If you’re trying to revamp your diet and are looking for ways to become a bit more healthy, try giving up fast food. It’s low in nutritional value, high in fat and sodium, and may even set you up for a case of food poisoning if food isn’t prepared up to high standards. There’s plenty of documentaries out there about the dangers of eating fast food like “Super Size Me” and “Fast Food Nation”, but if you’re still not convinced at how it can harm your body, continue reading…
1. Weight Gain
This one seems obvious, but let’s talk about the hard data. Researchers found that eating more than twice per week at fast food restaurants is linked to significantly more weight gain over time than occasional visits. What’s even worse is that studies show living near a fast food restaurant is linked to a 5% greater risk for being obese. Fast food companies know this so they try to set up camp literally all over the world and make it convenient to tempt you with fattening foods. Eating at fast food or chain restaurants frequently will add an average of an extra 200 calories to your daily diet, so steer clear of these places and eat healthy food at home.
2. Respiratory Issues
The obesity that comes with a fast food diet leads to a host of health problems, including respiratory complications. Shortness of breath, sleep apnea, and wheezing are all symptoms of being overweight. And it affects all ages: children who eat fast food at least three times a week are at increased risk of asthma, difficulty breathing, and rhinitis, which is having that constant, congested, drippy nose that so many American kids suffer from today. If you or anyone in your family has breathing issues, a fast food diet could be to blame.
One of the biggest culprits in fast food is sodium. And it’s in everything, including that jumbo size soda that you’re guzzling with those salty fries. A large order of French fries can contain as much as 30% of your daily value of sodium and sodas are full of sodium that is used as a preservative. The sodium in the fast food causes water retention and at the same time can put you at risk for chronic dehydration, both of which contribute to headaches. This sodium coupled with the sugar rush and subsequent crash that you’re getting from soda, dressings, and sauces is the perfect recipe for a pounding headache.
4. High Blood Pressure
Again, the culprit here is sodium. And don’t think just because you’re not salting your fries that there’s no sodium in your fast food lunch! Sodium is in so many of the fast food items that are on the menu because it is used to add flavor, increase shelf life, and as a preservative so most of the time, you can’t even taste the salt content in your food. The increased amount of sodium can lead to high blood pressure and set you up for a host of other problems like stroke and heart disease.
5. Type 2 Diabetes
As we mentioned earlier, fast food items are full of sugar and carbohydrates all of which increase your body’s resistance to insulin and can put you at risk for diabetes. Studies have shown that people who eat fast food at least twice a week are twice as likely to resist insulin in their bodies, thus greatly increasing their chances of Type 2 Diabetes. When you eat sugar and carbs, your body produces a hormone known as insulin that converts the glucose into energy for your cells. But when you continue to eat too much of these things, you can develop diabetes and then your body will not make or use insulin well, and thus the glucose sits in your blood and has the potential to cause all sorts of damage and disease.
Ultimately, because fast food lacks any nutrients and is usually stripped of vitamins and minerals during transport and preparation, it’s not fulfilling. So what happens is you find that you’re hungry again shortly after eating it because your body is craving nutrients. Try some of our recipes to get the fulfilling nutrients that your body needs to function and get on the path to optimal health!