Junk Food – beat the tempt
It is generally recognised that junk food is the ‘in thing’ and we tend to prefer convenience food or junk food more than the healthier options.
Convenience or junk foods are known to be the most preferred options – pizza parties and/or upsized burger combos are commonly combined with double and triple dollops of ice-cream and dessert. However the question stands – Is this food right?
Experts warn that it is one of a leading cause for modern day obesity epidemic especially amongst our children and youth.
So what is Junk food?
Junk food relates to foods that are perceived to have little or no nutritional value or those foods which contain just “empty calories” and / or contain ingredients that are considered unhealthy when frequently consumed.
In simpler terms foods with minimum or no natural fruit, vegetables and / or dietary fibre and which provide no benefits to one’s health are classed as junk food. Lollies, aerated drinks, chips, fries etc. fall under this category. Some takeaways and fast foods also can be classified as junk foods depending on what they contain.
Generally, junk foods are high in saturated fats, sugars and / or salt and excessive consumption of such food can cause obesity, heart and other diseases along with an impact on the overall well being.
How does one recognise Junk Food?
You often know it when you see it, however this can be misleading.
It is very important to identify and understand the contents of a packet or a product to know and comprehend its true value; this can be tricky, an example would be to class a packet with good nutritional benefits combined with high levels of sugars or fat – would this packet be junk food?
To understand labels better, seek advice from a specialist, join a supermarket tour in your area and learn to read labels to identify the right food.
How do I avoid Junk Food?
The best way to support your family in their efforts to avoid eating junk food is by educating them and providing them with the right food options.
Awareness is the key, help them understand and identify what is right, seek professional advise where needed. When shopping, choose the right food and snacks for your family, look for foods low in saturated fats, salt and sugars.
Food rich in fibre including vegetables, fruits and whole grain products should be a part of your shopping trolley. Create the right balance; look for foods rich with Iron and Calcium to meet the requirements of your family especially the young ones.
When can I eat Junk Food?
In every instance avoid them where you can; it is understandable that this can be complex to manage, especially if you have kids and / or young adults in your families. Also modern day advertising, markets these in a hard to resist manner.
In circumstances where you feel left with no alternatives make better choices and combine them with physical activities. When you get them use them as treats and in small portion sizes, look for grilled and / or baked options.
Till next time be healthy and eat healthy.