How To Stop Eating Junk Food With 8 Simple Tips

Ah, cravings! Sometimes these pesky things can creep up on you when you’re trying really hard to eat well. While I believe in enjoying food in moderation and never depriving yourself, sometimes a craving that may seem innocent can end up in a full-blown binge that lasts for several days.
Find Out:

  • Why am I craving junk food?
  • How to stop eating junk food

You might find yourself struggling with junk food cravings during that time of the month, then the next thing you know, you’re wondering how to stop eating junk food for almost every meal!

Why am I craving junk food?

It can be really frustrating if you are trying to eat healthier and suddenly you’re hit with junk food cravings.

This generally happens because junk food can be addictive. One of the reasons ‘junk food’ is manufactured is to please people so that it sells! To achieve this, junk food is carefully formulated so that the consumer wants to keep coming back for more — and then we say hello to cravings!

What I am talking about when I say ‘carefully formulated’ is everything from the look to the smell, taste and feel of the food, as well as your salivary response to it. Believe it or not, all of these factors are carefully analysed by scientists in order to create a food that is super appealing to a consumer and leaves them wanting more. It basically tricks your brain into thinking you need it.

What happens if you eat junk food all the time?

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that junk food is not good for your health, especially in the long term.

Junk food is highly processed, which means feeding your body only junk food can mean it misses out on beneficial nutrients. Instead, junk food gives your body sugars, trans fats and sodium — to name a few. Eating junk food all the time means you may find yourself dealing with breakouts, bloating and constipation. You may be more prone to dehydration and more frequent bad moods, as well as weight gain.

Eating junk food late at night can also make it hard on your digestive system, so you may find it really hard to get up and get moving the next day.

None of these effects of eating junk food sound like a lot of fun, right? Keep reading to find out how to stop eating junk food and to start enjoying healthy, delicious meals!

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Sometimes, when the day isn’t going your way, you may dream of dinner from a fast food restaurant, a snack out of a vending machine or a quick pre-packaged meal from the local grocery store. While these items may be quick and easy, and maybe even low in calories, they’re all processed foods and are not the healthiest options for your diet. While almost every food we eat has some degree of processing, eliminating those foods that consist mainly of artificial or highly processed ingredients will go a long way toward improving your health.

Here are five reasons you should avoid highly processed junk foods.

Nitrates: Processed foods contain a large amount of nitrates. Nitrates are used mostly in meats like cold cuts to keep them from growing bacteria or losing aesthetic appeal. In the 1970’s, the USDA attempted to ban nitrates. Some organizations, like the Organic Consumer’s Association, site studies that show increased occurrences of cancer in those who consume too many nitrate-containing meats.

Fat: Most processed food contains a lot of fat. This is generally saturated fat, which can increase LDL cholesterol.

Sugar: Processed foods are also generally high in sugars, which can make them very high in calories.

Salt: Salt (or sodium) is used as a preservative in foods and can increase blood pressure and cause bloating.

Vitamins: Processed foods are not known for their healthfulness and many are bereft of vitamins.

The Worst Offenders

  • Pre-packaged snack foods such as corn snacks and chips
  • Convenience packed single serve microwave items such as ravioli
  • Most canned foods because of their high salt content
  • Refined white flower used in breads and baked goods
  • Frozen dinners
  • Pre-packaged school lunches
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Canned and packaged meats

Get Rid of Eating Junk Food with These 10 Tips

In this article, I would be talking about the foodie in most of us. Hunger, Cravings are one of the greatest reasons, due to which we cannot give up junk foods. If you are trying not to eat junk, you end up consuming a thousand calories. So, for all those who often experience the above feelings, listed below are some suggestions for you:-

Tips for Quitting Junk Food

1 # Always try to have meals at regular intervals, as this would keep your stomach to be full and prevent cravings.

2 # You can keep a small box of nuts with you whenever you go outside, it will help you not to go for junk foods and this is perfect for small hunger plus it is healthy.

3 # Fix one or maybe two days in the month when you have the right to eat junk food. This would keep you motivated on all the other days to stay away from junk food.

4 # You can keep roasted grounded, jaggery, sweet corn near you as these are some of the most nutritious food and will keep your craving in control. It’s also easy to carry and store food products.

