“A journey to a thousand pounds begins with a single burger.”- Chris O’Brien. Ironic but true, right? And this saying doesn’t just apply to a burger, but to all foods similar to it -- and we know that these foods are the well-known junk foods. From the word itself, ‘junk’, we are already given an idea of what and how it is made. Fast foods, chips, chocolates, and candies -- these are examples of junk foods. These foods are greatly enjoyed by everyone, but most people don’t look into its true nature and what it does to the body. We simply give in to our cravings and indulge ourselves to these foods. Whenever we are hungry, we often think of eating something that is delicious and readily available anywhere and we opt to eat junk foods, without thinking of its possible effects to us.
Junk foods, foods which are quick and easy to prepare and easily obtained anywhere, have both good and bad effects to the body.
The word ‘junk’ in junk foods may sound harmful, but they are not really evil-incarnated foods. Junk foods, such as burgers, pasta, and the like are good sources of energy. These foods are rich in carbohydrates which are needed by the body. Carbohydrates are food substances that consist of a single sugar molecule or of multiples of them in various forms. They provide the body with energy. Also, junk foods contain fats, and these are essential to the body. The kinds of fats found in junk foods are saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are found in animal products and in palm and coconut oils, while unsaturated fats are found in plant products, and junk foods both have these two kinds of fats. Essential fatty acids are also found in junk foods, which are required in the diet. Carbohydrates and fats supply calories and are called “energy nutrients”. These are the body’s sources of fuel, and all these can be found in junk foods. (Brown, J.E., 2009)
Now let’s talk about chocolates. Almost everyone loves it. Anyone with a sweet tooth can’t probably resist a piece of it. According to Kassidy Emerson, chocolate contains a chemical known as phenyl ethylamine. The phenyl ethylamine, in addition to the sugar, fat, and caffeine found in chocolates has been shown to release serotonin and endorphins, which are the two known chemicals that make us feel happy. Our body naturally produces these two hormones, but whenever we eat chocolates, it induces the production of these two bodily hormones. That’s why chocolates are considered as stress relievers.
Aside from providing energy to the body and making us feel happy, junk foods also provide us temporary fullness. Although it does not provide the same feeling of fullness like eating a regular meal, consuming pasta, pizza, and the like can make us last our activities even for a short period of time. Junk food mainly contains starch which is found in flour and is a source of carbohydrates, and these carbohydrates tend to stay longer in our stomach thus, giving us a feeling of fullness. (Brown, J.E., 2009)
However, although junk foods may seem pleasing to everyone, it has countless negative effects. As mentioned, junk foods contain a lot of fats, oil, salt, and sugar. These substances contribute a lot to obesity. And what makes us pack on the pounds? Eating more calories than we burn. Here’s the equation: one gram of carbohydrates is equal to four calories. A gram of dietary fat is equal to more than double of it, over nine calories. That’s why burning a gram of fat takes twice as much effort than burning off a gram of carbohydrate. (Feltman, J., ed., 1993) Obesity, in addition, can account to a number of complications. First is diabetes. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made in the pancreas. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells. Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body can’t use glucose normally. (KidsHealth.org)...