Instead of providing an energy boost, junk food can cause a lack of energy. For a short period of time, sugar (a type of carbohydrate) makes people feel full of energy, happy and upbeat, as the body uses it for energy. Even in the short term, eating too much junk food can make you feel very uncomfortable. It can cause mood swings and constipation, and lower your energy levels, so you have no interest in the exercise you need to burn those extra calories.
Because junk food doesn't contain the proteins or complex carbohydrates the body needs to maintain consistent blood sugar levels, blood sugar levels will drop suddenly shortly after eating. Your body processes different foods in different ways, and choosing the wrong foods (junk food) can make you feel lightheaded and lazy. High levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by increasing blood cholesterol levels and contributing to the accumulation of arterial plaque. Over time, high levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes.
High levels of sugar in junk food stress metabolism; when you eat refined sugar, the pancreas secretes large amounts of insulin to prevent a dangerous rise in blood sugar levels. High-sugar junk food is prevalent in the United States and accounts for about 16 percent of total energy intake. Mindless junk food in front of the TV or in the car can also lead to overeating and increase calorie intake. The high levels of trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can cause fatty liver deposits that, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease.
In addition to the slowness caused by too much junk food in your diet, you may also experience feelings of physical discomfort associated with food choices, such as bloating and headaches. In light of all this, it is particularly worrying that, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40% of Americans eat fast food or junk food on any given day. If you eat junk food, you can make simple dietary changes to improve your energy and control your weight. While low energy levels and weight gain cannot be attributed solely to eating junk food, there is an association between eating high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods and poor health.
Read on to learn more about the role that snacks play in illness and what you can do to eliminate garbage from your diet.