The space that junk food occupies in our daily lives is amazing. About 35 percent of our daily calories come from junk food. In case of children, that figures increases to 41 percent.
Whenever someone mentions junk food, the first thing that comes to our mind is that it’s devastating for health. But, there is good news for junk food lovers as there are some good and healthy junk foods as well. Let’s see below what I mean by that!
The reason junk foods are named unhealthy is that they have an unhealthy amount of salts in these plus sugar and fats and insufficient nutrients, but they satisfy your hunger well. This is precisely the reason, these are also called empty calories. But, let’s get one thing straight; fast food and junk food are NOT the same things! It is possible to have fast food that is healthy as well.
For example, you have a plate filled with your favorite cheeseburger, fries, and a large coke. Mouthwatering, but it isn’t healthy at all! This plate has a dense number of calories but with poor nutrition.
Still, I don’t think that this reason is enough to stop or at least decrease the rate of your junk food consumption. So, let’s read to find out what you want to know, shall we?
What is Considered Junk Food?
The common question is that people always want to know ?what junk food is to prevent themselves from eating that. Whenever a person is hungry after an hour of just having lunch, they often think of eating something light, a snack break.
But, what snack do they usually choose – fruits or chips and coke? Well, most people go for the latter as they prefer something crispy, something bubbly, but only a few choose fruits. And, you already know which one is the better choice.
These chips and sodas as our snacks have a special name from our parents known as junk food, and you probably don’t want to get an earful from them for getting caught eating these, right? But the question arises, why do they call it junk food when it is not made or recycled from the garbage or trash?
To answer that, I’ll tell you that in the late 1900s, people named these poor nutrients food as junk food as they were unhealthy for everyone, not just kids. But still, not every junk food is named or mentioned.
So, to know which is unhealthy or junk for your health, every food with low nutrients and high calories is considered junk food.
Junk foods are also processed, meaning they have artificial flavors to satisfy your taste buds and are highly addictive without the person knowing. Also, every packed or boxed food is said to be junk.
It also depends, as some people say pizza is bad for health as it contains fat and calories in high levels. But others argue that it is beneficial as it contains many vegetables, meat, nutrients, dairy, and grain flour.
What Makes a Healthy Junk Food
Our next question is: How do we define healthy junk food? Well, junk foods can be healthy as long as they have a rich amount of minerals, proteins, and fibers in them. Many junk foods are also a great source of vitamins B, B6, B2, and other nutrients and minerals. And all of these are needed by our body.
So, you are benefitting your body as well as getting happy by eating your favorite food. Why are these vitamins so important? Well, the answer is:
- Vit A: it is helpful as it lowers the risk of development of future health issues like prostate and lung cancer, and it also helps improve your skin.
- Vit B: Vitamin B2 and B6 are needed by our body to convert food into energy and also for metabolizing fats and proteins.
- Vit C: it is needed to boost our body’s self-defense mechanism to protect us from various diseases, cancers, and other issues like aches, etc.
- The nutrients are important for our body as they make us stronger and help to boost the functioning of various organs, depending on minerals intake.
So now you don’t have to worry about not eating your favorite good in the fear that it may be bad for your health. In reality, you are doing a favor to your body by giving it what it wants and eating what YOU want.
Complete Avoidance or Not of Junk Food
Should you completely give up junk food? Well, not necessary unless you have an allergic reaction to it or a medical problem. Nothing in the world can stop us from eating junk food, but we should try to minimize their intake and always try to opt for healthier options.
You should not even completely stop consuming your favorite junk food as they act like mood enhancers because you like these. They help you enjoy holidays, trips and get together. They also make you mentally and emotionally stable, so don’t give up on your happiness!
Some people have a binge-eating disorder, and it is advised for them that they should consult a dietitian or a health care center. So you can be treated immediately, and then you can go back to eating your junk food but in a moderate amount as advised by your dietitian.
But don’t eat the food that you are prohibited from as it can affect your health both physically and mentally.
Why is junk food bad?
As I said above, junk food contains dense calories but low nutrients levels. This leads to problems revolving around your health. You can get chronic diseases like heart diseases, obesity, nutrient deficiency, depression, diabetes, and many more if you do not control your intake.
Top 10 healthiest junk foods
When you are really craving for junk food and are in no mood to compromise on eating comfort food, then here is our list of 10 best healthy junk foods.
All right, this is great news for all chocolate lovers, especially females on their periods! But please, refrain from eating a ton of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is better than normal chocolate/white chocolate as it has less sugar and is richly packed with fibers and protein. So now you can happily eat dark chocolate without the fear of having a stomachache. I would say the best junk food ever! Thank you to whoever said that dark chocolate is healthy junk food!
Bonus: dark chocolate is more than 70% of cocoa, so always check whenever you go on a chocolate shopping spree!
Who said that popcorn is not healthy? Even though it is junk food, that doesn’t mean it isn’t healthy, right? Popcorns are made from corn, a whole grain, and they also fulfill your late-night hunger pangs, so why not!
Pretzels may be junk food, but they are healthy, so don’t stop eating them even if people say they are not healthy because obviously, those people have not read our article! Pretzels have low fats and a normal amount of salt, making them yummy!
Ice creams are best in every season, be it summer, winter, autumn, or spring! This is because they have high proteins and calcium in them, which is good for health if you ignore the fact that they are labeled as junk food. Ice cream also has vitamin B and probiotics, but not all of them. A piece of advice is to just not over-eat ice cream.
Well, initially, you might have noticed that I said potato chips are junk food, but I never mentioned which ones! There are certain potato chips out there that are healthy just if you don’t overeat them.
This is because some of them are free of MSG, which is a common addictive used in chips. It can cause an allergic reaction in many, headaches, and obesity, but people cannot refrain from eating that particular flavor due to its taste.
Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake is made from whipped egg whites which are beneficial for the body, so you can enjoy eating this soft delight if you want.
Sweet Potato Fries
If you are judging it by its name, then don’t. It doesn’t have high sugar content. Instead, it is way better in taste than the white potatoes. Give it a try, and you won’t go back to your old white potatoes.
Peanut Butter Cups
This snack is a homemade one, but people eat it in excess. That’s why it is mostly said to be not good for health. But, if you eat it in the right amount, you can enjoy eating it whenever you want without your mom scolding you for eating junk food. You can just show her this article! But make sure it’s homemade and not the processed ones from the bakeries.
I don’t know why oatmeal cookies are junk food as they are made from whole grain and are high in fiber and minerals; like iron and calcium. If you have nuts and dried fruits in your cookies, they should be more than healthy, but oh well! Whatever the scientists say! But as long as they say that these cookies are healthy, otherwise, I’m about to throw a fit.
I know many people reading this article are cheese lovers and are happy to see it being mentioned in healthy junk food, but junk nevertheless. Cheese has a high amount of protein and calcium in it, so you can happily add it to your daily meals. But, don’t go overboard like the mukbangers you see on YouTube videos.