Detrimental Consequences of Fast Food Diets
You peek at the clock, your lunch break comes in, and you rush to a nearby burger joint to pick up a quick meal. Instead of just grabbing a sandwich, you get tempted into upgrading to a value meal and end up gulping a 40-ounce soda and nibbling on a pack of deep-fried potato sticks aside your double-patty and triple cheese sandwich. Due to the pressure of time, you end up eating quickly and rush back to your cubicle at work. Several hours go by, and suddenly you feel sluggish fatigue, and you’re ready to fall asleep. The next day you decide to order a chicken salad, drenched in ranch dressing, cheese, and croutons, but you don’t feel any better thereafter. You become excessively tired and thirsty and feel like you’re ready to head home. Unquestionably, fast food diets are by no means healthy, as the food is prepared with excessive unhealthy fats, hydrogenated oils, sodium, sugar, additives, and even some toxic preservatives.
Fast Food Diets
When you are an on-the-go mom juggling the kids, house chores, and work, a crammed college student, or an overworking father spending stressful hours at the office, fast food might appear more convenient, and harmless. Grabbing a blueberry muffin or bagel and coffee on the way to work might sound more suitable than having to stand at the stove and scramble vegetables with eggs, or make a fruit and vegetable smoothie. While you may or may not see the consequences of fast food instantly, fast food diets will damage your physical and mental health in immeasurable ways. In the documentary, Super Size Me, the director, Morgan Spurlock, decides to do a social experiment about the effects of fast food on the diet, specifically McDonald’s. He decides to consume only fast food meals for 30 days. The results were shocking; his weight amplified drastically, his energy crashed, his blood pressure elevated, and his health was simply declining. He gained more than 24 pounds and began experiencing heart palpitations and unhealthy blood sugar spikes. In fact, throughout his experiment, his health care practitioners advised him to cease the experiment altogether. With that being said, there’s no doubt that fast food diets can be extremely disadvantageous to your health, and down the road, could lead you into developing conditions such as obesity, heart conditions, allergies and intolerances, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal conditions, and even diabetes.
Potential Side Effects of Fast Food Diets
Fast food is almost all full of unhealthy ingredients, many of which don’t digest properly in your body. In fact, some fast food chains use ingredients in their food that are banned in other countries. The very same chains serve the same menu items in other countries, without the same ingredients. Deep-fried potato sticks from one popularly widespread fast food chain have nearly twenty ingredients while making fries at home just requires potatoes, oil, and salt. The fries contain a preservative to maintain the color, hydrogenated oil, natural and artificial flavoring, and more. While obesity is a major consequence of fast-food diets, it’s also the issue of overconsumption of calories, and that they’re mainly unhealthy calories. The calories are not coming from natural and whole sources, but rather from hydrogenated oils, sugars, and toxic preservatives. Fast food is also high in Trans Fat, an industrial fat which has been created during the manufacturing process of food. Its role is to keep food soft, tasty, and shelf-stable; such as the hydrogenated oil in shelf-stable cookies or brownies. Trans fat can be located on the label of your peanut butter as partially hydrogenated oil, but when you’re heading to a local burger joint for lunch, it’s probable that you’re not requesting to read ingredients. Trans Fat has been linked to clogged arteries, increased risk of stroke, and a much higher chance of developing heart conditions. Surprisingly to many, consuming too much Trans Fat could also lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. It’s essential to recognize the effects of a diet frequent in fast food items, and what it can lead you into in your future.
Side effects of fast food diets include:
- Headaches or migraines
- Increased risk of depression
- Imbalanced hormones
- Shortness of breath
- Dental distress and oral conditions
- Eczema or skin rashes
- High blood pressure
- Elevated blood sugar levels
- Mood swings
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Increased risk of developing heart conditions
- Difficulty concentrating
- Bodily bloating and inflammation
- Reproductive issues, including birth defects
- Elevated stress levels
- Higher chance of developing strokes
- Complications with your bone mass
- Can lead to development of asthma
- Development of insulin resistance
- Obesity or weight gain
- Gastrointestinal troubles and discomfort
Fast Food Diets and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)
Undoubtedly, fast food diets are in no way good for you; in fact, they’ll put you on the road to ailments, sickness, and many other health conditions. Consuming fast food disproportionately puts you at stake of going overboard the 2,400 mg of your daily recommended intake of sodium. Obesity in and of itself comes along with a package of other consequences, such as tiredness, low energy levels, brain fog, gastrointestinal discomfort, diabetes, kidney failure, and high blood pressure. Consuming unwarranted sodium leads to sodium retention, and could explain why you may experience feeling puffy, bloated, or even swollen with a fast food diet. Consuming fast food could lead to stress on your adrenal glands, as eating unhealthy diets imbalances your hormones, and increases your stress. Elevated levels of prolonged stress continuously could overwork your adrenal glands, and leads to the disruption of your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response system. When that occurs, you may end up developing AFS, and experience chronic tiredness, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, inability to lose weight, brain fog, lack of sexual drive, migraines, and a struggle completing your ordinary daily tasks. Eating foods that are deep-fried, high in refined and bleached sugar, or excessive in sodium, fats, and preservatives, will only make it more difficult to manage your AFS. Hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, and processed foods will disrupt your hormones further, and cause you to feel even more exhausted than you currently may be experiencing. Consuming fast food and heavily processed foods could make it extremely tough to properly manage your AFS; it’s vital that you eat a diet high in whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, good sources of protein, healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil and nuts, and healthy grains.
Better Alternative Nutritious Meals
It’s far easier than you can comprehend to consume healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks while trying to tackle the endless task list you have at work. Instead of fast food diets, that may perhaps result in you feeling moody, sluggish, exhausted, and sick, experiment in making your own healthy meals. The more meals you prepare at home, the less likely you’ll consume toxic and detrimental ingredients and chemicals. You’ll be more aware of what’s in your food, and less likely to make bad choices. Having a breakfast that’s full of healthy fats, proteins, and sufficient vitamins will keep your blood sugar balanced, clear your thinking, and provide you with energy that could last all day.
Homemade Breakfast suggestions:
- Scramble eggs with fresh vegetables to start your day with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and numerous vitamins.
- Make an energizing smoothie with fresh orange, organic kale/spinach, and organic berries.
- Have slices of apples with unsweetened almond butter or cashew butter.
- Prepare a red pepper dip the night before using roasted red peppers, extra virgin olive oil, pink salt, and your favorite spices. Dip it with fresh vegetables for a boost of energy and phytonutrients, or aside a hard-boiled egg for additional protein.
- Steam vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, or bell peppers and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and pink salt. Have a side of salmon and organic brown rice.
- Prepare a kale salad with plenty of other vegetables such as radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions. Top with quinoa or your favorite protein source.
- Make a nutritious lentil soup and pair it with your favorite protein, or enjoy it with a handful of organic raw nuts for a lighter meal.
- Prepare homemade hummus dip and side it with fresh vegetables and a good quality protein.
It’s crucial that you consult your healthcare practitioner prior to starting any nutritional advice or diet program, as they know what’s best for your condition individually. Eat a healthy diet, and aim to avoid processed food and fast food, and observe as your energy levels skyrocket, your mood brightens, and your stomach thanks you for no digestive discomforts.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
Are fast food diets unhealthy, or is it tolerable to eat often?
Unquestionably, fast food diets could lead to unfavorable consequences, either rapidly, or down the road. Consuming food from fast food chains often could leave you with no energy, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even excessive weight gain.