If you ask people to make a list of junk (unhealthy) food, the following items will definitely be mentioned: cookies, chips, fries, burgers and candy. But what do these foods have in common and why are they unhealthy. You’ll read the answer to those questions in this article.

What Is Junk Food?

Food is being considered unhealthy if it contains relatively few healthy nutrients such as minerals and vitamins while containing a lot of unhealthy nutrients such as trans fats, saturated fats, salt and sugar. Most unhealthy foods belong in the “ready-to-eat” category (junk food). These are products that have been produced in a factory, so you can eat them right away.

Characteristics Of Junk Food

Food is being considered unhealthy when it complies with 1 or 2 of the following characteristics:

Many unhealthy foods can be divided into the group of “empty calories”. These foods provide the body with a lot of energy, but very little useful nutrients. This applies to almost all fried snacks and sweets, but also for example white bread.

  • The food contains little fiber

These foods are the refined grain products; almost all processed foods such as cookies and bread.

  • The food is harmful to the body

Products that include trans fats are very harmful to the body. These foods include margarine and fried foods.

Junk food is almost always produced and processed in a factory. If you want to eat healthy, you need to return to the origin of food and cook it yourself.

If you want to cut down on junk food, you can remove the following factory-processed foods from your diet:

  • Gravys from a jar, tube or pouch.
  • Ready-made meals such as pizzas, lasagnas and other oven or microwave meals.
  • Unhealthy snacks such as fried foods and chips. (opt for healthy snacks)
  • Cookies, sweets and pastries. (opt for fruit, nuts or dark chocolate)
  • Processed meats such as ham, hot dogs and other sausages.
  • Soda and fruit juice. (opt for water and tea/coffee)

If you’re able to remove these products from your diet, it will be much easier to lose weight. You’re allowed to sin every once in a while, but try to eat healthy for at least 80% of the time. Junk food is really unhealthy when you’re eating too much of it too many times.

The Side-Effects Of Junk Food

The consumption of junk food changes the brain activity in the same way as addictive drugs. After many weeks of being on a junk food diet, the pleasure centers of your brains are disrupted, so you need to eat more and more junk food to feel good.

This effect forms the basis for a food addiction. Fortunately, only a relatively small part of the population actually becomes addicted to junk food. But even if you aren’t addicted to junk food, it can still be detrimental to your health.

junk food

Unhealthy diets play a big role in the life expectancy and health of people. In the USA, it’s assumed that 1/3 of all cancer is being caused by junk food. But there’s more to it… the consumption of excessive amounts of junk food can also be linked to:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart and vascular disease
  • High bloodpressure
  • Unhealthy Diets & Hunger

There are scientific theories that claim that people who are on a diet that lacks healthy nutrients get more hungry. Many people will recognize it: after having a meal with a relatively low nutritional value, you often get hungry again quickly.

So the best way to prevent hunger is by simply eating healthy and avoiding junk food. Below are a couple of tips that will help you avoid junk food.

Tips To Avoid Junk Food

  • Plan every meal and snack and use your planning to go shopping.
  • Home-cook as much as possible and try to avoid cooking with processed foods.
  • Don’t buy ready-made pasta and rice dishes, but learn to cook these dishes yourself. There hundreds of recipes online.
  • Try to steam, cook or grill your food instead of baking and frying.
  • Don’t use salad dressings in jars or tubes, but use olive oil and balsamic.
  • Prepare your lunch the evening before, so that you’re ready to go in the morning.
  • Opt for fruit or dark chocolate for dessert.
  • Ask for a salad or soup instead of fries or baked potatoes in a restaurant.