume these, the less is the intake of essential nutrients and vitamins in the body.
Consumption of junk food can lead to a lot of health problems, some of them are mentioned below.
One of the most common side-effects of consuming junk foods is increased obesity. It’s composition of loads of sugar, calories and fats contribute to weight-gain. Obesity can cause many medical issues like diabetes, joint-pain and heart diseases.
Loss of Memory and Learning Problems
A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that people who ate junk food performed poorly in cognitive tests. It concluded that junk foods can deteriorate your memory and can leave with you with a weaker brain. It causes a sudden inflammation in the hippocampus in the brain which is responsible for memory and recognition.
Lead to Depression
Junk foods are loaded with high sugar and fats that can cause certain chemical reactions in the brain which affect its functioning. By consuming too much of it, the body loses essential nutrients and amino acids. These symptoms eventually lead to inability of brain to deal with stress and can leave you feeling depressed.
Worsens Appetite and Digestion
Consumption of excess junk food leaves the brain in a dilemma. Excessive sugar intake can cause blood sugar level to fluctuate and makes the brain demand more food, which eventually leads to overeating. It makes it difficult for the body to digest excessive junk food.
Inadequate Growth & Development
Surviving on junk food causes deficiency of essential nutrients and vitamins required for the proper growth and development of the body. Unhealthy eating habits combined with imbalance of fatty acids and required nutrients can hamper the development of your brain and other body parts. Excess intake of soda and sugar also causes tooth decay and weakening of your bones.
While there is no substitute to proper eating habits and intake of a nutrient-rich food, it’s prudent to arm yourself with a health insurance policy to keep yourself secured against such diseases and maladies that can ruin your finances with high medical expenses.
Know what’s good for your body
Our society has been attuned to seeing individuals with a certain physical body type. Anyone who does not does not fit into the conventional standards is considered an outsider. However, following crazy diets or starving just to get that perfect beach body can be unhealthy.
We come across numerous tips on how to lose weight and what kind of diet to follow. But not everything we hear or read is right. It is common for people to adopt some shortcuts to fix their weight woes, which later become diet fads.
Not all fats are bad
Fats found in foods such as nuts, salmon are good for health, and they protect the heart as well. Whereas, the ones found in greasy foods or baked delights increase cholesterol.
It is necessary to include good fats in your diet and pamper yourself occasionally with treats. This makes it easier to stick to your healthy diet plan.
Don’t get obsessed counting your calories
Calories are important, but only for understanding portion control. The calories you ingest from different foods are different in nature. The 50 calories you gain from eating a watermelon is different from 50 calories you gain from a pastry.
The quality of calories differs from one another. A dense calorie, such as one from spinach, is nutrient rich. On the contrary, an empty calorie – one you gain from French fries – has almost zero nutrients. It is more important to watch what you eat than how many calories you consume
Don’t eat too much protein
Our body needs three macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Consuming proteins exclusively for weight loss and depriving the body of the other two nutrients is unwise. With a protein diet, you are at the risk of putting too much pressure on your kidneys in addition to depriving your body of necessary fiber and antioxidants.
Don’t Skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important of all three meals and it shouldn’t be missed. Skipping breakfast only makes you overeat during lunch and dinner. Moreover, you tend to feel weak and distracted all morning, since you haven’t broken the fast for over 8 hours.
Be careful detoxing
Some fads encourage people to use special cleansers to detox the body. However, these are unnecessary, since your body detoxifies itself naturally without external cleansing agents. Also, these cleansers taste miserable and do little good for your body.
Certain raw foods only
It is believed that cooking, grilling and microwaving decrease the nutritional value, killing natural enzymes that promote digestion. However, some foods (such as cabbage) can contain parasites and cause stomach infections, if consumed raw.
Cooking helps to kill the microorganisms that cause food-induced infections and boosts certain nutrients like beta-carotene. Cooked food is healthy if prepared with moderate levels of oil and fat.