As the name suggests, junk food is precisely that – junk! A diet that is rich in junk food usually has a high share of foods that are either processed and deep fried, contain a lot of refined sugar, unhealthy processed meat, all sorts of candies and dairy products that are high on fat.
The list of products above features some of the most harmful types of “foods” (if we can call them food at all!). The health hazards that accompany these products outweigh their nutritional value by a huge margin.
This is specifically true when talking about processed food items, which after being diluted with a cocktail of chemicals and preservatives no longer remain in their natural state and lose many of the essential nutrients that are important for a balanced diet. These types of foods include candy, potato crisps, cakes, cookies, chewing gum, soft drinks, packed juices, ice cream, most of the mass produced frozen meat and the list can go on! Needless to say the preservatives and synthetic chemicals added to these foods make them unhealthy and hence, unfit for human consumption.
Some of the ways in which these unhealthy products are destroying our bodies are listed below.
One of the leading causes of obesity is of course junk food. Among other things, being over weight increases a person’s risk for heart-related diseases and diabetes.
It is especially important to understand that children who are mostly fed the so-called fast food regularly run the risk of taking in 187 extra calories per day. This wouldn’t be so bad except that these calories are mostly made up of unhealthy amounts of fats, carbohydrates and processed sugars while entirely depriving the child of other essential nutrients such as fiber.
2. Rising Insulin
Consuming processed foods spikes blood sugar and insulin levels. These high levels of insulin in turn begin to make our bodies ignore this important hormone, resulting in a condition known as insulin resistance. This eventually leads to type 2 diabetes. High levels of fast food consumption have increased the incidence of diabetes in teenagers by 15 percent(!) in the last decade.
3. Junk Food Causes Depression
Researches have shown that teenagers who eat more junk food than other young people their age are more at risk of depression. This happens because a healthy diet has a key role in ensuring that our hormones are secreted at desirable levels. However, junk food upsets the natural balance, making those hormones more active whose excessive secretion causes anxiety and depression.
People whose diet consists of high levels of trans and saturated fats and processed food are 58 percent more at risk of depression.
Food plays a big role in our lives because not only do we need food to survive but it is also a form of “recreation” for many. However, by being just a little careful about what we put in our mouths and bodies, we can live a longer, healthier and happier life. The choice is yours – make the right choice!