A diet of fast food high in fat and salt, and low in fibre affects mood and memory

A diet of fast food high in fat and salt, and low in fibre affects mood and memory (Image: Getty)

A diet of fast food high in fat and salt, and low in fibre affects mood and memory. It can also make people irritable and anxious. 

According to the BBC One show The Truth About… Takeaways, just one large pizza is enough to affect the flow of blood around the body.

It can cause blood fat levels to rocket, which can lead to clots, increased blood pressure, strokes and heart disease. It takes a few hours for levels to drop back to normal. 

Presenter Nikki Fox said: “This programme has changed me. I have been shocked by what these foods can do to our body, to our blood fat, to our arteries. 

“But it’s not just about the physical, it’s brain fog and the effects they can have on our mental health.” 

She believes things have been getting worse. “Two-thirds of us in the UK now feel we don’t have time to cook at home. And why bother? We can now swipe and order in seconds and get our favourite food brought straight to our door. We now order in 850 million takeaways a year.” 

With one in six 18 to 25-year-olds now eating takeaways twice a day, the show explores what this food is doing to our bodies and if we can wean ourselves off it. 

Indian takeaway

The BBC One show explores what this food is doing to our bodies and if we can wean ourselves off it (Image: Getty)

It involved the longest study of its kind when 15 healthy young volunteers recruited by Liverpool John Moores University “were given the ultimate excuse to pig out in the name of science” by eating two takeaways a day for a fortnight. 

They could pick from Britain’s favourites – kebabs, fried chicken, burgers, pizzas, fish and chips, Indian and Chinese dishes. 

In a scientific first, researchers looked at how their diet affected not only their body but their gut bacteria and brains. 

As well as using medical tests, the findings were based on anecdotal evidence from participants. 

By the end of the study volunteers were left with a variety of ill-effects from stomach cramps, vomiting, lethargy and insomnia. 

As well as putting on weight, their body fat and blood fat increased – which can boost the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

Women eat pizza

Fifteen healthy volunteers ate two takeaways a day for a fortnight (Image: Getty)

“Blood flow to the brain also dropped and within the two weeks working memory saw “a very significant drop” of 15 percent. 

Gut bacteria also became unhealthy, which can lead to chronic illnesses such as cancer or obesity. 

James Kinross, of Imperial College London, said: “Bugs have a really important role in determining how our gut works. By changing your diet, you change your bugs and you change your gut functions.” 

Nikki, 39, who discovered the effect just one large pizza can have, said: “I am a changed woman. After that pizza my supple blood vessels went stiff and the fat in my blood stream went through the roof. I am not eating pizza again.”

Nikki added: “One of the problems with takeaways is how do you actually know what’s in them?

Fried chicken

By the end of the study volunteers were left with a variety of ill-effects (Image: Getty)

“When you buy food in supermarkets, it has to be labelled with a calorie count and details on how much salt, fat and sugar it contains. When you order from an app or from a chippie, it’s a different story.

“Restaurants and takeaways are not required to tell you anything about what is in their foods. ­Although some do, the vast majority don’t.” But for those undeterred
by the risks, Nikki explained how to limit the damage.

“The answer is a bit of brisk exercise – taken 18 hours ­before you eat. This can stop your blood fat getting so high and reduce stiffness in your blood vessels. 

“So if you are going to have a takeaway on Friday night, get out and earn it on the Thursday.” 

Finally, Nikki suggests that moderation is the key. “The evidence is having a good routine with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise and sleep can help.” 

The Truth About… Takeaways, BBC One, Thursday at 8pm.

source: express.co.uk

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here