5 junk foods to avoid and how they affect your health
05/07/2021 / By Brocky Wilson / Comments
5 junk foods to avoid and how they affect your health

Junk foods are unhealthy foods with low nutrient value that are packed with calories, salt and sugar. Many of us are aware that junk foods do no favors to our health, yet we keep coming back for more because they are manufactured to look and taste appealing. In fact, eating them frequently can cause us to crave them even more, leading to what’s known as food addiction.

Regularly eating junk foods can negatively impact your health in the long run. But their harmful effects on health start the minute after you scarf them down. Listed below are five junk foods and what they do to your body right after eating:

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Potato chips

Potato chips drain your mouth of moisture after the first bite. A chemical in these junk foods called acrylamide also leaches out and starts to spread all over your body. This toxic chemical is produced when starchy foods like potatoes are cooked at high temperatures and is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

After several minutes, you get thirsty and your blood pressure starts to rise due to the large amounts of salt from the chips. You don’t feel full just yet despite munching on this junk food for several minutes because the salt decreases your sensitivity to leptin, which is a hormone that regulates your appetite.

Your blood sugar also rises since the carbohydrates in potato chips are broken down easily into glucose and absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. This gives you a mild sugar rush. In addition, oils in the potato chips are converted into fats to be stored inside your body.

After several hours to a few days, your blood pressure remains higher than normal as your kidney works to get rid of excess salt. It can also take days for your body to purge all the acrylamide.

Chocolate

It’s worth noting that chocolate can be good for your health when eaten as part of a balanced diet. Dark chocolate, in particular, is chock-full of antioxidants as well as nutrients that are beneficial to your brain. But depending on the type of chocolate you’re fond of eating, this sweet treat can also be bad for your health.

Chocolate raises your blood sugar just a few minutes after the first bite. It can also cause indigestion, which is pain and discomfort in the stomach associated with difficulty in digesting food.

After half an hour, you become wakeful and alert as the effect of the caffeine peaks. At the same time, your blood sugar plummets, causing you to feel lethargic and irritable. Then you start to feel alert again once your body finishes processing another stimulant in chocolate. Called theobromine, this gives you a mild mental boost but also makes you pass urine more frequently than usual.

After a few hours, you become lethargic again as your blood sugar slumps to its lowest. On the plus side, chocolate also feeds “good” gut bacteria, which produce molecules that reduce your blood pressure and stress hormones.

Cornflakes

Cornflakes can also be integrated into a healthy diet, but by themselves, they don’t benefit your body any more than the next junk food. For starters, they are low in fiber and other nutrients that are found in whole grain cereals. While many brands of cornflakes are fortified with nutrients like iron to make up for what’s lost during processing, these added nutrients are not easily absorbed, which means that most of them just pass straight through your body.

In addition, many brands contain significant amounts of salt and sugar. So when you munch on these processed cereals, you digest them easily and get only a short-lived energy boost. After a while, you feel hungry again since cornflakes are easy to digest.

Energy drinks

Don’t mistake energy drinks for healthy pick-me-ups – these highly acidic beverages will destroy your teeth. That’s because the acid in energy drinks eats away at the tooth enamel the second it enters your mouth.

Then after you gulp your energy drink down, your heartbeat starts to quicken and your blood pressure gradually rises as the caffeine in the drink enters your bloodstream. Your blood sugar also soars since energy drinks are very high in sugar.

After several minutes, you become very energetic and alert due to the sugar and caffeine suffusing your brain. But give it a few minutes and this artificial high will begin to drop, causing you to feel lethargic and irritable. Over the next several hours, your liver will work hard to clear your body of caffeine. With this stimulant gone, you may get headaches and become constipated and grumpy.

Ice cream

Ice cream is loaded with sugar and fat. When you eat this junk food, your blood sugar increases and fats from the ice cream get stored in your body. And like other sweet treats, ice cream tricks you into eating more of it since your brain is primed to like sweets.

It takes time for your body to digest ice cream since it’s rich in fats. But if you’re eating low-fat ice cream, it will take you less time to digest it because it’s lower in fats than usual.

Eating junk foods on the regular causes long-term health problems, but their impact on your health starts the second after you gulp them down. Snack on nutrient-dense alternatives like fresh fruits and vegetables instead of junk foods for good nutrition.

Sources:

Food.NDTV.com

DailyMail.co.uk

TheConversation.com

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