Junk food vs. Healthy food

Written by Pubali Mukherjee • 

It an age old war between healthy food and junk food. When it comes to choosing between junk food vs. healthy food, junk food has always won the race!

junk food dietWhether we admit it or not, although we may start off our day with eating an apple, we’ll end it with two to three slices of extra cheese pizza and coke. But why do we love junk food so much when we know that it is unhealthy for us? There are many reasons to which most of you will agree.

Why We Love Junk Food to Healthy Food?

1. They are a pleasure to our taste buds. Do we get the same pleasure in eating a bowl of fruits that we get in a cheese burger?

2. Junk food is very tastier than healthy food. Yummy cheesy sandwich vs. a bowl of seasonal fruits; a war is going on in your mind…which one will you choose for your snack? Sandwich always wins.

3. Temptation plays a very important role when it comes to choosing junk food over healthy food. The melted chocolate dripping out of chocolate fudge is more tempting than an apple.

4. Another reason for junk food craving is the mood. It has been noticed that when you are overtly stressed you crave for sweet junk food like cakes, pastries, brownies or chocolates.

But does junk food do any good to us? It may satisfy our taste buds and fix our hunger pangs to certain extent but what about the pounds of fat that is adding on your waistline?

Lets Check Out The Cons List

1. Junk foods add to pounds and pounds of weight. That’s the reason why so many of us suffer from weight problems these days.

2. Have you ever thought about the nutrition factor?  Do you really get any nutrition from these junk foods? You may say that the veggies used in burger and sandwiches are raw, may be just stir-fried. So what? What about the cheese and different sauces? The bread is grilled with quite a lot of butter too. All these oil and grease travels through your blood vessels blocking up your arteries gradually. The result being poor health after some years.

3. Fried junkies like chips, pakoras, french fries will satisfy to a great extent when eaten, but what about the nutrition. These foods being over-fried foods have left behind all the nutrition where it had been prepared. What you get is all grease and calories!

4. The high calories in junk food not only lead to absurd weight gain but also your ability to produce insulin weakens. Hence diabetes. And diabetes means more hunger, more junk foods. The list includes cookies, chips, biscuits, donuts and breakfast cereals.

5. All packet and fried foods are rich in trans-fat. This is the worst kind of fat that results in a number of chronic diseases. This type of fat is the main culprit for a variety of heart diseases.

6. Junk food being low in fiber content also results in high blood sugar and high cholesterol.

7. Junk food also contains added colors and preservatives, artificial sweeteners which might not be properly tested.

8. Pregnant women who feel hunger pangs quite frequently often indulge in a lot of junk foods like potato chips, ice-cream, candies, aerated drinks and what not. During pregnancy what you need most is a lot of nutritious food rich in proteins, calcium, minerals, vitamin and omega 3 fats. But these processed packet foods are generally high in trans-fat, calories, sodium and hydrogenated oils. Remember the food you are eating is affecting the growing fetus inside you as well. Moreover if you are suffering from high blood pressure, the sodium content in these foods will shoot up your blood pressure level which is not good for your baby.

9. Gorging continuously on junk foods will lead to a high BMI (body mass index). Doctors say that if your BMI is below 18.5, you are underweight, if it is ranging between 18.5 and 24.5, you have a normal weight, if it is between 24.5 and 29.5 you are overweight compared to your height, and if it is 30 and above, you are overweight; time to consult a doctor.

So what do you think about junk food now? Are they worth eating? Absolutely not. But still we eat…. and keep eating.

Now that we know why not to eat junk food, let’s see why it’s time to switch over to a healthier diet!

Junk Food Vs Healthy Food
Image: Shutterstock

Benefits of Healthy Food:

1. Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables or whole wheat chapattis and bread are high in fiber content. Fibers release energy slowly, this food keeps our stomach full for a longer time and we feel less hungry through the day. High fiber foods also keep your gastro-intestinal tract healthy thus controlling your cholesterol and blood sugar level.

2. The proteins that you derive from lean meat and nuts improve your brain functions. Have veggies either steamed or stir-fried. They hold all the nutrients intact unlike fried foods which drain out the essential nutrients.

3. Healthy food is not processed, hence they are low in calories and do not lose out on essential nutritional values. Having multi-grain breads, sprouts, low fat diary items (like skimmed milk, home-made paneer or curd) and fruits will give you a good amount of nutrition.

4. Since these foods are low in calories and Trans fat, therefore, it will help to control your weight. If you are overweight or obese, consult a doctor or nutritionist at the earliest and follow a high fiber low calorie diet strictly.

5. A daily diet of health and nutritional food will also give you a good heart preventing all sorts of heart diseases. It will also control your cholesterol, blood sugar level and blood pressure.

You see healthy food not only supplies you with proteins, minerals and essential nutrients but also has many added benefits. No disadvantages at all, only with the exception that it won’t be able to meet your temptations.

