A pizza loaded with cheese and your favourite toppings, a burger with your favourite sauces and patty, a bag full of crisp and salted fries, a sandwich with your favourite stuffing – are things that we all crave and drool over. We all have, at least once, munched on these junk foods with utmost satisfaction. However, these types of food are an enemy disguised as a beloved.
While junk food satisfies your appetite, it is linked to a myriad of illnesses, including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and depression. Adding to the list, according to newly-surfaced research, is ageing. Yes, you heard that right. Eating processed and junk foods are directly related to an increased rate of ageing.
The Tale of Telomeres
A research led by Prof. Maira Bes-Rastrollo and Prof. Amelia Marti, University of Navarra, Spain, found that three or more meals that include highly processed junk food led to the shortening of telomeres. These are proteins attached to the tail of the DNA chromosome and act as biological indicators of ageing. The study conducted on both men and women revealed that people with high consumption of ultra-processed food leads to shorter telomere, which indicates ageing at a cellular level, and that diet affects the ageing of cells. Telomeres are an apt indicator since they do not contain genetic information and hence are affected by consumption habits and not family history.
What Is Highly-Processed Junk Food?
These are foods that are industrially manufactured and contain condiments and ingredients loaded with oil, fats, sugars, and starch. In many cases, artificial colourings, preservatives, and emulsifiers are added to these foods to increase their shelf-life. Processed junk food is nutritionally poor and can lead to both mental and physical illness.
You Are What You Eat
Your body is the result of what you consume, and hence, a diet with a dominance of junk food will lead to your temple-like body turn into a dump of diseases.