Deep-fried chicken patties, battered fries, chocolate treats, and cold, cold sodas. It all sounds so mouth-watering and delicious. However, this article will help you understand the long-term effects of indulging in these guilty pleasures.
For the majority, food that does not play an active role in benefiting your health should be cut out of your life. Why continue eating junk food when there are so many ways to incorporate healthy food into your diet?
Junk food is called exactly that for a reason. These foods lack nutritional value and has few essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, they often contain high quantities of fats, sugars, and salts. Moreover, junk food portions have high amounts of calories stacked in them.
At the same time, this food type can be appealing as it includes crisps, biscuits, cakes, sugary sodas and drinks, and sweet treats such as chocolates. Not only are these snacks easily consumable, but they are also readily available. However, is this ease and convenience worth the cost of your health?
For a clearer picture, let us compare a mango and an Oreo cookie. One full mango contains 60 kilojoules on average, compared to one Oreo cookie, which contains 52 kilojoules.
If you are trying to lose weight, junk food is certainly not the way to go. A calorie deficit is needed when you are trying to lose weight. A calorie deficit means you are burning more calories than you are consuming, which allows your body to use fat deposits to provide energy for daily tasks and exercise. These foods contain a high number of calories, so a calorie deficit will be difficult with a junk food diet.
If you are a junk food lover and just can’t bear the thought of cutting it out of your life completely, try reducing it day by day. For example, if you eat 3 items of junk food a day, try reducing it to two and then one. Cutting something out of your life completely, going cold turkey, can be very challenging. Having junk food in moderation is not as bad as having it every day. If allowing yourself a cheat day once in a while helps you quit the habit of daily snacking, it is definitely worth it. Having junk food in small amounts won’t create serious risks to your health. You can still achieve a well-rounded diet by not cutting out junk food completely but reducing it in quantity.
Everything in moderation
There are many ways to incorporate food typically known as ‘healthy’ with otherwise ‘unhealthy’ food. For example, hotdogs can be paired with some mouth-watering sauces if you boil the meat instead of frying it. Likewise, fruit like bananas and grapes can be added as a side dish to your delectable chocolate fondue.
Why make healthier choices
Pulling into a fast-food chain’s drive-through is so much easier than preparing food in your kitchen – totally understandable. However, you need to make an active decision to eat healthily. Eating junk food and not getting enough essential nutrients will be dangerous to your health in the long run.
Risks to your health
In the long run, eating junk food poses serious threats to your health. You will be more prone to developing diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, various cancers, and liver diseases.
How to make healthier food choices
It is a good idea to plan what you will be eating for each meal ahead of time. This will prevent you from rushing and grabbing whatever you find as a quick fix. If you allow yourself enough time, you will not feel the need to rush to the nearest fast-food chain to satiate your hunger. Instead, you can plan out your meal and perhaps prepare it well before time too. Added benefits of planning are saving money and a more disciplined routine.
If you have a sweet tooth, adding fresh fruit to your diet is a great way to cut out sweet treats and sodas. This will prevent you from consuming extra sugars and saturated fats.
Boiling your food
Boiling your food is a great way to cut out extra fat from your diet, in the form of butter or oil. Boiled food doesn’t have to be bland. There are various recipes you can find online that are low in calories and delicious, such as boiling chicken thighs in 12 easy steps.
Benefits for your body
Eating healthy can help you live a longer, healthier, and more active life. Better quality food will clear up your skin and boost your immunity, helping you keep a healthy digestive system.
Before you purchase food from the grocery, it is a good idea to check the nutritional value printed on the packet of the food item. In most countries, regulations mandate the food industry to print the ingredients and nutritional value of the food item on the packaging. However, be wary of what is written. Many times, this information may be misrepresented.
Misrepresentation on packaging
Companies often beguile innocent customers by labeling things with tag lines such as ‘no added sugars’. This may look attractive at first, but no added sugars does not mean healthy! For example, the food item may still contain salts or saturated fats. Packaging can also claim to be ‘reduced in calories/fat’ than an earlier version of that food item, but that doesn’t mean it is not still high in fat content.
Sweeteners are an alternative to sugar and are used to sweeten food items and drinks. They contain fewer calories than actual sugar, so people trying to lose or maintain weight often use these. Examples of popular sweeteners are Stevia, Xylitol, and Sorbitol. There is very less long-term research on the impact sweeteners can have on the health of a consumer, but it has been proven that they help diabetics contain their blood sugar levels. There have not been any conclusive negative findings on the use of sweeteners. Sweeteners have been linked to weight gain, however, as they stimulate the customer’s appetite.
There are many health benefits of eating healthier food and cutting out junk food for the most part. Going cold turkey is not needed, and consumption of junk food in moderation is perfectly okay. Hence, making healthier choices will lead to a better lifestyle with fewer health risks and less tension.