Food

Why is fast food unhealthy?

We are fond of fast food. Generally the foods, available in restaurant, roadside food stalls are known to us as fast food. Can you say why these are called so? Fast foods are called so, may be because these foods are made quickly, generally using pre-cooked or half cooked food and refrigerated food and also serve quickly.

Now question is why are fast foods considered as unhealthy food?

First take some examples of some foods. Some popular fast foods are pizza, burger, fried chicken, chicken or egg roll, vegetable pakora, cutlets, vegetable or chicken wrap, ice-cream, etc. Now what are the main ingredients? Main ingredients are vegetables’ chicken, refined wheat, flour, cooking oil, salt, spices etc. and the funny thing is that we also use these ingredients in our kitchen. Then why have fast foods gotten such a bad name.

There are many reasons for that. If we consider some other ingredients, which are used to prepare fast foods, such as oil, refined flour, refined sugar, artificial sweetener, artificial food colour, preservatives etc. all have harmful side effects on our health. Don’t you want to know what these harmful effects are?

Now, let’s discuss about these harmful ingredients one by one.

Oil: Common oil, like soybean oil, palm oil are used to keep the foods, specially packed foods fresh, even for years. In this process oils are turned into solid fat, termed as trans-fat. This is a very harmful substance for our health and is the reason behind many deceases.

Refined flour: When grains are made refined, fibre, brans are taken out from the food material along with some vitamins and minerals. So in this process it is turned into less nutritious and unhealthy food.

Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners, regarded as diet friendly but they are more harmful for our health. Artificial sweeteners in food are one of the major causes of obesity, diabetes, & increased blood pressure.

Preservatives: Commonly used preservatives are sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), sodium nitrates, sodium nitrites etc. These preservatives are used to prevent growing of mold- a kind of fungus in the foods and spoiling or poisoning the foods. But these preservatives can be the cause of many illnesses, such as thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, cancer, can trigger breathing problem, can weaken heart tissues, etc.

Food colours: Artificial food colours are responsible for many kinds of diseases like allergic reaction, brain cancer, kidney problems, tumour growth.

Artificial flavour: Artificial flavours may make your food delicious, but it causes serious health problems like brain damage, nausea, different types of cancer.

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As we know generally fast foods are high in calorie, fat, sugar, salt and carbohydrates. That is why the consumption of fast food in large quantity can cause obesity which can lead to many health problems like diabetes. In some cases it also may be a cause of depression, fatigue and hyperactivity.

Though fast foods are very tasty and may be served in a beautiful manner to attract us, but health hazards caused by fast foods are many.  It is scientifically proven that many health problems of modern age are due to consumption of fast foods. We don’t want to be ill; rather we want to live a healthy and joyful life. So, today’s slogan is ‘go organic’.

We are quite familiar with the quote ‘health is wealth’ and so avoid fast foods to avoid health hazards and stay healthy.

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Susmita Dasgupta

Susmita is a trained, veteran primary school teacher. She loves to teach and to make learning exciting for children. One of her great passions in life is to create in her students a curiosity about life and all its accompanying mysteries.

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