5 # This one is a little tough but most effective – completely eradicate all sorts of junk food and ready to throw all packed food full of preservatives from your home. It would be a little difficult in the beginning but later on, you would become used to it.

6 # Monitor your diet: The day you start monitoring your diet, you would automatically become conscious about the stuff you are taking in. This is will help you to maintain your weight and personality.

7 # Chew your food properly: You must chew your food 32 times (as many teeth you have) for proper digestion. Proper digestion helps in the absorption of maximum nutrients from food, yielding more energy from the same portion of food than before. Hence, this would reduce food cravings.

8 # Drink plenty of water: Water will keep your full stomach full and will control your hungry. In staring you will use the washroom more often but slowly your body will accept it. Drinking enough water will always keep you away from dehydration and give you glowing skin.

9 # Add more fruits in your diet: Whenever you start feeling hunger or feel craving for junk food, try to replace it with fruits. Eat fruits which you live the most but in limit quantity. Don’t eat fruits that contain high sugar in it like Mangoes.

10 # Avoid Stress & Angry: You must have heard that many people trends to eat more when they are upset. Stress and Angry will suddenly increase your craving for junk food. People start eating chocolates, pastries, cookies & coke, etc to avoid stress.

Written By Saanvi Singh, Age 15 years

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  • Resist And Bite chords by Sabaton

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    • Capo on 2nd

    2 Capo 2 Intro: A minorAm FF G MajorG (2x) A minorAm War is coming swiftly, FF G MajorG The border’s closing in A minorAm We’re a company of soldiers, FF G MajorG Mere forty, right and strong! A minorAm FF G MajorG All alone! A minorAm FF G MajorG Stand alone! A minorAm Ardenner ground is burning, FF G MajorG And Rommel is at hand A minorAm As the Blitzkrieg’s pushing harder, FF G MajorG The war is all around! A minorAm FF G MajorG All around! A minorAm FF G MajorG Hold your ground! DmDm Fight for eighteen days of battles, C majorC G MajorG No odds are on our side DmDm C majorC E MajorE Few will fight for all, until the bullets are gone A minorAm FF E MajorE We, we will resist and bite! A minorAm FF G MajorG Fight hard, ’cause we are all in sight! A minorAm FF E MajorE We, we take up arms and fight! A minorAm FF G MajorG Fight hard, resist and do what’s right! A minorAm FF G MajorG x2 A minorAm No matter how we’re fighting, FF G MajorG Their numbers will still count A minorAm We’re outgunned and few in numbers, FF G MajorG We’re doomed to flag and fail! A minorAm FF G MajorG We fought hard! A minorAm FF G MajorG Held our guard! A minorAm But when captured by the Axis, FF G MajorG And forced to tell the truth A minorAm We will tell them with a smile, FF G MajorG We’ll surprise them with a laugh! A minorAm FF G MajorG We are all! A minorAm FF G MajorG We were all! DmDm We were told to hold the border, C majorC G MajorG And that is what we did DmDm C majorC E MajorE Honored war and order seem to spite of our foe A minorAm FF E MajorE We, we will resist and bite! A minorAm FF G MajorG Fight hard, ’cause we are all in sight! A minorAm FF E MajorE We, we take up arms and fight! A minorAm FF G MajorG Fight hard, resist and do what’s right! A minorAm FF G MajorG Gloria fortis miles, the Wermacht’s closing in! A minorAm FF E MajorE Adversor et admorsus, the war against the Eagle! A minorAm FF G MajorG Gloria fortis miles, the Wermacht’s closing in! A minorAm FF E MajorE Adversor et admorsus, the war against the Eagle! Solo A minorAm FF E MajorE A minorAm FF G MajorG x2 A minorAm FF E MajorE We, we will resist and bite! A minorAm FF G MajorG Fight hard, ’cause we are all in sight! A minorAm FF E MajorE We, we take up arms and fight! A minorAm FF G MajorG Fight hard, resist and do what’s right!

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    How to Resist Food Cravings—and When It’s Okay to Give In

    Hollie Fernando/Getty Images

    We’ve all been there: You start your day off right with a healthy breakfast of Greek yogurt, fruit, almonds, and a conviction that you will eat healthy all day. Lunch is grilled fish and a salad and you feel like you’re ready to tackle J.Lo’s no-sugar, no-carb cleanse. But then the afternoon slump hits and you figure you ate well all day, what can a little handful of M&Ms really do? By dinner you’re ravenous and down half a loaf of French bread while the spaghetti cooks. Bedtime finds you zoning out in front of the TV with a pint of ice cream instead of hitting the sack early. When you finally stumble into bed too late and too tired, you resolve to do better tomorrow. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    You’re not crazy if you feel like you’re having an internal battle over whether you should or shouldn’t get into your emergency Oreo stash. “We’re at our most creative when we’re trying to justify giving in to a craving,” says David Colbert, M.D., a coauthor of The High School Reunion Diet.

    And cravings seem to hit harder as the day goes on. According to a survey conducted by now-defunct Massive Health (a daily food intake tracking app), people all over the world have trouble figuring how to resist food cravings—especially when the sun goes down. (A new study has the verdict: Is it truly that bad to eat late at night?)

    “There is a 1.7 percent overall decrease in healthiness of what’s eaten for every hour of the day that passes after breakfast,” says Aza Raskin, Massive Health founder. “That’s as true in Tokyo as it is in San Francisco as it is in São Paulo. It teaches us something fundamental about the way people make decisions about food—and decisions in general.”

    Luckily, scientists now know more than ever about using our powers of persuasion for good, not evil, any hour of the day. Here’s how to resist food that’s not so great for your health goals. (But before you go any further, read: Why We Need to Stop Thinking of Foods as ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’)

    How to Stop Food Cravings

    Try these six strategies to reframe your mindset, build healthier habits, and learn how to resist food cravings—without depriving yourself.

    Old Excuse: “If I deprive myself now, I’ll just eat more later.”

    New Mantra: “I’m making a choice, not a sacrifice.”

    We tend to want what we can’t have. But when it comes to cravings, not getting what you want can dampen your desire. “Studies show that we crave what we eat,” says Stephanie Middleberg, R.D., a dietitian in New York City. “So if you eat good-for-you foods, you’ll start wanting them instead of cookies and cake.” The key is getting your mind on board as you figure out how to resist food cravings until your body can take over. (Related: How One Woman Finally Curbed Her Sugar Cravings)

    How to resist food cravings strategy: Reframe the story. “Depriving yourself is about resisting, and resistance is difficult. Choosing whether to eat something, on the other hand, is empowering,” says Michelle May, M.D., the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. So instead of trying to will your way through how to stop food cravings, put them on the back burner until you’ve fit in a workout or finished dinner. “That way you can indulge, but in your own time and on your own terms,” says Keri Gans, R.D., the author of The Small Change Diet.

    The tactic may also help you eat less: Research has found that people who were told to put off eating chocolate consumed less than those who were told to eat it immediately. The researchers believe that when you wait to indulge, you’re probably in less of an impulsive mindset and in more of a reflective, ready-to-savor one. (P.S. Here’s what science says about how many cheat meals you should have per week.)

    Old Excuse: “I deserve a treat after the kind of day I’ve had.”

    New Mantra: “I deserve kindness, not calories.”

    Sure, satisfying a craving can give you a quick hit of the pleasure hormone dopamine (and if you’re doing it with carbs, a rush of calming serotonin too). But research shows that chocolate’s comforting effect lasts only three minutes. And once the high passes, you’re left with the same frustrations as before. (Good news: Dark chocolate might combat coughs, according to a new study!)

    How to resist food cravings strategy: Verbalize what’s making you feel lousy. While emotional eating can add to your woes by pushing up your pants size, “pinpointing your problems is the first step to resolving them,” says Jean Fain, a psychotherapist and the author of The Self-Compassion Diet. Give yourself a few minutes to write about a problem in an email, then read what you’ve written and delete the draft. Research says that virtually throwing away your woes makes it easier to let them go in real life.

    If you still can’t stop thinking about what went wrong, do something soothing that doesn’t involve consuming calories, like taking a walk. Or snuggle with a pet or a loved one, a proven way to make stress hormones plummet and the feel-good chemical oxytocin spike. (Or even just think about them—that works, too!) Whatever you do, don’t get hung up on the past: A study from Wake Forest University found that dieters who didn’t beat themselves up over a perceived failure ate less candy than those who were self-critical. (Related: Should You Really Hate on Processed Foods?)

    Old Excuse: “It’s a special occasion.”

    New Mantra: “Special doesn’t mean stuffed.”

    “It would be crazy to pass up a piece of your own birthday cake,” says Gans. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat a ginormous slice—or two.

    How to resist food cravings strategy: The satisfaction you get from any one food often drops off with every bite, and research shows that small portions can be as satisfying as large ones. So if the situation merits a calorie-packed treat, try eating just a few forkfuls, and give them your full attention: Focusing on what you’re eating helps you consume fewer calories later on. (This is the whole idea behind why mindful eating helps you figure out how to stop food cravings.)

    And remember that you’ll have a lot more fun if you feel sated, not stuffed. “You want to experience what’s happening to the fullest, and being in a food coma makes that difficult,” Fain says.

    Old Excuse: “I need to listen to my body, and it wants ice cream.”

    New Mantra: “What I want isn’t necessarily what I need.”

    Think of your body as if it were a baby monitor: You should pay close attention to it, but you don’t have to stop what you’re doing each time it rumbles. “While hunger is your body telling you that you need to eat, cravings are a suggestion, not an order,” says Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and the author of Eat.Q.

    How to resist food cravings strategy: Start by determining whether you’re actually hungry. Aside from the obvious symptoms like fatigue and irritability, pickiness is also a good indicator of appetite. The less you care about eating a specific food and the more you just want to eat something, the likelier it is that you don’t have just a hankering.

    If it’s only a craving (for example, you would kill for a cookie but could easily pass on an apple), make yourself a cup of jasmine green tea and take a big whiff of it before you sip. In recent studies, women who smelled jasmine were able to significantly reduce their chocolate cravings. Or use your imagination: Other research has shown that visualizing yourself eating your favorite food can tamp down your desire for it by tricking your brain into thinking you’ve already indulged.

    Old Excuse: “I’ve been really good lately.”

    New Mantra: “I’ve been feeling really good lately, and I want to keep it that way.”

    “When you use food as a prize, you risk sabotaging your motivation by signaling to yourself that you’ve reached an endpoint; you got the medal, so the race is over,” Albers says. “This can be an open invitation to revert to unhealthy behaviors.” (BTW, how you reward yourself for working out majorly affects your motivation.)

    How to resist food cravings strategy: Rather than rewarding yourself for a job well done, focus on how eating healthfully has already paid off (aka non-scale victories). Do you have more energy? Do your clothes fit better? Then take a moment to let the emotions that come with that benefit sink in. Why? In the same way you can get addicted to the endorphins your body releases when you work up a sweat, “you can get hooked on the feeling of pride or progress, which makes you want to continue down a healthy path,” Dr. Colbert says.

    Old Excuse: “If they can eat a brownie sundae, so can I.”

    New Mantra: “I need to eat what’s right for me.”

    Everyone has a thin friend or coworker who seems to live on junk food and lots of it. And because studies have found that women tend to eat more when they’re together, you probably want what she’s having every time you two go out to lunch. (Related: How to Eat Healthy While Dining Out)

    “Imitating other people, or ‘social modeling,’ is how we learn to navigate the world almost from the time we’re born, and it’s a hard habit to break,” says Sonali Sharma, M.D., a psychiatrist in New York City. But as tempting as it is to imagine that your friend has discovered some kind of fifth dimension for dieters, whatever is going on with her probably doesn’t translate. “Maybe she has a fast metabolism or spends hours in the gym every day,” Dr. Sharma explains.

    How to resist food cravings strategy: Having a healthy role model can play a key part in helping you stick to your diet and exercise plan. So think of someone, whether it’s a celebrity or a friend, whose eating habits you aspire to. (Skip the pin-thin actress who subsists on diet soda alone and instead choose a woman who has professed her love for pizza but limits herself to two slices.) Then, rather than matching Ms. Sky-High Metabolism bite for bite, think, What would my health hero (say, these badass females recognized by Nike) do? and act accordingly.

    • By Sara Reistad-Long and Charlotte Hilton Andersen

    Long-Term Strategies

    Follow a regular meal plan. “The most important thing to do is to get on a regular pattern of eating,” says Doug Bunnell, PhD, former president of the National Eating Disorders Association. Dietary restriction and under-eating — often in an attempt to lose weight or “make up for” a binge — drive people to feel hungry, then overeat or binge, he says.

    Focus on health, not weight. The desire to lose weight can actually keep someone stuck in a bingeing cycle, Bunnell says. Focus on overall fitness and health rather than pounds.

    Learn your triggers. “For me, a binge never really began with the first compulsive bite, but much earlier. It began with my not taking care of myself in some other way,” says Jenni Schaefer, co-author of Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem?

    Learn what feelings, moods, interactions, and relationships drive your urge to binge, Bunnell says. A therapist can help you ID your triggers. Once you do, “you want to reframe the problem from being one of ‘I’m hungry’ to one of ‘I’m feeling ignored or unimportant’ or whatever it might be, and line up the solutions for that.”

    Remove temptation. “Don’t keep foods that you like to binge on,” advises Leslie Anderson, PhD, training director at the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research at University of California, San Diego.

    Look for other ways to feel good. People with binge-eating disorder often have underlying depression, Bunnell says. He suggests seeking out non-food sources of pleasure. For example, try something you enjoyed as a kid — perhaps an art class. And get more physical activity. “It’s actually one of the most powerful treatments we have for improving mood, and that’s often a critical part of helping people manage the binge eating,” Bunnell says.

    Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food? Here’s Why

    Top tips to reduce junk food cravings

    1) Break the habit

    In the TED talk mentioned above, Judson Brewer explains that the best way to break a habit, like junk food eating, is to become aware of what is happening in your mind and body when we crave.

    Rather than trying to ignore your cravings, try getting curious and recognising how you feel when you crave or eat a particular food. Understanding what happens when we eat junk food helps us to step back and become less interested in this habit.

    Next time you have a craving for some junk food, getting curious about what’s happening (‘am I feeling sad, stressed, or hungry?’) will help you let the craving go. Then, repeating this process enough will help you break the habit of feeling compelled to eat from cravings. Consider finding other avenues for emotional release if you notice that you crave junk food when you are stressed or sad. Walking, music, or writing in a journal can all be great stress busters.

    2) Eat junk food mindfully

    Mindful eating can help us break habits while still enjoying junk food occasionally. This involves focusing solely on the taste and texture of the food you are eating and any sensations you feel in that present moment.

    Occasionally consuming junk food is part of life. The key is to eat it free from distractions (e.g. not in front of the tv or at your desk at work) and enjoy it so that you feel satisfied without overeating it. Eating mindfully can help us tune into our internal hunger signals and prevent them from being overridden.

    3) Build balanced meals

    Building balanced meals can help us feel satisfied and reduce the risk of junk food cravings in between meals. Opt for:

    Here is an example 7-day diet plan that is satisfying and focuses on balanced, healthy meals.

    4) Be aware of bliss-point foods

    Try to be aware of unexpected foods that we use every day (e.g. tomato sauce) which has also been engineered to have a bliss-point. Real food doesn’t need fussy engineering and fancy packaging to taste great. Try experimenting with making your food to replace shop bought ones with added sugars and salts.

    For instance, you can easily make your tomato sauce using chopped tinned tomatoes, herbs, and garlic. Eating real food will not override hunger signals, nor overstimulate brain-reward systems, and still tastes delicious.

    5) Sleep

    Sleep is often overlooked when we discuss junk food cravings. However, research has demonstrated that the more sleep deprived we are, the more hungry we feel. On top of this, when we are tired we are much more likely to crave and eat energy dense, sugar, and fat filled junk foods as opposed to healthy snacks. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep, compared to 6-7 hours, can massively reduce the risk of junk food cravings.

    Key points:

    • Being curious and mindful of what happens when we crave junk food, and how we feel when we eat it, can help us break the habit of craving.
    • Recognising bliss-point foods and building balanced meals can reduce the number of cravings we have for junk foods.
    • A lack of sleep increases our hunger levels and influences our food choices.

    Why we really can’t stop eating junk food

    This story first appeared on news.com.au, published here with permission.

    Whatever your choice of snack food is, chances are you know you would be better off without the extra fat, sugars and calories. Yet, in Australia we eat a lot of junk or “discretionary foods”. Now, new research from Benjamin Schuz from the University of Tasmania has looked at why we find it hard to stop eating.

    Published in the eating behaviour journal Appetite, the study investigated the factors that specifically influenced the eating and drinking habits of 50 adults. Their moods, social behaviour and eating prompts were tracked across a 10 day period.

    When it came to both eating meals and snacks, the results were clear.

    FOOD AVAILABILITY

    When food is available, we will eat it. Forget willpower — the mere presence of food means we are highly likely to eat it.

    This means if you buy the food, even if it is only for guests or for special occasions, or have a biscuit tin or lolly jar or fundraising chocolate box at work, you are significantly more likely to eat whether you are hungry or not.

    If you really don’t want to eat it, do not buy it. Keep food out of sight in any environment you spend a lot of time in.

    SEEING OTHERS EAT

    It appears that seeing others eat, whether you are hungry or not, immediately gives us permission to eat too. This behaviour is commonly observed at food courts and airports when a significant number of people are eating at any point in time, whether it is a meal time or not. This finding confirms that of the Framingham Heart Study, which in a 30 year analysis found that we basically become like the people we spend our time with. When it comes to overeating and weight gain, this finding suggests that the more those around us eat, the more we will eat and as such the healthier the environments in which we spend our time, the healthier we are likely to be. For most of us this means we need both our homes and our workplaces to be as healthy as possible if we are to control our weight.

    NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

    Although not as powerful as having food available, or seeing others eat, indeed feeling sad, depressed or just down is enough to drive eating behaviour, particularly when it comes to snacking. For those of us who eat to self soothe, keep in mind that this is often learnt behaviour, taught to us as children or via media channels when we are encouraged us to eat certain foods to feel better; or to buy a packet of Tim Tams when we are watching TV alone at home. As such, the only way to control emotional overeating is to identify when we are feeling sad or down and learn to self soothe in other ways, or if you must eat, choose portion controlled treats.

    KEEPING BUSY

    Not surprisingly one key factor found to help control food intake was the simple act of keeping busy.

    Engaging in activities other than eating was a key factor that resulted in both fewer meals and snacks being consumed. This is also likely to somewhat explain why we eat more at night when we are sitting at home, perhaps not overly engaged. It also suggests that keeping busy, without tempting food stimulus is a key factor in managing our food intake on a daily basis.

    BEING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY

    In contrast to the observation that saw study participants eat more when others were eating, in this study being around friends and family actually significantly decreased the consumption of snacks.

    This finding suggests again that simply being engaged with others appears enough to limit our intake of extra foods and control our eating when we are enjoying meals. For this reason seeking out the company of others when we are due for a snack or a meal appears to be another simple way to help control the amount of food we consume.

    Good: Empower Yourself

    Knowledge is power — and in the case of junk food, it can also be downright scary. While grocery aisles may seem fairly benign, they’re actually packed with misinformation and techniques employed by manufacturers to lure consumers into making unhealthy purchases. “They are doing everything they can to get you to make a spontaneous decision,” explains Michael Moss, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times and author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. “Typically, in the middle part of the aisle on eye level is where they put the most alluring foods,” Moss says, of items like high-sugar cereals and salt-laden chips. The healthier alternatives, such as whole-grain cereal, are often located near your ankles or way up high. Another issue? Many consumers take it for granted that labels and packaging tell the whole truth, when in reality, misleading nutritional claims (think: “low-fat,” “all-natural,” “added calcium”) are often made. “This is where they’re going after you to distract you positive messages, in hopes that you’re not going to turn the package over and look at the fine print,” says Moss. And we’re not just talking about cookies and candy here, either: “Wholesome” items like bread and pasta sauces are frequently infused with a ton of added sugar. So do your homework and be a discerning shopper. You might (read: likely will) be shocked by what you find.

    How to stay away from junk food?

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