JUNK FOOD, How BAd is it for you?
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JUNK FOOD, WHAT IS IT?
The quick response to this question would be a list of menu items from popular fast-food restaurants. Prepackaged snacks are other popular junk food choices. These foods are potato chips, cookies, candy bars, and microwave meals. With the latter, these include any foods that are prepared, and available at your local convenience store. We know what constitutes junk food now let’s gain familiarity with what it is not.
Its common knowledge that junk food is not an excellent choice to include in our diet. Here are the negative foundations of junk food:
- Manmade consumable product (processed food)
- Lacks nutritional value (low in protein, vitamins, and minerals)
- High in calories
- High in sugar (high-fructose corn syrup) and/or fat
- Low in satiation value
- Lacks sufficient enzymes for proper digestion
- Slows digestion
Any food product that does not require preparation lacks the proper nutrients needed for our bodies to process. The calories are off the charts which is not beneficial for weight loss. Did you ever feel hungry after eating a junk food meal? That’s a result of its low satiation value. This is a feeling in which people tend to feel hungry after eating and this leads to overeating which leads to obesity. Processed foods, sweets, and any of those fast-food menu items are not worth putting into our bodies as it tends to slow our digestion.
Junk Food, Change To Healthy Eating Habits
We can go into a whole debate on why people opt for junk food as a go-to meal choice. Junk food is fast food and the name implies it is fast and easily accessible for fast-paced lives. Which begs the question; does our busy day translate to poor food choices and/or poor eating habits? Healthier fast food alternatives are fruits, vegetables, or a salad (hold the dressing).
The lining of the small intestine produces enzymes that assist with digestion and are amylase, protease, and lipase. Natural foods can increase beneficial digestive enzymes and assist in our digestion. Healthy eating can lead to how effectively our bodies produce, store, and release enzymes and how efficiently these enzymes function. By consuming natural, organic, and whole foods we’re introducing essential nutrients to our bodies. Additional benefits to healthy eating are the production of energy to sustain growth, a strong immune system, and satiating hunger.
Let’s be clear about what healthy eating constitutes. Below is the basic structure of a well balanced diet:
- Consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk
- Eating lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
- Excluding high saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and sugars
Junk Foods, Disguised As Healthy Food?
We’ve covered the basic definition of junk food and healthy foods. Eating healthy is a focus on the consumption of naturally sourced products. What about supplements or food products that claim to be “healthy”? The dietary supplement industry has grown exponentially over the past few years. We often see manufacturers advertising products (i.e food products, or dietary supplements) with “healthy” claims. These statements may lack supporting scientific evidence to enforce their assertion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA has an in-depth approach to labeling different health claims.
“Health claims describe a relationship between food, food component or dietary supplement ingredient, and reduced risk of disease or health-related condition”.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
With this in consideration, we need to be more conscientious about our choices of healthy eating and what constitutes as a “healthy” food product.