Fast food is undeniably convenient. It’s almost everywhere and easy to get (thanks to delivery services) especially for a quick breakfast, a one-hour lunch break, and a well-deserved greasy dinner. It comes in value meals, making it look affordable—a steal, even.
And that makes fast food addicting. This accessibility paired with the deadly trinity of disproportionate dollops of salt, fat, and sugar are all designed to make us eat an awful lot of it. If you’re one of those who rotate McDonald’s, Jollibee, Wendy’s, and other fast food on a daily basis, you need to control yourself.
Fast food may be cheap and convenient, but it’s not beneficial to your health at all (well, it stops you from starving, still have to give credit to that) because here are some things excessive fast food consumption does to your body. And they aren’t pretty.
It’s best to control your fast food consumption, if not entirely avoid, particularly if you religiously follow a skincare routine. Why? Registered dietitian and nutritionist, and Real Nutrition NYC founder Amy Shapiro says in an article that simple sugars, white flour, and empty carbs like French fries on fast food menus help skin deteriorate.
Phoeby Jackson-Edwards, a writer for The Daily Mail, tried eating fast food for all meals for a week. Before she began with the challenge, she went to a clinic to get her skin and body fat checked. They’re all normal for a 24-year-old woman. But after a week of feeding herself junk, she noticed how oily her skin has become.
“My skin was slippery and my hair needed washing more often–all pretty shocking after just seven days of junk food,” writes Jackson-Edwards in her story on The Daily Mail.
It was Jackson-Edwards’ fourth day in her fast-food-only challenge when she felt mood swings and exhaustion even after a long sleep.
“By the end of the week, I was far from myself. My concentration levels were much lower than usual and my fatigue was a real issue, even after a long night’s sleep… It was a real effort to stay switched on at work and I found myself getting irritable and impatient,” she writes.
According to Lelani Loubser, Jackson-Edwards’ nutritional therapist, this is because junk foods “inhibit absorption of nutrients needed for energy and mood.” Time to abandon those office snacks.
Increase in weight and body fat
When Jackson-Edwards returned to the clinic, her body fat increased by two percent. Loubser said that “it takes, on average, one month to lose one to three percent of body fat, so this increase of two percent in one week is quite significant.” The writer’s amount of body fat on her thighs had almost doubled.
No surprise as junk foods is high in calories and hard for the body to process.
Increased likelihood of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure
Fast food items are high in sodium, too. Some may be low-fat and low-calorie but they compensate by adding salt to make the food tastier. Abnormal amounts of sodium can incite hypertension, stroke, and even heart failure, especially in the people who are overweight.
Too much sodium hurts the kidneys, too, and may lead to kidney diseases. It also increases one’s risk of developing kidney stones.
Now, what to do?
If you can’t ditch fast food entirely, we’ve listed some items on their menu that are less than 350 calories you can limit yourself to. If you’re looking for healthy and quick takeaway places, we’ve listed shops where to get some salad. But still, moderation is the key. Pick what you eat. Don’t upgrade your food to larger ones. Skip the soda.
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