Effects of fast food consumption – adverse effects (part 3).

Fast food is also associated with onset and development of cardiovascular diseases. Such may result either from effects of plasma sodium or deposition of cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels. Both cholesterol and sodium are predominant components of fast food, apart from the fats (Crane 5). With respect to sodium, frequent intake of sodium would alter the plasma levels of sodium and extracellular fluid volume (ECV), changes that are associated with development of hypertension (De Wardener, He and Macgregor 2454). For instance, it is suggested that prolonged increase of sodium intake, which may result with frequent intake of fast food, results into hypertension, through either increased levels of plasma sodium with concomitant decrease in ECV or via increasing ECV with concomitant decrease in plasma sodium concentration (De Wardener, He and Macgregor 2455). The later case could happen as the body makes osmoregulatory modifications to counter high intakes of sodium. Thus, fast-food intake could result into hypertension through its high sodium content that, for instance, is used in adding taste and preservation of such foods.

High levels of cholesterol are implicated in cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD includes such diseases as coronary heart disease (CHD), heart attack and stroke where elevated levels of cholesterol are specifically implicated (Melitis 52). Related to cholesterol, other fats that are found in fast foods that critical in development and progression of CVD include triglycerides (Melitis 52). In the case of cholesterol, its implication in CVD has been in various forms such as low density lipoprotein (LDL), and intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) (Melitis 52). Coronary risk is also associated with decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the plasma. In this respect, HDL serves to transport cholesterol from circulation to the liver, where it is degraded (Melitis 53). In respect to this, trans fats that are found in fast foods e.g. out of alterations that occur during processing, are particularly dangerous since they lower the HDL levels while promoting LDL levels (Harvard School of Public Health). A second role of fast foods with respect to cholesterol is its contribution to blood cholesterol levels, following levels of cholesterol in the food consumed. Whereas for many individuals, food consumption affects circulation levels of cholesterol only in a modest way, for other individuals, cholesterol intake greatly predicts the circulation levels (Harvard School of Public Health). In these latter cases, the intake of fast foods would thus predispose such individuals to development of heart disease.

Other adverse effects of fast food are related to links of various fats present is such foods to different cancers. Although evidence of fats association with cancer remains equivocal, suggestions are that fats especially saturated fats and animal fat could increase the risk for cancers such as those of the prostate, colon and breast (Harvard School of Public Health). In other studies, preliminary evidence that trans fats may increase the risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (variant types of blood cancers), heightens the need for caution in consumption of fast food. Go to conclusion here.

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