We all know it’s bad for us but it doesn’t stop us from devouring a delicious cheeseburger from McDonalds. Have you ever wondered why we love to eat fast food so much? You say you’re going to eat healthier but as your driving past those golden arches, something pulls you in and the next thing you know you are sitting at the drive up. Let’s take a look into why we love to eat fast food so much.
Fast and cheap. Probably one of the top reasons people turn to fast food is because it’s convenient. We don’t have to prep anything; we don’t have to cook anything. With our busy schedules we don’t want to think about taking the time to prepare something healthy, we just want choose something that looks delicious, pay for it and eat it. After a while, that convenience becomes a habit and it is hard to break.
Stress eating. You’ve probably heard this before, and it’s true. When you get anxious or stressed what do we turn to? That pint of ice cream or that plate of nachos. It’s happens to all of us. But why? Being anxious or stressed causes our bodies to use more energy, which makes us hungry for calorie-dense foods such as sugary, fatty junk food.
It is psychological. Have you ever wondered where a particular craving came from? You are just sitting there enjoying your nice salad when out of nowhere the thought of cheese sticks pops into your brain and won’t go away until you eat them. Well, its science. Steven Witherly is a food scientist who says that food manufactures spend lots of money, “looking for a perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat that excites your brain and gets you coming back for more.” There are many factors that go into making food addictive. Things like salivary response for example. The more the food makes you salivate, the more it covers your taste buds. This is why people love ranch, mayo, and butter. They create a salivary response that lathers your taste buds in yummy goodness.
Lack of sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep you are more motivated to eat fast food than if you got that full 8 hours of shut eye. Not getting enough sleep restricts the primal reward center in your brain, making your willpower diminish and your hand reach for that bag of potato chips.
Addiction. Yes, you may have a small addiction to fast food. There have been studies that have shown that people who binge eat food that is high in fat and sugar have neurochemical changes in the brain which is similar to those that develop in a drug addiction.
So, even though we know that fast food is not good for us, we need to remember that not only does it cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health concerns, we don’t always know what’s in it; and do we really want to put things we can’t pronounce into our bodies?