How Much Is Too Much?

In the busy world we live in, it's easy to turn to the simplicity of fast food from time to time. But how much is too much? Read on to decide for yourself whether the amount of junk you consume is permissible or if you may be putting your body in danger.

Woman eating fast food burger

Poor diet and rare exercise are a bad mix

According to a study printed in the British Medical Journal, consuming too much fast food and not getting enough exercise can be a dangerous combination for the liver. In the study, 18 slim, healthy people were asked to take fewer than 5,000 steps a day and to consume two fast food meals daily. A comparison group, matched for age and sex, was asked to continue their regular diet and exercise habits. The research showed that indivduals in the test group put on an average of 14.3 pounds, and 11 people experienced an increase in certain enzymes indicative of liver damage. The spike in enzymes was linked to the weight gain and particularly to the high levels of carbohydrate and sugar intake. No such changes were seen among those who continued their regular diet and exercise routines. The study seems to clearly indicate that consuming fast food on a daily basis coupled with not exercising regularly can have damaging effects on both your waistline and your liver, which plays an important role in your body's day-to-day functioning.

Regular indulgence could cause depression

CBS News reported on a study by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, where researchers followed 9,000 people for about six years and asked participants to report how frequently they ate certain foods, such as burgers, fries and baked goods. The study showed that those who ate more fast food were 51 per cent more likely to develop clinical depression. The study seems to indicate that people who regularly eat commerical baked goods and fast foods are at greater risk of affecting not just their waistlines, but their minds as well.

It's all too much!

The American Institute for Cancer Research performed a survey on 4,700 people and found that roughly a quarter of their average daily caloric intake came from "junk food." These junk food items included pop, sweets, alcohol, salty snacks and fruit-flavoured juices. Because such foods are high in calories but low in nutrients, many people wound up scoring low for dietary healthfulness. The institute reports that whether or not you gain weight from junk food consumption, making room for junk foods by removing healthy items can be damaging to your body. It also states that depriving yourself of protective nutrients and phytochemicals can open you up to dangerous risks, such as cancer.

Everything in moderation

Though no one expects us to be perfect all the time, every day, the research seems to indicate that consuming high levels of junk food on a daily basis can be very damaging to the body in the long run. Although you certainly shouldn't deprive yourself of a treat every now and then, doing what you can to have the majority of your meals come from nutrient-rich sources can do a lot for your body and your mind.

more on being healthy

How to quit emotional eating
Monitoring your weight loss
5 Healthy things you should be doing every day

Tags: bad habits fast food

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