Here’s What Happens To Your Body When You Eat These Four Unhealthy Foods
Sure, we’ve all been told that junk food is bad for you, yada, yada, yada. But what exactly happens inside our bodies when we eat them? To clear the mystery, we’ve rounded up four of our favorite guilty pleasures and traced their effects on our bodies. Let’s be honest, we love unhealthy food too much to completely eliminate them from our lives. But if you needed a push to cut back on your junk food habit, maybe this is what you need to read.
1. A Hamburger
A truly amazing burger is a work of art. Buns toasted just right, enough sauces to add flavor and a juicy beef patty combine to give you the biggest mouthgasm. But does your body love it as much as your mouth does? Just one regular sized burger is a whopping 540 calories. This should be challenging for you to finish, but every mouthful triggers a release of dopamine by the brain which compels you to eat more. Dopamine is the same chemical associated with cocaine highs, so you know just how addictive it can be. The burger also has 970 mg of sodium -more than half your daily recommended intake. Taking in so much sodium at one go severely dehydrates you and your kidneys go into overdrive, struggling to flush it out. Your heart needs to work harder to pump blood through your veins, which leads to a rise in your blood pressure. The high levels of corn fructose in the bun causes your blood sugar levels to spike and then come crashing down, which leaves you feeling hungry again in a short while. Big, greasy burgers are also very challenging for your body to digest. It often isn’t until three whole days later that your body has completely digested and eliminated it.
2. French Fries
What’s a good burger without a large order of fries to go along with it? Let’s be clear, potatoes don’t deserve the bad rep they’ve earned. They’re actually quite nutritious and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them. French fries, by extension, should be harmless too since they’re really just cut up and fried potatoes, right? Sadly, no. The first step that a potato goes through before becoming a fry, is the removal of its nutrient-dense skin. Things only get worse from there on, what with all the deep frying and salting. One serving of fries clocks in at 24 grams of fat, when your daily intake can be only 65 at the highest. What’s worse is that most of this fat is trans fat which your body cannot break down. They also consist of 600 mg of sodium, which combined with the sodium in burgers, immediately takes you over your recommended intake. Within 30 minutes, the abnormally high levels of sodium in your body prevent your blood vessels from dilating fully. Your heart struggles to pump blood through narrow, constricted vessels and your blood pressure increases. A continuously high intake of sodium puts you at an increased risk for developing heart disease. Most of us eat our fries with a generous dollop of ketchup on the side. Ketchup consists of huge amounts of high fructose corn syrup -look on the label, it’s usually one of the first ingredients listed. HFCS causes your blood sugar levels to hit the roof until it comes crashing back down again making you feel sluggish and hungry sooner.
All the sodium in your fries and burger making you feel thirsty? Chances are you’ve reached out for a glass of soda instead of plain old water. One can of soda (and most of us order giant sized servings of it), contains 100% of our daily recommended intake. Drinking this much sugar in such a short time should make you throw up, but companies have cleverly added phosphoric acid in there to cut through the sweetness and keep you drinking more. Your body is unable to cope with so much sugar, so your liver jumps in to try and convert the excess sugar into fat. With every gulp of soda, the sugar in it binds with bacteria in your mouth and releases acid. This acid erodes your enamel and voila, you develop cavities. Within 40 minutes, your body has absorbed all the caffeine in the soda. Adenosine receptors in your brain are dulled and you don’t feel tired anymore. This is typically when your sugar high kicks in. You have effectively consumed 10 teaspoons of sugar and your insulin levels are spiraling out of control. Dopamine is also released, which adds to your high by making you feel good. Before an hour is up, you’ll be dying to pee. This isn’t just normal pee though. The phosphoric acid in the soda has binded together with calcium, magnesium and zinc which was going to be used for making your bones stronger, and now comes out in your urine. It also contains precious electrolytes, which will make you feel even more dehydrated than before. Soon the high you were riding on will fall all of a sudden, causing you to become irritable and exhausted.
4. Pepperoni Pizza
Or maybe you’re just more of a pizza person? We’re going to use pepperoni here as an example because it is arguably the best kind of pizza in the world. So how exactly is something that tastes so good so bad for you? One slice of this pizza has 311 calories and 701 mg of sodium. The sugar which was allowed to wreak havoc unchecked in the case of soda, is more under control here. The fat from the cheese and pepperoni slows the breakdown of sugar in your body, but it can’t keep it in control forever. Your pancreas secretes insulin in an effort to absorb the sugar from your bloodstream but if you’ve already had too much sugar, it won’t do its job. This means that your blood sugar levels will remain very high, putting you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. If your body finds it difficult to digest lactose (and most of us do), then you’re going to experience severe bloating as your body releases all kinds of gases in its struggle to digest the cheese. If you’ve listened to your bodily cues and stopped eating when you weren’t hungry anymore, the carbs in the pizza will be used as fuel and you’ll feel energetic. However, if you’re like most of us and find it difficult to resist a few extra slices, the exact opposite is true. You will feel sluggish as your digestive system is using up all its energy to process the high carb, high fat meal you just subjected it to.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.