Why is junk food bad for you?

It makes you fat and sick! We all know that!

Or do we really?

We all know smoking is bad for us, and most people who smoke would actually like to stop they KNOW THIS. But do people want to stop eating junk food – I don’t think so, otherwise the sale of it wouldn’t be increasing.

 

 

What Is Junk Food?

The food industry had a quest to create a product that was both irresistible and didn’t go off. They came up with the perfect balance of:

  • Sugar – enough to inhibit bacteria and enhance taste
  • Salt – well known preservative + enhances taste
  • Added fat so as to decrease water content – less friendly to bacteria and improves taste

Added to this core mix of a lot of processed and refined ‘food’ are chemical preservatives, chemical flavour enhancers (god only knows what this stuff would taste like without them), and other chemicals to enhance the texture to make it feel like real food in the mouth.

What they’ve created is a thing that doesn’t go off – micro-organisms won’t touch it, because it’s not real.

Why Is Junk Food Bad For You?

So why is junk food bad for you? The more obvious ones:

  • Refined sugar is fattening and addictive
  • Fat in its natural form (in real food) is good for you, but added fats that are mass produced abominations are not
  • Salt – if you’re drink shed loads of water maybe your body will handle this, if not your blood pressure may go up

But there is a not so obvious reason – the effect it has on your gut flora.

We have masses of bacteria living in our guts and they are really important to our health. This is one of the most exciting and interesting areas of research right now.

A healthy gut flora is very diverse, and each species has its own preference of food – which you provide with the food you eat.

Interestingly the friendly bacteria that help with your health in general but also with your weight, are literally decimated my regular doses of refined and processed ‘food’.

This makes sense – processed food is designed not to go off. This means bacteria won’t touch it. So when it reaches your gut it doesn’t make good food for your friendly bacteria, so they reduce in numbers. This allows for other less friendly bacteria to flourish.

Not so friendly bacteria are associated with inflammation in the body which leads to things like – high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, visceral fat, and cancer. They are also associated with weight gain.

I wonder how many of us consider that we do not only feed ourselves, but millions of tiny organisms that either help or hurt us.

Interesting isn’t it.

All the foods on the daily checklist are fantastic for your gut flora:

The Daily Checklist For Losing Weight

Have a great week!

Dr Julie