Fast Food and Fast Routes to Obesity, Hypertension, and Diabetes

Only a few wants to take the road less traveled.

Hundreds of millions of people now work in a box, live in a box, watch in a box, and even eat from a box.

It is time to think outside the box!

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Now, before the need to explain and defend myself from guaranteed outrageous fast food lovers and owners out there, let me first make it clear that this topic should be taken in light of the right context.

Since not all of us share the same predisposition to develop obesity, hypertension, or diabetes, those who have been genetically gifted, i.e. they don’t have family history of these health conditions and don’t seem to get harmed metabolically even if they do not care on what they daily eat in particular, can just read along with ease and without being seriously affected.

But for those who have the same problem like what I had in the past (high blood pressure and obesity, on top of a family history of diabetes), you might want to consider reading more closely and PAY ATTENTION to what I have to say.

I have to admit that in the past, I used to enjoy chomping on fast food products such as hamburgers, deep fried chicken, French fries, sundae twirls, hash browns,and almost any edible stuff that you can order inside a fast food restaurant. I consume them almost every day of my college and post graduate life.

Of course, the taste wouldn’t be so complete if without the help of unlimited gravies, liberal use of salt, and over-the-top amount of ketchup!

Eventually, even after I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, I continued eating them because I THOUGHT that the drugs could do the trick of controlling my high blood pressure.

I was WRONG.

I learned the hard way and accepted that like any other other happy moments, some had to end…

DIET played a very important role in managing my high blood pressure. If I don’t watch what I eat, the effect of my medication will be sub-optimal.

If you are on medications for high blood pressure, you should WATCH YOUR DIET.

Now, how do these FAST FOOD types of food hurt our blood pressure readings and overall metabolism?

Of the so many explanations that I can present here, I would only want you to remember THREE things:

1.) SODIUM. SODIUM. SODIUM. Most of the food stuffs that you eat in fast food restaurants are PROCESSED. These processed foods contain significant amounts of SODIUM that is not good in excess if you have high blood pressure. Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure.

2.) Deep Fried Yummy. When a food is fried, it takes up fat from the oil and that makes the food more energy-dense. In addition, there are certain oils that deteriorate during frying (especially when reused) leading to formation of TRANS FATS (the worst type of fat).

  • This type of fat causes hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis), inflammation in the body, and even cancer.
  • Trans Fats also raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol and this increases your risk of developing clogged arteries. Along with the inflammation it causes, the ingredients for heart attack and stroke are now complete.

3.) High SUGAR Content. I have particularly discussed in another post how sugar is related to high blood pressure. But for the sake of those who haven’t read it yet, here is the overtly simplified explanation:

  • Excess sugar consumption -> Elevated Insulin -> Sodium and Water Retention -> High Blood Pressure
  • This sugar mini-discussion wouldn’t be complete if I let one of the most famous partners of hypertension escape without being mentioned: DIABETES
  • Excess sugar consumption -> Chronic Insulin elevation -> Insulin Resistance -> Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Now, although it is Ok to eat at fast foods once in a while especially for convenience purposes, it is extremely important to keep in mind that you have to be mindful of your overall eating habit, especially if you are trying to control your blood pressure.

Go for the more NATURAL or ORGANIC FOODS if you have the chance.

In managing your general health, it is always your food choice that counts in the end.

Let me close this post by quoting a statement from our famous father of medicine Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

About the Author Alex Saroca MD

Alex Saroca is the founder of Tabachoy Academy. He is a general physician by profession, an author, a blogger, and an entrepreneur. He is on a mission to educate and make Filipinos realize - especially those with overweight, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes - that lifestyle modification is still more powerful than any drug in preventing heart disease, treating heart disease, and improving one's physical state and longevity.

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