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Healthy Fast Food

Finding a healthy, well-balanced meal in a fast food restaurant can be a challenge. But here’s how to find healthier options hidden among the diet disasters.

The truth is that it’s extremely difficult to follow a healthy diet when you’re eating regularly at fast food restaurants. Fast food is typically loaded with calories, sodium, and unhealthy fat—often enough in one meal for an entire day. it also tends to be low in nutrients and almost totally lacking in fruits, vegetables, and fiber.

That doesn’t mean you have to avoid fast food entirely. When you’re hungry and on the run, fast food can really hit the spot. It’s cheap, tasty, and, best of all, convenient. But while it’s OK to indulge a craving every now and then, to stay healthy you can’t make it a regular habit. The key is moderation—both in how often you frequent fast food chains and what you order once you’re there.

Fast food menus are tricky when you’re watching your weight or your health. Finding a healthy, well-balanced meal in most fast food restaurants is a challenge. But there are always choices you can make that are healthier than others. The following tips and menu recommendations can help you stay on track.

Aim to keep your entire meal to 500 calories or less. The average adult eats 836 calories per fast food meal-and underestimates what they ate by 175 calories. So don’t guess! Most chains post nutritional info both on their websites and at the franchise location. Take advantage of this information.

Opt for foods that are lower in fat and higher in protein and fiber. Look for items with more good stuff, like fiber, whole grains, and high-quality protein. Also aim for options that are relatively low in saturated fats. And steer clear of all items that contain trans fats.

Bring your own add-on items if you really want a health boost. Even when you order wisely, it can be pretty tough to get enough fiber and other important vitamins and nutrients from a fast food menu. If you plan ahead, you can bring healthy sides and toppings like dried fruit, nuts and seeds, carrot sticks, apple or pear slices, and cottage cheese or yogurt.

Watch your sodium intake

High sodium intake is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2,300 mg a day. Unfortunately, that’s tough to do when eating fasting food, even when you’re eating lower calorie meals. Your best bet: plan ahead if possible and eat low sodium in the meals leading up to and following your fast food meal. However, you can minimize some of the damage by requesting that your burger or meat be cooked without added salt.

Guides can help you make healthier choices

Many fast food chains post nutritional information on their websites. Sometimes, these lists are confusing and hard to use, but they are the best source for accurate, up-to-date information on your menu options. There are also many other websites and apps that provide nutritional information, often in easier to use formats.

Making healthier fast food choices on the go

Making healthier fast food choices is easier if you plan ahead by checking the nutritional guides that most chains post on their websites. But if you don’t have the chance to prepare, you can still make smarter choices by following a few common sense guidelines.

Healthier fast food ordering guidelines

Keep your eye on portion size. Many fast food meals deliver enough food for several meals in the guise of a single serving. Avoid supersized and value-sized items, and go for the smallest size when it comes to sandwiches, burgers, and sides. You can also find more reasonable portions on the children’s menu.

Focus on grilled or roasted lean meats. Avoid fried and breaded items, such as crispy chicken sandwiches and breaded fish fillets. Choose turkey, chicken breast, lean ham, or lean roast beef instead. Grilled skinless chicken is usually your best bet.

Pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, or au gratin are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Same with items in Alfredo or cream sauce.

Don’t be afraid to special order. Many menu items can be made healthier with a few tweaks and substitutions. For example, you can ask to hold the sauce or dressing or serve it on the side. Or you can request a wheat bun for your hamburger or whole-grain bread for your sandwich.

Don’t assume that healthy-sounding dishes are always your best option. For example, many fast food salads are a diet minefield, smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings. This is where reading the nutrition facts before you order can make a huge difference.

Tips for keeping fast food calories under control

Be careful when it comes to condiments and dressings. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, sauces, and sides such as sour cream. Mayonnaise- and oil-based sauces in particular add a lot of calories. Try holding the mayo and asking for a packet of ketchup or mustard you can add yourself-controlling how much you put on your sandwich.

Stick to zero-calorie beverages. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. The average large soda packs around 300 calories, which can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Shakes are even worse, with up to 800 calories and a day’s worth of saturated fat. And don’t be fooled by lemonade and fruit drinks, which add calories and sugar without much in the way of nutrients. Order water, diet soda, or unsweetened tea instead.

Be wise about sides. Watch menu items that come with one or more side dishes. Sides that can quickly send calories soaring include fries, chips, rice, noodles, onion rings, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Better bets are side salads with light dressing, baked potato (easy on the toppings), fresh fruit cups, corn on the cob, or apple slices.

Pass on the French fries. Do you really need those fries? A sandwich or burger should be plenty filling on its own. Or if your meal doesn’t sound complete without fries, choose the smallest size (which can be 400 calories less than a large serving).

Skip the bacon. It’s always tempting to add bacon to sandwiches and salads for extra flavor, but bacon has very few nutrients and is high in fat and calories. Instead, try ordering extra pickles, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, or mustard to add flavor without the fat.

Make sure your fast food salad isn’t a stealth diet saboteur

  • Choose low-fat and fat-free dressing and ask for it on the side, so you can control how much you use.
  • Skip high-fat toppings such as bacon bits, cheese, croutons, and crispy noodles. They can add hundreds of calories!
  • Avoid taco salads. The deep-fried shells, tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream make them high-fat, high-calorie diet busters.
  • Choose salads with grilled chicken, shrimp, or vegetables. Avoid salads with breaded chicken or other fried toppings.

Healthy fast food at burger chains

The typical fast food meal of a burger, fries, and a drink can easily add up to a whole day’s worth of calories. That’s a nutritional (and weight control) recipe for disaster. The burger alone at many fast food joints can pack between 1,000-2,000 calories, particularly when loaded up with extra patties, bacon, and cheese.

To keep calories and fat down, you also should pay particular attention to portion sizes and high-fat toppings and sides. Everything that you add to your meal counts—from fries to soda or a shake.

Tips for making healthier choices at fast food burger joints:

Stick to a single hamburger patty. No double or triple burgers! Burgers with two or three beef patties add loads of unnecessary calories and unhealthy fat (up to 800 calories and 40 grams of fat).

Hold or go light on the mayonnaise. You can eliminate around 100 calories. Add extra ketchup or mustard if you need a flavor kick.

Go easy on special sauces, which add a lot of calories. If you don’t want to do without, ask for the sauce on the side. A little goes a long way.

