If you're of the cheeseburger eating persuasion, then you know there are times when you absolutely crave a Big Mac. I have a friend who swears by a Big Mac as the perfect hangover cure; the greasiness of the Big Mac is the only thing that will settle a queasy stomach.
I know, it makes no sense to me either, but Big Macs work better than Ginger Ale and crackers as far as calming an upset stomach.
You may be someone who eats Big Macs on occasion or somebody who eats them all the time (i.e. a teen; if you're an adult you've long suspected that Big Macs are pretty deadly to your body to consume on a regular basis).
If you need to learn visually, then Fast Food Menu Price has the perfect infographic for you. Don't believe Big Macs are that bad? Take a look:
Photo: Fast Food Menu Price
It doesn't take long for a Big Mac to start damaging your body, setting the foundation for some big time health problems down the line.
In the first 10 minutes, our brains get happy. Our brains evolved when it was more challenging to get food, so we became really good at choosing and preferring high-calorie foods. Our brains are hard-wired to release feel-good chemicals when we eat fast food. We (subconsciously) want those feelings of pleasure that junk food brings.
After 20 minutes, we want more sugar and salt: By eating the McDonald's flagship burger, our blood sugar levels spike, which in turn can increase insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes). The highly addictive sugar and salt can make you crave more of these substances and cause you to overeat.
After 30 minutes, the Big Mac attack turns into a Sodium attack: Too much sodium is never good for anybody, and it can cause dehydration, making you think you're still hungry. Sodium makes it difficult for your kidneys to get rid of the excess salt, so to flush it out, your body takes water from the surrounding tissues. The fluid buildup makes your heart work harder to pump blood and raises your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke.
After 40 minutes, you're still not satisfied: After eating junk food, instead of feeling satisfied, you'll continue to get hungrier and hungrier, and will likely make more poor food choices.
After 60 minutes, digestion continues at a mind-numbingly slow rate: Usually, the body only takes about 24 to 74 hours to digest, but hamburgers can take up to three days to fully digest thanks to all that grease. Bonus: it can take approximately 51 days to digest trans fat. One Big Mac has a staggering 1.5 grams of trans fat. Trans fat has been linked to increasing bad cholesterol, decreasing good cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, and cancer.
A steady diet of Big Macs is sure to eventually lead to serious health problems. Having one on very rare occasions is OK, but maybe have it with a healthy side salad instead of fries and a milkshake.