Let’s be honest, what’s not to love about fast food! It is as delicious as food can get and you can grab a bite anytime you want. Besides, it doesn’t damage your wallet. These are just some reasons America is addicted to fast food.
Fast-food chains in the country feed around 50 million people in a day. On the flip side, these are also the reasons America has become the most obese country in the world. If you think the problem is only limited to your weight, you are badly mistaken.
What Eating Fast Food Does To Your Body And Mind?
Obesity is the direct cause of some of the most common diseases known to mankind. By this equation, fast food becomes the root of most health problems we suffer. These facts, however, may not give you the real picture. To understand how dangerous fast food is, you need to dig deeper into the effects it has on your health.
So, take your knife out as we are about to dissect the matter and discuss 5 harmful effects of fast food on your health.
1. It Is Making You Eat More
Fast food is engineered to be addictive. It is not the taste that keeps you coming back; it is the ingredients. Processed food contains a high amount of salts, sugar, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates. When you eat a meal, you feel satisfied and full for the time your blood sugar level remains elevated. As it drops, your system craves again.
Psychological studies have proved that sugar addiction is like a cocaine addiction. Just like drugs, these ingredients can trigger the pleasure center of the brain.
On top of that, fast food contains several preservatives including the infamous Monosodium Glutamate MSG AKA Chinese salt. MSG, apart from having many side effects, is an appetite enhancer. It messes with your mind’s ability to figure out when to stop.
Remember, you are not craving the calories because your body needs it, it is your mind that is now addicted to the ‘sugar’ rush.
2. It Is Ruining Your Heart
Things you love are the things that break your heart. Can’t be truer about your favorite fast food. Fast lacks nutritional value. The ingredients it contains are unhealthy and can cause LDL level to increase rapidly.
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota revealed that consuming fast food once a week can increase your chances of dying from a heart disease by 20 percent. Make it three times and the chances spike to 80 percent. It is why doctors see fast food as an epidemic.
Apart from fat, other ingredients such as salts and sugar in your fast food are equally responsible for heart disease. Salts can raise your blood pressure and add put stress on your cardiovascular system. People who are already suffering from coronary artery disease, sodium can increase the chances of stroke or heart attack.
3. It Triggers Depression
The pleasure you find in your fast food platter doesn’t last long. Once your sugar level drops, you feel sad and irritable. That, however, is nothing when compared to the fact that fast food can cause depression.
Depression isn’t a feeling or a mere state of mind, it is a disease just as serious as a heart disease or diabetes. According to a study, regular consumers of processed and fast food have 51 percent higher chances of suffering from depression.
The reason is simple. A healthy mind needs a healthy body. Just like our body, our mind needs a healthy balance of all the nutrients to produce neurotransmitters. Fast food lacks the essential amino acid tryptophan that keeps our brain chemicals balanced. The imbalance can cause behavioral and mental disorders.
4. It invites Diabetes
If the food has a higher amount of sugar, it is an invitation to diabetes. High in saturated fat and sugar, fast food can increase your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Contrary to the popular belief, sugar isn’t the direct cause of diabetes. Sugar can lead to obesity and a higher amount of fat in your body which can hinder your body’s ability to utilize insulin. Actually, your pancreas assumes it isn’t producing enough insulin. And it overproduces to the point where it wears out and stops producing enough of this sugar-lowering hormone. That is when you develop diabetes.
So, when you’re stuffing your tummy with those yummies, remember you are putting your health at risk.
5. It Can Mess with Your Memory
Your heart is not the only thing in the crosshair. Fast food consumption is also associated with memory loss and poor cognitive function. A study conducted in 2011 concluded that people who consume fast food perform much poorly on cognitive tests as compared to those on a healthy diet. Many other studies conducted later proved that fast food can cause your memory to deteriorate.The toxins in fast food cause a chemical imbalance in the brain and result in inflammation in the area associated with recognition and memory. Moreover, a higher amount of sugar can interfere with the production of brain peptides that support memory formation.
Speaking of memory, fast food may also increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases. Alzheimer’s, often called the diabetes of the brain, is a memory loss disease caused when our brain becomes resistant to insulin. This happens when our mind is producing an excessive amount of insulin due to higher sugar intake.
These effects are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many health issues directly and indirectly associated with fast food consumption. Overall, it is a choice that seems the most feasible and fast at first, but in the long run, is just lowering your quality of life.
Get into a routine to avoid falling into the unhealthy lifestyle trap. You can always go for more nutritious, delicious homemade options. Remember, a little effort is all it takes to lead a healthier life. How to Stop Eating Junk Food?
