Totally freaking out that the pizza from your last girl’s night is going right to your thighs? If it’s an occasional thing, don’t sweat it. But if it’s not, well…don’t get angry when you aren’t feeling so skinny in your skinny jeans. Or worse, you’re sporting some muffin top or need to loop a hairband through the buttonhole of your pants to keep ‘em closed. That’s just one way how junk food eats away at your health.
This isn’t an attempt to scare you. It’s just a little reality check because let’s face it, we’ve all been there. So you’ve gotta ask yourself, are those [insert your favorite junk food here!] really worth not feeling good afterwards? Probably not. But just in case you’re still unsure, we’ve got the 411 on it all. This is how junk food eats away at your health.
Yup, there’s such a thing as having an addiction to junk food. It can seriously mess with your brain, and you can blame that on the dopamine release that occurs when you consume junk food. One study even compared sugar and junk food to cocaine. Turns out they all activate the same part of the brain. That’s just downright frightening.
Turns out that the dreaded 3:00pm slump isn’t reserved for just Mondays through Fridays. It’s reserved for anyone, at anytime who eats tons of junk food. A study actually found that junk food can kick your energy to the curb by eliminating any motivation you have to do well…anything. So if you’re going to splurge this weekend, consider lowering your expectations on how productive you may (or may not) be when it comes to running your Saturday morning errands.
High fat, high sugar diets (also known as junk food diets) can suppress the activity of a brain peptide that’s responsible for learning and memory formation — and it only takes five days of eating junk food regularly for that to start taking effect. Crazy, right? So no using old jokes as an excuse if you’re eating lots of junk food and are suddenly forgetful about things.
This one shouldn’t be a shocker. When you eat foods with lots of fat, it accumulates as fat in your body. Expect things like severe weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis as a possible result of eating an excessive amount of junk food. Those greasy chips are so not worth it. Just one little bag can send you on a downward spiral.
Hate getting sick? Well, lowering your sugar consumption can help prevent that. One study found that eating 100 grams of sugar can lower your white blood cell count for up to five hours after consumption. To put that in perspective, that little 20 ounce bottle of coke you might grab at lunchtime gets you about two-thirds of the way there.
If spending your weekend mornings in the dentist’s chair filling cavities is your idea of a good time, then this doesn’t apply. Otherwise, read on. Eating junk food that’s packed with sugar will break down the enamel on your teeth, which leads to tooth decay. You can nix that by cutting out junk food and brushing your teeth.
If you’re feeling hungry all the time, research indicates that sugar may be the culprit. Consuming high-fructose foods can suppress the hormones that tell our brain we’re full. It’s like the worst mean girl joke ever.
Just in case mood swings (particularly the sad kind) weren’t already part of your life occasionally, now junk food may help them wean their way in. Turns out that eating lots of sugary, high-processed foods may lead to depression. Total bummer. (Pun intended!)