IT’S no secret junk food is bad for you – the key is in the name.
But do you REALLY know what scoffing down a burger and fries will do to your body?
This is what happens to your body within the first hour of eating junk food
Boffins recently found grub laden with fat and sugar sends the body’s immune system into meltdown.
Scientists in Germany found in tests on mice that their body’s defences reacted as if they were under attack from a serious bacterial infection.
So what else is going on moments after you let that double cheeseburger, fries and fizzy drink pass your lips?
Here, dietitian Helen Bond reveals step-by-step what happens in the hour after eating junk food – and warns of the longer term dangers of making it a regular treat.
Getty – Contributor We asked dietitian Helen Bond to give the low-down on what happens to your body in the hour after scoffing a burger, fries and fizzy drink
From the moment you swallow that first bite of your burger and take a gulp of your Coke, your blood sugar begins to rise.
Within around five minutes you’ll feel a rush of sugar, giving you a surge of energy.
Washing down your burger and fries with a sugar-laden drink will likely tip you right over the edge of your recommended allowance for the day, Helen warns.
Here’s how much sugar your kid should be eating
For adults, the NHS recommends eating no more than seven teaspoons a day – there are around NINE in a can of regular Coke.
And kids should be eating far less sugar. Tots under two should have no more than three teaspoons a day, and kids three to six can have one extra.
Those aged seven to ten should eat no more than six a day.
Getty – Contributor Junk food is laden with fat, processed carbs, sugar and salt – all of which can wreak havoc with our bodies
When it comes to junk food, sugar is far from the only villain – salt is another one to watch out for.
It may make your food taste delicious, but within around quarter-of-an-hour it will leave you dehydrated and gasping for a drink – that sugar laden one we warned you about!
Adults should only eat around 6g of salt a day, and like with sugar, kids need a lot less.
The carbs and salt in your junk food also have their own effects on the body.
“The salt also makes you feel thirsty as well, so you want to go back for more drinks,” Helen warned.
“That’s fine if you’re going for water to dilute the effects, but if you’re going for more sugary drinks then you are just going to add more calories to your diet.”
Getty – Contributor Excess salt in junk food will leave you dehydrated ans gasping for a drink, which becomes a vicious circle if you’re guzzling a sugary fizzy drink
Perhaps the most obvious on the junk food hit list, is fat.
Burgers, fries, chicken nuggets… you name it, it’s drenched in the stuff.
And for many people within about 20 minutes all that fat can trigger a nasty bout of heartburn.
So, just half-an-hour after wolfing down your meal, chances are you’re already on a sugar high, gasping for a drink and feeling a deep burning pain in your chest.
But, next comes your stomach… as your body struggles to cope with digesting the junk, you’ll start to feel gassy and bloated.
Helen explained: “Often people who are more susceptible to salt suffer water retention, so some people find they often feel quite puffy or swollen or bloated after they eat fast food.
Getty – Contributor For many people within about 20 minutes all that fat can trigger a nasty bout of heartburn
While your meal may feel like a distant memory, almost an hour later that sugar high you were riding comes crashing down around you.
Helen said: “You will get a sugar rush and your pancreas responds to that by producing more insulin.
“You will get a real insulin peak and blood sugar rise but it is not sustainable so your hunger is just going to come back.
“Over time that is not good in terms of regulating your blood sugar and we know, with regards to sugar, it is also damaging to your teeth.”
55 -60 minutes
With the dreaded sugar crash comes the inevitable slump in your mood.
You’ll feel irritable and grumpy, and you’ll struggle to concentrate.
Within the next five minutes you will start to feel sluggish, tired, irritable and you will lack concentration.
Getty – Contributor Once your blood sugar drops you start to crash, feeling tired and sluggish
“Probably about 60 minutes afterwards the sugar crash will come in you are going to start feeling tired and sluggish,” Helen said.
“This can affect things like your concentration, your mood, you may feel fed up in the afternoon, so that’s a follow on from not having sustainable energy.
“To counter that the body is going to start looking for more energy, so it drives your hunger for a start.
“The body will have lots of glucose in it from the original meal but if it is not used instantly it is going to get stored as fat.”
That, and your body will be craving more sugar, so you will feel ravenous again!
Getty – Contributor Junk food is full of hidden and added sugars, which send you sugar levels sky high before they come crashing back down, leaving you feeling hungry almost immediately
Gorging on junk food during the day may seem harmless, and you may think the effects are done and dusted after that first hour.
Think again! By the time you’re ready for bed, the caffeine from the fizzy drink will likely have you buzzing.
And all that fat, especially if you eat it in the evening, can cause indigestion before bed too.
“With a heavy meal things like heartburn come into effect,” Helen said.
JUNK FOOD EFFECT IS SIMILAR TO A LIFE-THREATENING BUG
EATING junk food has a similar effect on your body as a bacterial infection, experts have warned.