6 Proven Methods to Quit Eating Fast Food
For most people, fast food is more about the convenience of grabbing a bite while you are on your way to work. Some people do not have the money or the time to afford homemade food. Besides, if you are addicted, the cravings will return from time to time. It feels just like the debt trap. There seems to be no way out of it.
With little determination, you can fight this addiction. You need to start with small changes and slowly transform your whole lifestyle. Here are some suggestions that will help you avoid those tasty bites of bad omen.
Step 1: Plan and Prepare Ahead
We usually go for fast food when we do not have other options open. Make a meal plan and complete your preparations for the whole week.
Marinate the meat. Cut the vegetables. Prepare sauces. And freeze it all for the week. This way, you will know that you have the option to go home and eat. You will know that you can go home and prepare your meal within a matter of minutes. This will really help you curb your cravings.
Step 2: Go for Variety
For many people, healthy food is boring. It is if you have just a few options to rotate. Experiment with your homemade menu. Whether its breakfast, lunch, or dinner, keep trying new recipes and you will never lose interest.
There are a lot of chefs who are devoted to healthy food and lifestyle. You can find their recipe books or video to try something new every day. Again, make a weekly menu and shop for the whole week so you don’t have to abandon the plan due to missing ingredients
Step 3: Start Healthy Snacking
Make small snack size packets of nuts and eat a handful whenever you feel hungry. Nuts offer excellent nutritional value and they contain a healthy amount of good fats. The good fats do not harm your heart or body but they can make you feel full.
Keep these packets in your car, at your work, and in your shoulder bag if you carry one around. Nuts also contain a good amount of protein, which also makes you feel full. So, protein bars are also a good option.
Step 4: Deal with Stress
You feel sad, you eat fast food. You eat fast food, it makes you more depressed. It is a vicious cycle. Seek the right kind of professional help to deal with stress, and you will see a significant decrease in your stress triggered cravings.
Therapy, meditation, and yoga can help you manage stress and depression. When you feel happy, you want to be good to yourself. You feel more motivated to take care of yourself. With less stress on your mind, you will find the strength to say no to fast food.
Step 5: Pamper Yourself
One gourmet meal in a fine dining restaurant may cost you more than ten fast food meals, but it is actually worth more. Treat yourself to something much classier like a nice Italian steak with lots of healthy sides. Such meals, though not homemade, are much healthier as they are prepared from fresh and organic ingredients.
Many restaurants actually create meals based on the nutritional requirements of a healthy body. Once you are done, you’ll have neither the desire nor the budget for fast food.
Step 6: Make a Healthy Choice
If you really have to go for fast food, introduce your taste buds to healthy food. As awareness regarding the dangers of fast food increases in America, we see a rise in the number of restaurants that offer quick but clean food. They offer a variety of delicious salads and healthy sandwiches made from fresh produce. Find such restaurants in your area and bid farewell to your toxic relationship with the clown and the colonel.
If you want a healthy and happy life, you need to make this sacrifice. You need to steer away from food that fills you with toxins. Make up your mind. Get into a routine to avoid falling into the unhealthy lifestyle trap. Remember, a little effort is all it takes to lead a healthier life.
Oftentimes when we think about how to stop eating fast food, we change into a seemingly healthy option which actually is not that geat for us…
Top 10 “Healthy Foods” That Are Bad For You
With the hype about dieting for weight loss and healthy foods for longevity, it is very easy to get tricked into thinking that some dishes won’t mess you up. You are wrong in judging many healthy foods that actually are not! The knowledge about what you are putting down your throat is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to nutrition.
Here is a list of 10 “healthy” foods that could be doing more harm than good:
1. Fat-Free Yoghurt
Many people are lured into thinking that foods labeled “fat-free” are healthy, whereas they are not. Unlike sugar, fat doesn’t make you fat. Majority of flavored yoghurt packs are loaded sweetened with sugar which is high in calories. Also don’t go fruit-flavored yogurts because they are no better. Instead, pick Greek yoghurt with fresh cut fruit or honey.
2. Wheat Bread
Wheat is a great source of carbohydrate, and such bread isn’t any better than a white one. All breads are made from the enriched floor, which increases your blood glucose levels without significant nutritional benefits. Rather than picking wheat bread, go for fiber-rich and whole wheat options. If you must have it at breakfast, other better alternatives include sprouted or multigrain breads.
3. Dried Fruit
Although dried fruits are high in fiber content, the majority contain preservative and added sugars to extend their expiry dates. Dried fruits also contain higher amounts of calories than when in fresh form. Take a banana chips as an example; they are richer in fat and contain up to 3 times as many calories than you would get from a ripe banana. When choosing fruits, it is recommendable to go for fresh options or just pick one from your fruit garden. All the nutrients are intact and fiber content has not been altered!
