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The Ugly Danger Sign You're Eating Too Much Fast Food, Says Science

If you’re feeling this particular symptom, it’s likely that fast food habit of yours.

Dealing with a nasty headache on a regular basis? How about having a hard time going to the bathroom? If you're one that loves to chow down on a burger and fries from your local fast-food chain on a regular basis, then these may be symptoms you experience on a regular basis. Why? Because these types of highly processed fried foods can cause your body to become inflamed, which is an ugly danger sign you're eating too much fast food. Here's why, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to read up on The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.

So what does it mean to be inflamed, and what does it matter? Inflammation is a response from the immune system that happens when your body is trying to defend itself against infection, like bacteria or viruses. Inflammation is a result of getting sick and warding off disease, but it's also your body's response when consuming inflammatory foods—like fast food. According to the WebMD Medical Reference, inflammation can be triggered by refined carbohydrates (like white bread), sugary beverages, processed meats, margarine/shortening, and of course, fried foods.

It's no coincidence that inflammation can occur when your body is trying to ward off disease and process not-so-great foods for your body. One study published by the journal Cell through the University of Bonn shows the acute similarities between the inflammation from disease and from fast food. Scientists proved this by evaluating the immune system of mice that were given a "Western diet" of high-fat, high-sugar, and low-fiber foods. The immune system response was inflammation similar to one fighting off illness, and if indulged over a long period of time, can lead to the development of chronic diseases.

This can happen due to a build-up of chronic inflammation. According to Healthline, inflammation can occur in two types of ways. First is acute inflammation, which happens for a short duration and can resolve after a few weeks. This is something you likely experience after getting sick. Or, according to the University of Chicago Medicine, this can even happen in the form of diarrhea after eating foods that aren't good for your body, like fast food.

Then there's chronic inflammation, which happens if you're experiencing inflammation over a longer period of time—longer than six weeks. This happens when there isn't an injury and is linked to autoimmune disorders.

Both fast food and ultra-processed foods can cause inflammation, and can even alter the bacteria that live in your gut. If you're not caring for your gut and microbiome by eating healthy, whole foods, then you're on the road to chronic inflammation. And of course, chronic inflammation can lead to a few long-term diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.

So if you're experiencing constant headaches, difficult times in the bathroom, you're experiencing a decrease in your overall mood, and your body overall feels swollen, it's likely due to inflammation from your fast food habits. The best thing you can do for your body is switch to these 21 Healthy Eating Habits that can make you feel better, and even help you lose those extra pounds!

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten