Junk food is found just all over the counter, for instance, it is sold at supermarkets, convenience stores, workplaces, schools, and in vending machines.
The accessibility and convenience of junk food make it difficult to limit or avoid.
You may have pondered whether you should usher of it at all cost or follow it to enjoy everything in control.
Here are we with the article which describes you everything you need to know about junk food and whether complete abstinence is better than the occasional treat.
Table of Contents
What is Junk Food
While the definition of junk food may vary, most people agree that it’s not the healthiest thing for you.
These highly processed snacks contain a heap of calories particularly in the form of fat and sugar and low amount of vitamins, minerals, or fiber.
Examples of Junk foods include
How Junk Food is Disguised
There are many foods that are considered as healthy but they are really junk food in disguise.
For instance, packed drinks offer vitamins and minerals but they may also have an equal amount of sugar and calories as soda.
Likewise, manufacturers merchandise gluten-free products like cookies, cake mix, and chips as healthier options than their gluten-containing rivals, even though both foods may have similar nutrition contents.
Junk Food as Addictive
Junk food is contemplated as addictive. While these addictive qualities are focused around sugar and fat. Sugar may spike the same brain reward pathways as drugs like cocaine.
sugar solely hasn’t been consistently shown to be addictive in humans, but when combined with fat, the combination can be hard to repel.
A review of 52 studies, It was found that the foods most linked with addictive symptoms were highly processed and contained high amounts of fat and refined carbs, like sugar.
That also said, regular or even periodic consumption of highly-processed food has the potential to stimulate the reward and habit formation center in your brain that increases cravings.
This can result in overconsumption of junk food and with time, weight gain.
How Junk Food is Associated With Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases
Obesity is a complex and multifactorial disease not with one cause. Researches have said accessibility, high-savoriness, and affordability of junk food is believed to be a major contributor, along with other conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Junk food has a low satiety value whereas liquid calories such as soda, sports drinks, and specialty coffees are one of the worst offenders as they can provide hundreds of calories without affecting your appetite.
A review of 32 studies discovered that, for every serving of sugar-sweetened beverage consumed, people gained 0.25–0.5 pounds (0.12–0.22 kg) over one year.
Other reviews have noted similar results suggesting that junk food especially sugar-sweetened beverages are significantly associated with weight gain in both children and adults.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes affectless to the effects of insulin which is the hormone that lowers blood sugar.
Leading risk factors for type 2 diabetes are:
- Excess body fat,
- High blood pressure,
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol
- A history of heart disease or stroke
Studies show that junk food consumption is associated with excess body fat, high blood pressure, and low HDL cholesterol all of which increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Heart disease is one of the leading cause of death worldwide. High sugar intake is one of several risk factors for this disease.
High sugars have been shown to raise a specific type of fat in your blood called triglycerides and increase blood pressure, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease.
Frequently eating fast food has also been found to increase triglycerides and reduce HDL (good) cholesterol which is another risk factor for heart disease.
Why Everything in Moderation
Everything in moderation is the common advice when it comes to junk food.
Eating your favorite feast in restriction can help you stick to your diet especially long term, enjoy holidays and other special events. This can also limit unhealthy obsessions with food.
But all the people may not enjoy all foods in moderation.
Some people have aptness to overeat foods until they feel full which is also known as binge eating.
Binge eating is mostly followed by feelings of loss of control along with unpleasant feelings and emotions.
Different emotional or biological drive such as depression, anxiety, or hunger is known to activate binge eating episodes. But some foods may also act as a drive.
Some evidence says that certain foods such as pizza, ice cream, or cookies may trigger this response. This leads to an episode of binging. However, research in this area is lacking.
How to Eat Avoid Junk Food
There are many ways you can reduce your junk food consumption.
- Do not store junk food in your house
- Avoid eating chips or other snacks directly out of the packet
- Replace your junk food with healthier options
Healthier Food to Replace Junk Food
- Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, and berries
- Vegetables such as leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Whole grains and starches like oats, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes
- Seeds and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds
- Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils
- Healthy protein sources like fish, shellfish, tofu, steak, and poultry
- Dairy products such as Greek yogurt, cheese, and fermented dairy products like kefir
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, nut butter, avocados, and coconut
- Healthy beverages like water, sparkling water, green tea, and herbal teas
Keep in mind that it’s best to execute small changes over time to guarantee the long-lasting results.
The Key Note
Junk foods contain a high amount of calories, sugar, and fat, but deficit important nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
They’re believed to be a key factor in the epidemic of obesity. It also acts as a triggering factor in the development of certain chronic diseases.
Junk foods are made addicting and easy to overeat by making the combination of fat and sugar
Yet, completely avoiding Junk food may not be helpful. But enjoying your favorite feast occasionally is a more healthful and long-lasting approach for most people.