These days, junk foods have become a way of life for most people. Especially for those who are always on-the-go, swinging through the drive-thru or getting into their favorite fast-food restaurant has evidently become a lifestyle. But did we ever realize the evil side veiled under junk foods? 

There are various junk food diseases lurking behind that lip-smacking pizza or a gorgeously presented grilled sandwich. Not many are aware, but junk foods can trigger serious non-communicable diseases that are often life-threatening. Let’s see how and why junk food is considered as nothing less than a slow-poison or a monster for us humans. 

What is junk food exactly?

Junk food is any food and/or drink that is extremely low in essential nutrients required for an individual to survive. Junk food consists of very poor counts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Let alone, they are super high in kilojoules, added sugar, saturated fats, and added salts. 

Due to the high salts, fats, and trans fats present in junk food, consuming them on a regular basis can have deadly impacts on human health. Leading doctors and health experts say that various diseases caused by junk food include non-communicable ones like cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and even cancer in the long run. 

So the next time you binge on a pack of your favorite chips or think of treating yourself with a burger, do note that they are enough to account for 35% of your daily permissible salt intake, and 26% of the allowed fat consumption. When you consume four slices of your best-loved cheese-burst pizza, it would make you consume 99.9% of the day’s allowed salt and 72.8% of fats. 

Which junk foods are dangerous?

Normally, all kinds of fast foods or junk foods are dangerous. However, listed below are some of the most irresistible but very vicious junk foods that are putting human lives at risk:

Chips & Namkeens 

Regular consumption of chips can result in dental problems, a common ailment that otherwise goes unnoticed. As chips and namkeens are sticky, they remain in the oral cavity for most of the time. This results in tooth decay and cavities. 

Burgers & Fries 

One of the most loved junk foods, burgers, fries, and fried chicken have 20% more fat than the day’s requirement, along with high levels of salt and trans fats. Experts say that although small servings are preferred by people, they are still potent enough to cause junk food diseases

Pizzas & sandwiches 

Many people mistake pizzas and sandwiches to be a very healthy fast food meal due to the vegetable content in both of them. However, CSE (Centre for Science) lab results found that both pizzas and sandwiches are loaded with salts, fats, and high quantities of trans fats. 

Here’s how junk food affects various systems in the human body. 

Digestive System 

When the digestive system breaks down junk foods, carbohydrates released as sugar gets into the bloodstream, increasing the blood glucose levels. In the long run, too high blood glucose levels can make the body insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes along with obesity. 

Respiratory System 

Excess calorie intake from fast food meals not only leads to junk food diseases but also invite obesity, which increases risks of respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and shortness of breath.  

Central Nervous System 

While fast foods can satisfy hunger in the short term, central nervous system diseases caused by junk food are quite evident in the long run. People who eat fast food regularly are 51% more prone to develop depression and other such disorders. 

Skeletal system (bones)

The carbs content in junk food and processed foods increase acids in the mouth. These acids prove to be very harmful to the tooth enamel. On the other hand, regular binging on junk food invites obesity which leads to complications of the bone density and muscle mass. People who are obese are more prone to falling down and breaking bones.

The last bite

India is a naive market for junk food, and a large population of our nation is still clueless about the basics of nutrition and healthy eating. Junk food is being made and sold in a manner that is only making it more addictive. It is only on us that we think twice before choosing a combo meal of junk food over home-cooked good food.