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Fast foods and their dangerous effects on health

Published : Monday, 20 March, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 497
Jissan Joya

In urban life many people do not have enough time to breathe even due to continuing life like a machine and racing against time. As a result, we are losing traditional life style that we were leading 20-30 years ago and since decades before .In every sector of life, we are now looking at easy ways to cope with pressure and save time.
Besides, people want change, everything new and charming. Food is one of them. If we look back at 30 years ago, the general people of Bangladesh were dependent on homemade food for breakfast and other meals. Mothers were interested to cook food for their families and tried hard to fulfill necessity of health and tongue. Those foods were tasty and healthy, made from rice, flour and wheat. Those items had 'tasty' names like parota, shemai, jorda, pudding, halua, payesh, monda, mithai, chop and so on. Besides, local foods we were used to eating were polao, korma, biriyani, Mughlai dishes, curry and kebab.
Many of those foods have gone with the change of time and taste - amid spreading craze for fast food to catch up with western fads like in people's attires and electronic gadgets. Now even middle income families prefer eating out in posh restaurants selling costly foods. They do it to save time on cooking and serving - to cope with other daily activities starting from rearing and coaching children to taking them to schools, then to coaching academy something which strain the family's budget but still becomes unavoidable. Therefore, the moms eke time out of the kitchen  
Disadvantages of fast food
We often feel like eating out for the alluring taste, odor and color of the food. Even those who are conscious about weight and need to slash it also throng fast food shops and do 'harikiri' to themselves. Eating fast food regularly or frequently is killing oneself - something people even in West and Europe avoid these days but we in Bangladesh cannot spare this yet rather getting more addicted. For many, fast food has become a status symbol in Bangladesh. By consuming high calorie 'junk' diet we take the risk of having diabetes, blood pressure, cancer, heart attack and many more ailments. These have been confirmed through lab tests on humans and animals.
An average fast food meal contains 1,000 calories, including refined carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar levels too high, according to the American Diabetes Association. The 2005 study in "The Lancet" also showed that young adults who ate more fast food had a two-fold increase in insulin resistance, which is associated with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes puts you at risk for a host of complications.
When everything work in sync, blood sugar levels stay within a normal range. When we take in high amounts of carbs it causes a spike in blood sugar. Frequent spikes in blood sugar may make the body insulin resistant, especially in case of type-2 diabetes. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are key risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
People, who eat fast or 'junk' foods four or more times a week, attain higher risk of dying from heart disease. Saturated fat in foods can clog the arteries and, over time, contribute to high cholesterol levels.  
A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed that eating commercially baked foods (doughnuts, croissants, and even bran muffins), pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs) may be linked to depression. The study determined that people who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who eat little to no fast food.
A junk food diet could also affect our brain's synapses and the molecules related to memory and learning, according to a study published in the journal Nature. Animal tests have shown a similar effect. Rats fed a steady diet with over half the calories from fat (similar to a junk food diet) for just a few days had trouble completing a maze they had previously mastered in a 2009 study.
Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed for acne, but they're not the real culprits. When we consume foods high in carbs and sugar, bacteria residing in your mouth produce acids. These acids can destroy tooth enamel, a contributing factor in dental cavities. When the enamel of  our tooth is lost, it can't be replaced. Poor oral health has also been linked to other health problems.
Fast food does not provide family members opportunity to sit and eat at one place. Instead, they buy and eat walking on the way, driving vehicles and during work in office. The satisfaction which a combined meal provides is lacking in Fast Food.
A healthy person need to eat at a proper time which fast food doesn't guarantee, Fast food can be consumed at any time or some time twice or thrice a day, while home cooked food is served at proper time which provides opportunity to take rest after eating once .
Many fast foods and drinks are loaded with carbohydrates and glucose, consequently breaking down people's digestive systems. Pancreas responds by releasing insulin, which is needed to transport sugar to cells throughout body. As the sugar is absorbed, our blood sugar levels drop when the pancreas releases another hormone called glucagon. Glucagon tells the liver to start making use of stored sugars.
Too much sodium causes our body to retain water, making us feel bloated and puffy. But that's the least of the damage overly salted foods can do. Sodium also can contribute to existing high blood pressure or enlarged heart muscle. If we have congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease, too much salt can contribute to a dangerous buildup of fluid. Excess sodium may also increase our risk for kidney stones, kidney disease, and stomach and other types of cancer.
A recent study published in the journal Thorax suggests that children who eat fast food at least three times a week are at increased risk of asthma and rhinitis, which involves having a congested, drippy nose.
So it's time to think about loading us with latest version of food which we call fast food before attracting so many health problems. While it may be impossible for many modern day folks to think of life without fast food, we would urge all to restrain your tongue and slowly go back to home cooked food with tinge of motherly love amid warmth of family bondage.

Jissan Joya is a freelance contributor

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