The growing trend of fast food outlets is a big source of income in Pakistan but at the cost of citizens’ health.
The increasing number of fast food outlets in every nook and cranny of the country clearly indicates how the youth have turned towards the unhealthy trend.
Below you’ll find six side effects if you choose to eat the typical large portions found at fast food establishments on a regular basis.
You may increase your risk of stroke.
According to health experts, “While fast food can fit as part of an overall balanced diet, consuming more than one daily meal on a regular basis will increase sodium intake.”
As the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day (the equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt) for most individuals, consuming fast food in excess could clearly push those limits. “Over time, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.”
You may gain weight.
If you look at the options at a fast-food joint, having a burger, fries, and soda can add up to at least 1,000 calories or more in one meal. This is especially true if you’re choosing more robust burgers, larger-sized fries, and regular soda. Taking in many more calories than your body needs on a daily basis over time can lead to weight gain.
You’ll possibly consume less fiber.
“If the majority of your meals are coming from the drive-thru, chances are your fiber intake doesn’t meet the recommended guidelines,” says healt expert, whose recommended rule of thumb for fiber is 14 grams per 1,000 calories of food consumed.
You can have an increased risk of high cholesterol.
One of the issues of eating at most fast-food establishments is the amount of saturated fat that adds up in one meal. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, the maximum limit for saturated fat is 22 grams per day. You can easily take in 75% or more of your saturated fat intake during one fast-food meal, and in some cases, you can take in 100 to 150% the recommended daily maximum of saturated fat.
It has been well established that a high-saturated fat intake is linked with increased LDL (or bad) cholesterol, and the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 10% of your total calories come from saturated fat for this reason.
You may have more nutrient deficiencies.
If many of your meals are eaten at a fast-food restaurant, you may be missing out on important nutrients. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identify four under-consumed nutrients by all Americans, which are calcium, fiber, vitamin D, and potassium. Fiber, already mentioned above, tends to be low in fast-food meals. Potassium is found in many fruits and vegetables, which also tends to be skipped on many fast-food menus.
It can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
A published review study found that eating fast food more than twice a week was linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and death from coronary heart disease. If you have pre-diabetes, eating fast food will not provide the balanced diet you need—which includes filling half of your plate being vegetables, choosing whole grains more often, and eating lean protein—unless you visit very specific establishments.