Basicwomen's Blog

{November 4, 2010}   Beware of Junk Food

By- Sadhana Chaturvedi

Many of us proudly exclaim “Junk food!!” when someone asks us about our favourite food. Alas, it is not something to be proud of asBeware of Junk Food such, because of a recent study that compared the cravings of junk food to the cravings of heroin. In an ad issued by the Australian government, a mother is showing injecting heroin into her child and then the slogans “ You don’t inject junk to your children, but why are you feeding it to them?” Pretty shocking, but effective and necessary too, as almost 1/3rd of the world’s population is obese. Childhood is obesity is alarmingly on the rise too. Not that all obesity is because of junk food, but it is a major concern.

Junk food, according to wikipedia is an informal term applied to food that have little or no nutritional value at all, or to products that have nutritional value but which also have ingredients which when regularly eaten, or to those considered unhealthy to consume at all. While it is advisable not to eat any junk food at all, when eaten in very less quantities, it is not all that harmful . However if you find your self reaching for that bag of Doritos every time you sit in front of a television, or if you find yourself stopping in front of a Macdonald’s even after you’ve just eaten lunch, you know you’re addicted.

The junk food manufacturing companies are to blame. People, especially kids, can’t escape the multi-billion dollar advertising industry which promotes junk food, and to quote a popular company’s tag line “No one can eat just one”  The ingredients in junk foods, mainly lots of salt, and saturated fat, are highly addictive.

A list of ailments caused by eating junk food.

Headache and Migraine: Some junk foods trigger migraine and tension which feels like tightening of a band around the head, making the head ache.  By affecting the brain chemistry or changing the size of blood vessels foods cause headaches.  Some foods cause headache in most vulnerable people because of the high content of the amino acids tyramine and phenyethyamine. The tyramine increases blood flow to the brain, which can lead to a headache.

Water Retention and Edema: Foods rich in sodium, salt or sugar may cause the body to keep considerable fluids and worsen edema. The body needs a constant concentration of salt in its tissues. When excess salt is taken in, the body dilutes it by retaining fluid.

Memory loss:  Among older adults whose diets are high in saturated fats and trans fats, a high intake of foods containing copper may cause a fast decline in their ability to think, learn, and remember.  The research studies have linked fat intake, especially that of saturated and trans fats, to Alzheimer’s disease and lead to other cognitive impediments.

Acidity:  There are many foods that cause acidity. Some foods cause the lower esophageal sphincter to become weaker, and some cause the stomach to produce more acid than usual. Both of these problems can increase acid reflux. Some of the foods that escalate heartburn and acidity are citrus fruits, fried and fatty foods, vinegar, tomatoes and chocolates.



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