Experts from the University of Bonn in Germany found unhealthy food triggered an inflammatory response in the body, which they say may be involved in the development of long-term conditions like arteriosclerosis, the hardening of the artery walls, and type 2 diabetes.
The scientists fed mice a high fat “Western diet” and discovered it genetically reprogrammed their cells to make them more susceptible to illness.
After four weeks of switching to a healthy diet the initial inflammatory response disappeared but the genetic reprogramming hadn’t.
Dr Eicke Latz, director of the institute for innate immunity at the university, said: “After an infection, the body’s defences remain in a kind of alarm state, so that they can respond more quickly to a new attack.
“The foundations of a healthy diet need to become a much more prominent part of education than they are at present.”
Latz and his team noted that the average life expectancy of people in Western countries is slowly decreasing for the first time.
People born today will live, on average, shorter lives than their parents and unhealthy diets coupled with minimal amounts of exercise likely play a decisive role in this, they said.
“Often if you have a very high-fat meal it sits in the stomach because it is harder to digest and that can cause a heartburn flare-up.
“Sometimes people also struggle to sleep with that because when they try to sleep it relaxes their lower oesophageal sphincter, so it allows the food to come back up.
“For people who are susceptible to caffeine, like people with irritable bowel syndrome, it can sometimes cause a flare-up.”
AND WHAT ABOUT THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS?
Think the effects of your burger and fries only last 24 hours? Not so.
It’s well known that junk food is a leading cause in obesity, which in turn has a number of deadly chronic diseases.
Obesity has been linked to 13 different types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
“If you are obese you are more at risk of obesity related cancers, you are more at risk of heart disease and stroke,” Helen said.
“And also the fat content within junk food is quite high in saturated fats and trans fats and they can increase the risk of bad cholesterol and over time that is not good news for your heart health.
These are the health issues you are risking if you have a diet high in junk food
“Obesity is also linked to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and also type 2 diabetes.
“In the long-term we know too much salt can cause raises in blood pressure.”
On top of that, your junk food doesn’t contain anywhere near as much fibre as you need to maintain a healthy gut.
“If your diet is very heavily reliant on junk food then it is very difficult to get the 30g of fibre recommended per day,” Helen added.
“Your gut bacteria needs food that is nourishing and we are learning more and more about the importance of gut health in relation to things like immunity, to weight to digestive issues.
“For people that have digestive issues where absorption [of vitamins and minerals] is a problem then making sure your gut is as healthy as possible goes hand-in-hand with a high fibre diet.
“There are some people with issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) where a high fibre diet may cause them problems, but generally people should be eating more of it in our diet.”
Bedbugs ‘increase Your Risk Of Allergic Reactions And Deadly Asthma Attacks’ Even After They Are Gone
BEDBUGS are a nasty pest that no one wants in their house.
But even when they are gone they leave traces behind that can cause allergic reactions and even asthma attacks, new research suggest.
Getty – Contributor Bedbug poo is full of histamine, which cause allergy symptoms in people
Not only do the creepy crawlies bite you while you’re sleeping, they also poop in your bed.
It’s that poop that causes problems long after pest control has been.
The poo is loaded with histamine, a chemical found naturally in your body during allergic reactions.
It is histamine that causes your runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and trouble breathing.
Getty – Contributor Histamine is found naturally in your body during an allergic reaction and causes a runny nose and itchy eyes
The chemical can also cause nasty rashes to appear on your skin and is particularly dangerous for those with underlying lung conditions like asthma because it causes an inflammatory response in your airways.
This can trigger potentially deadly asthma attacks if people are exposed to the chemical.
According to a new study from North Carolina State University histamine levels in bedbug infested homes were at least 20 times higher than in homes that were bug free.
And the levels continue to pose a problem for months after the bedbugs have been booted out.
Getty – Contributor Histamine can be particularly dangerous for people with underlying lung conditions like asthma because it causes an inflammatory response in the airways
In homes that were treated for the pests ,which involves circulating air as hot as 50C through the home, levels remained high.
“The intimate association of bed bugs with humans and the spatial distribution and persistence of histamine in homes suggest that histamine may represent an emergent indoor environmental contaminant whose impact on human health should be investigated,” the authors wrote.
“Bed bugs have become a major social, economic, and health problem since their global resurgence in the early 2000s.
BEAT THE BLOOD SUCKERS How to get rid of bed bugs, what causes an infestation and how to treat bites
“Infestations can reach exceedingly high levels, especially among the elderly and in disadvantaged communities, where interventions may be unaffordable.
“While bed bug bites have been recognised as a dermatological concern that can be exacerbated and lead to secondary infections, bed bugs have not been implicated as disease vectors or allergen producers.
Just One Can Of Coke A Day ‘reduces Your Chance Of Becoming Pregnant By 20 Per Cent’
DRINKING just one sugar-laden drink a day reduces your chance of becoming pregnant by 20 per cent, new research suggests.
