How Fast Food Affects Your Body
You may know that fast food isn't the healthiest meal choice. But why exactly is fast food bad for you? Here's what you know about how fast food affects your body and a healthy alternative to fast food that will have you feeling your best today and for the future.
Fast food is a massive industry in the United States, valued at $278.6 billion. But it's also an industry that can wreak havoc on its customer's health and longevity. From obesity to heart disease to mental health disorders, there are multiple health problems caused by fast food that are important to pay attention to.
Why is fast food bad for you?
Fast food is often inexpensive and highly accessible, with drive-throughs churning out mountains of burgers and fries 24 hours a day seven days a week.
But regularly eating fast food can affect your health in some major ways, both in the short- and long-term. Here are some of the negative effects of fast food:
1.Increased Rates of Obesity
Fast food tends to be high in saturated fat, added sugars and highly processed carbohydrates. These come from the cooking oil used to deep-fry menu items like fries and chicken tenders, as well as the bready white hamburger buns and sweet sauces and dressings. Even the menu items labeled "healthy", like salads, tend to be coated in high-sugar condiments.
A diet high in these compounds can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity. 2009 study found a correlation between living near a fast food restaurant and high obesity rates, especially for school-aged children.
2. Increased Risk of Heart Disease
In addition, regularly consuming fast food is shown to increase the risk for chronic illnesses like heart disease and metabolic syndrome. A 2009 study found that neighborhoods with more availability of fast food have higher rates of heart attacks, which is one of the leading causes of death.
Heart disease can be caused by eating a diet high in saturated fat and salt, which can easily add up if you're eating fast food even once or twice a week.
3. Increased Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is another health problem caused by fast food. Regularly eating highly-processed fast food and other forms of junk food can cause a cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes. This fluctuation in blood sugar, as well as consistently elevated blood sugar levels can lead to type II diabetes.
In fact,one study found that people who regularly eat fast food can have as much kidney damage as people who have diabetes. This means that even if you don't have adrenal disease, you can do significant damage to the long-term health of your kidney simply by choosing fast food over healthier options.
4. Mental Health Problems
Fast food doesn't only affect your physical health. It may also have negative effects on your mental health. A study on the rise of depression among teenagers suggests that a high rate of fast food consumption, paired with a low intake of fruits and vegetables, may cause an electrolyte imbalance that is linked to depression.
5. Short-Term Effects of Fast Food on your Health
Sure, fast food may be, well, fast. It's convenient and often tastes good. But chances are, you won't be feeling your best even just a few minutes after polishing off that Big Mac or McGriddle.
In the short-term fast food can make you feel sluggish, bloated and fatigued. The food you eat should have the opposite effect, giving you energy and making you feel your best.
Best Alternative to Fast Food
So how can you strike a healthy balance between meals that are convenient and fast, but also healthy and taste great?
Meal Village is the healthiest alternative to fast food in Chicago. We are a full-service meal delivery program with a constantly-changing menu of chef-prepared, nutritionally-balanced dishes.
And best of all? You don't even need to hit up the drive-through to fill your fridge with colorful, tasty meals. We deliver fully cooked meals to residences and businesses throughout the greater Chicago area. Check our delivery areas and view our current menu to have a convenient, nutritious and delicious meal delivered to you today.
By the way, we're not just for dinner. Our nutritious breakfasts, lunches and kid's meals have you covered for three meals a day that support a healthy body and mind.