Say no to bacon, cheese, onion rings, and other calorie-laden burger toppings. If you want to add some interest, go with extra pickles or heart-healthy avocado.

Ask about no-meat burger or sandwich options, such as the veggie burger at Burger King or the grilled cheese at In-N-Out Burger.

Skip the fries. You’ll save hundreds of calories (510 calories for a large McDonald’s fries, 340 calories for a medium).

Check out the kid’s menu. Junior and children’s-sized hamburgers usually have between 250-300 calories, making them a healthier choice.

Healthier fast food burger options
INSTEAD OF TRY
Double-patty cheeseburger Regular, single-patty hamburger without cheese
French fries Baked potato or a side salad
Chicken “nuggets” or tenders Grilled chicken strips
Salad with toppings such as bacon, cheese, and ranch dressing Garden salad with grilled chicken and low-fat dressing
Milkshake Yogurt parfait or a vanilla sundae in a cup (no toppings or cone)

Healthy fast food at chicken chains

Chicken may sound healthier than beef, but when it comes to fast food, that’s not always the case. Many menu items at chicken chains are higher in fat and sodium than a burger. That’s not to say that you can’t find healthier options, but don’t assume that chicken means “healthy.”

What kind of meat you order also matters. Chicken breast is highest in calories, followed closely by the thigh. Chicken wings and drumsticks are much lower in calories, making them smarter choices. If you prefer breast meat, you can make it healthier by taking off the skin.

Tips for making smarter choices at fast food chicken restaurants:

Choose baked, broiled, or grilled chicken over fried or breaded chicken. And don’t even think about chicken nuggets, which are loaded as much fat and sodium as a burger.

Go easy on the honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and other special sauces. Each sauce packet adds around 60 calories.

Be wary of sides. Half the fun when ordering chicken are the sides: coleslaw, biscuits, baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, and mashed potatoes. But these standard side dishes are all high in calories, so make sure to count them toward your meal.

Pass on the crispy chicken sandwich, which may be flavorful, but is fried and fatty. A much better choice is a grilled chicken sandwich. Order it skinless to make it even healthier.

Healthier fast food chicken options
INSTEAD OF TRY
Fried chicken, original or extra-crispy Skinless chicken breast without breading
Teriyaki wings or popcorn chicken Honey BBQ chicken sandwich
Fried chicken sandwich Grilled chicken sandwich
Chicken and biscuit “bowl” Mashed potatoes
Adding extra gravy and sauces Limiting gravy and sauces

Healthy fast food at Mexican chains

Mexican fast food restaurants can be a good option for finding healthy fast food. But they can also be caloric minefields-especially when it comes to burritos, nachos, and other cheese-heavy items. Portion control is also important, since the serving size on many Mexican fast food items is enormous. In order to enjoy what you want without blowing your diet, simply eat half and take the rest home for your next meal.

Several Mexican chains, including Taco Bell and Baja Fresh, have “healthy” menu options that are lower in fat and calories. You can also find healthier choices at chains such as Chipotle and Taco Del Mar, including whole-wheat tortillas and fresh vegetables. But portions are still huge, so limiting the amount you eat in one sitting is key.

Tips for making smarter choices at Mexican fast food restaurants:

Go easy on the rice and beans (including in your burrito). These starches add hundreds of calories to your meal.

Skip the sour cream, which can add 100-200 calories. For a healthier option, add avocado or guacamole.

Say no to chips. They add hundreds of calories (285 calories for a ½ order from Chipotle) and sodium you don’t need.

Look for Baja-style fish dishes. Fish is usually the healthiest meat choice—as long as it’s not fried.

Opt for soft tortillas. Whether made of flour or corn, soft tortillas are lower in fat and calories than crispy, deep-fried shells. Soft corn tortillas are usually healthier than soft flour tortillas.

Try holding the cheese. You may be surprised how little you miss it in your burrito or taco, and it can save you over 100 calories.

Load up on fajita veggies. Adding them to your burrito or burrito bowl is an easy way to add tons of flavor and heart-healthy vitamins and phytochemicals without adding a lot of calories.

Healthier Mexican fast food options
INSTEAD OF TRY
Crispy shell taco Soft taco
Ground beef or steak Grilled fish or chicken
Refried beans or pinto beans Black beans
Crunch wraps or gordita-type burritos Grilled “fresco” style steak burrito
Beef or steak burrito Veggie and bean burrito

Healthy fast food at sandwich chains

Thanks to Subway, sub sandwiches come to mind for many people when they think of “healthy” fast food. And while it is true that you can find relatively healthy choices at the top sandwich chains, their menus are not without their pitfalls. While sandwich shop ads promote their health benefits, studies have found that many people eat more calories per meal at a sub shop than at McDonald’s. This may be because people feel so virtuous eating “healthy” as the ads suggest, they reward themselves with chips, sodas, or extra condiments that can turn a healthy meal into an unhealthy one. You can make healthier choices at a deli or sub shop but you need to use some common sense.

Tips for making smarter choices at sandwich fast food joints:

Opt for the smaller sized subs. Ordering a 6-inch sub over the foot-long can save you between 500-700 calories.

Choose whole-grain buns or bread instead of white bread, French rolls, or cheese breads.

Go easy on the mayonnaise and condiments. You can save even more calories by asking for the condiments on the side.

Dress your sandwich with mustard, vinegar, or low-fat dressing instead of mayonnaise and calorie-heavy special sauces.

Go light on the cheese, or better yet, skip it altogether.

Eat half the sandwich at lunch and save the other half for later.

Load up on veggies, such as tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, green and red peppers, and olives.

Skip the chips. Get something healthier on the side, such as an apple, a small side salad, or a yogurt.

Healthier fast food sandwich options
INSTEAD OF TRY
Foot-long sub Six-inch sub
High-fat meat such as ham, tuna salad, bacon, meatballs, or steak Lean meat (roast beef, chicken breast, lean ham) or veggies
The “normal” amount of higher-fat (cheddar, American) cheese One or two slices of lower-fat cheese (Swiss or mozzarella)
Keeping the sub “as is” with all toppings Subbing out cheese and meat for extra veggie toppings
Choosing white bread or “wraps” which are often higher in fat than normal bread Choosing whole-grain bread or taking the top slice off your sub and eating it open-faced

Healthy fast food at pizza chains

Pizza isn’t considered health food—and for good reason. It’s high in calories and typically loaded with fatty meats and cheese with little nutritional value. Two slices can easily add up to 600 calories and more than a full day’s worth of sodium. But it is possible to indulge in pizza now and again without completely undoing your healthy diet. However, there’s no good way to avoid the high sodium, so try to limit your sodium intake in the meals leading up to and following your pizza outing.

It’s also important to pay attention to portion sizes. This means limiting the number of slices you eat, but not all slices are equal. Be aware that a large slice of pizza is almost 40% bigger than a medium slice of pizza, with the corresponding calorie bump. And don’t be fooled by the personal pan pizza, which are usually 800 calories or more. If you do choose a personal pizza, eat half and save the rest for later.

Tips for making smarter choices at pizza joints:

Order thin crust instead of regular crust (and avoid deep-dish or pan pizza). Not only is thin crust the healthiest option, but it’s also the most authentic version of a true Italian pie.

Order your pizza with light cheese. A little cheese can go a long way! You can also try substituting lower-calorie ricotta cheese for mozzarella. At the very least, don’t order extra cheese.

Load your pizza up with veggie toppings. Most chains have lots of healthy options, including tomato, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, artichoke, garlic, onion, and broccoli.

Limit high-fat meat toppings, such as pepperoni, bacon, sausage, Philly meat, ham, and beef. If you must have meat, stick to chicken.

Avoid pasta, which tends to be less healthy than the pizza at fast food joints. Fast food pasta dishes are usually little more than a heaping serving of refined-carb noodles and meat-heavy sauces.

Skip the sides. Say no to garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, and cheesy bread. You’ll cut out a lot of calories, carbs, and unhealthy fat.

Healthier pizza and Italian fast food options
INSTEAD OF TRY
Cheese-filled or deep dish pizza Thin-crust pizza (whole-wheat, if available)
Meat lover’s pizza Veggie lover’s pizza
Pepperoni, meatballs, or sausage toppings Chicken
Bacon Canadian bacon (60% less fat than regular bacon)
Garlic or “cheesy” bread Plain rolls or breadsticks

Healthy fast food at Asian chains

Asian fast food may sound healthier than your typical burger or fast food sandwich. After all, you can usually get a decent amount of veggies. But if you’re not careful, you can end up with a meal that’s much higher in calories and fat than you may realize. If you’re smart about what you order, you can minimize the diet-busting damage, but Asian fast food also tends to be very high in sodium. And unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about that-which makes Asian fast food best for the occasional indulgence, not a regular habit.

Tips for making smarter choices at Asian fast food restaurants:

Go easy on the rice, which packs on carbs and calories. Pass on fried rice, which is high in fat, calories, and sodium. Steamed white rice is a much healthier choice, and brown rice even better.

Limit the noodles. Fried Asian noodles add a lot of calories, carbs, and sodium, plus unhealthy fat. Stick to small portions of lo mein, chow mein, and chow fun, or avoid them altogether.

Say no to pork dishes, which tend to be higher in fat than other meat options.

Avoid sauce heavy dishes, such as orange chicken and Beijing beef. It’s also a good idea to pass on anything with General Tso’s, Kung Pao, BBQ, or Sweet and Sour in the name. These sauces are high in calories and sugar.

Skip the fatty, deep-fried sides, such as fried wontons, egg rolls, tempura, BBQ spareribs, and crab Rangoon.

Use the chopsticks! You’ll eat more slowly, since you can’t grasp as much food with them at one time as you can with your normal fork and knife.

Healthier Asian fast food options
INSTEAD OF TRY
Deep-fried starters (egg rolls, tempura, fried wontons, etc.) Soup (good choices include egg drop, miso, wonton, or hot & sour soup)
Battered or deep-fried dishes (sweet and sour pork, General Tso’s chicken) Stir-fried, steamed, roasted or broiled dishes (chow mein, chop suey)
Fried rice Steamed rice (brown instead of white rice, if that’s an option)
Sweet and sour sauce or regular soy sauce Hot chili sauce (a little goes a long ways) or low-sodium soy sauce
Meat-based dishes Vegetable-based dishes

Healthy fast food breakfasts

We all know the importance of a healthy breakfast, but it’s also the meal we usually have the least time for. And even though fast food isn’t the healthiest option, it can be the most convenient one when you’re running late for work or school.

However, many fast food breakfasts deliver a full day’s worth of fat and enough saturated fat for three days. Many breakfast items are also obscenely high in sodium (even non-salty baked goods such as pastries and muffins). And that’s to say nothing of calories, which can top 1,000. But you can find healthier choices on most menus. The key is to look for items with both fiber and protein—which makes them more filling and satisfying—but not too much fat.

Tips for making smarter fast food breakfast choices:

Avoid sausage, bacon, and steak. These meats are high in fat. Leaner breakfast meat choices include turkey, Canadian bacon, and ham.

Be careful when it comes to baked goods. Not only are most breakfast pastries, loafs, and muffins high in sugar, they also tend to be high in sodium.

Focus on fiber. Good choices include bran muffins, oatmeal, and granola. Just watch out for excess sugar.

Go easy on the cheese and breakfast sauces. Ask for the sauce on the side to keep the calories down.

Say no to the breakfast burrito. These diet-busters tend to be loaded with carbs, calories, sodium, and fat.

Choose toast or English muffins over biscuits. Biscuits are usually higher in calories and fat than toast or English muffins.

Healthier breakfast fast food options
INSTEAD OF TRY
Bagel with cream cheese English muffin with butter
Egg on a biscuit Egg on wheat toast
Donut or pastry Low-fat bran muffin
Smoothie Yogurt with granola and fruit
French toast sticks or cinnamon roll Oatmeal

This is your body on fast food

By Christy Brissette March 1, 2018

A client recently asked me, “How often can I get away with eating junk food?” She knows that my nutrition philosophy is the “80:20 rule”: Eat healthy foods as often as possible (at least 80 percent of the time), but also enjoy the occasional less healthy food (less than 20 percent of the time), if that’s what you really want.

I’ve seen this approach work well with my clients who were previously chronic dieters yet hadn’t been able to lose weight. Once I give them permission to have “forbidden foods,” those foods lose their power and they’re able to make healthier choices the bulk of the time.

There is some evidence that “cheat meals” (although I hate that term) can help boost fat loss and mental health among dieters. Yet I wanted to give my client a more quantifiable answer. Could a few days of junk food or even a single fast food meal make a difference in your overall health?

