The healthiest meals we can eat are the ones we prepare at home. If you’re looking for an exciting new dish to try with your family, take a look at our collection of 15 quick and easy-to-make meals that won’t damage your heart. After all, nobody knows you and your family’s health needs more than yourself (and perhaps your dietitian).
However, our busy schedules oftentimes prevent us from getting to work in the kitchen. No matter how early we wake in the morning, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to make a nutritious, balanced breakfast before dashing out the door, let alone prepare a takeaway lunch and plan dinner. Because of this, we turn to fast food and prepackaged meals as alternatives to fuel our bodies for the battles ahead.
The problem is that fast foods are chock-full of preservatives, additives, and other “ives” you can think of that do not benefit your body in any way. On the contrary, the more fast food you consume, the worse off your body will become. Here are just a few of the horrors that fast food menu items can do to your body.
1. Causes Memory Loss and Dementia
One thing that you may not have known about fast food is that studies have concluded a positive link between consuming fast food on a regular basis and a loss of brain activity. No, it’s not due to the questionable patties and fries somehow entering your skull and wreaking havoc, but it has more to do with how a high sugar and fat diet can suppress mental development and memory retention.
A diet consisting of a liberal dosage of fast food can mess up the way our bodies produce and transport insulin. The more sugar and fat we consume, the more insulin is produced, resulting in our brain’s becoming resistant to the hormone. When our brains can no longer become stimulated by insulin, our risk of dementia increases exponentially.
2. Inhibits the Ability to Suppress Hunger
Take a look at the nutritional value of fast food items and check out their simple carbohydrate contents. These simple carbohydrates give your body the temporary boost of energy you think you need to complete your daily tasks. Unfortunately, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Admittedly, sugary foods like donuts, waffles, and soft drinks may lend you a boost of energy, but it’s only temporary, and you’ll end up feeling worse than you did before your questionable meal. Worst yet, the sugar that fast food companies intentionally coat their products in are there not just for flavor but to keep you, the consumer, as addicted to their goods as possible. The slightest twinge of hunger – something that you could have normally suppressed – gets blown out of proportion, and your addiction/sweet tooth will be craving for a full-sized serving of the next sugary snack.
3. Contributes to Obesity
When you lose the ability to control your hunger, you’ll most likely end up putting on a few pounds. Sure, the first five pounds may seem like nothing, and you’ve probably already convinced yourself that jogging for a few weeks or months will put you back in shape. But what happens when this pattern continues without any realization of exercise plans?
Unfortunately, the worst epidemic caused by the fast food industry is a significant spike in obesity cases. Just by looking at the “nutritional” value of fast food items, we can see that we’re willingly putting sugar, saturated fats, oils, and simple carbs in our bodies. The effects of these ingredients without any treatment (e.g. exercise, limiting fast food consumption) will, without question, lead to obesity. Soon, you’ll just be a statistic in the growing obesity epidemic plaguing the world today.
4. Obstructs Breathing
Breathing trouble is an effect of fast food overconsumption but still needs to be addressed. As you put on weight, you’ll soon experience a shortness of breath after doing mundane physical activities like climbing stairs or walking distances farther than from your car to your office. However, your respiratory system may be affected in much more sinister ways than just panting after walking at an incline.
Research has found that children aged 15 years and under who consume fast food at least three times a week are more likely to develop severe breathing conditions such as asthma. Nothing strikes fear in a parent’s heart more than knowing that their child is suffering from a condition that is, to an extent, avoidable by taking simple steps.
5. Leads to Depression
We talked about how fast food can lead to memory loss and ultimately dementia if consumed regularly for extended periods of time, but we’re not done talking about the negative effects it has on the brain. Putting too much sugar and simple carbs in our bodies can toy around with the chemical structure in our brains, possibly resulting in depression.
The irony behind this is that sufferers of sugar- and fat-induced depression often turn to more fast food as a remedy to treat their condition. Sugar does put you in a temporary state of bliss, but remember that in the end, you’re going to crash… HARD. Do yourself and your family a favor and stay away from fast food whenever possible.