This is Why You Should Avoid Fast Food

Reasons to avoid eating fast food

Writing about the potential harms caused by regular fast food consumption is quite difficult due to the fact that, like most people, I too really enjoy eating fast food products such as hamburgers, french fries and pizza.

Not only children though but also adults find fast food quite delicious. In addition to its good taste, fast food is also cheaper than healthy eating.

However, being cheap and having good taste are not the only factors that made fast food quite popular around the world especially in developed countries. There is another maybe stronger factor that makes millions of people prefer fast food over healthy foods choices.

So, what is this factor that may be the number one reason for people to eat fast food on a regular basis? This factor is indeed time that is spent preparing fast food. This is also the reason we call it fast food. Many fast food products can be prepared and served within minutes even seconds (1).

After all, people who have a busy work schedule and don’t have enough time aren’t able to spare sufficient time to shop for ingredients and prepare healthy meals.

Moreover, as mentioned above, fast food is relatively cheap. So, many people who have financial difficulties find themselves consuming fast food.

For these and similar reasons, the number of people who consume fast food on a regular basis has increased significantly in the last three decades (2).

What’s more concerning might be that more and more children – particularly in developed countries – consume fast food very frequently (3).

 

Fast Food

There is no doubt that one of the most important factors that directly affect human health ( in both positive or negative way ) is nutrition. After all, medical experts don’t say ” you are what you eat ” in vain. 

Sadly, fast food is by no means considered healthy, according to scientific studies and globally known medical experts. If only fast food would be healthy. However, the fact is that it is not even close to being healthy. 

There are various scientific studies that demonstrate the negative health consequences of regular dining on fast food. 

For instance, in one review article researchers investigated many of these studies that are about the effects of fast food consumption on public health. And, they provided further evidence for the unrecoverable negative impacts of fast food consumption on public health (4).

As mentioned above more and more children consume fast food around the world. This is particularly concerning due to the fact that eating junk food as the main component of a diet affects young children more severely than it affects adults.  

In one study; researchers suggested that high levels of fast food consumption impedes the school and academic performance of children by affecting their brain development (5), (6).

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the popularity of fast food is not only related to its fast preparation but also very related to its amazing taste. For this very reason, fast food has become the first choice of many school-aged children.

 

What Makes Fast Food Unhealthy?

Thus far, we have talked about the fact that fast food is an unhealthy choice of diet. However, we haven’t yet indicated the factors that make fast food consumption is harmful to the human body. In this section, we will briefly talk about these factors.

According to medical experts (7),(8),(9); eating fast food regularly is unhealthy because :

  • contains trans fat
  • packed with carbohydrates
  • contains almost no fibre
  • high in sodium
  • very high in calories
  • contains artificial ingredients
  • has very low nutritional value
  • typically high in sugar

 

6 Strong Reasons to Stop Eating Fast Food Regularly

Indulge yourself in fast food every now on then. However, when it comes to eating fast food regularly; the below-given reasons will explain why you should never eat fast food as your main diet.

Without further ado, here are the 6 reasons to stop eating fast food REGULARLY.

 

1- Fast Foods Has Low Nutritional Profile

The undeniable fact is that majority of fast food products do not hold any nutritional value. Actually, this is the number one reason why eating fast food is harmful to your body.

For instance; when you eat a carrot, your body gets various essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium or fibre. And, all of these nutrients help your body to function properly.

How about eating fast food? What essential nutrients do you obtain when you eat a big hamburger?

This is where the problem starts. Fast food products (in general) do not contain any essential nutrient elements. On the contrary, most junk foods are loaded with harmful ingredients such as high sodium, trans fats, high sugar or artificial ingredients.

Therefore, preferring to eat fast food as your main diet will lead you to various health problems in the long term.

More importantly, school-aged children – whose body and brain need micronutrients/macronutrients to grow and develop – will be affected more than adults (10).

 

2- Fast food Leads to Weight Gain

It is no too hard to predict that regular dining of fast food causes weight gain owing to the high amount of sugar, fats and carbs found in fast food products (11).

Gaining a couple of extra kilos may seem innocent at first. However, with time fast food consumption can widen your waistline, leading to obesity (12).

Obesity itself is a serious problem. However, the health conditions that are heavily associated with obesity are also frightening.

According to NHS; obesity is associated with (13):

  • type-2 diabetes
  • coronary heart disease
  • breast and bowel cancer
  • stroke

Stats say that there are over 70 million obese adults alone in the U.S. This figure makes America is the most obese among OECD countries (14),(15).

The U.S is also the leading country in the fast-food industry (15). This is a sheer coincidence or fast food consumption leads people to obesity. It appears the latter is accurate.

 

3- Fast food Weakens Your Immune System

Nearly all of us knows the importance of nutrition for the immune system. But, how about the impact of eating fast food on the immune system?

As you can easily guess the impact of fast food consumption on the immune system is not positive as it contains unhealthy ingredients, many of which indicated above.

In a recent study, researchers found that eating fast food impairs adaptive immunity. And, that in turn allows viruses to get into the body easily (16).

Not finished yet! The findings of another study are arguably more concerning! Researchers concluded that the human immune system reacts to high fat and high-calorie foods –such as fast food – as almost the same way it reacts to a bacterial infection (17).

It is important to note that there are more studies that reached nearly the same results. So, as a conclusion, it is safe to say that the consumption of fast food weakens the immune system, especially in the long run”.

 

4- Potentially Harmful For Your Heart

The heart – which is arguably the most important organ in the human body – is believed to get severely affected due to long-term fast food consumption. Eating fast food products may not directly affect heart health, but it brings about health conditions associated with heart disease. 

According to medical experts (18),(19),(20); the following three conditions can lead to heart disorders.

  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type-2 Diabetes

So, can regular dining of fast food cause these medical conditions and leading to heart disease? The answer is yes,  eating fast food on a regular basis can cause such health conditions and therefore may lead to heart disease.

Scientific studies as well show us the positive correlation between fast food consumption and above-given conditions that lead to heart disease (21),(22),(23).

The story may start with eating a hamburger but can end up having heart disease, if, of course, this habit of eating becomes the main diet.

The conclusion is if you are to protect your heart, you need to be careful about how frequently you eat fast food.

 

5- Fast Food May Lead to Depression

We all are feeling blue and stressed from time to time. But, have you ever thought that eating fast food is one of the potential factors that can make you depressed?

According to scientists; unhealthy food choices can contribute to a depressive mood!

In a study published online by Cambridge University Press; researchers concluded that fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption can significantly increase the risk of depression risk (24).

But there must be a discrepancy here. Because many people would say that they feel great when consuming a delicious slice of pizza along with a cola.

Well, it is indeed uplifting and can make you happy at that specific moment. However, in the aftermath of eating things can be the total opposite, as scientists suggest so. 

That brings us to the conclusion that those who eat junk food on a regular basis might be more prone to experience frequently depression. 

 

6- Fast Food Causes Digestive Problems

This sub-heading says ” fast food causes digestive problems “. It shouldn’t be too surprising though considering the unhealthy ingredients that present in many fast food items.

But, how exactly can fast food affect the digestive system and why? Let’s get into the details and explain more openly.

One of the first reasons that fast food is no good for your digestion is related to the fact that (in general) fast food doesn’t contain fibre, which is quite important for digestive health.

The second problem is though fast food is very hard to digest for the stomach due to its high fat and carb content. To be able to digest junk food, the stomach produces more acid and that can increase the risk of acid reflux.

Another problem with junk foods is that they remain in the stomach longer than a portion of healthy food. And, that unavoidably brings digestive problems such as bloating and constipation. It bears repeating most fast-food products contain very little water and contain very high sodium.

To sum up; greasy, high-fat foods like fast food are harder to digest. In the case of regular consumption of junk foods, you may experience digestive problems.

 

Conclusion 

In this modern world, we are bombarded with fast food products advertisements, although many of us don’t realise them at the pace of life. The fact is that globally-known fast-food chains are really good at promoting their products. Therefore, it is hard to avoid them, especially in the developed countries.  

In this article, we have talked about the potential harms caused by fast-food consumption. However, while doing it we emphasised the term ” regular consumption”.

The reason that we repeatedly said, ” regular consumption” was because fast food consumption becomes a health concern when consumed as the mainstay of a diet. 

That simply indicates that indulging yourself with (tasty) fast food from time to time shouldn’t be a problem. However, there is a price to be paid if junk foods are always in your diet.

Indeed, fast food can be prepared within minutes, its taste ( for most of us ) is superior to other types of foods and plus fast food is relatively cheap.

Nonetheless, when it comes to having a healthy life, it is a necessity to avoid or at least minimise the food which can potentially cause you harm.

If you desire a happy and healthy life, please do yourself a favour and mind what you are eating.

Once again, occasional fast-food consumption seems innocuous. But, know where to stop for the sake of your health.

 

3 thoughts on “This is Why You Should Avoid Fast Food”

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