• ENG

10 horrible things junk food does to your body

10 horrible things junk food does to your body

From the heart, brain to kidneys and liver, junk food items can ruin all organs of your body. Here's how

Written by Shraddha Rupavate |Updated : August 25, 2015 8:51 PM IST

Read this in Hindi.

How often have you passed that vada pav stand and craved for one yummy bite of that delicious treat? But if vada pav is not your thing, how about when you pass a place serving burgers, wraps or maybe samosa? Feel that craving? Well, all these treats are called junk food. As per the dictionary meaning of junk food, it is considered something useless, extra or something that is not needed. Not only are those foods extremely unhealthy, they also impacts various aspects of your life. Here's how.

1# It can cause type 2 diabetes: One of major contributing factors for the emerging diabetes epidemic is unhealthy diet full of junk and fast food. When you eat a healthy diet, your body gets a steady supply of glucose, which helps maintain insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, when you eat only junk food, the excessive stress exerted on your metabolism affects the ability of your body to use insulin properly. Since junk food lacks fibre content, its consumption directly results in a spike in sugar levels. Further, junk food consumption leads to obesity, one of the main reasons for insulin resistance and development of diabetes.

Also Read

More News

2# It can trigger digestive problems: Those who are addicted to fatty junk food are bound to suffer from digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). That s because junk food is deep fried. The oil soaked in junk food gets deposited on the walls of the stomach lining, increases acid production. Spices loaded in them irritate the stomach lining, worsening GERD and digestion. Lack of fibre in them hampers digestion, increasing problems like constipation and haemorrhoids. Try this yoga pose to improve digestion.

3# It causes fatigue and weakness: Junk food lacks most of essential nutrients like proteins and vitamins required for maintenance of overall health and functioning of all the systems in your body. Although it makes you feel full and satisfied, it fails to provide you with instant energy, making you feel weak and tired after a while. If you eat junk food items for all your meals of the day over a period of time, you could be suffer from chronic fatigue. Junk food can lower your energy levels to an extent that it may become difficult for you to even perform your daily tasks.

4# Causes depression among teenagers: A lot of hormonal changes occur in teenagers, which makes them susceptible to mood swings and behavioural changes. And a healthy diet plays an important role in maintaining that hormonal balance. Because junk food lack those essential nutrients, the likelihood of teenagers to suffer from depression is increased by 58 percent. Here are some facts you need to know about depression.

5# It causes fluctuations in blood sugar levels: Junk food is high in refined sugar which exerts stress on your metabolism. Refined sugar causes the pancreas to secrete more amount of insulin in order to prevent a drastic spike in your blood sugar levels. Because junk food lacks sufficient levels of good carbohydrates and proteins, the levels of blood sugar drop suddenly after you eat. This makes you feel irritable and further increases you craving for more junk food.

6# It affects the brain function: A study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity shows that one week of eating junk food is enough to trigger memory impairment in rats. Recent research suggests that bad fats (trans fats) from junk food tends to replace healthy fats in the brain and interferes with its normal signalling mechanism. Studies in animals have also shown that fats from junk food slow down the ability to learn new skills. Try these home remedies to boost your brain power.

7# It increases the risk of heart disease: Junk food items are loaded with saturated fats and trans fats that directly increase triglyceride and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood, contributing to plaque formation and heart disease. Further, causing a sudden spike in blood sugar level increases, junk food damages the linings of the blood vessels causing chronic inflammation. This inflammation causes bad cholesterol to stick to the walls of the arteries, blocking blood flow to the heart. When they're blocked enough, heart attack occurs. Fats from junk food can accumulate over a period of time in your body to make you obese. The more weight you put on, the higher your risk of suffering from heart attack. Refer to these heart healthy diet tips for people with heart diseases.

8# It can cause kidney disease: The reason why you can never say no to fries and chips is because they contain high amount of finely processed salt which increases salivation and secretion of enzymes that enhance your cravings for these foods. High amount of bad fats and sodium from salt disrupts the sodium-potassium balance of the body and causes hypertension. Since the kidney have to filter all the toxins from the blood, eating a lot of junk food has a direct effect on the kidney functioning.

9# It can damage your liver: Surprisingly, junk food consumption over a period of time can have similar harmful effect on the liver as alcohol consumptions does. A study reported that people who ate junk food and shunned exercise showed changes in liver enzymes within four weeks. These changes were similar to those observed in people with alcohol abuse. According to some studies, it's the high level of trans fats found in a number of junk food which cause liver dysfunction due to deposition in the liver.

10# It increases your risk of cancer: Lack of fibre is the main reason why junk food consumption is linked to an increased risk of cancers of the digestive system. A study published in European Journal of Cancer Prevention revealed that consuming too much of fast food that are high in sugar and fat can increase your chances of developing colorectal cancer. Another study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle showed that men who ate fried foods more than twice in a month had increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Here are 10 simple ways to prevent cancer.

So simply, switch to healthier options from junk. Here are 6 healthy ways to cut down on eating processed foods.

You may also like to read how India s top junk food joints are ruining your child s health

Image source: Getty Images


For more articles on diseases & conditions, visit our diseases & conditions section. For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter.

References:

  • Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat by Andrew F. Smith.
  • Cancer Council NSW (https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/)
  • Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser