Junk food is a term for food containing high levels of calories from sugar and fat with less protein, vitamins or minerals. The term describes that a particular food has less nutritional value and contains a lot of fat, sugar, salt, and calories. “Junk food” can also refer to high protein food with large amounts of meat, prepared with, for example, saturated fat. Hamburgers, fried chicken, and candies are examples of junk food. Most of the fast food is junk food, and most junk food is fast food. So let us know in detail about junk food, and also food poisoning with junk food symptoms for the attention of your doctor for immediate treatment. Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System has great concern about junk food as it contributes toward health hazard.
Junk food like Pakora, Kachori, Pattice, Vada Pav, Bhaji Puri, Chole Bhature, Samosas, Doughnuts, Pizzas, Burgers, Rolls, Wraps, Frankies, French fries, etc has penetrated every corner of our country. You step out of your house and you’ll see them being served everywhere from malls, restaurants and roadside corners to an office and college canteens.
What is Junk Food
But have you ever thought why are some foods called ‘junk’? The word ‘junk’ refers to something that is extra and useless. And all your delicious, favorite foods do complete justice to what the name signifies. The consequences that these junk food have on your health are terrible, irrespective of whether you have them once in a while, twice in a week or every day.
Junk food health effects
Let us take a look at how this junk plays a crucial role in deteriorating your health:
Although junk food and fast food makes you feel full and satisfied, they lack all the necessary nutrients like proteins and carbohydrates to keep your body energized and healthy. If you eat junk food every time you are hungry, you may feel chronically fatigued. It can lower your energy levels to an extent that it may become difficult for you to even perform your daily tasks.
A lot of hormonal changes take place in teenagers which makes them susceptible to mood swings and behavioral changes. And a healthy diet plays an important role in maintaining that hormonal balance. Because junk food lacks those essential nutrients, the likelihood of teenagers to suffer from depression is increased by 58%.
Those who are addicted to fatty junk food are bound to have digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). That’s because junk food is deep fried. So, the oil from the junk food gets deposited in the stomach causing acidity. They cause irritation of the stomach lining because they are too spicy, and they also lack fiber which is important for proper digestion.
Blood sugar drop
Junk food is high in refined sugar which puts your metabolism under stress. Refined sugar causes the pancreas to secrete more amount of insulin in order to prevent a drastic spike in your blood sugar levels. Because junk food lacks sufficient levels of good carbohydrates and proteins, the levels of blood sugar drop suddenly after you eat. This makes you feel irritable and further increases your craving for more junk food.
A study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity shows that one week of eating junk food is enough to trigger memory impairment in rats. Recent research suggests that bad fats (trans fats) from junk food tends to replace healthy fats in the brain and interferes with its normal signaling mechanism. Studies in animals have also shown that fats from junk food slow down the ability to learn new skills.
Junks food increases cholesterol and triglyceride levels which are major risk factors for the development of heart diseases. Moreover, fats from junk food accumulate over time in your body to make you obese. The more weight you put on, the higher your risk of suffering from heart attack.
The reason why you can never say no to fries and chips is that they contain a high amount of finely processed salt which increases salivation and secretion of enzymes that enhances your cravings. A high amount of bad fats and sodium from salt increases blood pressure and affects the kidney function.
High levels of trans fats found in junk food can cause the deposition of fats in the liver, which can cause liver dysfunction.
Type 2 diabetes
When you eat a healthy diet, your body gets a steady supply of glucose which helps to maintain insulin sensitivity. But when you eat only junk food, the excessive stress exerted on your metabolism can affect the ability of your body to use insulin properly.
Risk of cancer
A study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention revealed that consuming too many fast foods that are high in sugar and fat can increase your chances of developing colorectal cancer. Another study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle showed that men who ate fried foods more than twice in a month had increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
A list of junk food
In India, pakora is often considered as an inevitable snack to complement a cup of evening tea. However, it also has the capacity to destroy your body. Pakoras are addictive, which can make people obese and decrease good cholesterol.
The name itself is enough for our mouth to start watering. It is a hot favorite almost everywhere in India, though it usually leads to side effects like heartburn and acidity. Of all the items mentioned in this list, this is the highest in calories and saturated fats. By eating merely two Bhaturas and Chole you will easily pack in almost 50 grams of fat and 1200 calories. Regular consumption can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Bhujia is a common snack people enjoy every time irrespective of age. It is almost like a habit, which needs to come to an end. Bhujia is a packed food that contains a high amount of chemical preservatives that increase your cholesterol. Consuming Bhujia can also lead to high sugar levels and blood pressure.
Samosas are the staple at every get-together or party, and it’s safe to say that it would be incomplete without this snack. However, as tasty as they are, they are dangerous triangular devils which are bad for your health. A single samosa contains 25g of fat.
The immediate effect of Kachori is acidity. This fried item is filled with various ingredients that can be a real disaster for the tummy. It can lead to obesity, cholesterol and heart diseases.
Similar to the fillings used in a burger, this deeply fried item increases the carbohydrates and starch content in the body. Remember, when you wolf these down the next time, Pattices are no good for your heart.
Farsaan comes in different varieties and every one of them involves deep frying. They are usually referred to as an assortment of snacks in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Of them. it’s Ghantiya and Fafda that tops the chart. People also love the combination of Fafda and Jalebi, too.
Pani Puri, also known as Gol Gappa, though helps to cure mouth ulcers, are a source of high-fat calories. The chutney served with Pani Puri can also cause problems to your tummy.
Vada in any form like Medu or Saboodana, are deep-fried and are not good for our health. Pav is an additional challenge for digestion. Though the ingredients of both these are good for health, they invite fat when immersed in an ocean of oil. It is better to switch to Idli if you really can’t avoid Vada Pav.
Chiwda, Chakli, Gujiya and Gulab Jamoons etc made during festivals like Diwali and Holi are also not good for health. They contain all those fatty and starchy items deep fried making those the most dangerous snacks than burgers and pizzas.
Food poisoning can happen to anyone at any time. However, there is a vast possibility of having food poisoning after eating junk foods. So let us know what food poisoning is and the food poisoning symptoms are.
Food poisoning is when someone gets sick from eating food or drink that has gone bad or is contaminated. There are two kinds of food poisoning:
- Poisoning by a toxic agent
- Poisoning by an infectious agent
Food infection is when the food contains bacteria or other microbes which infect the body after it is eaten. Food intoxication is when the food contains toxins, including bacterially produced exotoxins, which can happen even when the microbe that produced the toxin is no longer present or able to cause infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 76 million people in the United States become ill from the food they eat, and about 5,000 of them die every year.
Food poisoning symptoms
Symptoms start within hours to many days after eating. Depending on what the cause of the poisoning was, they can include one or more of the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in the head or fatigue
In most cases, the body is able to permanently get better after a short period of acute discomfort and illness. Foodborne illnesses can result in:
- Permanent health problems
- Death, especially for people at high risk e.g. diabetes, blood pressure etc
The babies, young children, pregnant women, elderly people, sick people, and others with weak immune systems are also always at great risk.
Foodborne illness due to Campylobacter, Yersinia, Salmonella or Shigella infection is a major cause of reactive arthritis, which typically occurs 1–3 weeks after diarrheal illness. Similarly, people with liver disease are especially susceptible to infections from Vibrio vulnificus, which can be found in oysters or crabs.
Tetrodotoxin poisoning from reef fish and other animals shows up very quickly in symptoms such as numbness and shortness of breath and is often fatal.
In view of the above, junk food cannot be appreciated. One must have good control over the tongue as these foods although are mouth-watering, can create health hazards, even food poisoning to the extent that it becomes difficult to overcome the problems faced later. As of now, you have learned about junk food and also about food poisoning and food poisoning symptoms for immediate attention of your doctor. Hence, always think of ‘health‘ before becoming a victim of junk food.