A List Of Junk Foods To Avoid If You Want To Be Healthy

In this article, we are going to create a junk food list and briefly cover the harmful effects of each item on the list.

In Andrew F. Smith's Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, junk food is defined as "those commercial products, including candy, bakery goods, ice cream, salty snacks and soft drinks, which have little or no nutritional value but do have plenty of calories, salt, and fats…’’

Junk food typically contains a lot of unhealthy chemicals such as artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. These chemicals can not only increase your chances for disease, but they drain your body and dehydrate you significantly.

Fооd mаnufасturеrѕ аnd restaurants рurроѕеfullу use ingrеdiеntѕ аnd preparation methods to mаkе you сrаvе more of thеir рrоduсt. Thеir gоаl is highеr рrоfitѕ, not your health. Evеn foods mаrkеtеd аѕ healthy ѕhоuld be еxаminеd сlоѕеlу.

We are not suggesting here that you should quit eating junk food for the rest of your life (unless it is something you want to do), but you have to be able to manage your cravings. It is ok to eat french fries once in a blue moon, but making it a staple in your diet is a recipe for disaster.

Now, without further ado, here is a list of junk foods you should avoid if you want to live a healthy life:

 

 

 

Milkshake

In a study published by the nature journal in 2018, researchers found that consuming milkshakes on a regular basis alters the structure of red blood cells, rendering them “spikey”.

Moreover, the high-fat found in milkshake was shown to disrupt normal vasodilation (blood vessels expansion) in healthy individuals, which can affect blood flow.

Fortunately, these effects are temporary and will be reversed after a while.

The bad news is that consuming high-fat foods such as milkshake repeatedly can cause irreversible deformation of the aforementioned structures!

 

 

 

Ice Cream

While we had trouble putting ice cream on our junk food list since we all adore this treat, it had to be there.

Ice cream is very rich in artificial sweeteners that significantly increase your sugar cravings and appetite; this is mediated via the inhibition of hunger-suppressing hormones such as ghrelin and leptin. Additionally, ice cream can cause digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

It is ok to give in to your cravings every now and then, but keep in mind that frequently eating ice cream can significantly increase your weight and all the related complications of obesity.

 

 

 

Sodas

It’s no news that there is a dangerous amount of sugar present in most sodas out there, and due to this, it is very easy for one to get addicted to them. Let’s not also forget about caffeine, artificial colors, and other unhealthy ingredients they may contain.

Drinking sodas on a regular basis can lead to an increase in health issues related to excess sugar such as weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. So, stay away from sodas and drink some water instead (it is much better for you).

 

 

 

Diet Sodas

​Many people consider diet sodas as a healthier alternative to regular sodas. After all, these drinks don’t contain any sugar or calories, so they are good for weight loss. The problem is, there is no clear evidence of this.

Let’s not also forget that diet sodas are packed with artificial sweeteners and other harmful ingredients that can do damage to your health. It is safe to say that diet sodas are not healthy, and there is literally no reason why you should consume them.

 

 

 

Movie Popcorn

Popcorn is considered a relatively healthy snack with little known adverse effects on our bodies; it is rich in fiber, low in fat, and barely contains any calories.

However,  movie popcorn or the popcorn you buy at the movie theatre is a horrible food. It does contain a lot of fat and sodium which is a recipe for disaster. A large movie popcorn (without butter) can contain over 1000 calories (around half of your daily caloric requirements) and 40 grams of bad fat.

Chocolate Spread

Chocolate spread such as Nutella is extremely rich in sugar, fat, and calories. In fact, 2 tablespoons of Nutella (37 grams) contain 200 calories!

The high amounts of carb in Nutella increase the risk of numerous diseases if consumed excessively.

These diseases include diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, neurodegenerative disorders, and even some types of cancer.

 

 

 

Egg And Sausage Sandwiches

Usually consumed as part of breakfast, egg and sausage sandwiches are loaded with cholesterol, which has been implicated in the pathological process of coronary artery disease, and is considered one of the major risk factors of myocardial infarction (heart attack).

An average breakfast composed of eggs and sausages contains up to 1000 milligrams of cholesterol. This is three times the amount your body needs and could add up in the future to cause a real problem. Let’s not also forget that egg and sausage sandwiches tend to contain trans fats, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients.

 

 

 

Fish Fillet Sandwiches

Filet-O-Fish is rich in modified food starch, trans fats, and sugar.

These three ingredients have one thing in common: they significantly increase your risk for many chronic diseases such as heart disease and blood hypertension.

 

 

 

Deep-Fried Cheese Sticks

The health benefits and the side effects of cheese sticks depend on the way the meal was prepared, as well as the type of dairy you’re consuming.

In general, cheese sticks are very high in saturated fatty acids, which disrupt the normal metabolism of cholesterol, increasing your risk for heart disease. For this reason, cheese sticks should be consumed with moderation.

 

 

 

Potato Chips

Potato chips are one of the most popular snacks worldwide. Despite their popularity, they do not provide the body with any health benefits; in fact, chips are dense in calories, fat, and other unhealthy ingredients that don’t provide you with any nutritional value.

 

 

 

Fried Chicken

As a general rule of thumb, anything fried is bad for your health.

When chicken is fried, the water stored within will get evaporated and replaced with fat, which further increases its calorie content.

Moreover, if you buy fried chicken from famous food chains, there will probably be a considerable amount of trans-fat involved in the process since it adds a particular flavor to the chicken and helps preserve it for longer periods.

