A high consumption of fast foods is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and cancer – Photo: Ready made / Pexels
It is no secret to say that for decades one of the most important health measures has focused on warning society about the devastating effects of a diet rich in fast foods. Nonetheless, Americans eat more fast food than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40% of Americans consume some item of fast food every day. With these rather alarming data, it is no coincidence that obesity and overweight are also at record levels.
However, beyond the serious consequences on body weight, a high consumption of fast food deteriorates health in many ways and even has strong negative consequences on mental health and mood. Although there are many worrisome aspects, this popular custom has been particularly associated with 5 of the most serious chronic diseases today.
1. Increased risk of heart disease
Diets rich in saturated fat and processed foods, basically all fast foods, are associated with a increased risk of heart disease. It is well known that these types of foods tend to block the arteries and thus increase the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases. Experts like the American Heart Association recommend Limit your intake of saturated fat to no more than 13 grams a day. For added context: a McDonald’s Big Mac and large French fries provide 14 grams, not counting other foods eaten throughout the day. In addition to being refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, they increase the risk of diabetes and obesity, and especially sodium that can stimulate high blood pressure.
2. Risk of metabolic syndrome
There are many elements that characterize fast foods that can really ruin your health, there simply are no healthy substitutes. However, sodas are one of the most concerning, multiple studies have found that drinking sugar-sweetened sodas or diet sodas regularly it can increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. It is a group of disorders that increase the risk of suffering from heart disease, a stroke and diabetes, the main reason being because it generates hypertension, sugar, cholesterol and high triglycerides. In addition, these types of foods affect “good” cholesterol and promote a large waist circumference, which has been linked to a increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
3. More chances of suffering from type 2 diabetes
There are several factors focused on lifestyle and daily diet that are directly related to a increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Among the main ones are obesity, eating too much added sugar and consuming too many processed foods, all of which significantly alter glucose levels. And the main reason is that the body becomes resistant to insulin, the hormone assigned to regulate blood sugar and prevent diabetes. According to a relevant 15-year study, the risk of developing insulin resistance can double when eating fast food more than twice a week.
Fast food is high in fat, calories and sodiumThese are three of the main negative factors in blood pressure. In such a way that a high consumption of fast foods increases the risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure, which in turn carries the risk of a heart attack and stroke. It is worth mentioning that hypertension is a silent enemy that may not present symptoms until it is severe. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that study subjects who ate a high-fat fast food saw how his blood pressure skyrocketed 1.25 to 1.5 times higher, compared to that of a group that ate a low-fat meal.
There is no more, there are several studies in which it has been proven that two of the most characteristic elements of the fast food industry: added sugars and processed meat, significantly increase the risk of cancer. A 2018 study published in BMJ found that a 10% increase in ultra-processed foods (that wide offering of industrial products that are linked to high fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt) in a person’s diet partnered with a 12% increased risk of cancer. Particularly lThe beverages, sugary products, fats, and sauces that characterize fast foods were more strongly associated with an increased risk of cancer. Too, sugary processed foods were more strongly associated with breast cancer.