While the philosophy ‘everything in moderation’ is key to enjoying life’s little treats, sometimes it’s actually worth knowing exactly what those ‘little treats’ are costing your health.
McDonalds as a brand is not exactly synonymous with health and wellbeing, but this newly released infographic has sent the internet into a flurry – and not of the oreo kind.
Released by Fast Food Menu Price, the study shows what happens to your body just an hour after eating a famous ‘Big Mac’ – and the results are not surprising, but still quite irksome.
What happens after the first 10 minutes
According to the infographic, our bodies became “adept at choosing high calorie foods” because our brains developed at a time when food was not so readily available. A regular Big Mac contains 540 calories. Although a little less in Australia at 493 calories, the burger provides an instant gratification that triggers the ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain, otherwise known as dopamine.
“It is true that when we eat highly palatable foods, especially those high in fat, sugar and/or salt, it triggers the reward centre of the brain to encourage us to eat that food again. This was useful when food was less plentiful and less energy dense, but today makes it more likely we will overeat,” Dr Joanna Mcmillan said.
This is what happens just 10 minutes after tucking into your guilty pleasure. When the high levels of calories, sodium and sugar “ignite feelings of pleasure” in the brain, the process works much like how drugs are received into your system – which contributes to the likelihood of compulsive eating.
After 20 minutes
The high levels of fructose corn syrup and sodium create a harmful concoction of ingredients that can contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. This concoction also makes your body crave more and more, which is why the tasty delight seems like such a good idea – at the time.
After 30 minutes
The burger contains a huge amount of sodium – 970mg to be exact – and as such contributes to your body feeling dehydrated. Ever wonder why such a heavy meal came complete with fries and a sugary beverage? This is because dehydration can mimic the symptoms of hunger, causing your body to search for more food to satisfy your growing hunger. Such a high level of sodium will cause your kidneys to have to work overtime, in order to excrete the excess. This sudden influx of sodium causes your heart to work faster in order to pump blood through the veins. This can lead to high blood pressure and, with continued use, heart disease.
After 40 minutes
The infographic goes on to explain that you reaching for fries and a shake is due to your insulin and sugar levels being out of control, “making you crave even more for fast food.”
“The high fructose corn syrup in the Big Mac bun is quickly absorbed by the GI tract, causing insulin spikes and even bigger hunger pangs.”
After an hour
According to the infographic the body takes about 24 to 72 hours to digest food. In the case of the Big Mac, this process is extended due to the high levels of grease and saturated and trans fats.
Does this make you change your mind about how often you indulge in the tasty treat?