Junk food has become so ubiquitous that on any even day, 1 in 3 adult Americans will eat it. The fact that we increasingly on rely on it for comfort is a disturbing trend indeed. The fact remains that junk food, on the whole, is bad for your health. It causes various health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. In this article, we take a closer look at the positive negative effects of junk food in general. It can be hard to identify anything positive about junk food besides its flavor, but junk food can have something positive to offer.
Positive Effects of Junk Food
- Convenience: We’ve all been there. After a long day of work, we don’t have the energy to cook up a quality meal at home. The best answer for many of us is to pick up some Taco Bell or Wendys.
- Nutritional information: With consumers getting more calorie conscious, most of the companies have started including detailed nutritional information with their various food products. This information provides you with all the details that you would need to make an informed choice so that you can consume a healthy snack. Most of the ‘Junk’ food, list out all the nutritional information and some even list out the various ingredients used along with the method of cooking.
- Healthier alternatives: With the recent focus on healthier eating habits, some of the fast food companies have re-tweaked their menu to reflect healthier alternatives. The perfect example would be Subway which often lists out the nutritional components of its sandwiches along with calorific value so that consumers can make the healthy choice. Furthermore, several fast food companies have incorporated alternatives such as lean meat instead of the regular sort, so as to be able to offer their customers with a much better alternative and some, have even taken to using Soy as a meat substitute.
- Change in cooking: The good news regarding fast food is the fact that most of these companies have instituted radical change as to how their food is prepared so as to make it healthier. For example, most of the fast food is prepared with vegetable oil as opposed to lard and grilling the food more often rather than deep frying the same.
- Kids meals: While the recent introduction of kids meals can be chalked up to a clever marketing strategy, the fact remains that kids meals have taken on a healthy sheen, with milk being offered instead of sugary sodas along with lean meat, and salads.
Negative Effects of Junk Food
The list never gets old; Junk food, in general, is not exactly what your doctor would recommend to you and with good reason; read on to know more.
- Atherosclerosis: Fast foods generally contain high amounts of salt, and cholesterol; while fast food may be convenient to have on the ‘go’ the fact remains that a diet enriched in cholesterol and sodium is bound to have an impact on your health. A recent study effectively showed that a steady fast food diet can lead to Atherosclerosis or a narrowing of essential arteries. For example, the USDA lists the daily adult requirement for Sodium and Cholesterol at 1500 mg and 300 mg respectively but by consuming a simple breakfast of egg, sausage and biscuit, you can easily top this in a single sitting, which just goes to show you how unhealthy Junk food can be.
- Diabetes: Most fast food products are loaded with a high level of sugar and that’s without taking into account the various sugary sodas and milkshakes. Chances are that you are not going to just have the burger but would probably get a soda or a milkshake to go with the same. This only serves to increase the sugar levels in your body which eventually leads to diabetes. In fact, it is widely believed that Junk Food is thought to be the main culprit behind the recent spurt in underage diabetes cases.
- Obesity: Fast food can be quite addictive and the fact that you can have them on the go, with little fuss makes them all the more attractive. But on the downside, unless clearly listed, you can bet that the fast food in question contains a high level of calories and consuming the same will cause you to put on extra pounds. It is disturbing to see many of the children become obese at a young age and junk food is plainly thought to be the culprit. Being obese can put you at high risk from various cardiovascular issues as well as strokes.
These are some of the positive and negative effects of Junk food.