With the current generation, the intake of fast food and its additives is at a higher rate; this is because of its cheap cost and availability. The flavor enhancement and coloring added to this food make it appealing to the customers hence want to consume it on a daily basis.
Some of the additives added to the fast foods to enhance its flavor include salt, sugar and fat, flavoring agents, casein.
Adverse effects on your body
Fast foods despite its appealing nature and availability, regular intake has proved to cause damage to our bodies, some of the effects include:
- Fast foods are often filled with sodium, and this increases the risk of headaches and high blood pressure.
- Effects on the digestive and cardiovascular systems- most of these foods are filled with carbohydrates and its broken down during digestion, there is a release of glucose in the form of sugars into the body, this leads to a rise in blood sugar. Therefore continuous intake of these fast foods causes more release of sugars, and this causes weight gain and can even lead to diabetes.
- Fast foods have excess calories which cause rapid weight gain to obesity.
- The extra weight added puts pressure on the heart and lungs and leading cause respiratory issues like asthma and difficulty in breathing. The impact is most visible in children who consume fast foods 3times a week as the then to develop asthma.
- High consumption of fast foods and other processed stuff leads to increased level of depression. It can also reduce your mental concentration.
- Fast and processed foods contain chemicals which are harmful to your reproductive systems in that they cause interruption to the work of hormones, high consumption, therefore, causes fertility issues.
- Carbs and sugars lead to increased production of acids during chewing, and this can cause enamel damage. Obesity also is believed to bring complications to bones.
- Causes nutrient starvation to the body, this is because fast foods are high in calories but little/ no nutrients and with lack of nutrients; the body cannot function well.
- Further research has shown that when meat/chicken which is mostly taken with other fast foods is heated, it forms a substance which is believed to cause different types of cancer including breast, prostate, and colon.
- Causes constipation because fast foods don’t contain dietary fiber which helps the digestive tract in its functions and also it reduces cholesterol and maintains blood sugar. Lack of it due to the intake of fast foods leads to constipation. Sodium in the fast foods makes the body to retain water making an individual feel bloated.
Can eating habits be improved?
Despite all the damages caused by high intakes of fast foods, it never too late to change and live healthily, it’s all about deciding to change and follow the correct way of eating. The possible ways in which you can adjust your lifestyle to a healthy are as follows:
Decide on increasing healthy foods to your diet
You should have a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods and low-fat dairy products at your reach so that you will feel like going for unhealthy foods.
Take your meals at the right time to avoid much hunger which causes too much eating
Eating process should be slow to allow good digestion just right from the mouth, people who eat food fast then to gain more weight.
Take lots of water
It is advisable you take 8-10 glasses of water per day. This helps in flushing out toxins which cause damage to your body. All soft drinks and juices should be avoided as they contain lots of calories; freshly made juice from fresh fruits can be taken instead.
Make a list of the eating habits on your diary indicating what you eat and the time, by so doing it will help you improve on your habits as you can be able to do away with the unhealthy habits and adapt to the healthy ones.
Always have healthy lunch and snack at work, this will help in avoiding visiting a fast food joint.
Cook more at home and ahead of eating time to avoid delay. Home cooking allows a balance diet preparation of food. You can have a cookbook with different recipes to guide you like I know of a friend who has it and their eating habits have greatly improved.
Plan on how to begin workouts to help in burning of fat and weight loss
This needs a lot of discipline and commitment. You can start with simple workouts and then go on advancing as days goes by. You can also find a good gym trainer to advise on the workouts to start with and also try engaging in fat burning activities as they aid fat loss by improving metabolism, maintaining healthy appetite and reducing cravings of unhealthy foods.
Pre-workout supplements like caffeine should be avoided at all cost as some contain chemicals which are harmful to your health.
Embrace portion control measures
You should take in small and balanced quantities. Eat healthy meals up to 6 times per day instead of eating three heavy and unhealthy meals, of all these fruits and vegetables, should be present in every meal.
Healthy eating should always be considered to achieve healthy living and be free from lifestyles illnesses.
Blackman, M. C., & Kvaska, C. A. (2011). Nutrition psychology: Improving dietary adherence. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Ledikwe, J. H., Ello-Martin, J. A., & Rolls, B. J. (2005). Portion sizes and the obesity epidemic. The Journal of nutrition, 135(4), 905-909.
- P. & Overdrive Inc. (2013). The Fast Diet Cookbook. S.I.: Rockbridge Press.
Author Bio: Jessica Kelley
Jessica Kelley is the founder of CareHappiness.com She and her editor work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic health information.