Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Eat Fast Food: 10 Possible Reasons

Fast food mystery solved. Here are some possible reasons why does my stomach hurt when I eat fast food.

Savoring a delicious fast food meal is an exciting experience. The convenience of it all, the speed of service, and the smells make for a pleasant dining experience. But from time to time, most people have experienced unwanted side effects from eating fast food.

Maybe you’ve had stomach pains or a long-lasting bad taste in your mouth. Increased gas or bloating is just a part of the collection for some. It’s important to note that these effects could be due to many reasons, and no one really knows what is causing them.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Eat Fast Food
Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Eat Fast Food

But you can healthfully enjoy fast food without any guilt, learn to live with the unpleasant side effects and enjoy fast food while you still can.

The Effects Of Eating Fast Food On Your Body

Fast food is the perfect guilt-free meal for the hungry person who has short moments of free time. It’s convenient and inexpensive but can cause adverse side effects like bloating, cramps, and stomach aches.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Eat Fast Food: 10 Possible Reasons

1. Quick Digestion

Your stomach hurts after a fast food meal because the food passes through your digestive tract quicker than you are used to. Usually, food takes 14 to 18 hours to pass through your digestive tract. But a fast-food meal will be passed on average in 6 to 7 hours.

The passage of food is quick because the foods are highly processed and prepared with additives like sugar and salt. These additives will speed up digestion and leave you with a feeling of “urgency” rather than fullness.

2. Hormones

Most fast-food meals have very low-quality protein. And because they lack quality protein will cause your body to produce more hormones, especially epinephrine and adrenaline; it can make your stomach hurt three times as much as usual if you eat fast food.

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Because of the high amounts of sugar, your pancreas will also secrete a lot more insulin. The combination of extra insulin and adrenaline can create painful effects that can make you feel nauseous as well as cause stomachache.

3. Food Allergies

If your body is prone to food allergies, you are at risk of getting gastric upset after eating fast food due to an unknown ingredient that could trigger an allergic reaction.

There are over 6,000 reactions to food allergies annually. You may not know you have a food allergy, so go to your doctor and ask for allergy testing if you always feel bad after eating fast food.

4. Not Chewing Your Food Properly

If you are accustomed to eating fast food, you have likely developed the bad habit of swallowing your chewed-up food without actually chewing it enough.

All the eating is hurting your stomach, but not chewing your food properly is one of the biggest causes. Chewing food slowly is important for digestion and helps you feel full by prolonging the time your body takes to digest the food.

If you eat too fast and chew it too quickly, then you are just leaving indigestible food in your stomach, which can cause discomfort hours later.

5. The Large Amount Of Salt In Subsequent Meals

The salt content of a fast-food meal may be very high. It can cause your body to retain water which results in bloating.

And if you eat fast food once a week, then the excessive salt makes it even worse because it will make you feel bloated each time.

6. The Need To Increase Your Enzyme Production

In order to maintain its efficiency, your stomach produces more enzymes to digest the high amount of additives and chemicals found in a fast-food meal.

So when you get more enzymes than normal, your body has no choice but to make you feel uncomfortable. When you eat fast food, it can put you in an unnecessary state of stress.

7. The Imbalance Between Good And Bad Bacteria

If you eat a fast-food meal every day instead of taking care of your stomach with a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, your good bacteria will become less active, and your stomach will start to produce more acid. This is why when you eat fast food about once a week so does have the adverse effects on your stomach.

8. Eating Too Much Fat

Eating a fast food meal every day could be making your body more vulnerable to inflammation and autoimmunity. In order to handle the high amount of energy that is required by a fast food meal, your body will start to produce more fats, and fats will be stored in your body as adipose tissue (fat cells). This can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers if you don’t work out a lot.

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9. Eating A Fast Food Meal Within 3 Hours Of Eating Another Meal

Eating high volume and high energy foods is not healthy if you eat them less than 4 hours before your last meal. The stomach does not have time to digest all the food you’ve eaten.