Cans of pop have already been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, early menstruation and poor semen quality but now new evidence suggests it also affects both men and women’s probability of conception.
Getty – Contributor Sugar-sweetened drinks have been linked to an array of health problems including obesity, diabetes and infertility
Experts from Boston University of Public Health surveyed 3,828 women aged 21 to 45 living in America and Canada to determine the link between sugar-sweetened drinks and infertility.
They also surveyed 1, 045 of their male partners.
Participants were found through the Pregnancy Online Study, an ongoing internet-based study of US couples.
They were asked to answer questions about their lifestyles, medical history and diet, including their consumption of sweetened drinks.
Getty – Contributor Women who drank more than one fizzy drink a day were 25 per cent less likely to become pregnant
Both the male and female consumption of sugary drinks was associated with an average 20 per cent reduced fecundability – the average monthly probability of becoming pregnant.
Women who drank more than one fizzy drink a day were 25 per cent less likely to become pregnant and men were 33 per cent less likely to be able to get their partner pregnant.
Those who regularly drank energy drinks were even less likely to become pregnant.
The researchers found little association between fruit juice and diet soft drinks.
Lead author Elizabeth Hatch, a professor of epidemiology at the university, said: “We found positive associations between intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and lower fertility, which were consistent after controlling for many other factors, including obesity, caffeine intake, alcohol, smoking, and overall diet quality.
Keto Breakfast Recipes For A Low Carb Diet – Smoothies And Muffins To Help With Weight Loss
MANY dieters choose the keto diet for its proven weight-loss results.
The strict diet involves cutting out carbs altogether and replacing them with high fat foods – but what are the best breakfast to eat on the keto diet?
Getty – Contributor The keto diet is a high fat, low carb and moderate protein plan
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet involves eating lots of ‘good’ fat, to curb hunger pangs, while cutting out carbs and eating moderate amounts of protein.
It’s said to boost energy levels and help speed up weight loss.
Fat should make up 60-80 per cent of the dieter’s total calories consumed, while protein makes up 10-15 per cent, and carbs less than 10 per cent.
Dieters should also cap their calories at 1,800-a-day – while it can be adapted to suit vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
Alamy Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Eggs are a favourite breakfast with keto dieters
What are best breakfast recipes for a low carb diet?
Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Egg (serves 2) by PaleoHacks
2 ripe, ready to eat avocados 2 eggs 6 prosciutto slices 2 T olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste Chopped parsley for garnish Tomato slices for garnish
Bring a medium pot of water from low heat to a gentle simmer. Using food-safe plastic wrap, line a small bowl and rub a little bit of olive oil on it. Crack an egg into the lined bowl, pull the sides of the plastic wrap together, and tie a knot. Place the wrapped egg in the simmering water for 3 minutes. Repeat with the other egg. Remove the eggs from the water and lay on a plate. Cut the plastic wrap open and gently separate the eggs. Set them aside. Prepare the prosciutto slices by flattening them with a back of a knife. Halve the avocado and remove outer skin. Scoop out the middle of the avocado so it is the same size as the poached egg. Carefully put the egg inside and enclose with both sides of the avocado. Wrap the sealed avocado tightly in prosciutto slices, two strips horizontally and one vertically. Repeat the steps for the other egg. Fry the prosciutto-wrapped avocado in olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, starting with the loose ends of the prosciutto first. Turn frequently until the prosciutto is crispy all over. Place on a paper towel to drain the excess oil before serving. Slice the stuffed avocado, sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with tomato slices.
Alamy Bacon-wrapped avocado is really simple to make
Bacon Wrapped Avocado Fries (serves two) by PaleoHacks
2 avocados 20 strips of pasture-raised bacon
Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the pits from the avocados and slice the avocado into thin strips lengthwise (5 per half). Wrap each avocado slice with one strip of bacon, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Alamy Raspberry chia pudding can be topped with all manner of nuts and fruit
Raspberry Chia Pudding (serves 1) by Keto Diet Blog
1 cup coconut milk (240 ml/ 8 fl oz) ½ cup water (120 ml/ 4 fl oz) 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (150 g/ 5.3 oz) ½ cup whole chia seeds (76 g/ 2.7 oz) 1 tsp vanilla powder or 2-3 tsp unsweetened vanilla extract
Place the coconut milk, water and raspberries into a blender and pulse until blended. Reserve a few raspberries for topping. The best coconut milk I’ve tried is Aroy-D. It contains no guar gum and has no aftertaste, it’s only made with Thai coconut and water. Unlike most canned coconut milk products it does not solidify in the fridge and is perfect for making chia seed pudding without making it too thick. Mix the chia seeds, raspberry milk, vanilla and optionally add sweetener. Let it sit for at least 25-30 minutes, ideally overnight in the fridge. Then, spoon into serving glasses. Serve with the reserved raspberries and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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