Good nutrition is one of the pillars of healthalong with physical exercise and social relationships. However, many people do not eat a healthy and balanced diet.
The eruption of junk food during the twentieth century is one of the most problematic factors in relation to this issue. In order to take care of your health, you should avoid junk food, which is all kinds of food products that are harmful to your body.
What’s junk food?
Junk food or junk food is any food that does not have a recommended nutritional profile.. It is thus a term that is used extensively to refer to different types of food, being usually produced by the food industry.
Unfortunately, we have to bear in mind that the food industry, with a few exceptions, is focused on profitability and not on people’s health. This results in different types of food products with low production costs.
However, since the health suitability of these products is not a priority (only if it is synonymous with sales), they usually have different drawbacks. Additives, sugars, salt, saturated fats or refined flours are some of the ingredients of these products, which are very difficult to introduce in a balanced diet.
This makes it easy for people who regularly consume these food products to develop different types of diseases. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension or atherosclerosis are some of the most common.
10 types of junk food and that are harmful food products
Junk food has come to cause global health problems. Industrialized countries have led a paradigm shift in food, with the majority of their inhabitants consuming many food products that their grandmothers would not have identified as such.
Below are the main types of junk food, potentially harmful food products. Eating this type of food once in a while is not problematic, but when consumption is habitual you have to be seriously concerned about your health.
Sugars are potentially very harmful food products. Although natural sugars can be found in foods such as fruits without being a problem, the fact is that sugar added externally in other food products is highly inadvisable. It is also common that they contain additives and other ingredients not recommended, so they can be considered junk food.
Most vegetable oils are not highly recommended.. Except for some really healthy ones like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, others like sunflower oil are not. In addition, fried foods may have been cooked with oils that have reached high temperatures or have been reused, which is bad for your health.
3. Industrial breakfast cereals
Breakfast cereals is one of the surprises on the list for many people. The truth is that “porridge” or any preparation with whole grains is an excellent option for breakfast, the problem comes with industrial breakfast cereals. These contain enormous amounts of refined flours and sugars that raise the glycemic index.
Refreshments are generally a bad idea for the body.. They normally contain additives, gas, sugars and acids, substances which are of no nutritional interest and which in the best of cases do not contribute anything. However, each and every one of these ingredients has potential health hazards, so soft drinks are a type of junk food (even if they are drinks).
5. Industrial pastries
Millions of people’s breakfasts include industrial bakery every day. This is terrible news for public health, and is that these types of food products contain trans fats, as well as saturated fats, sugars, and so on. A good quality butter croissant may take a Sunday from time to time, but it is not good to take pastries often.
6. Ice cream
Ice cream is a type of food product that you have to pay attention to.. In the same way as eating a quality croissant from time to time, it is possible to eat an artisan ice cream made with good products as well. However, the most consumed are those produced industrially and that contain sugars, creams, additives and other ingredients very unrecommendable, which makes them junk food.
7. Fast food (low quality)
“Fast food means fast food, and as such it doesn’t have to be bad.. As long as you bet on products of good quality and nutritional profile, something that does not happen in the big companies that produce pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and so on. The reason is not only the low quality of the product, but they are composed of ingredients that cannot be abused, such as red meat or flour.
Natural juices are not bad if they are not abused, but those containing sugar are.. Many people don’t know how much added sugar is in juices sold in bricks; sometimes they have more water and sugar than real juice. For this reason it is ideal to drink natural juices, without forgetting that they can not be abused equally. Drinking a lot without natural food fiber is not good.
9. Pre-cooked food
Pre-cooked food is part of everyday life in many households. This is very bad news for your health, as it is very common to consume food products with too many ingredients such as salt, glutamate or sugar. The types of food products that contain many ingredients and that are put in the microwave or oven and are ready are very unrecommendable. It’s all about junk food.
10. Ultra-processed food
Few ultraprocessed foods are recommended. There are some very good ones, such as extra virgin olive oil. It must be understood, however, that all food that is made from products derived from other foods is suspect. Products containing large quantities of refined flours, refined sugars, unhealthy fats and salt are examples of this type of junk food.
Poti, J.M., Kiya, J.D. and Barry, M.P. (2013). The association of fast food consumption with poor dietary outcomes and obesity among children: is it the fast food or the remainder of the diet? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 99(1), 162-171.
Smith, A.F. (2000). Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food. Westport (Connecticut, USA): Greenwood Press.
Wiles, N.J., Northstone, K., Emmett, P. and Lewis, G. (2007). Junk food’ diet and childhood behavioural problems: results from the ALSPAC cohort. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63 (4), 491-498.