We all know how tempting it can be to grab a quick dinner after a long day at work. We get this mindset that going to grab something to eat from a fast food chain will be quick and easy and most importantly cheap. These things may be true. Let’s think about how eating fast food may affect our body.
Eating fast food effects your energy levels, but it also contributes to poor performance, as well as causing many health issues. These foods are jam packed with preservatives, dyes, artificial flavorings, saturated fats, sodium, carbohydrates, and calories. They should make a minimal to no account for any part of your healthy diet. The types of foods and ingredients that are served at fast food chains do not hold the necessary nutrients that your body needs to remain healthy. Because your body is not getting the healthy substances that it needs, you may feel chronically fatigued and lack any sort of energy you may need to complete any normal daily responsibilities. ( Fast Food Nutrition: Junk Food’s Effect On Your Body: www.fitday.com)
The high sugars that are in fast foods put your metabolism under stress. When you eat a lot of refined sugar, your pancreas has to work over-time and secretes higher amounts of insulin to prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking. However, because of the inadequate amounts of protein and good carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly after eating, this is what leaves you feeling sluggish, grumpy, and craving even more sugar.
Fast food contains a vastly large amount of fat. Ingesting these types of food will add extra calories into your diet and will add access pounds of fat to your body. The more fast food you ingest, the more pounds you will gain, and the greater you are at risk for forming diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, liver disease, stroke and heart attack Additionally, because of the increasingly high amounts of sodium that populates the fast food industry you are now at risk for high blood pressure and kidney disease. Even if you only eat these products for a short time, during the time you will consume high levels of dietary fat which lead you to poor cognitive performance. This will ultimately lead you to becoming tired and having issues concentrating all because your body may not be getting the nutrients that it needs. Liver damage isn’t only caused by blood thinners such as Tylenol or Aspirin, fast foods can also contain higher levels of Tran’s fatty acids which lead to fatty liver deposits, which if untreated, over time, may cause liver dysfunction and liver disease. (How Fast Food Affects You Negativity: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com )
Over time, the higher levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in fast food can lead to type 2 diabetes. This occurs when you are eating too much sugar and place your metabolism under stress. Fast food doesn’t contain the needed protein or complex carbohydrates that will maintain consistent blood sugar levels, the blood sugar levels will drop suddenly causing you to crave even more sugar and will make you want to eat more. If this were to continue over time the stress damages the pancreas and its ability to produce insulin. Even if you only eat fast food every once in a while, you may find that fast food makes you feel uncomfortable, leading to mood swings, constipation, and lack of needed energy to exercise those extra and unneeded calories off. (Fast Food Diet: Carol Bradley Bursack )
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,” By Eric Schlosser, stated that the cost of obesity is 300,000 people a year. The 300,000 individual figures come from a study that was done in October of 1999 which appeared in The Journal of The American Medical Association. Unfortunately, the 300,000 figure also includes children and adolescents ages 2-19 years. Most doctors are currently blaming fast food as the number one reason obesity is occurring more often and especially in children and adolescents. It is said that families, with young children, are eating fast food 3-4 times a week for meals.
An Average 3 year old should be ingesting 33 fat grams, 113 carbohydrates, 1000 milligrams of sodium, and 1000 calories per day. At McDonald’s, a cheese burger happy meal, (which includes small fries, apple slices, and soda pop or milk) has nutritional facts that are astonishing. The meal includes a mind blowing 24 grams of fat, 145 carbohydrates, 1020 grams of sodium, and 840 calories. That is nearly a day’s worth of calories in one meal for a small child. (Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of The All American Meal: Eric Schlosser)
If this weren’t bad enough, Taco Bell “healthier choices” are packed with calories as well. The Grilled Chicken Cantina Bowl, which is supposed to be a healthy option for eating fast food, contains 530 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fats, 21 grams of fat, 60mg cholesterol, 1450 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of sugar.(www.tacobell.com) The American Heart Association recommends limiting your sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams per day. The “healthier option” that Taco Bell offers contains nearly 3/4ths of the daily intake of sodium. An adult is supposed to have an intake of 2,000 calories per day, and an intake of less than 2000 milligrams of sodium per day, meaning you are supposed to only have an average of 665 milligrams of sodium in one meal.(American Heart Association – www.heart.org)
We need to put an end to these fast food chains. If we do not change our eating habits now our future will diminish. Our children deserve a healthier way of living, they deserve healthy parents whose cause of death won’t be heart attack or stroke due to obesity caused by fast food chains.