If you are hungry an hour later, this means that your body cannot do its job properly, which can make your stomach hurt. So if you are going to eat fast food, be sure to wait four hours before eating anything else.

10. Intoxication

If you have eaten a large fast food meal and then consumed a large amount of alcohol that night, then the combination could make your stomach hurt due to all of the alcohol in the body.

Alcohol inhibits your ability to break down proteins and fats, which can make you feel full faster than normal.

Enjoy Fast Food Without Any Harmful Effects

To enjoy fast food without any harmful effects, it is best to eat less of it. Avoid fast-food meals with large amounts of sugar, salt, and fat. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day instead and choose water or a non-sugary drink to quench your thirst.

If you feel like you have to eat fast food, take some antacid before eating and try to chew the food slowly. This way, you can still enjoy fast food but avoid the negative effects on your stomach.

The experts from Ignite Healthy Lives at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine have looked at how fast food affects our stomachs and given you some helpful tips on how to avoid the negative effects that fast food can have on your stomach.

If you do eat fast food, be sure to wait four hours before eating anything else. This way, you can still enjoy fast food without any harmful effects.

Ways To Stop Digestive Discomfort

It’s possible to reduce these side effects by following some basic tips:

1. Eat Slowly

You’ll want to take it easy with your food. Supersizing your meal only increases the risk of overeating and eating too much.

2. Have A Clear Conscience

Knowing that you’re eating fast food can cause a guilty feeling and make you less likely to enjoy the experience. So, don’t feel guilty; enjoy yourself!

3. Don’t Overeat

You may have a tendency to overeat when you’re eating food that is salty and greasy. If this happens, drink plenty of water during and after your meal to help flush out the excess sodium.

4. Chew Thoroughly

The more you chew your food, the less likely you are to experience digestive problems. If you feel full before you’re done, place your fork down and take a break.

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5. Stop Eating When You’re Full

You really don’t need all of that food on your plate. It’s not good to eat more than you need. Your body can only use so much food at a time; too much just goes to waste, causing uncomfortable side effects like bloating or indigestion.

6. Drink Plenty Of Water

Water is the natural cure for most problems. After you eat your meal, drink some water and wait about 15 minutes before you go back for seconds. This gives your body time to digest the food and get to work on the leftovers.

7. Eat A Smaller Meal

Like eating too much, eating too much of the same thing can also cause uncomfortable side effects like bloating or indigestion. If you’re on the go, it’s difficult to stop and eat a full meal. So, eating just a few fries and a drink is usually not a problem.

8. Take Your Time

It’s all right to take your time when you eat fast food. There’s no need to rush through your meal. Take the time to savor every bite of your favorite food because it’s so hard to resist eating extra or just keep going even after you know you’re full.

9. Don’t Eat Cold Foods

It’s hard to eat slowly when you’re eating something cold. Eating really hot foods can be more harmful than beneficial. So, don’t eat fast food like fried chicken and pizza; they’re usually very fatty and troublesome to digest.

10. Drink Lemon Water And Other Drinks After A Meal

You can help with digestion problems by drinking a glass of water, lemonade, or other juice after you’ve had a meal. Sometimes your body just needs a little extra help to properly get rid of the food.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the choices you make when you eat fast food really do matter. The big question: Does fast food hurt your stomach? The answer: Yes! But it doesn’t have to if you’re aware of some simple facts.

We want to stress that you need to eat slowly! Take your time and remember to chew thoroughly. Keep in mind that eating too much or too fast can cause a lot of problems with your digestion and make your stomach hurt.

To avoid digestive problems and enjoy fast food without any harmful side effects, it’s best to eat less of it. Avoid fast-food meals with large amounts of sugar, salt, and fat. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day instead, and choose water or a non-sugary drink to quench your thirst.

If you feel like you have to eat fast food, take some antacid before eating and try to chew the food slowly. This way, you can still enjoy fast food but avoid the negative effects on your stomach.

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