The food we consume every day strongly affects our health, weight, skin, appearance and even well-being. The saying “You are what you eat” is appropriate as never before. When there is no time to shop, wait in line, cook at home, fast food seems to be an ideal solution. What is interesting, both adults and children adore such food, as it is delicious, popular, cheap, and can be eaten almost at any time both the day and night. But is it useful for us?
At a time when profit-oriented producers do not pay much attention to consumer's health at all, we must take care of what lies on our plates by ourselves. But most usually while ordering a hot hamburger or crispy french fries, it never comes to your minds to count calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, to add a meal to a daily diet and think about its benefits. So, what are the effects of fast food on the human body?
Why is fast food bad? In most cases fast-cooked food means a high degree of processing meal, which has a big amount of carbohydrates, sugar, unhealthy fats and salt. What is more, such food is characterized by high calorific value and a very low content of nutrients. An average hamburger has approximately 800 calories (about 1/3 of the recommended daily norms), which means three such sandwiches can be eaten per day, nothing more. That is why the fast food is the main reason why there is a high level of obesity throughout the world.
What's noteworthy is that overweight and obesity can lead to a wide range of diseases that pose a threat not only to our health, but to life. Extra body mass contributes to the sudden appearance of atherosclerotic plaques, clogging of blood vessels, the formation of blood clots, which can lead to such dangerous diseases as heart attack and stroke.
Primarily, fast food is characterized by a high content of carbohydrates. During digestion, they are broken down into glucose, which enters the circulatory system, and then is transported into the cells throughout the body by insulin. Eating too much carbohydrates can bring on disorders in the production of insulin, its insufficient production and, as consequence, an increase in blood glucose.
High plasma sugar can cause cardiovascular abnormal function and conditions such as type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Sugar has no nutritional value; it is characterized only by high calorific value, which is the main reason of a substantial rise in weight.
The presence of trans fats also makes fast food harmful. Trans fats are nutrients that are considered as “unhealthy” by nutritionists and doctors. They increase the level of bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby setting lipoproteins down in the cells of the walls of the arteries, which causes the narrowing of the coronary branches of blood vessels and leads to the heart defects. Trans fats can also stick to the arteries, causing a permanent embolism (the presence of an embolus in the blood or lymph, which clogs blood vessels and leads to a violation of local blood supply).
Is fast food in a small amount just as harmful?
The constant use of fast food poses a threat to the digestive system, since it increases the risk of colorectal cancer ( rectum, colon, cecum oncology) by almost 80%. What is more, fast food contains a lot of salt - one of the main ingredients along with carbohydrates and unhealthy fats.
The salt intake should not predominate 5 g per day according to the World Health Organization. This dangerous ingredient causes water retention, swelling and bloating. The biggest threat of exceeded salt intake is the emergence of hypertension (high blood pressure), other heart diseases, kidney stones, and stomach cancer. However, in a small amount, fast food is not considered harmful. When there is no time for cooking or you want to treat yourself with something “forbidden”, you can appeal to ready-made food once a month. Although there will be no particular benefit from such a decision, less harm will be done to your health, than by using fast food every day.
Undoubtedly, the permanent nourishment of fast-made meal is unhealthy. Such food leads to obesity, diabetes, diseases of heart and the gastrointestinal tract; fast food adversely affects the condition of the skin, provoking the appearance of rashes, especially in adolescence. High carbohydrate content can damage tooth enamel and cause its destruction. Incidentally, this type of food can be extremely addictive.
It has been talked about the harm and benefit of fast food for a long time: for some, this food style has already become familiar over the years, for others it remains completely unacceptable. The advantages of eating fast food include only saving time and money, provided that less money is spent on the purchase of ready-made food than on self-cooking. You will get nothing beneficial from fast food, as it is all about eating empty calories, a huge amount of carbohydrates, trans fa