The food that a person consumes has a direct impact on their body—it is fuel for the body and will affect how someone feels as well as their overall health. Fast food is not necessarily bad, but most of the time it is over-processed and contains high amounts of added sugars, salt, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates. It is a convenient and affordable way to fill up when on the go. While the occasional indulgence is okay, those who regularly consume fast food are doing considerable damage to their health.
1. Increase Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
A component of fast food called 2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b)pyridine, PhlP for short, is found in many grilled chicken foods in fast-food chains. It forms on the meat when it is heated to a certain temperature and is associated with colon, prostate, and breast cancer. Additionally, fast foods are made of saturated fatty acids, which are known to raise cholesterol levels in blood, leading to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some foods will naturally contain more sodium, but then sometimes sodium is added to food products as flavoring and preservatives. Too much sodium will cause the body to retain water, making for a bloated and puffy feeling.
3. Increase Risk of Obesity, Nutritionally Starve
Fast food is made up of empty calories, meaning that the fat cannot be used as energy. These calories have low nutritional value, and the body starts to lack the vital nutrients that it needs in order to function properly. The body is “full” with “empty foods”—meaning that while the food contains many calories, you will not have a feeling of satisfaction for very long. Weight gain occurs when a person consumes more calories in a day than they burn, and a typical fast food meal will hit or exceed the daily recommended calorie intake for an adult.
4. Your Skin Will Suffer
Eating an abundance of fast foods can cause issues with skin like acne. What is the cause of this? It is the simple sugars, empty carbs, and white flour. Because carbs increase blood sugar levels, this can also trigger acne. Adding soda to a fast food meal will dehydrate the body, which will pass the effects on to the skin.
5. Mental Health and Cognitive Function Decline
Saturated fats found in lots of fast food can have a negative impact on memory and brain function. Higher intake of these fats will also impair memory speed, flexibility, and prospective memory. One study showed that depression may be linked to the consumption of commercial baked goods. Those who consume fast food are 51% more likely to develop depression than those who are eating little to no fast food. Also, the more fast food that someone consumes, the more likely they are to develop depression.
6. Bones Weaken, Teeth Decay
The sodium that comes with fast food consumption can lead to an overall weakness of the bones which could lead to osteoporosis—fragile and thin bones. As for your teeth, when you consume foods that are high in sugar and carbs, the mouth begins to produce acids. Acids will destroy tooth enamel—one of the leading factors in dental cavities. When teeth lose their enamel, there is no way to replace it. On top of this, bad oral health has also been linked to various other health problems.
7. Experience Lethargy or Hyperactivity
The high doses of fat that come with fast food also brings a large dose of calories. These huge portions will often times leave you feeling very full but very tired. On the flip side, artificial colors and preservatives taken in high doses can lead to an increase in hyperactivity.
8. Blood Sugar Spikes
High-carb foods will increase blood sugar. White-flour based foods like french fries or buns on a burger also have large amounts of white sugar. When these foods are consumed, and it leads to something like obesity and diabetes.