Junk Food – STOP!
When I first started writing this article I was going to combine the topic of overeating and junk foods together. But because these are two pretty huge problems, so I decided to make this a two part article. This article will focus on Junk Food. What they are, why we can’t avoid them, and why they are so bad for us. In the next article, I’ll get into overeating. Some of you may be overeating but it isn’t necessarily with junk food so it’s important to attack each problem face on.
(Side note…if you haven’t already done so you should definitely sign up for the Free 5 day course to weight loss. The sign up box is to the right. Some of you may think that you don’t need this course, but it is a great way to really become consciously aware of the fundamentals that even athletes should keep in mind when they wake up in the morning).
Ok so what is junk food?
Well you probably have heard many different types of definitions for junk food, but let’s make it very simple. Junk food is pretty much any food that provides little nutritional value compared to the calorie intake. But what is meant by nutritional value? You could argue that chocolate bars have nutritional value because they provide your body with energy. However, the problem with most chocolate bars is that they also include a ton of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavours and colors, and fat that lines our stomach the moment we consume them!
What are some of the most common junk foods (I hope this is obvious to most of you already):
- Fast foods from all the big chains (just stay away from them period.)
- Candy bars (almost anything you can buy in a seven eleven)
- Ice cream (this includes even most low fat, low sugar varieties)
- Chips, microwave or movie theatre popcorn, nuts that have been processed (my weakness!)
- Delivery pizza, frozen pizza, fast food pizza (extremely high fat and carb content)
Why can’t we avoid them?
There are so many reasons behind why we can’t avoid junk food, but let’s simplify it again as much as we can.
Firstly, they taste great. Manufactures of junk foods will put together whatever ingredients they can find to make their product taste the best it possibly can. Millions of dollars are spent on testing these products and seeing how much people like them. I’ll get to what this means for our health as a consumer in a second, but in relation to the millions spent on testing these products, manufacturers of junk foods also spend millions and nowadays hundreds of millions on advertising these to us.
The brilliant thing about their advertising is that they really are throwing a blanket on us that tricks our minds to believe that even those healthy actors in commercials or ads are also eating these junk foods on a regular basis. There is a major disconnect here with the actual truth. Let’s just say this. I bet you we would think twice about these junk foods if they showed obese people eating these same junk foods! Think about that for a minute.
You may laugh, or you may think it’s not funny but if you have ever had a pet, would you be ok with feeding them any of these junk foods on a regular basis? No right? So why would it be ok to put this same junk into your own body? Ok, I know this is quite extreme, but we need to have a shift in our thinking and this is the best way I know how to make this point. Let me take it to the next step and see where the evil lies behind junk food.
Why are they so bad for us?
What junk foods don’t contain are essential vitamins, minerals and healthy amounts of fibre, protein and complex carbs (slow to be absorbed by our bodies). These are all the things that will keep us lean and fit. Again, this is a fact, there is not debate! Foods that are high in nutritional value include fruits, vegetables, lean meats and dairy products, whole grain breads and pastas, and beans and legumes.
Ok, so remember when I was talking about manufacturers making the best tasting junk foods possible irrespective of us as consumers? Well because there is also another factor to their madness. They also make sure to take into consideration how cheap they can produce these foods. That is why high fructose corn syrup was born. It is a very cheap and easy to produce sugar that is extremely sweet.
With all this in mind, junk foods have all the necessary ingredients that give us almost all the ailments we try to avoid. This includes obesity (or just being a little overweight), coronary heart problems, cancer, degenerative diseases such as loss of eye sight and hearing, weakened immune system, lower sex drive….and the list goes on and on. In pure honesty, it doesn’t get any worse than this. It really doesn’t when it comes to what we voluntarily put into our bodies.
We have a choice here and need to consciously make an effort to avoid junk foods as much as possible. If you think that’s impossible then I’m not going to sugar coat it for you, but you are simply being lazy. Think of all the benefits you will gain right away with getting rid of that unwanted fat around your midsection and being proud that you were smart enough to be aware and avoid junk foods.
This was somewhat of a harsh article, but I hope you see that my intentions are good, taking this article to heart will be good for your heart, and as a result you will be happier.
Please leave your comments on this article below. I really want to hear what you think about all of this as it was a very interesting journey for me to write it. And stay tuned to the next one where I help you find ways to stop the urges of junk foods and overeating.