Fast food is increasingly common around the world thanks to its convenience and availability. However, products at fast-food restaurants typically contain a lot of sugar, calories, and fat, but lack fiber and nutrients.
While occasional consumption of fast food is not a big deal, eating this type of food on a regular basis may lead to certain health issues.
A recent study carried out by scientists from the University of Southern California has suggested that consuming more than 20 percent of calories from fast food per day may lead to a higher risk of fatty liver disease.
The results were published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
In this research, the authors analyzed data from a national survey on adults over 20 years old. There were 4,000 people in the sample, with around 30 percent of those getting at least 20 percent of their daily calories from fast food.
They found that this group had a higher risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which causes fat to build up in the liver and results in liver damage over time. The link was especially clear in those with diabetes or obesity.
The findings from this study would motivate us to eat healthier and more nutritious food.
However, the research still has some drawbacks. Firstly, it was an observational study, meaning that it would not prove that consumption of fast food leads to fatty liver disease.
Another problem is the exclusion of some factors, such as geographic features. And last but not least, the measurements for fast food consumption depended on self-reports from participants, which could be inaccurate.
Overall, this research may be a warning of the possible harmful effects of frequent intake of fast food products.
Below are some useful tips to help you reduce the consumption of fast food:
– Adopt a well-balanced diet: Make sure to have meals with sufficient nutrients, including fat, protein, fiber, and carb. This would help you feel satisfied and full, avoid cravings, and stabilize blood sugar
– Plan your meal for the coming day or week and prepare well to avoid consuming fast food as a last resort
– Reduce your consumption gradually. For instance, if you are currently eating these products 4 days a week, try to reduce to 3 days, and then 2 days a week