Dr Ravinder Singh Rana
For every human being, good health is the necessity of living a healthy life. So, there is a need to maintain the healthy diet and healthy habits throughout the life.
In this scenario, every one of us is enjoying well the taste of junk food because it is delicious, affordable and readily available. The consumption of eating junk food is increasing day by day and making us diseased. The term ‘Junk’ was coined by Michael F. Jacobson in 1972. The junk food is the food that contains higher calories than the sugar or fat. It contains less vitamin, protein, and minerals. So, it is less nutritious and harmful for the body system. Junk food refers to generally the heavy and unhealthy diet. It always looks attractive and yummy for the people of every age group. People of all age groups like to eat junk food and they choose to eat it whenever they enjoy special time with family like a birthday party, marriage anniversary, etc. They easily become used to taking soft drinks, wafers, chips, noodles, burgers, pizza, french fries, Chinese dishes, fried foods, candy, baked goods, ice creams, cookies and other varieties of fast food available in the market.
Junk food doesn’t contain the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. As a result, you may feel chronically fatigued and lack the energy you need to complete daily tasks. The high levels of sugar in junk food puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat refined sugar, your pancreas secretes high amounts of insulin to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.Although junk food satisfies your hunger, it provides little nutrition. But the continuous dependency on nutrient-poor foods can leave you with too little appetite for more nutritious foods, increasing your risk of nutritional deficiencies. The average American diet is deficient in fiber, omega-3 fats, magnesium, and calcium, writes Dr. Steven Masley. Highly processed foods contain little fiber, a substance your body needs for a healthy gastrointestinal tract and for control of cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are the main sources of fiber, as well as many other essential nutrients.
Because fast food and junk food don’t contain adequate amounts of protein and good carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly after eating, leaving you feeling grumpy, fatigued and craving sugar.
Leads to obesity
Junk food contains large amounts of fat, and as fat accumulates in your body, you’ll gain weight and could become obese. The more weight you gain, the more you’ll be at risk for serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. You could even have a heart attack.
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food can cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Excessive dietary sodium can also have a negative effect on renal function, even leading to kidney disease.
In the short term, high levels of dietary fat lead to poor cognitive performance. You’ll feel tired and have trouble concentrating because your body might not be getting enough oxygen.
Damages Liver and Heart
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels and contributing to arterial plaque buildup. The high levels of trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can lead to fatty liver deposits, which, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease.
Leads to Diabetes
Over time, the high levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes. This occurs because eating too much sugar puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat a lot of refined white sugar and simple carbohydrates, your body has to pump up insulin production to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels. Because junk food doesn’t contain the protein or complex carbohydrates that your body needs to maintain consistent blood sugar levels, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly soon after eating. You’ll crave sugar and likely end up eating more junk food. Over time, this stress damages your body’s ability to use the insulin secreted by your pancrease. A healthy diet can help maintain your body’s insulin sensitivity.
Even in the short term, eating too much junk food can make you feel really uncomfortable. It can lead to mood swings and constipation, and lower your energy levels so that you lack interest in the exercise you need to burn off those extra calories. No one should consume the junk food beyond limits as this may cause very bad consequences to the health. It can be consumed once in a while like on any occasion. The parents should take care that the children should not consume much junk food. More the distance from junk foods, more the healthy and happy life.
(The author is Assistant Professor of Botany at GDC Reasi)