Junk food is a term used to encompass all those foods that have high contents of fat, sugar and salt .
Another characteristic of these products is that they lack the nutrients that the body needs for its proper functioning.
Processed foods that usually come in cans or packages are also considered junk or junk food.
Some examples are refined carbohydrates, such as bread or pasta. It does not matter if they add the word integral, they remain the same and their glycemic index is high .
By consuming these products you are consuming an excess of calories that may leave you with a feeling of having eaten something rich, but it affects your brain in different ways.
What happens in your brain when you eat junk food?
A question that arises when talking about junk food has to do with how difficult it is to stop eating it and the fact that it is pleasing to the palate.
If you are trying to leave these foods, you should know that it is an addiction that this type of non-food generates in those who eat it frequently.
Coupled with this, the pleasure that produces us is due to the dopamine that is released when we consume this kind of products.
- The difference is that when eating a salad, the amount of dopamine released is moderate.
- cuando consumes alimentos chatarra, la cantidad de dopamina que se libera es enorme y el cerebro registra esto como “placer” . In contrast, when you consume junk foods, the amount of dopamine that is released is enormous and the brain registers this as “pleasure” .
If a person gets used to eating junk food quickly and for a while, his brain will release such a quantity of dopamine that it will reach a maximum level.
Then it will begin to descend as part of its regularization process. So, to maintain the same level of initial pleasure, you will need to eat more junk foods.
Are cravings a reflection of hunger?
The craving is that almost uncontrollable need to eat a specific food. chatarra. It can appear while you are busy, working, reading or studying and will force you to look for junk .
What you should know is that it is not a sign of real hunger, but part of the addictive process within which the brain seeks a reward to release dopamine.
Through this, your body seeks a feeling of pleasure.
si los antojos se presentan en todo momento, debes evitar comer alimentos chatarra. Something you must take into account is that if the cravings appear at all times, you should avoid eating junk foods. In this way you will not fall or promote addiction to this type of food.
If it is a really sporadic whim it is not a bad thing. natural cuando tengas un antojo de comida procesada . In any case, it would be good to eat some natural when you have a craving for processed food .
Other consequences of eating junk food
Memory and learning problems
It happens because this type of food generates the inflammation of the hippocampus and there the functions of memory and recognition reside.
To avoid this, limit the consumption of these foods to a maximum of 5 per week.
Increases the probability of depression in young people
It happens when the hormonal changes typical of adolescence come together with the effects on the brain of junk food.
Fatigue and weakness
This type of food lacks nutrients, vitamins and minerals, forcing the body to enter the stage of deficiency.
- The high levels of fats associated with this type of food can lead to digestive problems.
- In turn, it increases the risk of cardiovascular and renal diseases and can induce type 2 diabetes.
Is it possible to break the vicious circle of eating junk food?
Yes, and the first step is to make the decision to leave this food and start consuming really healthy and natural foods.
Try to include substitutes such as:
All these foods will also provide that fat that you will miss at first.
Also, you can include some portions of melted cheese to get used to the flavor of the vegetables and splash some coconut oil for the preparation of food.
Remember that each of your food should include protein, fats and vegetables . In this way, your body will feel satisfied and the cravings will be less and less.
At the beginning of this process, it can be difficult to avoid junk food. Just remember that you will not get many benefits from it and go little by little. You will see that with time and a lot of will it is not so impossible.
Try to take healthy substitutes with you like:
- Crispy vegetables
- Homemade granola bars
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