Junk food and fast food defined

What is “junk food”? Essentially any food that is highly processed, high in calories and low in nutrients. Junk food is also usually high in added sugars, salt and saturated or trans fats. Some evidence points to junk foods as being as addictive as alcohol and drugs.

“Fast food” is food that is prepared quickly and is eaten quickly or taken out. Although there are a growing number of healthier fast food options, most fast food can still be classified as junk food.

Long-term effects of eating junk food

Eating a poor quality diet high in junk food is linked to a higher risk of obesity, depression, digestive issues, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and early death. And as you might expect, frequency matters when it comes to the impact of junk food on your health.

A review of studies on fast food and heart health found having fast food more than once a week was linked to a higher risk of obesity, while eating fast food more than twice a week was associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and death from coronary heart disease.

This is disturbing considering nearly half of American adults eat fast food at least once a week.

Short-term effects of junk food

It’s human nature to think about benefits and risks over the short term rather than considering the impact our choices have over the long term. So how does consumption of junk food affect your body over the short term?

A few days of junk food

Just a few days of junk food could change your metabolism. A small study of 12 healthy young men found eating junk food for just five days led to a reduced ability of their muscles to turn glucose into energy, even though they didn’t eat more calories as part of the study. Over the long term, this change could lead to insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes.

Another effect of just a couple of days of junk food is poor digestion. Because junk food lacks fiber, eating too much of it could lead to constipation.

One junk food meal

That single fast food meal can narrow your arteries, leading to an increase in blood pressure.

And the quick spike in your blood sugar from eating junk foods high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars can cause a surge in insulin, leading to a quick drop in blood sugar. That leaves you feeling tired, cranky and hungry for more.

Just one serving of junk food can increase inflammation throughout your body. Further, an Australian study suggests that in people with asthma, a fast food meal high in saturated fat can increase inflammation in the airway, potentially making an asthma attack more likely. . So it seems the quick hit of junk food, while fleetingly rewarding, does carry short-term risks.

The good news: Every healthy meal helps

The amount of inflammation and oxidative stress your body will experience after eating occasional junk food seems to be a function of the “big picture” of your choices over time.

If you want to enjoy junk food once in a while but are concerned about the impact on your health, take a look at your overall health habits. Do you smoke or overdo it on alcohol? Are you exercising regularly and eating plenty of nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, nuts and seeds, and whole grains? When it comes to your health, it seems you can “get away with” the occasional junk food more easily when you follow a healthy lifestyle most of the time. So think about your ratio of healthy to less healthy foods. Are you achieving 80:20 or is there room for some improvement?

When you’re making the choice between a healthier option and junk food, consider that just one healthy meal a day worked into the typical American diet could reduce overall stress and inflammation in your body. Every meal is an opportunity to positively impact your health.

Based on the current research, my advice to my client essentially remains the same: Once you’re aware of all of the short-term and long-term impacts of junk food and you still really want some, have it less than once a week and really savor it. Then get right back to enjoying nourishing, nutritious foods.

Christy Brissette is a dietitian, foodie and president of 80TwentyNutrition.com. Follow her on Twitter @80twentyrule.

Fast Food Nutrition: Junk Food’s Effect On Your Body

Fast food nutrition should make up a minimal part of a healthy diet. Fast foods and junk foods are high in fat, sodium and sugar, which can lead to obesity and a range of attendant health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Here are the facts about how excessive junk food consumption affects your body.

Junk Food Affects Your Energy Levels

Junk food doesn’t contain the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. As a result, you may feel chronically fatigued and lack the energy you need to complete daily tasks. The high levels of sugar in junk food puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat refined sugar, your pancreas secretes high amounts of insulin to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.

Because fast food and junk food don’t contain adequate amounts of protein and good carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly after eating, leaving you feeling grumpy, fatigued and craving sugar.

Junk Food Contributes to Poor Performance and Obesity

Junk food contains large amounts of fat, and as fat accumulates in your body, you’ll gain weight and could become obese. The more weight you gain, the more you’ll be at risk for serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. You could even have a heart attack.

The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food can cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Excessive dietary sodium can also have a negative effect on renal function, even leading to kidney disease.

In the short term, high levels of dietary fat lead to poor cognitive performance. You’ll feel tired and have trouble concentrating because your body might not be getting enough oxygen.

Junk Food Can Damage Your Liver and Your Heart

The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels and contributing to arterial plaque build up. The high levels of trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can lead to fatty liver deposits, which, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease.

Junk Food Can Lead to Diabetes

Over time, the high levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes. This occurs because eating too much sugar puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat a lot of refined white sugar and simple carbohydrates, your body has to pump up insulin production to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.

Because junk food doesn’t contain the protein or complex carbohydrates that your body needs to maintain consistent blood sugar levels, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly soon after eating. You’ll crave sugar and likely end up eating more junk food.

Over time, this stress damages your body’s ability to use the insulin secreted by your pancrease. A healthy diet can help maintain your body’s insulin sensitivity.

Even in the short term, eating too much junk food can make you feel really uncomfortable. It can lead to mood swings and constipation, and lower your energy levels so that you lack interest in the exercise you need to burn off those extra calories.

Peanut M&Ms: A Healthier Snack than You Think!

When you’re looking for a healthy snack at home, at work, or on the go, what do you normally reach for? If you’re dieting or enjoy nutritious snacks, you probably munch on fruit or veggies. If you want protein, you reach for nuts or seeds. But what if you want chocolate? How can you satisfy your cravings for chocolate and crunch without cheating too much on your diet plan? Don’t worry – we’ve got an idea. At SuperiorNutStore.com, we get asked about healthy snacking all the time. In fact, much of our selection can make for a healthy snack when enjoyed in moderation. Nuts, dried fruits, and yes, even peanut M&Ms can be the perfect way for you to satisfy your cravings while sticking to a diet. Speaking of peanut M&Ms, they’re a healthier snack than you think. At SuperiorNutStore.com, we recommend reaching for a handful of peanut M&Ms whenever you want to satisfy your chocolate craving while trying to stay healthy. Did you know that one serving of peanut M&Ms (one package) contains 2 grams of dietary fiber and 5 grams of protein? It’s true – peanut M&Ms, because they’re rich in protein and fiber, can actually help you stave off hunger cravings by leaving you feeling fuller longer. Plus, they’re low in cholesterol and sodium, which can easily drive up your weight when consumed in excess. The only thing to keep in mind is the calorie and sugar count. If you’re worried about your sugar intake, you may want to opt for a smaller serving of peanut M&Ms, as a full serving can contain 25 grams. Otherwise, peanut M&Ms can be a great snack to enjoy in moderation whenever you crave sweet chocolate and the crunch of candy and peanuts. Want to make your stash of peanut M&Ms go even longer? Try mixing a handful or two into your next batch of trail mix. Peanut M&Ms can add just the right amount of chocolate to your trail mix recipe while adding to the crunch and nutty flavor that you love. Get your supply of Peanut M&Ms at SuperiorNutStore.com and start snacking healthier. Remember – these are a candy to enjoy in moderation, but when you’re on the go, they make for something yummy to munch on!

