Junk Food Is Bad For You – Vegan or Otherwise

Surprise, surprise… Junk food is bad for you. Back in January, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported that just one high-fat, high-sugar meal can trigger a biochemical cascade, causing inflammation of blood vessels and immediate, detrimental changes to the nervous system. The good news is that just one healthy meal helps return your body to its optimal state. (Source: One Meal to Good (or Bad) Health)

Most people are aware that there are long term implications involved in their dietary choices. What isn’t generally known is that there are short-term implications to your health as well, which is why you typically feel bad after a junk-food fest. However, if your diet consists of a lot of junk food, you may not experience that ill-feeling.

Junk food distorts a person’s hormonal profile, says O’Keefe.

Studies suggest that fatty, sugary foods promote excretion of the stress hormone cortisol, which seems to further stimulate appetite for calorie-dense foods. And the big post-meal spikes in blood sugar are more likely in people who don’t exercise or those who carry weight around their abdomen. All of it makes it tough for people to stop eating junk food once they’re in the habit. “The more you eat it the more you crave it. It becomes a vicious cycle.”

“Your health and vigor, at a very basic level, are as good as your last meal,” says lead author James O’Keefe, head of preventive cardiology at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo.

When Jane and I first went vegan, we found ourselves in a place where we didn’t really know what we could eat, so most of our meals were steamed veggies with tofu and a salad; or lentil soup with a crusty bread and salad… Traditional vegan fare. Our meals were comprised of things that were closer to whole foods, than processed foods. As we’ve become more comfortable with what ingredient are permissible , we find our diet has started to include items that might be problematic (see Jane’s addiction). And while there’s room for some junk food in a vegan diet, we find ourselves at the precipice of a slippery slope. Jane’s buying a bag or two of Snappea Crisps every week, and I’ve developed an addiction to her brownies. Summer is almost here. Our farmers markets are full to overflowing every week. It’s time to get a-hold of ourselves before things get out of hand! Vegan diet doesn’t necessarily mean healthy diet.

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