First, what qualifies as “fast food”? It’s food that is prepared quickly and is eaten quickly or taken out. Although there are a growing number of healthier fast food options, most fast food can still be classified as junk food.
So, what are some of the short-term effects fast food has on your body? Just a few days of junk food could change your metabolism. A small study of 12 healthy young men found eating junk food for just five days led to a reduced ability of their muscles to turn glucose into energy, even though they didn’t eat more calories as part of the study.
Having just a single fast food meal can narrow your arteries, leading to an increase in blood pressure. A quick spike in your blood sugar from eating junk foods high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars can cause a surge in insulin which can have the affect of leaving you feeling tired, cranky and hungry for more. So, what this means is that although having a fast food meal can give you a short-lived feeling of satisfaction, there are short term negative consequences.
The long-term consequences of eating fast food are even worse and more well-known. Eating a poor-quality diet high in junk food is linked to a higher risk of obesity, depression, digestive issues, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and early death. And as you might expect, frequency matters when it comes to the impact of junk food on your health.
But the news isn’t all bad, it seems you can still have junk food occasionally if you maintain a healthier lifestyle the rest of the time. When you’re making the choice between a healthier option and junk food, consider that justHYPERLINK “https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X17301296” one healthy meal a day worked into the typical American diet could reduce overall stress and inflammation in your body. Every meal is an opportunity to positively impact your health.