1. They were created for a very practical reason.

Although the candies are now only found in truly fun places, M&Ms were apparently dreamed up in the most unexpected spot: the battlefield. As the story goes, Forrest Mars saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating pieces of chocolate covered in a sugar coating. When he realize that the coating was preventing the chocolate from melting, he filed his own patent to manufacture chocolate that way. (He secured the patent in 1941.)

2. The commercials are beloved.

The brand has always been known for it’s amazing commercials. In the 1970s, it launched a spot that used a spin on Sammy Davis Jr.’s famous “Candyman” song:

In the 80s, the catch phrase “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” set the world on fire:

The 90s brought the personification of the candies—M&Ms were introduced as cute little characters in a super-charming way:

Today, the yellow and red M&Ms are the stars—and they’ve secured themselves in the commercial hall of fame with this holiday favorite:

3. Some famous people voice those characters.

There are six different characters that represent the brand—but yellow and red M&Ms seem to get all of the air time, and the glory. To that end, most people don’t know that both characters have been voiced by some famous actors.

Guys who’ve voiced yellow:

John Goodman:

NBC

J.K. Simmons

Lester Cohen

Guys who’ve voiced red:

Billy West (a.k.a. The voice of Ren & Stimpy)

L. Cohen

Jon Lovitz

Gary Gershoff

FYI: Vanessa Williams voices the Brown M

Nicholas Hunt

4. There have been some weird flavors.

Most people know the basics: milk chocolate and peanut (which debuted in 1954). If you’re fancy, you might prefer one of the fringe flavors, which are now part of the standard 10—dark chocolate, peanut butter, almond, dark mint, dark chocolate peanut butter, pretzel, crispy, and MEGA (a giant M&M that’s three times the size of normal). But over the years, the company has released some unusual twists. Some of our picks for most bizarre/awesome:

Strawberry Shortcake

M&M’s

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Flickr/TheImpulsiveBuy

Hot Chocolate

M&Ms

Pecan Pie

M&Ms

Candy Corn

M&Ms

5. The brand makes a bar.

Worth mentioning: you can get a chocolate bar that’s sprinkled with M&M Minis. It’s like the best of both worlds. How did we not realize this was a thing?

Courtesy of M&M

6. The company is crowd-sourcing its next big hit.

Knowing that the fans tend to go nuts over new releases, company execs are allowing them to choose the next flavor to remain on the roster. Three new flavors—chili nut, honey nut, and coffee nut—are hitting shelves now, and customers are being asked to buy/vote for their favorite.

7. M&Ms were once museum-quality.

Okay, that’s a slight stretch. But in early 2012, the company unveiled the Museum of Chocolate Art in the Soho area of New York City. It featured 20 different commissioned pieces of art that were created in milk chocolate.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Never Eat Another M&M Candy Again

Candy is irresistible for some of us, and while we love treating ourselves to our favorite type, you may want to reconsider yours if it is M&M’s. Yes, they taste delicious, but if you know anything about them, you would be sure to steer clear of them entirely.

Not only are they ‘not good for you’ in regard to your weight, and in consideration of their sugar count, they are also loaded with a number of horrible things that aren’t fit for human consumption.

On top of that, they can leave your system permanently damaged, and full of toxic chemicals. But after digging into some deep research, I found that their ingredients weren’t the worst thing they were hiding, and while m&ms were once my favorite, I will never touch them ever again!

Red M&M’s haven’t always been legal.

During 1976, the color that is used to make red M&M’s that beautiful red hue, FD&C Red #2 was mad illegal. It was actually considered to be a carcinogen, or a chemical that is known to cause cancer. Sadly, money won, as apparently, many people can’t resist the red ones. Especially children.

Gum Acacia

Used in M&M’s for its gluey quality, this substance is quite dangerous for you. In fact, it can cause stomach issues, bloating, and gas. Furthermore, women who breastfeed are advised to not eat it.

The Dyes….

Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are all terrible for your body. All of them contain known carcinogens, making me wonder, how are they legal?!

They contain Soy Lecithin

As an extract of soybean oil, soy lecithin is actually an emulsifier used for M&M’s that is used to bind the water and oil inside the candy. Unfortunately, it mimics estrogen in your body, and can increase your risk of breast cancer.

They are actually ripped off from another company.

Georgia ladies ate these candies, which were known as smarties at the time. While the original chocolate candy didn’t have the coating, they added it later, because the chocolate stained the gloves of the women who ate them. The ‘inventor’ of the M&M’s saw the candies while visiting overseas, and then came back to invent them.

They are se!ist. (According to advertising experts.)

Ms. Green, donning go-go boots, was the only female spokesperson for the brand for years. Jezebel referred to the candy’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition inspired commercial proof that sexist advertising was still alive and well in the 21st century.

They have ties to child labor.

Brian O’Keefe went to West African in 2016, in attempts to see if the chocolate industry’s ties to child labor had changed, but unfortunately he found more of the same. In spite of the government’s efforts to phase child labor out completely, there were still teenagers being trafficked to the Ivory Coast to work on slave labor cocoa farms, where 70 percent of the chocolate comes from in the industry (including M&M’s.)

  • 5 Healthier Junk Foods to Eat When You Have Cravings

    Junk food is a nearly impossible habit to break. We know that we’re wired to want more salty, sugary, and fatty foods, but the industry has more tricks up its sleeve than just that. According to Michael Moss, the author of Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, it’s about satisfying mouth-feel and “sensory specific satiety.”

    A company producing junk food spends a lot of money figuring out the formula for a recipe that doesn’t have one big, bold flavor but many little flavors that pique your taste buds. The idea behind this is the science of how your brain decides you’re done eating. A bigger, bolder flavor will trip the saturation wire, and your brain will say that you’ve had enough. With intriguing little flavors, though, you just keep eating.

    These tricks that junk food companies employ give an unsettling truth to the Pringles catchphrase “Once you pop, you just can’t stop.” Trying to quit altogether will probably leave you binging later. Luckily, not all junk food is created equally. Rather than quitting cold turkey, switch your snack of choice to the ones here that are, believe it or not, better for you than the other alternatives.

    Source: iStock

    1. Pork rinds

    Dr. Jeff Volek lists pork rinds under foods that have been unjustly vilified in an article for Men’s Health. It’s easy to see why: They’re curlicues of deep-fried pig skin. The thing is, though, all of the “bad” is clearly visible, and it’s really not all that bad, considering its competition (we’re looking at you, Cheetos). A 1-ounce serving of pork rinds contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. An ounce of potato chips, on the other hand, has 14 grams of carbs and only 2 grams of protein with 10 grams of fat.

    Source: iStock

    2. Blue M&Ms

    Yes, specifically the blue ones, and particularly if you’ve had a spinal cord injury. Women’s Health describes the positive effects chocolate has on the cardiovascular system, insulin resistance, stress levels, and blood flow to the brain. Dark chocolate does this best, but all chocolate has some of these effects. But why the blue?

    A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, according to Science News, found that the blue dye used in M&Ms and blue Gatorade could play a protective role in the aftermath of a spinal cord injury. It appears to block a molecule that floods the injury site and kills nerve cells.

    Source: iStock

    3. Popcorn

    Popcorn is divisive. It’s a great alternative for someone trying to quit potato chips and Cheetos, but it’s still not exactly health food. The thing is, though, it’s packed with fiber and polyphenols, which Shape points out are antioxidants that can protect against heart disease and certain cancers. In fact, research shows that popcorn has the highest polyphenol levels of all snack foods. If you can manage it, pop straight corn kernels instead of packaged movie theater popcorn. For a healthy, cheesy kick, sprinkle on nutritional yeast and get an extra boost of vitamin B12.

    Source: iStock

    4. Beef jerky

    We tend to write off jerky as preservative- and nitrate-packed, salt-loaded gas station food you stop buying after you’ve emerged from your teenage years, but jerky is preferable to other junk food options. It’s a great source of protein, and it’s not just Slim Jims or bust anymore. Companies like Krave offer packaged turkey, beef, and pork jerky that’s free of hormones and nitrates, low in sodium, high in protein, gluten-free, and uses all-natural flavorings to produce jerkies like Black Cherry Barbecue, Chili Lime, Sesame Ginger, and Honey Peach Barbecue.

    Source: iStock

    5. Graham Crackers

    Cookies are junk food. It’s really hard to argue with that. Packaged cookies like Chips Ahoy and their ilk are usually loaded with things we don’t like to talk about, but Graham crackers were designed to be healthier. They were invented by Reverend Graham, who believed that a virtuous life started with virtuous eating, eschewing fat and refined flour.

    According to The Atlantic, Graham developed his own process for milling flour, preserving more of the whole wheat. Though his crackers aren’t the honey-flavored and cinnamon-spiced cookies from Nabisco, they’re still made with whole wheat and contain less sugar and calories than their counterparts on grocery store shelves. If you’re craving a cookie, it’ll do the trick!

    More from Life Cheat Sheet:

    • The 5 Healthiest Fast Food Burgers You Can Order
    • 8 Sweet and Savory Recipes Rediscovering 4 Underrated Fruits
    • 6 Easy Recipes Transforming You Into a Kitchen-Confident Master Chef

    We are constantly told to stay away from certain foods because they are deemed unhealthy. Some “bad-for-you” foods have a bad reputation, but in fact, they can play a big part in a healthy diet.

    Here are 8 examples of “bad foods” you should be eating, regardless of what you’ve heard. How many are you avoiding?

    Peanut butter

    Peanut butter may be high in fat, but 80 percent of that fat comes from healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Peanut butter is a high-protein food and a source of fiber, lots of vitamin E, magnesium, and antioxidants. When consumed in moderation, it can help manage weight and control hunger due to the protein and fiber content. In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, women who eat one serving of peanut butter two or more times per week are nearly 25 percent less likely to be obese and gain fewer pounds than women who rarely eat these foods.

    To keep calories in check, be sure to watch your serving size and stick to no more than two tablespoons. Shop for natural peanut butter with no added sugar.

    Beer

    Alcohol, including beer, can be healthy, but moderation is key. A large number of studies have shown that moderate drinking (one drink per day for women, two per day for men) can considerably decrease your risk for cardiovascular diseases. Men who consume alcohol moderately are 30 to 35% less likely to have a heart attack than those who abstain Alcohol can also reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

    There are a few more cited benefits of moderate beer drinking.

    It’s important to remember that if drinking exceeds healthful levels, alcohol swiftly becomes bad for your health.

    Chocolate

    Chocolate or more specifically dark chocolate has been found to provide numerous health benefits. An ounce of chocolate a day has been shown to reduce risks for heart disease, and an ounce and a half may help reduce stress. Dark chocolate also decreases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and is associated with better cognitive performance in the elderly. Look out for dark chocolate with a 60% cacao or higher, it has more antioxidants and less added sugar.

    Unfortunately, even dark chocolate is calorie rich so stick to one to two ounces per day to avoid weight gain.

    Pizza

    Pizza is classified as junk food, but it doesn’t have to be. Going overboard with toppings or binging on pizza won’t do you any good, but if done right, it can pack a load of nutrients. The key ingredient in tomato sauce is lycopene which is a potent antioxidant and can help prevent cancer and protect you from heart disease. Lycopene is best absorbed by your body when hot, so eating cold pizza is not preferred. Another great thing about pizza is that you can get your entire daily recommended dietary intake in one meal. Fruit, vegetables, dairy, lean meat and grain can all be covered in one pizza!

    We recommend you go for a thin whole grain crust as it will make you feel fuller. Choose toppings such as broccoli, parmesan cheese and peppers which all offer nutritional benefits.

    Coffee

    Coffee doesn’t just get you alert for a busy day, it can also help you burn fat and improve physical performance. Caffeine both raises metabolism and increases oxidation of fatty acids. Your morning brew is packed with antioxidant and is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Further, coffee has even been shown to protect you against Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

    The Public health experts recommend a safe range of 3-4 cups of coffee per day. Skip the sugary flavored creamers and choose almond or coconut milk instead.

    Canned vegetables

    Although many types are high in sodium, you can purchase low sodium varieties or rinse your canned veggies in a colander to remove the excess sodium. Canned vegetables are on par nutritionally with their fresh counterparts. In fact, in comparison with some produce items, the nutrition in canned food is even greater. Vegetables are very fresh when they are canned, so they are at their peak nutrition, while fresh vegetables may have spent weeks traveling to your supermarket, leading to some loss of nutrients. Further, canned vegetables are inexpensive and much easier to prepare.

    Nuts

    Nuts are high in fat and calories but if eaten in appropriate portions, research shows they may actually help you lose weight. A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who replaced other foods with nuts in their diets lost more weight (about 1.4 pounds more) than those who did not. In addition to weight loss, nuts are also heart-healthy and numerous studies showed eating them can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Walnuts, rich in omega-3 fats, are a particularly good option. Additionally, nuts contain plant sterols, which have cholesterol-lowering properties.

    Potatoes

    Many of us still avoid eating potatoes because of their reputation as a waist-widening starch. The truth is, potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods. They are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Most importantly they help keep you full. The key is to rethink your add-ons and cooking method. Whenever possible, go for sweet potatoes. They have more vitamin C, fewer calories, more fiber and fewer total carbs. But don’t forget white potatoes, they are less expensive and more versatile in cooking. Do not be fooled about the so-called ‘superfoods’ or ‘food villains’. But this does not mean you should be eating pizza and drinking beer every day.

    MODERATION IS KEY

    Moderation is always key to health. What is your favorite food on the list? Share this on Facebook with your friends and family who may have told you to avoid a particular food!

    Learn more about healthy foods that actually bad for you if you want to lose weight on our blog, too.

    Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide Use our free guide to design your very own personalized nutrition plan. Download e-Book Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide … start working on your unique diet plan. Download E-Book

    Junk Food – How it is Actually Good for You

    Introduction

    In America, junk food has become a really popular source of food in everyday life. When watching movies, studying, working on projects late at night, and reading a book, junk food has always been a buddy that people relied on. But what many people known junk foods for are the bad things about them and how they are addicting, and also how they are the leading causes of many bad consequences. Consequences like obesity, heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases. But has anyone ever thought of the positive impacts that junk food can bring to us beside the negative consequences?

    What kinds of food are considered junk food? Junk foods are food that’s high in fat, salt, and/or sugar and low in nutritional content. Right now from the definition of what junk foods are, they may sound like something that’s really bad, but as always there are exceptions to it. Bad things can sometime be good and good things can sometime be bad, it all depends on how they are used. What people didn’t know is that the diets many people believe to be healthy most of the time contain junk food.

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    The most important about these diets has been proven by one of the scholarly journals named “Tufts University Health ; Nutrition Letter”. It claims that such food can help people lose weight and become healthier. Because of the high energy that junk food contains it can easily fill a person up, and also the sugar that’s in the junk foods helps maintain a person’s blood sugar level (Robinson, 2006). Beside having high calories that make junk foods a good diet meal item and the sugar that can maintain blood sugar level, they also contain many nutrients. In this research paper, it will provide detail about the positive benefits of junk food. It will answer the question how there can be more positive impacts that junk food can provide, than there are negative ones.

    Section 1: What kind of nutrients does junk food contain and how is it good for us?

    As stated in the introduction, junk food is a popular source of food to all humankind. It had already built an attachment with many people. There are many kinds of junk food, but the most common junk food people will consume when watching a movie, working late at night, doing homework, gaming, and partying are cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, ice cream, puddings, cheesecake, sugar, candy, syrup, soda, sweetened non-carbonated beverages, corn chips, tortilla chips, and potato chips.

    This junk food can be harmful to the body, if not consumed properly or too much of it is consumed. But what most people didn’t know is that junk food actually contains different kinds of nutrients that the body needs. As Tufts University Health & Nutrition’s scholarly journal article “Junk food, or junky food choices?” stated, for every bit of junk food we consume there is a small amount of nutrients that we consume along with the junk food. For example, vitamins A, B6, Bi2, C, folate, calcium, protein, and iron. These important nutrition elements are actually in the junk food, a source of food that people believe to be harmful.

    Why are vitamins A, B2, B6, C, folate, calcium, protein, and iron an important kind of nutrition to the human body? From the Heart ; Stroke Foundation’s nutrient chart it shown that these nutrients provide many uses for the body. Vitamin A can help the body lower the risk of getting cancer, normalize the blood sugar, prevent asthma, and it also helps construct a more healthier skin and hair. Vitamin B2 and B6 both help the body convert food into energy the body uses, metabolize fats and protein, and the most important is that they also help the nervous system function properly. Vitamin C provides protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular diseases, prenatal health problems, eye diseases, and even skin wrinkling.

    Folate can help fetal development, it is the main key to the production of red blood cells in the body which help prevent cancers, not just preventing cancer but also thwarting heart disease, and another important thing it can do is preventing people brain from aging. Calcium is another one of the nutrition elements that is commonly found in junk food. It can make your bones and teeth strong, without it your bones will be like a Popsicle stick, they will be really easy to break.

    Protein is an element in your body that helps heal all the damaged tissues; without it when your bones or muscles are injured, they won’t heal. Finally the last most common nutrition that is found in junk food and is also the most important one overall is iron. Iron is a substance that is in the red cells that carry oxygen from your lungs throughout your whole body. Without it you can die. That’s why junk food is not just a type of popular food source, but also a good way for us to gain our nutrients.

    Section 2: Why is junk food a more preferable source of food for all workers?

    What are the main reasons that make people prefer junk food over healthy food? From research, there are few reasons that people picked junk food as their main course. The first reason is the amount of time workers get for their lunch break. Office Team had done a survey to reveal the information about lunch break of workers. The result shows that 48% of the workers only have less than 30 minutes of lunch break. Therefore, these workers try to find a place where they can get their food as fast as possible, so they can have more time to eat and socialize with friends. These places that provide the fast service are known as fast food.

    The second reason why workers make junk food their main course is because of the economic hardship that every worker faces. The Huff Post Healthy Living study reveals that eating healthy food is simply more expensive than unhealthy food. The most comprehensive study of its kind indicates that unhealthy food is about $1.50 cheaper per day, or about $550 per year, than healthy food. This study also found that meats and proteins had a larger price difference with the healthier options; it will cost $0.29 more per serving than the unhealthy food option. These price differences were also on snacks. Because of all the money people can save from eating junk food, junk foods have become workers’ common main course (Smith, 2012).

