Junk foods are low on essential nutrients and high on sugar, fat, and salt. It gives our body more calories than we need and harmful ingredients we do not need. Therefore, we should avoid junk food as much as possible.
Once or twice, eating junk food might be okay. But junk food addiction increases the chances of obesity, cardiac problems, fatty liver diseases, type 2 diabetes, and even some type of cancer.
Examples of junk foods:
•Snacks like crisps or chips
•Cakes and biscuits
•Sweets, Gums, etc
•Sweetened Carbonated drinks
•Other fast foods
A burger with hot chips and a tall glass of sweetened carbonated drink may be very appealing but do these give any nutritional value to us? A pizza with various toppings loaded with cheese may be mouth-watering, but what benefits are we getting at the end of the day? We are getting carbohydrates without any nutritional value and processed meat that has already lost its value due to preservatives. We also have sugar-filled drinks, which are so appealing that we keep on drinking without considering sugar consumption. We go for these grab-and-go foods without seriously considering their nutritional values.
Are all fast foods junk food?
Well, this does not mean all fast foods are junk foods. We need to consider ingredients, processing of components, calorie count, etc., before labelling every fast food as junk food. The salad could be fast food but not junk food, for example.
Junk food consists of excess sugar, excess fat (both trans-fat and saturated fat), and simple carbohydrates. These lead to obesity, heart problems, and other chronic health problems. The fats in junk food tend to clog our arteries and increase the chance of heart attack. Junk food has significantly less nutritional value. While on a junk diet, our brain does not wish to have healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, etc., leading to more complications. It is like an addiction; sometimes, it becomes very severe when the consumer wants to get out of this eating habit.
Avoid Junk food: It causes health complications.
•Type 2 diabetes
•Brain functioning issues
•Appetite and digestion
•Growth and development of the body and mind
•High Blood Pressure
•Weakening of Bones/Osteoporosis
We need to ask ourselves how many calories this dish of junk food is giving us and how much we need. Is there any nutritional value to this portion of the meal? What are the ingredients used, and how fresh are they?
How to avoid junk food?
In today’s fast life, it is very challenging to avoid junk food altogether. Still, we can plan and reduce the amount of junk food we eat and consume only healthy food the rest of the time.
•We need to plan our meals early or make a daily food chart and stick to it.
•There should also be plenty of fresh and seasonal vegetables in our diet.
•Our diet should have whole grain or multigrain carbohydrates.
•Our protein should come from fresh meat, not from processed meat.
•Drink plenty of water instead of sugary drinks.
Top tips for breaking junk food cravings
1. Buy less junk food – Avoid junk food.
When we visit the supermarket, we quickly get tempted by many foods which are eye-catchy but not healthy. Bottles of sparkling soft drinks, bags of crisps (chips), or colourful candies and chocolate bars attract us more than fruits and green vegetables. Always visit the supermarket on a full stomach and never shop hungry. You are more likely to buy high-calorie foods like candy, salty snacks, and red meat if you are in a state of starvation. Always make a list of items before visiting. It will help you avoid vibrant displays, memory-triggering aromas, and discounts and offers on sugary, high-calorie, junk food items.
2. Start with Simple Swaps -avoid junk food.
Waking up one fine morning and deciding to go all out for healthy food might not be very realistic. It is good that you felt the need for healthy food and wanted to remove junk food from your platter. Therefore, create some smart goals, not overwhelming goals.
Therefore, swap junk foods with some regular or healthy foods at a time. It will be helpful to build a good and sustainable habit. Remember, your smart goal should be specific, measurable, and attainable. A simple example would be to replace soda drinking habits with no-calorie carbonated flavoured water.
3. Track Your Food Intake
Try to track everything you eat from morning to night. You can analyze this data and identify what could have been better. You can use your Samsung health app or any fitness app on your smartphone. It is the easiest way because those apps will show you your protein, fat, vitamins, and mineral intake against recommended amount.
4. Create A Meal Plan You Enjoy
Creating your meal plan means changing your mindset too. You need to understand that all this is for your health. Thus make a meal plan for the days and try to stick to eating. A cheat meal is okay initially, but you need to cut that from your diet plan sooner. You can plan your diet yourself or consult a registered dietician/nutritionist.
5. Eat More Protein
Eating more protein is an excellent way to stay full longer. Remove the simple carbohydrates from your diet. Protein helps reduce the intake of junk food or excess food and is essential for our bodies. However, a word of advice is “do not forget a balanced diet“.
6. Keep Junk Food out of the House
To avoid junk foods from your diet, remove them from your house first. You cannot wholly be honest if the packet of crisps (chips) and soft drinks keeps lurking around the kitchen areas. Stock up your kitchen and fridge with healthy and tasty foods that will make you full. They will also improve your health and wellness.
Wikipedia contributors. (2022, August 1). Junk food. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Junk_food&oldid=1101725705