Diets high in unhealthy fats and sugar aren’t good for you – clearly. It’s common knowledge that eating junk food, fast food, or other high fat/sugar diets regularly can cause some serious health damage, including increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
But what happens when you indulge in junk food for a couple of days? Maybe even just one meal. (Everything in moderation, right?) Sure, the long term effects of junk food are clear. But there are short term effects as well.
One study in the journal Obesity found that after just five days on a diet heavy on the processed food’s was enough to change the way body responds to food.
As part of the study, 12 healthy college-aged men were put on a strict diet regiment designed by the researchers. One group was on the fatty diet, where 55% of their calories came from fat (and about 18% of these came from saturated fat)
After just 5 days on the diet, the men’s muscles lost some of their ability to oxidize glucose after the meal, which could lead to insulin resistance in the future. Muscles play a huge role in clearing the glucose from our body so this is a big deal.
Most of us are in deep denial of what happens to our body after we go on a junk food binge. Damage to our heart and arteries occurs really quickly, one meal is all it takes. 4 hours after a high fat meal your arteries look just like those of a person suffering from heart disease. Meals high in fat and sugar cause a spike in blood-sugar levels called “post-prandial hyperglycemia.” Blood pressure might rise, and a quick rise and fall in insulin can make you feeling hungry soon after a binge.
So what can you do if you just gobbled down a fast food burger, fries, or other unhealthy junk food?
Walk it off with some exercise and eat some fresh pineapple. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps break down hard to digest foods like meat and dairy. It also has an aspirin-like effect on our blood and helps protect us from stroke.