[ Read: Food Rich in Copper ]

Do you find it hard to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy food? Wondering how you can consume just the healthy stuff amidst a vast array of unhealthy and synthetic food products? Well, there are a few pointers that can help you out!

Junk Food Vs. Healthy Food

Basically, the difference between healthy and unhealthy food often depends on their calorie and fat content. So, it is always better to know how to distinguish healthy foods from their unhealthier counterparts. And this post will help you do that! Following is a list of factors that you can check in order to keep yourself away from unhealthy/junk food.

1. Oil Difference:

There are so many varieties of cooking oils in the market today that it can get really confusing to choose the healthier ones. The key difference between unhealthy and healthy oils is the amount of saturated and unsaturated fats they contain. Unsaturated fats are healthy. So, the oils with greater percentage of unsaturated fats are considered a healthier option. The saturated fat content in coconut oil is about 91 percent, whereas this percentage is only about 7 in canola oil. Palm oil, butter and lard are some of the unhealthy oils that contain a high level of saturated fats. Olive oil and sunflower oil are considered healthy, as they are low on saturated fats.

2. Nutrient Capacity:

Healthy foods are rich in nutrients like calcium, fiber, potassium, vitamin D, etc. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains provide fiber. Leafy vegetables and dairy products low on fat provide calcium. Vegetables and fruits like banana, avocado, strawberries, apricots and cucumber are rich in potassium. Eggs, fish, orange juice and fortified milk are good sources of vitamin D. Unhealthy foods contain very little of the nutrients discussed above.

3. Refined And Unrefined Food:

During the process of refining, lots of enzymes, vitamins, and fibers are lost, which makes refined food unhealthy to some extent. The vegetable oils are originally good for health if consumed in reasonable amount. To increase the shelf life of the oil, it is partially hydrogenated and then used for cooking and baking. After the process of hydrogenation, the oil, which was formerly good, turns into less healthy trans-fat. The processed oil has disastrous long-term effects on the body. So, always try to use unrefined and unprocessed ingredients for maintaining better health.

4. Healthy Foods Are Rich In Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are essential to defend the body from free radicals, which can cause cancer. Healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, and beans are rich sources of antioxidants.

5. Different Snacks:

It is very important to choose healthy snacks, because it is during snack time that we consume the unhealthiest of foods! It is healthier to have crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots with a low-fat dip instead of potato chips or French fries with an onion dip. Nuts and air popcorn are healthier than processed food snacks like chips. It is better to pack a small box of dried fruits instead of cookies or candies to munch on at office!

6. Healthy Diets Over Unhealthy Diets:

Healthy diets mainly consist of foods rich in nutrients such as fruits, legumes, whole grains, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and lean meat. On the other hand, diets loaded with saturated fats, added sugar, trans-fat and sodium are a complete no-no! Unhealthy diets often consist of fast foods or processed foods that are deficient in many nutrients and are filled with empty calories.

7. Risk Of Disease:

Following an unhealthy diet increases the risk of many health issues. It increases the chances of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. As per WHO, around 2.7 million people all over the world die every year due to the deficiency of nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits in their diet.

8. Healthy Food Is Rich in Complex Carbohydrates And Fibers:

Carbohydrates are categorized into simple and complex according to the structure of their molecules. Simple carbohydrates mainly contain sugar, while complex carbohydrates include starch and foods with high fiber content. A fiber rich diet improves the digestion process and gives energy. Simple carbohydrates provide energy, but they also lead to some side effects such as mood swings and obesity.

9. Healthy And Unhealthy Meats:

To know whether the meat selected is healthy or unhealthy, it is important to look at its fat content. Meats with low-fat content are healthier. Chicken without any skin, extra lean ground beef and low-fat turkey are considered healthier meats and should be used instead of regular beef, chicken, and hot dogs. Breaded or fried fish and meats should be avoided as the fat content is quite high in them.

Statistics have shown that now-a-days children are fond of junk food more than adults. How many of them eat fruits with that much interest as a plate of pizza? Hardly any. Children are a lot fussier about food but introducing them to healthy diet from the time they start eating can be a good start. Highly fatty junk foods will block their arteries and blood vessels leading to some serious diseases. Children learn a lot from adults. Therefore, it’s advisable that you hold back your temptations whenever you pass by any fast food joints. Control your temptations people, only then can you lead a happy life and give your child a healthy one.

You have read healthy food vs. junk food, the major differences between healthy and unhealthy or junk food. Now, it only depends on you what food to choose!

Just eating healthy is not enough! To stay fit, it is also important to watch how much you eat! Portion control is vital for weight loss. So, watch what you eat and how much, while spending some time every day working your body to stay healthy. A balanced lifestyle is what we should all aspire for!

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