 

 

 

Chicken Nuggets

The thing about chicken nuggets is that we don’t really know about its composition and how it’s processed. You see, every food chain has a different recipe for making their most popular meals and the secrets are never revealed.

 

For this reason, chicken nuggets should be consumed with caution while taking into consideration the ingredients they were made from. To reduce the unhealthy side effects of eating such food, a good option would be to prepare it yourself at home using some quality ingredients instead of buying it at a fast-food restaurant.

 

 

 

Fish and Chips

The fish and chips you buy at fast-food restaurants is usually nothing more than disguised junk food. It does contain a lot of trans fat, preservatives, and other nasty ingredients. If you want to eat some fish and chips, be sure to make your own at home using some quality ingredients. 

Obviously, you don’t want to make fish and chips a staple in your diet, but it is ok to eat it once in a while (opt for the fatty fish option to get more health benefits). Keep in mind that fish and chips is a high-calorie food so make sure not to overeat.

 

 

 

Hamburgers

Burgers are quite rich in trans-fat and calories with considerable addictive properties. In fact, burgers from popular food chains can be packed with up to 1,000 calories, which is around half of your caloric requirements in one day.

In other words, eating two burgers from these restaurants will cover all your caloric needs for that day, and any extra food consumed will be transformed into fatty acids and stored in your adipose tissues.

 

 

 

Hot Dogs

According to the world health organization (WHO), processed meat found in hot dogs is categorized as group 1 carcinogenic.

This group is defined by WHO as “a category with sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. In other words, there is convincing evidence that the agent causes cancer. The evaluation is usually based on epidemiological studies showing the development of cancer in exposed humans.”

Moreover, such meat can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Note that everything discussed so far only covers the side effects of processed red meat; we didn’t even mention anything about the adverse effects of hot dogs, which contain unhealthy food additives such as sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite.

 

 

 

French Fries

​Despite its delicious taste and crunchiness, french fries are more of a ticking bomb for your heart due to the fact that they contain a lot of trans fat and could easily spike up your chances of getting diabetes and even cancer.

French fries tend to also have a high amount of sodium in them (due to the added salt) which when consumed in excess, could lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke. If you still insist on eating french fries, at least make sure to make them at home and don’t forget to go easy on the salt.

Dipping Sauces

Most of the dipping sauces you buy at your local grocery store (even the supposed healthy ones) are nothing more than disguised junk food. They have a lot of added fat, sodium, sugar, preservatives and other nasty ingredients that can add a lot of empty calories to your meal.

You should always read the ingredient labels to make sure that the dipping sauce you choose does not contain any unhealthy ingredients such as hydrogenated oils. Always opt for the low calories, low fat, low sodium option if you still insist on buying one, or better yet, make your own at home using some healthy ingredients such as mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice.

 

 

 

Nachos

Nachos can be a good choice for lunch if prepared the right way; it is delicious, easy on the stomach, and has some green ingredients.  However, most of the nachos you buy at fast-food restaurants are not good for you. They contain a lot of cheap and unhealthy ingredients so you may want to stay away from them.

Keep in mind that nachos is still super rich in calories with every 100 grams containing more than 300 calories so make sure not to overeat.

 

 

 

Tacos

Tacos are as healthy as the ingredients you put into them and the way you prepare them.

So, if you buy tacos from a fast-food chain and you’re not quite sure about the ingredients they put in them, that might be a good sign that they’re not a good choice for you.

 

 

 

Mac  And Cheese

Processed mac and cheese contain large amounts of trans-fat and sugar, which increases your cravings by stimulating a tiny collection of cells in the brain known as the nucleus accumbens.

To reduce the unhealthy side effects of eating Mac and Cheese, a good option would be to prepare it yourself at home using quality ingredients.

 

 

 

Instant Noodle

Instant noodles are rich in a compound known as monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has controversial health effects according to the food and drug administration (FDA).

Additionally, studies found that individuals who consume instant noodles on a regular basis are more likely to experience nutritional deficiencies because of poor dietary habits.

 

 

Cookies

When eaten on occasions, cookies such as Oreos can be a delicious treat; however, excess consumption can cause many health adverse effects such as obesity and diabetes.

This effect is increased with packaged cookies since they are mostly made of refined sugar and refined wheat flour. Let’s not also forget about trans fats, preservatives, artificial flavors and other unhealthy ingredients they may contain.

 

 

 

Donuts

We all love donuts! They are delicious and can serve as the perfect snack (we are talking about homemade donuts, not the junk you buy at your local grocery store)

However, they are also loaded with fat, carbs, and calories! In fact, one medium donut contains up to 200 calories, which is around 10% of the daily caloric requirements of an average woman.

Donuts are rich in unhealthy saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. In addition to all this, the high levels of fat and sugar make up the perfect recipe for addiction!

 

 

 

Cakes

Similar to cookies, cakes are loaded in calories, fats, and sugar.

Of course, it’s okay to indulge in your cravings every now and then, especially on occasions such as birthdays and weddings, but keep in mind that frequently eating cake can significantly increase your weight and all the related complications of obesity.

 

 

 

Muffins

The Muffins you buy at your local grocery store are known to have a high amount of calories, bad fat (including trans fat) and sugar present in them which we don’t even have to explain just how bad those are for one’s health when consumed in excess.

 

 

 

Candy Bars

We all know how sweet candy bars are due to the high amount of sugar present in them  and if you’ve read up to this last food, you should already know why we don’t need excess sugar in our body and what harm it can cause.

Let’s not also forget that candy bars tend to have a high content of bad fats and other unhealthy ingredients so you should definitely stay away from them.

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