Pro Diet Guide: Why Fast Food is Ruining Your Diet
There are few things that are more capable of ruining your diet than fast food. Fast food in general gets a bad rap. But is this unfair? How are they really ruining your diet? As you will see from the reasons outlined below, fast food nutrition can be full of unhealthy surprises. Read on to find out the reasons why fast food is unhealthy.
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6 Ways That Fast Food Is Ruining Your Diet
Fast Food is full of Trans and Saturated Fats
Saturated fat is the bad fat. You want to stay as far away as possible from excess saturated fat if you want your diet to be successful. Fast food is often full of saturated fats, made worse by being cooked using the method of deep frying. If the frying oil is not replaced after at least two frying processes, it becomes even more unhealthy. Unfortunately, most of the dishes served in fast food restaurants use the deep frying method. Fried chicken, fries, and chicken nuggets are all deep fried and full of saturated fat.
Saturated fat is mostly derived from animal products, including meat, eggs and butter. Palm oil and coconut oil (both staples of fast food menu items) also contain significant amounts of saturated fat. Over-consumption of saturated fat can lead to high cholesterol. This is a dangerous precursor to heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases.Fast foods can also contain trans fat. Of all the elements of fast food nutrition, this one is possibly the most harmful. Humans do not need trans fats in their diets, even in small amounts. Trans fats can replace healthy fats in the brain and can interfere with cognitive functioning. It also increases bad cholesterol in the blood and lowers the amount of good cholesterol in the body.
Fast Food contains processed meat.
Fast foods can contain large amounts of processed meat. Processed meat contains little nutrition and is full of bad fats. It can be processed and kept for a long period of time. Even longer, if frozen. Most fast food restaurants opt to use processed meat over fresh meat for this same reason.
When we think about processed meat, we usually imagine sausages, luncheon meats, bacon and smoked ham. That is the case, but processed meat also includes items such as burger patties and chicken nuggets.
When sodium nitrate is added to process meat products, N-nitroso is formed. These are carcinogenic substances responsible for the harmful effects of processed meat consumption.
Processed meat has been linked with an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases, including:
Stomach and bowel cancer
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Fast Foods are full of sugar.
Too much sugar is ruining your diet. However, if you come to a fast food restaurant and order a burger and fries, the beverage that arrives with your meal will probably be a can of Coke. One can of cola contains approximately ten teaspoons of sugar. This is a lot of sugar for your body to handle in one sitting. When you eat in a fast food restaurant, always try to order water with your meal, rather than sugary drinks.
Fast food in general contains a large amount of refined sugar. This excess sugar puts stress on your metabolism. Refined sugar makes your pancreas secrete insulin in high amounts in an effort to stop blood sugar levels from spiking drastically. In not containing a mix of good carbohydrates and proteins, fast food causes your blood sugar levels to fall dramatically after you eat, leaving you feeling irritable, and increasing your cravings for still more fast food.
They contain a large amount of sodium.
It’s important for us to consume a sufficient amount of sodium each day, but fast food contains well over the recommended daily amount of 1200 mg. A Burger King Whopper with cheese contains approximately 1400 mg of sodium.
Too much salt in the diet can cause high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and an increased risk of bowel cancer.
Fast food restaurants use notoriously high levels of sodium in their products. When you consume too much salt, your kidneys work overtime trying to expel them from your body. When it can’t keep up, sodium is instead accumulated in the bloodstream, forcing your heart to pump much harder. This is how you develop high blood pressure and heart disease. With so much salt to process, the extra pressure on your kidneys can lead to kidney disease.
You can develop digestive problems.
Fast food also makes your digestive system work harder. If you consume these foods on a regular basis, at some point you are likely to experience stomach issues and digestive problems.
It’s not uncommon to develop conditions including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) from eating a fast food diet. Oil used in the preparation of fast food can become attached to the walls of your stomach lining. This increases acid production, and painful reflux can occur.
If you rely of fast foods as your major source of nutrition, the lack of fibre contained in the meals will hamper digestion, and can lead to or worsen conditions such as constipation and haemorrhoids. A lack of fibre is also associated with an increased risk of bowel and stomach cancers.
They contain empty calories.
Although high in calories, there is very little nutrition in fast food. A meal of 1,500 calories will usually contain a large amount of fat and very few essential vitamins and minerals. The average adult needs to consume approximately 2000 calories per day. Some fast food meals contain your entire daily calorie recommendation or more.
If you eat a fast food meal of 1,500 calories and consume two other meals for the day as well, it’s very easy to surpass your daily recommended calories. If you don’t burn these extra calories by exercising, they will end up being stored as fat in your body, causing you to gain weight.
In order to feel better and have more energy, avoid fast food meals as much as possible.
As you can see from the fast food nutrition facts above, fast food is not the best fuel for us, and if you avoid it, you will lower your overall risk of future health problems. Keep them as occasional treat meals and limit them to a monthly basis at most. Your body will thank you for it.