By Jeff Sellman, M.D. of Florida Orthopaedic Institute
We all know how eating fast food has a lot of side effects on our overall health, yet we still eat them in large amounts and more often than we should. When you look at the statistics, an average American household spends around 42% of their food budget on eating out, and one in three Americans eat fast food on a daily basis. What’s far worse is that these numbers keep rising.
We all know that eating fast food is bad for our health, but you probably don’t know how bad it is and you most certainly don’t know this type of food affects your tendons.
The Side Effects
The most significant effects fast food has on our digestive and cardiovascular system. Fast foods always contain a lot of bad carbohydrates, and our digestive system extracts a lot of sugar from these unhealthy carbs. Even though our bodies store sugar in the right places (muscles), these foods have too much of it, and any excess sugar, which can’t be used for the muscles, goes into the blood which increases our blood sugar count.
In actuality, these massive amounts of sugar can cause a host of problems for our bodies:
- Insulin resistance
- Type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain
Besides sugar-related problems, fast foods cause a lot of other issues as well:
- More headaches
- Increased risk of depression
- Occasional acne
- Possible dental cavities
- Higher cholesterol
- Higher blood pressure
But what about your tendons?
The Effect of Fast Food Has on Your Tendons
In addition to the previous side effects of fast food, it can also cause problems for your tendons – the strong fibrous collagen tissue that attaches the muscles to the bones.
Like the ligaments that connect bone to bone, tendons are very important for the overall functionality of your entire body. Without them, you’d be unable to move correctly.
Problems with tendons can come in many shapes and forms, but most of them are a result of an injury.
However, tendons can suffer from any stress as well, and obesity plays a huge role here as it increases the strain on your joints, making your tendons suffer in the process.
Furthermore, tendonitis is one of the central tendon-related injuries. It is a painful swelling in the tendons and surrounding tissue. As tendonitis is an inflammatory disease, eating foods like fatty meats, refined sweets, and beverages high in sugar and calories increases your risk factor.
What you should eat instead are foods that contain vitamins C, B6, and B12, then magnesium, zinc, and manganese, as all of these nutrients strengthen the muscles.
As you can see, even though fast foods cause a lot of different health problem, the primary ones being obesity, high blood sugar, and higher cholesterol, your tendons are not spared either. Be it directly, or indirectly, eating larger amounts of fast food will be harmful to your tendons.
If you’re having any tendon-related issues, or any other problem with your musculoskeletal system, feel free to contact the Florida Orthopeadic Institute and book an appointment with one of FOI doctors.
Jeff Sellman, M.D. of Florida Orthopaedic Institute
Dr. Sellman is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine in family medicine and earned a Sports Medicine Certificate of Added Qualification in primary care sports medicine. He specializes in total medical management of the athlete, concussion management, all sports-related injuries and platelet-rich plasma amongst others.