What are the disadvantages of junk food for your health?

Depression is one of the most common illnesses today. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people around the world suffer from it, while in our country the figure rises to one million 700 thousand. (Ref. World Health Organization (2017). Depression).

On the other hand, a WHO report carried out in 2015 shows that the consumption of junk food in Peru has increased by 260% in the last ten years. (Ref, World Health Organization (2015) Ultra-processed foods and beverages in Latin America: trends, effect on obesity and implications for public policies).

Do depression and poor diet have any relationship? Although a conclusive answer cannot yet be given, there are already studies that say yes. One of the most interesting was prepared by researchers from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, in which it was concluded that those who consume junk food are 51% more likely to have depression than those who opt to eat healthily.

What components of junk food could cause depression?

Saturated And Trans Fats

In the aforementioned study carried out by the University of Navarra, carried out on 12,059 volunteers who did not suffer from mental disorders, it was determined that people who consumed high amounts of saturated and trans fats had a 51% greater chance of contracting depression.

It should be remembered that not all fats are negative and that special care must be taken with the artificial trans that is found in processed foods such as certain cakes, cookies, snacks, and margarine, among others. It is recommended that you do not abuse this fat, not only because of its possible link with depression but also because it produces bad cholesterol in your blood.

Excessive Sugar

The man increases the possibility of developing depression by 23%, in less than 5 years, if he consumes more than 67 grams of sugar daily. That is what a study recently published in the prestigious Scientific Reports affirms. (Anika Knüppel, Martin J. Shipley, Clare H. Llewellyn and Erick J. Brunner (2017) Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study. Scientific Reports 7)

In this sense, it is advisable to replace, as far as possible, sugar with healthier sweeteners such as panela, since its excess consumption generates overweight, which causes the risk of various types of cancer.


In a study carried out by the department of psychiatry at Columbia University, it was determined that there is a relationship between certain types of carbohydrates and depression. (Ref. James E Gangwisch, Lauren Hale, Lorena Garcia, Dolores Malaspina, Mark G Opler, Martha E Payne, Rebecca C Rossom, Dorothy Lane(2015) High glycemic index diet as a risk factor for depression: analyzes from the Women’s Health Initiative American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

This is the case with more refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, and soft drinks, which reduce blood sugar levels. This reduction could cause emotional changes, including the appearance of depression.

Likewise, in this study, it is stated that those who consume a lot of carbohydrates suffer a decrease in serotonin, a substance that is decisive for one to feel happy and in a good mood.

Junk food is the cause of many diseases, but it remains to be fully confirmed whether it could also be a trigger for depression. In any case, we recommend that you consume it in low or no measure. If in the future it is determined that it is not the cause of psychological ills, your stomach and heart will still thank you for not being part of your diet.

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