Every day, millions of people ask themselves, “Are fast foods bad for you?” The answer is a resounding yes! While eating fast food every once in a while won’t hurt you consuming it regularly will most definitely affect your health negatively.
Reasons Why Fast Food Is Bad?
If you eat fast food regularly, the effects on your health can be disastrous. Studies have shown that people who eat fast food more than twice a week drastically increase their chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a host of other chronic problems.
Fast food’s bad reputation stems from a number of factors but the primary issue is that fast foods are abundant in a handful of unsavory substances: sodium and trans-fats. These compounds wreak havoc in your body and the more of them you eat the more damage they do.
Sodium – The food available in fast food restaurants are notoriously high in sodium. Your kidneys are responsible for ridding your body of salts but consuming too much causes a buildup in your system as it can’t be eliminated fast enough – the resulting accumulation of sodium in your bloodstream forces your heart to work harder which in turn causes high blood pressure and heart disease. Putting that much pressure on your kidneys also increases your risk of kidney disease. Dialysis isn’t a pretty word.
Trans Fats – Perhaps the most deadly substance in fast food is trans-fat. Trans-fats are created when hydrogen is added to liquid oils so that they stay solid at room temperature. The resulting fat is considered by the American Heart Association to be one of the most deadly things you can consume today: a diet high in trans-fats greatly ups your risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
Digestive Problems – As well, fast food is notoriously hard on your digestive system and those that eat a poor diet are more likely to experience stomach upset and digestive problems. Conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may develop in those that consistently eat fast food.
Too Much Sugar – While most people are aware of the presence of high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks did you know that there is sugar is most fast food menu items? A standard burger at most fast food restaurants contains 10 grams of sugar which is about as much sugar as you’d find in a couple of cookies. Fast food breakfast items have even more sugar, and that’s without the syrup.
If you think you’re safe by ordering “healthy” menu options, think again: the yogurt parfaits with fruit that restaurants market as nutritious contain 19 grams of sugar which is almost as much sugar as you would find in a can of soda. All of this sugar greatly increases your risk of developing insulin resistance a precursor to diabetes.
Empty Calories –Despite its high caloric content, fast food offers very little nutritional value in return. One fast food meal can contain as much as 1,500 calories, which is well over 50% of the daily calories required for a healthy adult. As well, within these empty calories you will find up to 75 grams of fat, and little to no vitamin content.
For example, a Big Mac from McDonalds contains 563 calories and 33 grams of fat. As far as vitamins go, there is 24% of your daily intake of iron but little else – 8% of your Vitamin A requirement and 1% of your Vitamin C requirement are not much to speak of when you consider how many calories you are consuming with such a meal. If you ate the same weight in pasta and salad you would be getting far more nutrients and almost half the calories.
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