By laceylee, Apr 13 2016 05:03PM
By now, I’m sure you are aware that eating unhealthy is...well...unhealthy. Weight gain is the first thing people think about when it comes to eating unhealthy but that is just one of many many reasons and outcomes. Have you really thought about ALL the reasons why eating unhealthy is so “bad” for us? I want to help you truly understand why it is so important to adapt healthy eating habits and put weight gain as the “only” reason to the back of your head. My hope is by sharing the short term and long term risks of having unhealthy eating habits, you will be motivated to start making some changes. Even small changes will make MAJOR differences in your health which in turn affects how you feel emotionally and physically.
Foods we eat are supposed to make us feel good. If you have stomach issues, trouble sleeping, fatigue, not thinking clearly, etc. - change how you eat can help resolve those issues.
In a world of instant gratification, it is easy to not think about the long term effects of eating unhealthy foods. Heck, it’s easy to not think about the short term effects as well. At the end of the day - the ONLY way you are truly going to change your eating habits is if YOU want to feel better and live the healthiest life you can. Whether you know it and/or feel it or not - eating unhealthy IS NOT allowing you to feel your very best.
I am not saying never to enjoy a treat here and there but it’s the daily habit of eating unhealthy foods that wreaks havoc on your body and mind.
Junk food is considered something useless, extra or something that is not needed. What is considered “junk food” depends on who you ask. Whatever “label” you want to put on unhealthy foods, they all either offer little to zero nutritional value, are high in calories and fat and/or are high in sugar and/or sodium (salt). ALL will rear its ugly head at some point. Whether it’s fatigue, headaches, stomach issues, joint pain, inadequate sleep, etc. It will happen at some point. So why not prevent the inevitable? After all, at the end of the day, we all want to feel good, right? When we feel good on the inside, we feel good on the outside!!
5 SHORT TERM EFFECTS OF EATING UNHEALTHY
1. HEARTBURN AND INDIGESTION
Heartburn is infamous for triggering burning sensations and pain in the chest area. Indigestion causes an experience of bloating, abdominal pain and/or vomiting. Both of these digestive problems can often be traced back to foods laced with grease and fat. Yes, that means the beloved french fries, pizza, hamburgers, chocolate, high-fat dairy, etc.
2. DISRUPTED SLEEP
Many people fall short of getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep and it is even harder to achieve when heartburn keeps rudely waking you up. Overnight heartburn can frequently be blamed on greasy and/or fatty meals eaten just before bedtime. In turn, this lack of sleep can make maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle more difficult.
3. TOUGHER TIME EXERCISING
It can quite a challenge to start exercising regularly, especially for those already leading a sedentary lifestyle. Poor eating habits are just another roadblock to getting yourself moving and grooving. When you are not feeling your best because of unhealthy eating habits, you are making it that much harder to adapt an active lifestyle.
4. DECREASED BRAIN FUNCTION
Studies have shown that just one week of eating junk food is enough to trigger memory impairment. Recent research suggests that bad fats (trans fats) from junk food tends to replace healthy fats in the brain and interferes with its normal signalling mechanism. Studies have also shown that fats from junk food slow down the ability to learn new skills.
5. LACK OF ENERGY
Everyday life can be challenging enough without battling fatigue throughout the day. If you are consuming too much sugar, this type of energy shortage could be a regular problem. Since so much junk food is loaded with sugar and very little if any nutrients, our body is forced to rapidly convert this incoming sugar into energy. Unfortunately, these sugar-fueled boosts are usually temporary, as this energy is quickly exhausted by the body’s metabolism. This brings in feelings of lethargy and sluggishness, the telltale signs of a “sugar crash.” Aside from these problems, a sugar crash can also interfere with concentration. If you eat unhealthy foods for most of your meals, over a period of time, you could be suffer from chronic fatigue. These foods can lower your energy levels to an extent that it may become difficult for you to even perform your daily tasks.
7 LONG TERM EFFECTS OF EATING UNHEALTHY
One of major contributing factors for the emerging diabetes epidemic is unhealthy diet full of junk and fast food. When you eat a healthy diet, your body gets a steady supply of glucose, which helps maintain insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, when you eat only junk food, the excessive stress exerted on your metabolism affects the ability of your body to use insulin properly. Its consumption directly results in a spike in sugar levels.
2. DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS
Those who are addicted to fatty foods are bound to suffer from digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The oil soaked in junk food gets deposited on the walls of the stomach lining, increases acid production. Spices loaded in them irritate the stomach lining, worsening GERD and digestion. Lack of fiber interrupts digestion, increasing problems like constipation and haemorrhoids.
A healthy diet plays an important role in maintaining hormonal balance. Since most unhealthy foods lack essential nutrients, the likelihood of one to suffer from depression is increased by 58 percent.
4. HEART DISEASE
Unhealthy foods are loaded with saturated fats and trans fats that directly increase triglyceride and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood, contributing to plaque formation and heart disease. Further, causing a sudden spike in blood sugar level increases, these foods damage the linings of the blood vessels causing chronic inflammation. This inflammation causes bad cholesterol to stick to the walls of the arteries, blocking blood flow to the heart. When they are blocked enough, heart attack occurs.
5. KIDNEY DISEASE
The reason why you can never say no to fries and chips is because they contain high amount of finely processed salt which increases salivation and secretion of enzymes that enhance your cravings for these foods. High amount of bad fats and sodium from salt disrupts the sodium-potassium balance of the body and causes hypertension. Since the kidney have to filter all the toxins from the blood, eating a lot of junk food has a direct effect on the kidney functioning.
6. LIVER DAMAGE
Believe it or not but junk food consumption over a period of time can have similar harmful effect on the liver as alcohol consumption does. Research has shown that people who ate junk food and did not exercise showed changes in liver enzymes within four weeks. These changes were similar to those people with alcohol abuse. It’s the high level of trans fats found in a number of junk food which cause liver dysfunction due to deposition in the liver.
7. INCREASE RISK OF CANCER
Lack of fiber is the main reason why junk food consumption is linked to an increased risk of cancers of the digestive system. Studies have shown that men who ate fried foods more than twice in a month had increased risk of developing prostate cancer.