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Don't binge on junk food this New Year's Eve

December 30, 2014 18:15 IST
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Here is a list of all the risks that your body gets exposed to if you are a junk food addict and eat out often...

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Over the past few decades, junk food like pizza, burgers, doughnuts, rolls, wraps, instant noodles, carbonated drinks, ice creams, pastries and cakes, etc. have penetrated every corner of the country. These foods are being served in malls, on the roadsides and even high-end restaurants. But these foods may be doing more harm to your body than you ever thought. The word 'junk' refers to something that is extra and useless.

Junk food is just what its name signifies. It can have terrible effects on your health irrespective of whether you consume it once in a while, once a week or every day.

1. Obesity risk

Obesity means having too much body fat. It is an emerging pandemic of the new millennium. Junk food and foods with high sugar content is known to increase weight gain.

It depletes energy levels and the concentration levels for extended periods of time. A bottle of cola contains as much as 10-15 teaspoons of sugar. Other bakery products like doughnuts, pastries, cakes, muffins and croissants are also packed with excessive sugar which is very harmful for the health.

2. Heart diseases

The sugar present in colas and sodas and hydrogenated oils in fried foods are responsible for the fat amassed in the body that leads to high triglyceride levels. This gives rise to congestion in the arteries, making the free flow of blood through them difficult, leading to conditions like heart attack.

The high levels of sodium and fat in the junk food can cause hypertension or high blood pressure. According to a study, people who eat fast food regularly, increase their risk of dying from heart disease by 80 per cent.

3. Type 2 diabetes

When you consume a healthy diet, the body gets a steady supply of glucose that helps in maintaining insulin sensitivity. But if you depend majorly on junk food then the excessive stress exerted on your metabolism can adversely affect the ability of the body to produce the considerable amount of insulin. This can lead to diabetes.

4. Kidney diseases

Excessive sodium diet can also give rise to renal dysfunction and even lead to kidney disease. Finely processed salt increases salivation and secretion of enzymes that enhance cravings.

Increased sodium intake and high amounts of bad fats increase blood pressure and affect the kidneys.

5. Liver diseases

One can also develop liver failure too as a result of obesity caused by excessive intake of sugar and cholesterol.

6. Stress and depression

Apart from inviting the risk of many deadly diseases, junk food also increases the level of stress. Teenagers who regularly consume junk food are more likely to fall prey to depression and stress related problems, as a lot of hormonal changes take place in teenagers' body and this makes them highly susceptible to mood swings and behavioural changes.

A healthy diet is essential to maintain hormonal balance. Lack of healthy diet and intake of junk food can trigger this grave problem.

7. Lethargy

Excessive consumption of junk food lulls the body thus inviting other harmful effects like obesity. Junk food lacks all the necessary nutrients like carbohydrates and proteins to keep the body energised and healthy.

8. Impairs digestion

People addicted to fatty junk food are bound to suffer from digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The oil in the junk food gets deposited in the stomach and causes acidity.

Processed food causes constipation that in turn has adverse affects on body like anxiety, depression and lethargy.

9. Affects brain function

A study conducted on rats showed that just one week of eating junk food is enough to trigger memory impairment in them. Many recent studies have also shown that the bad fats (trans fats) from junk food tend to replace the healthy fats in the brain and interferes with its normal functioning.

10. Risk of cancer

Too much fast food can even up your chances of developing colorectal cancer. There is also the danger of prostrate cancer in men who eat too much junk food.

11. Dental problems

Sugary food and drinks can harm the teeth, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The extended presence of sugar in the mouth can lead to an increase in the mouth bacteria, which results in cavity formation.

Considering that junk food can so much harm the body, one must try to stay away from it as much as possible. Consuming home-made healthy food that is rich in vital vitamins, fibre, iron, calcium and proteins is the sure shot way to enjoy a long and healthy life.

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