Should You Completely Avoid Junk Food?

Junk food is about found everywhere. It is sold in supermarkets, convenience stores, workplaces, schools and vending machines.

The availability of fast food and its accessibility make it very difficult to restrict or stop it. It’s very addictive unfortunately for some.

The elimination of junk food can significantly reduce the total amount of calories that we consume in a day, leading to weight loss. Quitting processed foods such as potato chips and deep-fried foods is an easy way to reduce calorie consumption. There is more space for nutrient-dense food by removing junk food. Cutting out junk food can be challenging.

This article tells you what you need to know about fast food.

While everyone’s definition of junk food may vary, most people agree it’s not the healthiest thing for you and I totally agree to that.

These highly processed snacks contain an abundance of calories — especially in the form of fat and sugar — and little to no vitamins, minerals, or fibre

Examples include:

  • soda
  • chips
  • candy
  • cookies
  • doughnuts
  • cake
  • pastries

While these foods typically come to mind when you think of junk food, others are not so easily identifiable.

Junk Disguised Food

Many foods that are thought of as healthy are really junk food in disguise.

For example, fruit drinks provide vitamins and minerals but may also have the same amount of sugar and calories as soda.

Manufacturers market granola and breakfast bars as free from high fructose corn syrup and filled with whole-grain heart-healthy grains.

Yet these bars can contain as much, if not more, added sugar than a candy bar.

Similarly, marketers are selling gluten-free items — like cookies, cake mix and chips — as safer alternatives than their gluten-containing counterparts, while both foods might have similar nutritional profiles.

Even naturally gluten-free products such as certain juices, chocolate bars, and hot dogs are labelled as ‘gluten-free’ to make them look healthier.

Gluten is found primarily in wheat, rye, and barley, and only a small percentage of the world’s population must avoid gluten for medical reasons

Examples of fast food which are readily recognisable include chips, doughnuts, sweets, and cookies. Yet certain products — like sports drinks or breakfast bars — still follow the definition, as they are high in sugar and low in nutrients and calories.

Addictive

Junk food is thought to be very addictive, junk food makes the brain release feel-good chemicals, which can lead to even more cravings. Which can be hard to resist. Studies observe that the combination of sugar and fat is more commonly associated with addictive symptoms — such as withdrawal or loss of control over consumption — than sugar alone.

Fast food is easy to prepare and eat or take-away, and fast food restaurant chains have recently expanded wider and faster.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), consuming fast food more than once a week was associated with an increased risk of obesity, while eating fast food more than twice a week was associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease death.

The BBC Good Food Nation Survey found that most people consume fast food on average two days a week, while other studies suggest that consuming fast food can impact health. In the category between the ages of 16 and 20, one in six ate fast food at least twice a day, with one in eight eating as frequently among 21 to 34-year-olds.

Heres what they said

Stephen Owen, 55, Bus Driver, Cardiff

“I eat fast food once a day. I will eat as quickly as possible, because of my job. And my favourite food is wok to walk, that doesn’t seem very unhealthy, right”?

Evens, 57, General Practitioner, Aberystwyth

“Quick meals are rubbish. After I became a vegetarian, I have never consumed anything such as junk food. I try to cook and stay away from the rubbish every day”.

Kelvin, 62, Builder, Pontypool

“I never eat fast food but I don’t eat vegetarian food. I love cooking with my wife, and it’s healthier than any other restaurant, not to mention fast food. I will bring home-made sandwich for lunch even if I’m busy working or in a hurry. Yet my kids want fast food”.

Davina Taylor, 38, Mental Health Care Worker, Cardiff

Once a week my family eats fast food. I love fast food but my mother wants to cook at home with fresh healthy foods. Typically on Sunday, we drive to MacDonald because my daughter loves it. When we eat fast food, we ‘re not going to think about health problems, because we do a lot of exercises every day”.

Luca, 19, Student, London

“I typically eat fast food once a month. I still cook to keep myself healthy. I like fast food but I hate MacDonald because they treat their workers poorly and the waste they create is very harmful to the environment”.

Adam, 21, Council Worker, Cornwall

“I eat fast food twice a week. It is cheaper and healthier to cook at home. And I ate too much fast food when I was a child, so I am a little bit tired of eating them now”.

My initial response is: Eating at a fast-food restaurant is good, often — it will better be sometimes once a week. Especially if you take advantage of the many healthier options that are available at most fast-food restaurants now. They too have heard of diabetes and widespread obesity.

Eating fast food once a week means you can give your body what it wants without damaging it, and it also helps to increase metabolism by adding more calories to your body burn. Only make sure you have a cheat day, rather than a cheat day.

Make a plan for how much junk you can eat per week to have a healthy body and mindset

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