According to the National Institutes of Health fast foods are characterized as quick, easily accessible and cheap alternatives to home-cooked meals. They also tend to be high in saturated fat, sugar, salt and calories that lead to various kinds of health conditions.
The name ‘fast food’ comes from the fact that it can be prepared and served in a jiffy and not to mention, tastes delicious. Popular junk foods include gums, sweets, carbonated drinks, desserts, fried foods; you probably love them now but after knowing their effects on your health you might want to eliminate them from your diet.
Here are some of the conditions caused by the consumption of excessive fast food:
Fast food contains high amounts of trans or saturated fats that can clog your arteries and lead to high level of cholesterol later in your life. People who have junk food more than four times a week increase their risk of dying by 80%.
Keep in mind that The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. One fast-food meal could have half your day’s worth.
Adolescents who have poor eating habits are at high risk of being obese. Gaining a lot of weight beyond a recommended proportion can cause many health problems.
Junk foods have sugar and calories that lead to weight gain. It has also been noticed that people who are prone to eating more fast foods are less likely to consume fruits and vegetables and this further weakens their immune system.Obesity can also lead to complications with bone density and muscle mass. People who are obese have a greater risk for falling and breaking bones. It’s important to keep exercising to build muscles, which support your bones, and maintain a healthy diet to minimize bone loss.
Peptic ulcer is a disease that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract; it is acidic in nature and causes extreme stomach ache. Spicy oily and salted food combined with stress can lead to this condition.
Busy work schedule prevents many people from cooking at home and they take resort in fast food but it is advisable not to let work get in the way of your health. Consuming regular fast food coupled with poor lifestyle and lack of exercise leads to obesity which in turn causes type 2 diabetes mellitus. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests only eating 100 to 150 calories of added sugar per day. That’s about six to nine teaspoons.
Cut down on junk foods and incorporate fruits and vegetables and also make time to include a daily exercise, brisk walk routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Dr Aabid Altaf Wani is a medical doctor.