You can find Fast food restaurants virtually everywhere and after a long day at work it’s often easier and convenient to grab that burger and chips than to stand in front of the stove and cook a nutritious meal.
However, before you drink your next soda or devour that plate of fries, you may want to consider these facts:
- Nutritional Deficiencies
Junk foods are deficient in vitamins and minerals. High-energy-dense foods often lack protein; calcium; iron; vitamins A, C, D and E; B vitamins; potassium; zinc; and monounsaturated fats. A deficiency in any of these vital nutrients compromises your immune system and puts you at risk for illness and infection. If your body is nutritionally deficient, you can’t make the neurotransmitter serotonin, which may leave you with feelings of irritability and depression.
- Weight Gain
Junk food contains a lot of calories so they are high-energy-dense foods, mostly from fat and sugar, but offer few nutritional benefits. You are left with cravings when you fill yourself up with empty calories. In “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, a study published in 2012, it was discovered that regular consumption of junk food decreases sensory-specific satiety, causing you to eat more of that food. If you overeat junk foods constantly, be sure to gain weight gain and obesity.
- Chronic Disease
Junk food tends to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. The American Heart Association reports that saturated fat and cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Your blood pressure can also be raised by the excess sodium that’s found in most processed food and can cause you to develop heart disease.
- Increase In Toxin Levels
The toxin and waste levels in your body keep increasing drastically as you consume junk food which is lacking in fruits and vegetables. It does not provide our bodies with the required nutrients and the excretory system cannot function properly. This causes toxins and fats to gather in the body making you feel lethargic, tired and inactive thereby exposing you to diseases and infections.
- Deficient in dietary fiber
The human body requires a good amount of dietary fiber to be able to function the digestive system properly. A junk food diet is low in fiber and when the digestive system cannot function properly, you are faced with a lot of gastrointestinal problems.
- Contains High level of Sugar, Salt and Additive dyes
Addiction to Junk food is now being classified as a disease. Ingredients like sugar, salt and additive dyes present in junk foods trigger certain hormones in the brain that boost an unhealthy relationship with food. Studies have found that the brain of a junk food addict reacts in the same way to food as that of a cocaine addict on a high.
How to Stop Eating Junk Food
Here are some tips to learn how to stop eating junk food and incorporate good healthy eating habits:
- Always eat a filling breakfast with fruits as this keeps your stomach full and stops cravings to buy convenient junk foods.
- Keep healthy snacks with you like nuts, fruits or a protein bar to help with hunger pangs during the day.
- Drink lots of water; at least eight glasses daily.
- Eat three square meals a day and do not skip any as that will only encourage you to splurge on junk foods.
- Include a portion of protein, carbohydrates, a bit of fat and lots of vegetable in your main meals.
- Try and consume at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables a day as this will increase the fiber in your stomach and stop you from feeling hungry.
- Find alternatives to junk food choices. Use a hung curd dip instead of mayonnaise, baked chips instead of fried ones, Greek yoghurt instead of ice cream and so on.
- Indulge in exercising or walking or any type of physical activity as most junk food eating comes from a state of ennui.