4. Fat-free Peanut Butter
Who said that the monounsaturated fats from peanut butter are unhealthy? Eliminate these good fats from peanut butter and you will be left with nothing healthy, other than added sugar and plenty of calories. In simpler words, if you spot reduced fat in any product, it is a signal that the fat has been substituted with sugar or salt. Simply stick with peanuts in their natural form and don’t overindulge. This will ensure that you are getting all their essential nutrients.
5. Protein Bars
Majority of protein bars are made from processed food bricks combined with artificial ingredients and fillers. If you like snack bars, selecting such will only give an equivalent of calories found in candy bars and a protein touch. Don’t get lured into grabbing them, but instead try alternative high protein foods sources like legumes, or fresh fruit and vegetable snacks.
6. Fruit Cocktail
Most people tend to think that anything that comes from fruits is good for your health. While there may be an idea, but the mode of processing and preserving fruits counts significantly. Grabbing a cup of fruit cocktail can give you about 100 calories, but the sugar content could be enough for a single day. You can get nothing any better from a fruit cocktail unless you prepare one with fresh fruits! It is even convenient to carry a fruit cocktail from your home in a plastic bag if not the cup.
Although pretzels are low in fat, they are high in sodium and are nutritionally unbeneficial. In addition, they are prepared using white processed flour that is enriched with sugar. Irrespective of the amount you consume, you will still find yourself craving for more.
It is always important to check on the label for calorie and sugar or salt content before you brag about munching on the healthiest snack. Opt-out of pretzels and switch to kale chips for more proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The high fiber content in kale chips will keep you full for longer without loading your body with many calories.
8. Sushi Rolls
One may wonder why sushi rolls are not healthy and yet they are made from seaweed, rice and fish. Most of the westernized sushi rolls are loaded with many calories. While regular rolls of tuna or salmon can be a great treat, spicy mayo and cream cheese added in sushi rolls make them unhealthy. Instead of sushi rolls, think of sashimi served with ginger and radish. Say no to spicy and crunchy versions because they are enriched with high calorie recipes.
9. Organic Snacks
Nowadays, food manufacturing companies are putting ‘organic’ label in their products to lure consumers into thinking that they are indeed healthy, whereas they aren’t. A spade is still a spade irrespective of how it was made. Substitute organic snacks for healthier fruit versions like apple slices or unsalted pistachios.
10. Granola Bars
While granola bars are better taken than skipping a meal, it’s worth noting that they are rich in sugar, saturated fats, and sodium. This means they are not a healthier choice for taking at breakfast or during the lunch break. If you are too mindful about your weight and healthy foods, try a variety of fruits and vegetable salads instead of skipping regular meals with the hope of achieving your goals fast.
Eating a well balanced diet is very vital for the health of your body, mind and soul. Unfortunately, there are plenty of foods claiming to be healthy but they are not. While skipping meals is not advisable at all, some foods, like those listed above, are worth avoiding if there are better healthier alternatives – like fruits in their freshest forms. Have a great mealtime!
15 Foods That Will Make Your Body Naturally Detoxed
Healthy Salad Ideas Which Are Going To Be Tremendously More Tasty Than Your Junk Food
If you wonder how to stop eating fast food, likely you are not the biggest fan of salads out there. They may seem plain and unsatisfying to you. Here is our selection of 4 salads that will make you way happier than your greasy fries (from the past).
Before I say more, I would like to point out that while most of these salads are side dishes, some salads can also be taken as main courses if not main courses. Without further ado, let’s look at them one by one:
1. Apricot Fluff Salad
Consisting of apricot yogurt, apricot gelatin, cubed peeled fresh apricots, miniature marshmallows, and frozen reduced-fat whipped topping(thawed), apricot fluff is a perfect salad to take during the season of spring. Delicious, rich in flavor and quite filling, this healthy salad is impressively low in calories with about 225 calories per serving.
Great for weight loss, apricot fluff is also a good source of carbs, and sodium with each nutrient contributing to good health. For example, apart from serving as the body’s main source of energy, carbohydrates help fuel some key body components such as the brain, kidneys, heart muscles as well as the critical central nervous system.
On the other hand, sodium helps balance the essential body fluids such as blood and send nerve impulses. Additionally, this critical macronutrient also plays a pivotal role in the process of muscle contraction and helps regulate blood pressure. It goes without saying that apricot fluff salad is very easy to make with a recipe that yields ten servings taking only ten minutes to conclude. With all the benefits above in mind, how about you source the necessary ingredients from the right meal delivery service to make and try out the salad?