It’s the 21st century and “junk food” has gone global. For better or for worse (mostly worse), junk food is now available all over the world. We see it most everywhere we go — in grocery and convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, on television — usually looking very appealing. But just what are the facts about junk food?
In book, Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, Andre F. Smith defines junk food as, “those commercial products, including candy, bakery goods, ice cream, salty snacks, and soft drinks, which have little or no nutritional value but do have plenty of calories, salt, and fats. While not all fast foods are junk foods, most are. Fast foods are ready-to-eat foods served promptly after ordering.”
breakfast cereals – They seem innocent enough, but some of them could definitely be considered “junk food,” as they mostly contain sugar and white flour.
Other examples of junk food.
One problem with junk foods is that they’re low in satiation value — that is, people don’t tend to feel as full when they eat them — which can lead to overeating.
Another problem is that junk food tends to replace other, more nutritious foods.
When people drink lots of soda, for example, they are usually not getting plenty of low-fat dairy or other healthful beverages like green tea or orange juice.
When they’re snacking on chips and cookies, they’re usually not loading up on fruits and vegetables.
The dark side of junk foods is not an unknown fact. Several research studies have shown that fast foods and processed foods have increased childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes and other chronic diseases.
It can cause memory and learning problems
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 showed that healthy people who ate junk food for only 5 days performed poorly on cognitive tests that measured attention, speed, and mood. It concluded that eating junk food for just five days regularly can deteriorate your memory.
Lessens its ability to control appetite
Excess consumption of trans fats found in fried and processed foods can send mixed signals to the brain which makes it difficult to process what you have eaten and how hungry are. This is probably why you end up overeating.
In worst scenarios, the habit of overeating can be similar to drug addiction to an extent that relying on junk foods may activate the pleasure centres of the brain greater than receiving drugs.
It can cause chemical changes that can lead to depression and other mental problems
A study conducted at the University of Montreal have shown that eating foods high in sugar and fat actually changes the chemical activity of the brain making it more dependent on such foods.
It makes you impatient and can cause uncontrollable cravings
Without Fast food If your sugar levels dip to a very low level, it can cause anxiety, confusion and fatigue. With high content of sugar and fats, you tend to eat too fast and too much to satisfy your cravings. This can inculcate an impatient behavior while dealing with other things.
Accordingly MD Web Elaine Magee, for the WebMD
How toTake the ‘Junk’ out of Junk Food
Now that you’ve got the facts about junk food, how can you try to eat more healthfully in our junk- food-filled world? Here a tips:
- Choose healthier choices. And no matter where you are, opt for food and beverages that are made up mostly of ingredients that offer nutrients along with calories.
- Enjoy freshly squeezed juice or a whole-wheat bagel instead of soda or donuts. Buy pizza topped with vegetables, or a grilled chicken sandwich on a whole-grain bun instead of tortilla chips with processed cheese sauce; or fried chicken pieces and French fries. Avoid sweetened beverages.
- Look for products low in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, milled grains, and partially hydrogenated oils. Choose a 100% whole-wheat cracker made with canola oil, for example, or snack on a cheese and fruit plate instead of a bowl of cheese puffs.
- Just eat real food