While healthy nutrition should be the number one priority in our lives, most of us tend to take it for granted. The internet nowadays seems to pass everything off as a joke and with all this consumption, maybe the memes have led us to believe that fast foods are not as unhealthy. We have lied to ourselves with jokes such as “Exercise? More like extra fries” until it has become a norm.
Passing through a fast food restaurant seems to happen more often than we may care to admit. The service is quick and the food is “finger-licking.” But perhaps if we look into what we are actually putting into our bodies we would think twice. Maybe it’s time we act like our parents, such that when the thought of fast food comes to our mind, we quickly remind ourselves that there’s rice in the fridge. An occasional treat won’t hurt but making this a regular habit may cause adverse effects on our body.
They say ‘garbage in garbage out.’ And while the original intention of the saying was technology-based, it applies to food intake as well. The food you eat affects your brain and overall body functioning.
Here are a few reasons why you should reduce your intake of fast foods:
- They increase the risk of heart diseases
The intake of too many fast foods has been linked to heart diseases. The main concern when it comes to fast foods is that they provide an imbalanced amount of macronutrients. The food components in fast food contribute to a lot of heart-related diseases. Sugar leads to weight gain and obesity, high salt content increases blood pressure, and excessive saturated fat raises cholesterol in the body. These may eventually turn into problems such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks or a stroke.
- They have been linked to depression and anxiety
With the rising cases of mental illness in Kenya and in the world, you can’t help but wonder just how many cases can be attributed to poor diet. Research shows that there is a link between fast food and depression. Certain nutrients have a preventive role when it comes to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. These nutrients include group B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil.
- Digestive problems
If you’re affected by issues such as acid reflux, ulcers, H. Pylori or heartburn, greasy and high fat foods will worsen the situation. On top of this, for patients who have never experienced these illnesses, they may develop because of the intake of fast food.
- Fast foods can reduce infertility levels
People who regularly eat fast foods have high levels of phthalates in their body. Phthalates are chemicals that may disrupt hormones and impact fertility. This may lead to miscarriage and overall reproduction health problems. It seems that junk food has many more disadvantages than we imagined.
- High risk of vitamin deficiency
Most of the foods served in these fast-food restaurants lack essential nutrients such as fibre, minerals and healthy fats that are needed to fuel the body. This could cause vitamin deficiencies. You end up with a lot of empty calories. The short term goodness catches up with the individual eventually when they start to suffer from nutrient deficiencies and osteoporosis.
Find out Five Nutritional Myths You Need To Stop Believing. You can also read more about Tackling The Seven Challenges That Adolescent Girls Face When It Comes To Getting Good Nutrition