what's wrong with fast food?
Everything! We know that doesn’t sound particularly pleasing to your ears, but sugarcoating the truth does not change it. So, before you indulge your inner Homer Simpson or Pam Poovey and go binge on some fast food, hear us out.
Fast food is certainly the insidious villain our mothers made it out to be. But we seem to love it too much to notice the inherent fallacies in it. In fact, CDC’s research reveals that 36.3% of American adults eat fast food on any given day! And the pitfalls of fast food consumption are worse than just obesity.
Fast Food is Making You Sicker by the Day
Without you realizing the severity of it. Apart from impacting your physical health, fast food consumption has also been linked to mental illnesses. Increased and continued fast food consumption was one of the major contributing factors to depression in young women, per this BMC Women's Health Study.
What else is fast food doing to your health? It is:
#1 Increasing your susceptibility to heart diseases
Fast food is synonymous with saturated fats, excessive salt and sugar, trans fats, processed ingredients, and empty calories. And none of them are particularly great for your heart health.
Let’s take an example and understand what’s going on here. Just a medium-sized big mac meal contains 65% saturated fats, 55% sodium, and 27% cholesterol. Experts advise limiting saturated fat content to 10% or less per day to prevent chances of heart disease. So, just one such meal a day puts you at risk of heart disease! You can very well imagine what the continuation of a fast food diet does to your heart health.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
#2 Causing Hypertension
Because it is rich in sodium and other processed ingredients, fast food triggers the onset of hypertension in your body. Hypertension, in turn, can cause everything from heart attacks to strokes which can prove to be fatal. And we all know that’s a fairly scary proposition!
What you need to ask yourself is: is fast food worth the gamble with your health? Our unanimous answer would be no.
#3 Increasing Your Chances of Cancer
That’s a red flag you need to take seriously. Fast food comprises processed meats and a ton of other unhealthy ingredients, some of which are carcinogenic in nature. So repeated consumption of processed and packaged foods can lead to an accumulation of these harmful substances in your body and increase your risk of getting cancer.
#4 Negatively Impacting Your Mental Health
People who consume a lot of fast food on a daily basis are 51% more likely to suffer from depression in the long run. Because some people take to eating “feel good” food when they’re not feeling great, you might end up consuming even more fast food during your lows and become a part of a rather vicious cycle.
Fast food also makes you feel anxious at times and triggers the onslaught of several symptoms tied to various mental health conditions.
#5 Breaking Down Your Immune System
Most fast food items contain what’s commonly known as “forever chemicals” as preservatives. Researchers have found that these chemicals suppress the immune responses in our body, therefore making it susceptible to a host of communicable diseases, including COVID-19.
So that burger and onion rings you love gorging may actually be making you weaker by the day without you even realizing it!
Make the switch to healthy eating before it’s too late. We have got some great suggestions for you.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy
A healthy lifestyle is a choice you make. You will not be able to make the switch unless you fully believe in it!
That’s why you’ll need to make a conscious effort to improve your diet and lifestyle. Quell the notion that healthy living isn’t your cup of tea. We, humans, are capable of amends, all that matters is our willingness to bring about change. Once you’re mentally prepared to make the switch, half the battle is won.
Now begin your prep work. Try to understand what your body craves, why you eat junk food, and how you can cut down on it. Eating habits don’t change overnight. It’s a relatively slow transition for most people.
Once you have all that figured out, shift your focus to finding good produce to include in your diet. Fresh and organic is the way to go! Non-GMO fruits and vegetables are one of the safest bets you can take when it comes to eating healthy. Find out local stores or farmer’s markets that sell chemical-free produce and stack up your pantry with it.
Non-GMO organic produce is not only good for your health, but it is also great for the environment. You’d agree that it doesn’t get better than eating healthy while being sustainable at the same time.
Try to eat more of the fruits or veggies that you like towards the beginning of your diet change. This way the transition will be smoother and easier for you. Go for tray bakes and one-pot meals, it’ll save you time, effort, and money. Include dehydrated fruits and veggies sprinkled with pink salt or sea salt to tackle your cravings. Berries and nuts also make for great snacks.
Pace yourself out and give your body enough time to acclimatize itself to the change. Do not rush the process, but definitely get started on it, because:
It’s Your Life, Make It Better
While we’ve tried to do our best to tell you why you should steer clear of fast food, choosing a particular lifestyle is your choice at the end of the day. Take some time to introspect and do your research before making a decision. Just remember that the best kind of self-love is self-care and that begins with a healthy lifestyle.
Guest blog post by: Sam from Natural Health Planner
Check out more of his articles and content, here.
I also had the pleasure of writing for his blog, here!
Have a happy, holistically healthy day!
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