Junk foods are high in calories but low in nutritional value. These foods include processed and prepared snack foods with long, often unpronounceable ingredient lists.
Junk food is often full of salt, sugar, fat (the wrong kind) and calories, the perfect combination that makes junk food taste so good.
Those who consume junk food, fast food and convenience food as a regular part of their diets are consuming a far greater amount of fat and processed carbohydrates and less fiber than those who do not eat fast food regularly.
Eating junk food is risking your health.
It doesn't look like this trend of eating convenience food will end any time soon.
Eating such a diet may be cheap on the pocket book. But with the rising epidemics of numerous chronic diseases that can be linked to eating junk food is only becoming more costly to deal with such diseases.
What Science Says About Junk Food and Over Eating
Harvard T.H. Chan says in reference to food and diet, that emerging research suggests that some foods and eating patterns may make it easier to keep calories in check, while others may make people more likely to junk food overeat.
One problem with eating junk food is that they're low in satiation value. In other words, you don't tend to feel as full when you eat them, which can lead to overeating.
Steven Witherly, a food scientist and author of, "Why Humans Like Junk Food," has spent the past 20 years studying what makes certain foods more addictive than others.
Witherly explains about rapid food meltdown and vanishing caloric density, saying foods that rapidly vanish or melt in your mouth signal to your brain that you’re not eating as much as you actually are.
In other words, these foods literally tell your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating a lot of calories. And this can led to overeating.
The study involved 18 men and women, average age 26, who increased their energy intake by about 70% and capped their physical activity at no more than 5,000 steps a day or roughly 2.5 miles, for four weeks.
During the study the diet was mainly from fast foods, such as hamburger, pizza and french fries.
At the end of the study the group of 18 volunteers was compared to another group of 18 people with the average age of 25 years who did not eat junk food. Both groups were evaluated before and after for their weight, body mass index, and other data.
Ernersson found that the group who ate convenience foods gained an average of 14 pounds after their one-month binge, while body weight overall in the comparison group stayed the same.
The physical effects of eating junk food not only comes with weight gain, but also the health problems addociated with being over weight.
Is it really worth risking your health and possibly enduring years of chronic disease as a result?
Here are just 9 reasons among many, why you should stop eating junk food...
Junk Food Linked To Diabetes
Diabetes is caused when the pancreas becomes so under siege that it can no longer produce adequate amounts of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that turns sugar into fuel, and as experts point out, junk food is loaded with sugar that can lead to type-2 diabetes that unfortunately can result in serious complications and premature death.
Junk Food Causes Digestive Issues
Good digestion is very crucial for maintaining a healthy immune function. A healthy digestive system depends on a healthy diet.
However, some complain that they suffer from digestive issues all the time, and the reason for this could be that they eat too much junk food.
Everyone from time to time will encounter digestive issues, which can cause diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, bloating and excess gas.
The stomach needs enzymes to digest food and convenience foods do not have them. When food is absorbed by the intestine it requires fiber and water to excrete vitally needed nutrients. But junk food doesn't have fiber. And as such, this can lead to poor digestion.
Can Cause Brain Fog
Brain fog is that feeling you get when you can’t focus on anything or are forgetting simple things.
Today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) is typically high in simple carbohydrates and low in protein.
Protein contains important amino acids that are essential for the production of key neurotransmitters that regulate brain function.
All simple or refined carbohydrates, like white bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, and pizza among others can cause brain fog.
Also the fats found in most processed foods are from vegetable oils high in omega-6, a fatty acid that is pro-inflammatory.
What your brain cells need is saturated fatty acids, which constitute at least 50% of the cell membrane. They give brain cells their necessary stiffness and integrity so that they function properly.
But with a pro-inflammatory fat like omega-6 going to your brain, it only causes quick cell death, as this type of fat compromises cell integrity.
Many people just assume that only our bellies, thighs, and double chins are affected by a poor diet.
Junk Food and Fatigue
Diets that are high in trans fats, processed foods and added sugars can sap your energy making you feel fatigued. Junk food contains very few nutrients, vitamins and protein, all of which are essential for an invigorated.
If you exist on junk food alone, you’re going to struggle to do anything at optimum power. You’ll largely feel lethargic and run down.
Dr. Powell of the Cleveland Clinic recommends a diet high in good sources of protein — mainly fish, nuts, seeds and beans — with eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Junk Food Is Linked To Depression and Weight Gain In Children
1 in 3 U.S. teens eat junk food each day, and on top of the hindrance to their physical health, it is also important to consider what effect junk is having on their mental well-being.
Research has shown that the more junk food we eat, the more we are prone to depression. This is especially the case for teenagers because they are more susceptible to hormonal changes, which can be massively influenced by their diet.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom exposed 60 children (all weight groups were used - obese, over-weight and average weight) ages 9 to 11, to both food advertisements and toy advertisements, followed by a cartoon and free food.
The researchers found that the children ate more after the food advertisements than after the commercials for toys. The obese children in the study increased their consumption of food the most (134%) after watching the food ads, compared to overweight children (101%) and normal-weight children (84%).
Not only depression and weight gain, but children and teens can suffer with asthma and skin problems like eczema, due to eating junk food.
Convenience Foods Increase Your Risk Of Certain Cancers
The main reason for the link between certain foods and cancer is a lack of fiber. Moreover, junk food is low in mostly everything that’s good for you - including fiber.
The American Cancer Society says that several lifestyle-related factors (includes eating junk food) have been linked to colon cancer. They say that the links between diet, weight, and exercise and colon cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.
Junk Food Can Damage Your Body's Organs
Heart disease is indeed really scary, but there are preventative measures we can take to ensure we don’t struggle with it later on in life.
Avoiding junk food is one such method because such food is rich in bad fats that increase your bad cholesterol levels and in turn encourage plaque to form and heart disease to develop.
Overloading your liver with junk food can cause you to feel lethargic, stressed, irritable, and even develop skin conditions.
The high levels of trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can lead to fatty liver deposits, which, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease.
A peer-reviewed medical journal, Gut published on a fast food study from the University Hospital of Linkoping, Sweden saying that fast food-based hyper-alimentation can induce profound liver enzyme increases or alanine aminotransferease (ALT) elevations in the liver in less than four weeks.
It turns out that the daily eating of convenience foods can be just as bad for your liver as regular consummation of alcohol is.
According to a new study conducted by researchers from Anglia Ruskin University, and published in the journal Experimental Physiology, a diet high in junk food can do just as much damage to the kidneys as diabetes does. This damage to the kidneys can even happen in the absence of diabetes.
To much salt (as found in junk food) consumed on a consistent basis increases blood pressure. And high blood pressure can damage your kidney function.
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to work properly. When the force of blood flow is high, blood vessels stretch so blood flows more easily. Eventually, this stretching scars and weakens blood vessels not only in the kidneys, but throughout the entire body.
A 2009 study published by the American Society of Nephrology found that people who consume a diet high in artificially sweetened drinks are more likely to experience a decline in kidney function.
A 2011 study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports that consumption of more than two servings per day of artificially sweetened soda is associated with a two-fold increased odds for kidney function decline in women.