What's more important than what we put in our body? In -400 BC, Hippocrates already said it: “Let your food be your only medicine”. Today, it is scientifically proven that food is the first step to good health (1).
However, junk food remains very present in our daily lives today. Our supermarkets and some restaurants are full of them. In the long term, the consequences are disastrous for our health (overweight, diabetes, heart disease) and for the condition of our skin. To better understand the repercussions of junk food and on the occasion of World Junk Food Day (July 21), we offer you an article which deciphers and recalls the effects of junk food on our body and our skin. We will offer you a solution to help you detoxify your body.
What do we call junk food?
Junk food refers to all foods, or more generally eating habits, that are too rich in bad fats, bad sugars and salt. Foods classified as “junk food” provide no or very few nutrients necessary for the body (2). Among them, we can cite:
Fast food. “Fast food” is the very emblem of junk food. The dishes offered are very rich in bad fats because they consist of fried and very salty foods (fries, nuggets). These are often served with very sweet sauces. Bad fats are those that we find in certain foods of animal origin. These include meat, cold meats and cheese.
Let's also add foods that solidify or liquefy with temperature. Butter for example. The good fats will be those present in vegetable oils: coconut, olive, rapeseed. They are also found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel.
Bad fats are also found in all types of sweets and snacks that contain refined sugar. Sweets, cakes or pastries too rich in sugar, ice cream, crisps.
Refined foods are foods from which the husk has been removed. They often have a white appearance. This process concerns sugar but also flour, rice, pasta. Refining removes several reactive substances. It allows food to last longer. However, by removing this covering, it deprives foods of minerals, vitamins and fibers that are very interesting for the body.
Very low-end processed foods are affected. They often contain additives for flavor. The addition of preservatives allows them to extend their use-by date. The main purpose of additives is to add flavor to a food which, understandably, has very little in the way of flavor. Of course, the initial quality of this type of food causes a lot of doubts.
Junk food and acne, what effects on your health?
Overweight and obesity
To function properly, our body needs a certain supply of micronutrients (vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K and minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, etc.) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids). and Proteins). They are the ones that provide us with calories, in other words the energy necessary for daily functioning. Often, calories are associated with something negative. It is not so ! While it's true that most junk food is high in calories, not all high-calorie foods are necessarily bad.
The thing about junk food is that it is full of “empty” calories. In other words, nutrient intake will be very low while caloric intake is high (3). In this type of food, empty calories are generally associated with a high glycemic index, in other words a high sugar level.
This sugar is incorporated by the body and associated with a lack of physical activity, it will be stored and create fat. Over time, such eating habits will lead to overweight and in the worst cases, obesity.
Sugar and diabetes
Sugar, in addition to promoting overweight and obesity, has consequences in terms of diabetes. Indeed, when we swallow a sugary food, our blood sugar, in other words our blood sugar level, increases very quickly. Following this, our pancreas produces insulin in order to regulate this sugar level and bring it back to normal.
However, excessively recurrent consumption of too much sugar causes a metabolic disorder. The body no longer functions properly, because it is no longer capable of producing the insulin necessary to regulate blood sugar levels. Eventually, chronic hyperglycemia can occur and diabetes appears.
The effects of fat on the body
As mentioned above, lipids are one of the essential nutrients for the functioning of our body. They help in the development of cells and the maintenance of the nervous system. However, just like carbohydrates, there are good and bad ones. Bad fats are all saturated fatty acids and processed fatty acids, used as preservatives or stabilizers.
They are found in butter, margarine, cheese, cream, milk… We must therefore look at the type of fat, but also the quantity. Indeed, swallowing too much fat damages the walls of the arteries, and has a consequence on their dilation. The blood tends to clot more, which promotes the formation of clots blocking the arteries. The final step in this process is a heart attack.
Junk food and cholesterol
In addition, consuming foods that are too fatty increases the production of bad cholesterol (LDL, as opposed to good cholesterol, HDL). Bad cholesterol is the cause of heart risk and arterial diseases. Junk food often contains foods that are very rich in all these bad fats. See as well, a diet to lose weight and fight acne.
Like carbohydrates and lipids, sodium is necessary for the body. It contributes in particular to the proper functioning of nerves and muscles. In the same way that insulin helps regulate sugar, it is the kidneys that work for sodium. When the amount of salt consumed is higher than normal, the body increases blood volume, thereby diluting sodium.
This puts pressure on the vessels which raises blood pressure, then the kidneys then work to regulate this level. We quickly understand that in the long term, a diet too rich in salt will have this double consequence on high blood pressure and kidney function (4).
Addiction to junk food
Unfortunately, our body gets used to junk food very quickly. This can lead to strong addiction. It is true that from a very young age, we are used to eating sweets regularly. Sugar can be very addictive for some. But this remains true for all types of junk food, which is why it is essential to adopt healthy eating habits.
Junk food and acne, what to do?
Acne and poor diet
As a general rule, a poor diet (rich in fat, sugar, hyper-processed products) can lead to saturation of the emunctory organs. We are talking here about the intestines, kidneys, lungs and liver. When these organs function well, they allow the evacuation of toxins present in the body. But when the latter are saturated, the evacuation of toxins then takes place through the skin. This explains the appearance of acne spots. Junk food and acne are quickly linked.
There are natural plants to treat acne from the inside. Examples include burdock, stinging nettle, vitamins B2, C and E and zinc. They provide a detoxifying action on the body thanks to the purifying virtues they offer. These plants stimulate the elimination of toxins present in the body, by boosting the emunctory organs such as the liver, and allow you to regain digestive balance.
Acne and a diet too high in carbohydrates
According to dermatologist Catherine McCuiag at Ste-Justine Hospital and Professor at the University of Montreal, diet is the cause of the appearance and development of acne (5). Foods too rich in carbohydrates promote the production of sebum. Overconsumption of foods too rich in fast sugars can then lead to an accumulation of sebum. This excess sebum then causes the appearance of blackheads and acne spots.
Plants like burdock, depurative and anti-oxidant which stimulates the emunctory organs, can also be an anti-acne ally. Or even thestinging nettle recognized for its draining action. Let's also mention zinc, a vital trace element against acne.
What type of diet should you choose over junk food?
Eat better for acne, think about salad
here are some advices for a healthier diet:
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber. In this sense, they help the proper functioning of intestinal transit. Digestion is facilitated. This way our body absorbs nutrients much better.
In addition, fruits and green vegetables have a so-called alkalizing power. They reduce the acidity level of the body. An acidic organism being a favorable environment for the development of diseases. Fruits provide us with fructose. The latter is part of the category of good sugars.
Acne and junk food, recommended drinks
Favor water rather than drinks rich in sugars. As mentioned above, all sugary and often carbonated drinks are full of artificial flavors and sugar. Often, these drinks do not even quench your thirst. In fact, sugar can cause an even stronger feeling of thirst. To avoid this vicious cycle, choose water rather than these sugary drinks.
Today, fast food no longer necessarily rhymes with junk food! Faced with a slightly greater awareness about the way we eat, fast food chains with fresh, good quality products have developed. We can cite Exki, Prêt-à-manger, Cojean or even independents who set up their tea rooms with savory formulas…
You have questions about acne? see our section.
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