Written by Laura Ciotte
Unhealthy Diet: The Effects
I’m a firm believer of not depriving yourself of yummy foods, however there has to be a balance. The vast majority of your food should be healthy, with the junk making up a small part of your balanced diet. There are many risks of a poor diet, not just on your physique but on your health and wellbeing too.
Risk #1 Losing Muscle Mass
Important to many of you on this website. Not consuming an adequate amount of protein means your body hasn’t got the building blocks to repair and build new muscle, as it requires the amino acids contained within the protein. Also, if your body isn’t receiving enough calories from your diet, its going to start breaking down not only fat but muscle (with too high a calorie deficit).
Risk #2 Tiredness and Fatigue
Diets that incorporate a massive calorie deficit (burning more calories than you’re consuming) can lead to tiredness, fatigue and irritability. This will put a strain on your job, relationships and your enjoyment of life.
Risk #3 Diabetes
The risk of developing type two diabetes is increased by being overweight/obese. This is because individuals who are overweight/obese have added extra pressure on their body’s ability to use insulin to effectively control blood sugar levels and partition nutrients.
Risk #4 Premature Death
If that’s not enough to encourage you towards a good diet, I don’t know what is. Good nutrition and exercise reduces the risk of premature death by 20-30%, and not only that but a great diet will give you the energy needed to enjoy your life to the full!
Risk #5 High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance which is manufactured within the body by our livers but can also be found in certain foods. It plays a crucial l role in how all our cells work and is also required to produce Vitamin D, certain hormones and bile (necessary for digestion). However, too high a cholesterol level in your blood can significantly increase your risk of getting certain diseases.
Consuming a high level of saturated fat in your diet is linked to the development of high cholesterol levels, especially the levels of “bad” cholesterol which is referred to as LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. HDL (high density liprotein) cholesterol is often referred too as ‘good’ cholesterol as it helps protect against the negative effects of ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Risk #6 High Blood Pressure
When you consume too much sodium your kidneys will hold onto water in an attempt to maintain the correct sodium balance in your body. This causes an increase in the volume of your blood, which can turn into hypertension (high blood pressure).
Ensuring you are consuming less than 6g of salt per day has been proven to lower blood pressure by 2-3mmHg in sufferers of hypertension, by up to one year. Although be aware that these reductions in your blood pressure due to decreased sodium consumption may reduce over time (Hooper et al, 2002).
Risk #7 Heart Disease
Chronic high blood pressure caused by high sodium consumption puts a toll on your heart and can lead to:
-Heart failure:To pump blood against the increased pressure in the blood vessels, your heart muscle thickens, the muscle can eventually become so thick that it cannot pump blood anyone- causing the heart to fail.
-Stroke: Due to thickening of the arteries.
-Kidney disease: Due to the blood vessels there becoming weaker and narrower.
-Aneurysm: Caused by the blood vessels weakening and bulging as a result of the uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Risk #8 Decreased Concentration and Memory
After consuming junk food, which is usually very high in fats, sugars and total calories your body will digest the meal/snack quicker than a healthier option. As junk food contains very few nutrients your body is going to use the sugar in it as energy (as sugar is a source of carbohydrates), this energy is then used extra quickly. Therefore, you may well experience a ‘sugar high’, which is normally followed by a ‘sugar crash’ once your metabolism has burned all of the energy consumed in the junk food. During the ‘sugar high’ and ‘crash’ your concentration and performance may be negatively affected.
This one also links with point number seven, as high blood pressure can affect your ability to think, remember and learn- not good for your progress in the gym, or your career!