Junk food addiction is hard to get rid of. The tantalizing taste of our favorite fried and sugar-loaded food that lingers on our tongues long after savoring seems impossible to give up. It’s just the taste we struggle to leave behind, even though we quite know of the ‘dark side’ of junk food.
Obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, and other chronic conditions are growing at an alarming rate. Research shows how the wrong type of food addictions is one of the major causes we are experiencing such an epidemic.
If you love your health and life, these sugar-loaded mouthwatering delights need to leave your pantry and refrigerator. But the taste is not the only factor behind the popularity of junk food. The fact that junk food is much more accessible and affordable as compared to healthier foods is also a major consideration.
So how do you give up your bad eating habits? What should be the motivating factors to alter your current lifestyle to a healthier version? Why you should be worried about your junk food addiction? Here are all the answers you are looking for!
1. It can affect your cognitive function
According to a study carried out in 2011 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, healthy people who incorporated junk food in their diet for five days in the week performed poorly in their cognitive test that determines attention span and mood.
Consuming poor diet regularly can deteriorate your memory and cause other brain issues. Chemical reactions that result from a toxic diet causes inflammation in the hippocampus, part of our brain responsible for recognition and memory.
The risk of dementia is another scary discovery linked with junk food consumption. Following such revelations, scientists and experts refer to dementia – especially that associated with Alzheimer’s – as brain diabetes.
2. You lose control of appetite
Fried and processed food are loaded with Trans fats. Sadly, excess consumption of such harmful elements can send negative signals to the brain. After receiving mixed signals, the brain can’t decide if it is hungry or satiated. As a result, you end up overeating.
A healthier brain needs healthy nutrients to function optimally. The fat required by our brain includes essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and omega 6. When we fail to consume these nutrients, it increases the risk of dementia, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, and other brain-related issues.
When we over-consume junk food, we replace these essential fatty acids with harmful Trans fats. In worst cases, addiction to junk food is considered similar to drug addiction and therefore an individual should be worried about.
3. Chemical changes that result from junk food consumption can lead to depression
While most people are fond of junk food, have you ever noticed that teenagers, in general, seem more addicted? Be it stacks of burgers or unlimited slices of pizzas, research shows how overindulging in junk food can trigger depression and anxiety symptoms.
Junk food does not contain healthy nutrients. They may be filling, but are not fulfilling for our system to work perfectly. When our body experiences nutrition deprivation, it triggers unwanted mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
While moderate indulgence in these tasty foods is okay, overindulging leads to addiction which is harmful to the core. Withdrawal symptoms can also happen if you try to quit instantly.
The idea is to create a balance of nutrients in your body by providing good and healthy food to your body. If junk food is all your diet relies on, then you are definitely at a high risk of depression. Remember, these options may appear as comfort foods but they lack nutrition.
4. You suffer uncontrollable cravings
Finding a delish dessert dripping in chocolate when you are craving is all you could dream of. While that’s satisfying when it spikes your blood sugar level, that happiness is only short lived. Once you are done with it, you start feeling irritable.
Same is the case with junk food. It is loaded with refined carbs that cause blood sugar spike. Once the level goes back down, it causes fatigue, confusion, and anxiety. The high levels of both fat and sugar present in junk food will only satisfy your cravings while you are eating it. Later, it encourages an impatient behavior that causes trouble when you are trying to deal with other things.
Preservatives and artificial flavoring also boost hyperactivity and increase heart rate to a risky level. It is important to understand and believe the nature of fast foods is addictive. It becomes an addition to your meals. The high level of fat, sugar, and salt are the reasons you crave them, even when you are not hungry.
5. You are consuming nothing but empty nutrition
Junk foods are what they sound like – junk. Most of the items that are on top of your ‘favorites’ list have zero nutritional value. When you eat nothing but junk food due to its addiction, your body is deprived of essential nutrients that help it function smoothly.
Instead, your body gets stuffed with harmful additives and chemicals, which only contributes to deteriorating your health and leads to various chronic diseases.
These reasons mentioned above are enough to worry about your junk food addiction. Your health should be your priority. There are tons of delicious healthy food options you can replace with your unhealthy diet.
Enjoying your favorite treat occasionally is okay. But making it a habit will only cause a lot of health damage. Plan your meals and grocery shopping list in advance so you can make healthier choices.
These are just the top five reasons junk food is bad for your health while there are hundreds I can quote. So do your health a favor and make a better choice today!
Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on women’s healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates.