Why To Choose Healthy Food Over Junk Food?

choose healthy food over junk food

Ask any youngster what their preferred food is; most answers would be burgers, pizzas, cakes, ice creams, or other similar food. Nowadays, not only youngsters, you find many working couples ordering such junk food at least once daily due to lack of time to prepare food at home. But there are a lot of reasons to choose healthy food over junk food, one of them being their positive effects on our physical and mental health.

Junk food is ridiculously tasty, and you will want to ignore its negative impact on health to have a few bites. 

What is your favorite food? We bet it is something that is debatably unhealthy. In this article, learn about healthy and unhealthy food, their differences, the negative effect of junk food, and what its alternatives are. You will understand why you should prefer nutritious, healthy food over tastier junk food.

What is healthy food?

When we say healthy, we look at unprocessed food that provides the nutrients you need to sustain your body’s wellbeing and retain energy. Any food with water, carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals in its composition makes up a healthy, balanced diet.

What is junk food?

Most of the tasty, quick-to-make “fast foods” are junk food. They are delicious and can say a preferred food solution because of their easy availability. They are processed food, made with lots of saturated fats, and are low in nutritional value. Junk food is full of artificial flavors and chemical compounds to get the taste that people love. 

More about junk food and healthy food

Healthy food is a substance that provides nutritional support and helps you live healthily. People have different food preferences and tastes. Some lay their liking for a vegetarian diet consisting of grams, pulses, millets, vegetables, fruits, healthy fat, and protein-rich food like legumes, nuts, seeds, etc. Others prefer non-vegetarian food, including meat, chicken, fish, eggs, seafood, and dairy products. Both types of food are healthy and provide the required nutrients your body needs and help in various ways, including

  • boosts your immune system, 
  • strengthens the bones, 
  • helps the functioning of the body, including the digestive system, 
  • keeps all organs functioning, 
  • lowers the risk of diseases, 
  • support muscles and promote overall growth.

Why is some food junk?

Junk food includes all those food that have an extra quantity of calories, fats, and sugar and are low in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The human body requires the opposite. What we call healthy is rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins and low in sugar, fats, and calories. 

Food like cakes, biscuits, processed meat, packaged foods, snacks, sweets, chocolates, and carbonated and alcoholic drinks are some of the products that come under the category of junk food. This is so because they do not help your body gain energy or boost your health. Yet people prefer to eat junk food, which comes with more sugar, salt, and fat, making it tastier and yummy.  

Junk food is cheaper and available quickly, while some unprocessed food can be expensive and beyond the commoner’s reach. It is also far tastier than the unprocessed food, which is insipid.

Benefits of healthy food:

1. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which keeps your stomach full for longer as it releases energy slowly. It keeps you from overeating.

2. High-fiber foods also keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy, thus controlling your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

3. Fruits and fresh vegetables have nutrients and antioxidants that control your hormones and are accountable for mental health. 

4. Foods rich in Omega-3 fats hold all the nutrients intact and improve your brain health and mental wellbeing.

5. Nuts and lean meat are rich in proteins that can improve your brain functioning and sharpness. 

6. Healthy food is unprocessed, low in calories, and rich in nutrients, providing your body with what it needs. It can help you control obesity. If you are overweight, consult a dietician and follow a high-fiber diet.

Foods and drinks that you must avoid:

Soft drinks: soft drinks with high sugar content could cause type 2 diabetes, obesity, and dental erosion. Obesity is on the rise among children because of their consuming ice creams and soft drinks. You are only adding calories that are of no use to your body. So, avoid or consume minimal sugary beverages.

Burgers:  Burgers are high in cholesterol, saturated fat, sodium, and salts, which can increase blood pressure and also lead to stroke and kidney diseases.

French fries: French fries and potato chips have more trans-fat and salt and are high in calories too. 

Pizzas: One of the favorite junk foods for many around the globe is pizzas which are full of unhealthy ingredients and calories. Pizzas can cause weight gain, heart problems, and obesity.

Pastries: Another popular junk item in the baked food are the pastries for many. These are sweet and tasty but contain many preservatives and no essential nutrients.

In addition, sandwiches, white bread, low-fat yogurt, high-calorie coffee, ice creams, most fruit juices, processed meat, and whole cream cheese are on the must-avoid list. Instead of risking your health, you should look for alternatives to junk food and choose healthy food over them.

Whenever you crave for such junk food, opt for healthy options. You will find a few choices here

How to differentiate between junk food and healthy food

choose healthy food over junk food

Now that you know the basics of healthy and unhealthy food, let’s clarify a few aspects of a few things. Healthy food offers fats and nutrients that are vital for your body and give your body the strength and the capacity to fight against various diseases. But junk food is processed and made with extra of all the wrong things ( sugar, fat, and calories) that are harmful to your health. 

So, if you’re looking to give your food habits a thorough look, you should keep these points in mind.

1. The difference in the quality of the oil

There are wide varieties of cooking oils on the market. You might be aware that the oil used in preparation makes a huge difference between healthy and unhealthy foods? When cooking at home, you will carefully select the best, but how can you be sure what oil the food manufacturers use. They do not mention the brand name on the package. How can you differentiate healthy oil and unhealthy oil? The difference lies in the amount of saturated fat. Healthy oil has high percentages of unsaturated oil, while harmful oil comes with more saturated oil. 

2. Nutrient value of the food

The human body requires protein, fat, vitamins, potassium, and calcium macronutrients. Healthy food like leafy vegetables, dairy products, fruits, eggs, nuts, fish, and legumes are rich in these nutrients. On the other hand, junk food is full of fat and calories that are useless to the body. Also, people who consume junk foods frequently may have nutritional deficiencies.

3. Healthy food means using unrefined food

When you refine some of the food products, the oils will likely lose many enzymes, vitamins, and fibers. As mentioned, refined food becomes unhealthy to some extent without nutrients. The vegetable oils are good to an extent if you consume them in limited quantities. Most junk food companies use hydrogenated oil to increase their shelf life and add to their unhealthiness. Learn more about hydrogenated oil. When you consume food made from processed oil, it can have disastrous long-term effects on the body.

4.  Are you getting your required quota of nutrients?

Billions of people worldwide have nutrient deficiencies and are prey to different diseases. It is essential to have a diet that includes the right amount of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, water, and minerals. However, it is sad that many people consume more junk food not for its taste but out of necessity as it is cheap and readily available.  

Check out and choose these healthy alternatives to junk food

  • Kale chips instead of potato chips
  • Replace French fries with baked veggie fries 
  • Say no to ice cream and Yes to Yogurt Fruit Pops 
  • Have Power balls instead of donuts
  • Prefer black bean brownies instead of cakes
  • Have homemade smoothies instead of milkshakes
  • Avoid candy and have chocolate-dipped nuts
  • Enjoy crust-free pizza with the dough
  • Fruity water instead of soda
  • Have leaner and greener burgers without the cheese
  • Have burrito bowls rather than burritos. 

5. Why you need antioxidants in your diet?

Antioxidants defend your body from free radicals that cause cancer. Almost all vegetables, fruits, and beans are rich sources of antioxidants which is not the case with junk food.

Conclusion

Any food rich in sugar and fat can be addictive and one must consciously try to choose healthy over junk. You crave more for such food, and many people tend to look for excuses to consume them. They lose their determination to control and become victims of different ailments. 

A watchful diet with a balance of nutrients is vital for overall wellness. By now, it should be evident in the above article why healthy eating is necessary and why you must cut down on junk food. Now that you also have healthy alternatives ready, it will need a little effort and discipline to get over the craving for junk food. 

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