March 16, 2020 mdchino

The Problem with ‘Junk’ Foods

You’ve always heard that certain “junk” foods are bad for you. But is it all about weight gain? Or is there some other reason that processed, sugary treats should be avoided?

More junk, less nutrients. On problem with junk foods is that we simply eat only so many calories in a day. When you fill up on foods that are high in sodium, trans fats, sugar, and not much else, then you will probably have a hard time meeting your body’s actual nutrient requirements. Over time that means that you could develop nutrient deficiencies that damage your health.

Inflammation is a factor. “Junk” foods also increase inflammation in the body, which means your body’s immune system is activated to fight a foreign invader. Unfortunately, if you’re not actually fighting off a cold or flu, then your immune system can simply turn on you. Many autoimmune diseases are linked to inflammation, which can be traced back to diet in some circumstances.

Impaired senses. New research suggests that highly processed foods may carry other, long-term health effects. A recent study published by the British Journal of Ophthalmology links a diet high in processed foods to development of age-related macular degeneration (a serious eye disease involving gradual loss of vision).

Hearing loss, long thought to be an inevitable part of aging, might also be linked to diet. Recent research that a Mediterranean diet – high in healthy fats, lean proteins, and vegetables, and low in processed foods – lowered a person’s risk of hearing loss over time. That’s probably because inflammation can disrupt proper blood flow to the inner ear, and damages auditory pathways.

Finally, your taste buds can adapt themselves to “junk” foods, and over time require more and more of those flavors. Foods with “less” flavor – like a cucumber – don’t taste right anymore. You might overeat in order to feel satiated, or continually seek out more processed foods to obtain the flavor you crave. Taste buds can require 30 days or more to reset themselves.

Kicking a junk food habit and adopting a healthier lifestyle can be a challenge, but your health is worth it. Contact us to learn more about our medical weight loss plan, or about anti-aging strategies if that’s your goal. We can help you identify your dietary challenges and adjust them to protect your health and age happily.

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