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The risks of poor nutrition
Good nutrition, based on healthy eating is one essential factor that helps us to stay healthy and be active .
What causes poor nutrition?
Poor eating habits include under- or over-eating, not having enough of the healthy foods we need each day, or consuming too many types of food and drink, which are low in fibre or high in fat, salt and/or sugar.
These unhealthy eating habits can affect our nutrient intake, including energy (or kilojoules ) protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals as well as fibre and fluid.
How does poor nutrition affect us?
Poor nutrition can impair our daily health and wellbeing and reduce our ability to lead an enjoyable and active life.
In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, and over time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as:
- being overweight or obese
- tooth decay
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- heart disease and stroke
- type-2 diabetes
- some cancers
- eating disorders.
Steps to good nutrition – it’s easier than you think
A good place to start is to:
- have a good variety of healthy foods from the five food groups each day. For more information see the Healthy eating for different ages and stages and Healthy Eating tips sections
- aim for two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day
- only occasionally eat sugary , fatty or salty food, and then only in small amounts
- drink fresh, clean tap water instead of sugary drinks
- switch over to healthy recipes that look and taste good
- plan your meals ahead and shop for healthy ingredients
- enjoy cooking and eating healthy food with family or friends and without distractions such as the television.
Swap those poor eating habits over for better ones.
For more tips and ideas to boost your nutrition see these great tips from the Australian Government Shape Up Australia.
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- The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating
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© 2012 SA Health. ABN 97 643 356 590.
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2018
A recent study finding has revealed that junk food advertisements are linked with obesity in young people. The research further claimed that young people who watch more than one junk food advertisements a week consume an additional 350 calories in foods high in sugar, salt and fat. In this article, we will be discussing why junk food is unhealthy and the disadvantages of junk food.
So, what is junk food? The word “junk” refers to something that is useless and wasted. And true enough, junk foods have no nutrition and it’s unhealthy, which could have serious health consequences that can be terrible, irrespective of whether you have them once in a while or probably every day.
Junk food can also be linked to at least 13 types of cancers, say the researchers. Regular consumption of high-calorie foods that usually contain high amounts of fat and sugar, increase the risk of obesity.
Read on to know more about the disadvantages of junk food
1. Causes Memory Problems
A noted study showed that healthy people who ate junk food for more than five days performed badly on cognitive tests that involved mood, speed and attention. And as a result, continuously eating junk foods for five days could further deteriorate your memory. Because a poor diet can cause certain chemical reactions that lead to inflammation in the brain, which is associated with memory.
2. Lessens The Ability To Control The Appetite
Too much consumption of trans fats found in processed foods and fried foods can send mixed signals to the brain, which makes it difficult to process how much hungry you are and what have you eaten. For proper functioning of the brain, a daily dose of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 are required. A deficiency in these two fatty acids can lead to brain-related problems and overeating.
3. Increases Dementia Risk
A study has shown that excess amounts of fatty acid and sweets can substantially increase the insulin levels in the body. The more higher the insulin levels in the body, the more the brain stops responding to this hormone and becomes resistant to it. This restricts the ability to recall or think, thus creating the risk of dementia.
4. It Can Lead To Depression
Consuming foods high in fat and sugar changes the chemical activity of the brain. This could lead to withdrawal symptoms that involve the inability to deal with stress, and hence it makes you depressed. Also, eating too much of junk foods, your body may lose out on the essential nutrients like the amino acid tryptophan. The lack of this amino acid can increase the feelings of depression.
5. Impatient And Uncontrollable Cravings
Junk food is filled with refined carbohydrates, which fluctuates your blood sugar levels. If your sugar level is very low, it can cause anxiety, fatigue and confusion. The high content of fats and sugar in junk foods will make you eat too fast and also make you overeat to satisfy your cravings.
6. Causes Impaired Digestion
One of the junk food effects on the stomach is that it causes digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The reason is, these fast foods are deep fried and the oil from the food gets accumulated in the stomach, causing acidity. Spicy junk foods can also irritate the lining of your stomach.
7. Increases The Risk Of Heart Disease
Junk foods escalate the cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are major risk factors for the development of heart disease. The fats present in junk foods accumulate in the body and make you obese. The more you put on weight, the higher the risk of heart disease.
8. Causes Kidney Disease
Junk foods like chips and fries contain high amounts of finely processed salt, which increases secretion of enzymes and saliva that enhance your cravings. The sodium and bad fats from salt increase the blood pressure, thereby affecting the kidney function.
9. Can Cause Liver Damage
Another disadvantage of junk food is that it can cause liver damage. Junk foods contain high levels of trans fats that get deposited as fats in the liver, which can cause fatty liver disease and liver dysfunction.
10. Increases Cancer Risk
A noted study revealed that consuming too much of fast foods high in sugar and fat can increase the risk of having colon cancer. Another study showed that men who ate fried foods more than twice in a month had an increased risk of prostate cancer.
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ALSO READ: Eating An Egg A Day Can Lower The Risk Of Heart Disease, Says Study
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