    The last and the most important thing out of all the reasons why junk food has become workers’ main course is the taste of the food. This was proven by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s article “Why eat at fast-food restaurants: reported reasons among frequent consumers”. They had done a survey with several questions related to junk food and one of the questions is “Is taste one of the reason why people chose fast food?” and the result was 69% of the people believe taste was the reason. The result of the survey concludes that the theory of taste plays the major role in junk food as the right option. Therefore, people like junk food not just because of the time and money they can save, but also for the reason of taste.

    Section 3: Is junk food really harmful to people?

    Many people nowadays are starting to have diets in order to try and become healthier as well as staying fit, but are these diets really healthy or harmful? From Teen Vogue’s article by Professor Hensrud “Wait—Eating Healthy Can Be Bad for You?!”, there are two popular diets people like to practice, which are “Juicing” and “The Paleo Diet”. Are people eating or drinking correctly for each diet? Juicing is a diet where people won’t be consuming any food, but juicing whole vegetables or fruits and drinking them as their daily meals. Vegetables and fruits sound good, so what’s wrong with this kind of diet?

    From Teen Vogue’s article, an Associate Professor of Nutrition, Donald Hensrud, M.D in his research finds that juicing vegetables and fruits will cause them to lose all the fiber and some of the good nutrition that’s contained in them. What will end up in the cup of juice are small amount of protein, and it has high glycemic load. Which means that it becomes something that contains more calories than a burger and it will even cause weight gain. This diet also has many side effects like feeling weak, irritable, and exhausted. What professor Hensrud said about juicing diet was correct, juicing diet can cause serious health problem.

    But what he didn’t know is, there will only be problem with the juicing diet if people didn’t do it correctly. From Huffpost Living’s article “Do Juice Cleanses Work?”, they find out that people are not doing their juicing diet properly by being lazy and wanting to obtain faster results. They would skip meals and sometimes will even go buy factory manufactured juice for the diet, which kills the purpose of the diet (Smith, 2006). Since the manufactured juice does not contain any good nutrition inside and only contains sugar, it will only make a person fatter. Which will cause the issues that Professor Hensrud stated.

    The Paleo Diet is a diet that follows our ancestors’ way of eating; basically only allowing eating foods that can be eaten by gatherers or hunters. For example, meat, poultry, fish, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, things like dairy and whole grains will be eliminated. The problem of this diet is that it can cause miss out on key nutrients, including fiber, iron, vitamins B and D, and calcium. This will cause a person to feel tired and wind up eating unhealthy amounts of saturated fat from all the protein in this diet that can put a person at risk for problems like heart disease (Trice, 2010).

    So do these diets have anything to do with junk food? The idea is very simple, – there are no good or bad foods, there are only bad eating patterns caused by person’s preferences, food cost, times, and the way people eat. As from the example of “juicing diet” and “The Paleo Diet”, supposedly that diets are healthy to people and not do have any bad side effects, so how did they end up to be harmful instead?

    The problem are people not doing their diet correctly, causing them to lack other nutrition that the body needs, which makes the diet into a harmful diet instead because they shape the diet based on their personal references. Same idea is for the diets as for junk food: if people are not abusing junk food, sometimes even making junk food their only meal, then junk food can actually be a good source of food instead of something that is harmful to our body.

    Conclusion

    Junk foods are commonly known for their negative effects, but there are also many good benefits. They are not only providing people with nutrients that the body needs to keep bones, muscles, and the brain strong, but junk food can also provide economical benefits. Economical benefits such as helping people save time on their lunch break, save money over a long period of time, while also providing a tasty meal. Therefore, junk foods are providing more positive things to people, than there are negative ones.

    Junk foods are associated with negative implications on human health. They seem to be the easiest and faster mode of food taking more so when one is busy with work or held up in preparing food for consumption. Being adopted by most teens especially the ones in colleges, junk foods have disoriented good habits of feeding. Bodies require well balanced diets which enhance proper building of body muscles and at the same time which can not cause chronic diseases. Excessive take of chips for instance leads to accumulation of fats in the body which may in turn cause blockage of body tissues.

    Junk foods are not good for human consumption especially when taken frequently. They make the body weak at some point due to lack of enough nutrients necessary for body immunity (Robinson, 2006). Despite the fact that juices and vegetables offer some small percentage of vitamins to the body, their nutrients are not enough to strengthen the immunity of the body. Some juices include added natural sugar to make them sweet for consumption, an act which only increases calories which result in weight gain.

    Protein content in juices is small. An individual feels weak, exhausted and irritable since junk food only satisfies the stomach in order to avoid being hungry. Junk foods are hazardous to health matters since frequent take of biscuits and more so sugary stuffs leads to tooth decay. Butter contained in chocolates and yummy cookies if taken in large quantities especially in young kids and females results into obesity. Obesity is a dangerous chronic condition which if not taken care of can cause heart failure and thus death. Junk foods make teenagers lazy in the context of food preparation since they depend on readymade foods which seem to be cheaper but expensive to health matters of their bodies.

    Despite the fact that advantages of junk foods seem to outdo the disadvantages, frequent use of junk foods should be fought against. Health risks associated with junk foods are severe to humankind. Good health increases life expectancy of people. Research has shown that regions with higher life expectancy observe good morals of eating. Nutritionists play a critical role in ensuring that people observe eating standards which foster good health. Human bodies are delicate in nature and need to be taken care of through modes of consumption putting in mind the kinds of food taken so as to avoid diseases. Junk foods should be taken in small amounts if needed when in hurry and not frequently in order to maintain the body size as well as good health.

    Please feel free to use our Free Plagiarism Checker for the texts you have written.

    Works cited

    Bove, Jose, Frantcois Dufour, and Gilles Luneau. The World Is Not for Sale: Farmers against Junk Food. London: Verso, 2002. Print.

    Cobb, Vicki. Junk Food. Minneapolis: Learner Publications, 2006. Print.

    Robinson, Anthony, and Lachlan Grant. Woopsi Daisy Drives to Junk Food Junction. Victoria, B.C: Trafford, 2006. Print.

    Smith, Andrew F. Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food. Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.

    Smith, Andrew F. Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2012. Print.

    Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.

    Trice, Laura. The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook: More Than 100 Healthy Recipes for Everyday Snacking. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2010. Internet resource.

    Can junk food be part of a healthy diet

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