The dangers of fast food come in multiple forms. Not only are they taxingly dangerous for your internal organs but they are addictive. In some instances, the levels of dopamine produced when ingesting crap food is likened to cocaine.
The McDonald's Big Mac, for instance, is dangerous. Though it has some minor health value (and may even be good for you in VERY small amounts) it is more like an addictive sugar and fat bomb. In the first hour after eating one of these monstrosities, a plethora of biological nightmares take place.
Shortly after consumption (and probably during consumption) your body starts to handle the massive calorie intake. The human brain is designed to reward you for calories. Since much of our primary evolution occurred when food was scarce, our bodies have a built in reward system, flushing out high levels of dopamine when big calories come in. You feel great and this is similar to the great feelings associated with cocaine.
Then, the high fructose corn syrup and sodium cause an addictive reaction and the body starts to crave more. This takes place about 20 minutes after consumption.
30 minutes in, the body starts to fight the mess. The huge amount of salt (970 mg) causes potential dehydration to set in and your body may start to feel hungry again (dehydration can be mistaken as hunger). The high levels of sodium make it difficult for your kidneys to flush the salt and the body will pull water out of surrounding tissues to help, raising blood pressure.
40 minutes in, the sugar spike you experienced from the high fructose corn syrup drops and your body goes into a type of shock, craving more sugar to get back to normal.
After 60 minutes, slow digestion begins. Most real food takes anywhere from 1 to 3 days to digest completely. The trans-fat in a Big Mac takes about 51 days to digest. Keep in mind that every day is not a clean slate and that you may spend weeks cleaning one piece of food out of your system.
Ultimately, just because something is legal does not make it safe and in some countries, ingredients in the American Big Mac are banned. Refined sugar is currently classified as a food but could be just as easily classified as a drug for the effects it puts on the body. In some ways, the sugar industry of the 21st century is similar to the tobacco industry of the 20th century, selling to kids with cartoons despite the rising health concerns.
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