With life as busy as it is, millions of people eat on the run. Fast food restaurants and pre-made meals are the way to go when time is short. The problem with these are that they are packed with carbohydrates, sugars, saturated fats and salt in amounts far higher than what your body needs. An average fast food meal for an adult is 836 calories while the average adult only needs somewhere between 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day.
With so many calories coming in from high-fat sources in one meal, your body may be struggling. Here are 6+ things that are happening to your body when you eat junk food.
1. Diabetes. Healthline shares that when you consume junk food, your body often has spikes in blood sugar due to the amount of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates the foods contain. These spikes in sugar and insulin can cause your body to have trouble regulating its blood sugar, placing you at a greater risk for diabetes.
2. Depression. According to Harvard Medical School, eating diets high in junk food increases occurrences of depression by 25 to 35 percent over those who eat diets rich in traditional foods.
3. Heart disease. Because junk food often tends to be high in saturated fats, Prevention states that junk food diets increase cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.
4. Obesity. The trans fats that many junk foods contain tend to confuse the brain's hunger signals. NDTV FOOD shares that this mix-up in signals means that you tend to think you're hungry when you're not and causes you to overeat, leading to obesity.
5. Cognitive. NDTV FOOD shares that a study was done on healthy people. They were fed junk food for 5 days and then given some tests. They did poorly on the cognitive tests that looked at speed, attention and mood. Junk food appears to affect how well you learn and how well the mind functions.
6. Metabolism. Junk food causes the body to burn glucose less effectively than it normally would. Prevention cites this a cause for changes in metabolism.
7. Moodiness. According to Harvard Medical School, junk food also affects serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls sleep, appetite, moods and pain.
A junk food meal once in a great while won't kill you. If eating out is more of a regular habit, though, you may want to start cooking more of your meals at home from scratch.