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Junk food

Junk food is a phrase describing food that is supposed to be unhealthy or having poor nutritional value. Those foods do not add any value to one’s diet or, in the other words, they do not provide the organism with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Junk food is adding up empty calories, but it may also cause harm to the consumer. It is similar but should not be confused with fast food, or street food. Fast food is most commonly made quickly and thus it is unhealthier than the same food prepared carefully at home.

Junk food in everyday diet

Junk foods are typically ready to eat foods containing high levels of saturated fats, salt, sugar; and little or no vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. It is usually prepared from healthy ingredients, but the excess in the quantity of certain ingredients makes one food junk rather than healthy. Vegetarian pizza, for example, has rich vegetable topping, but it is still a junk food because of the excessive amount of cheese all over it, and refined flour used for the pizza base. Cheese is healthy but in this amount it just adds too much fat in meal, and refined flour is nothing but the empty calories.

The other famous junk food representative is a burger. Burgers are made of meat and vegetables sandwiched between two buns. Meet itself is rich in proteins and vegetables provide body with fibers, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. However, buns made of refined flour and mayonnaise, ketchup and butter fillings, make burgers extremely unhealthy.

Indian junk food, also known as “chaat” includes amosas, kachoris, panipuris/golgappas, and patties. Their outer layer is made of refined flour and they are prepared fried with various fillings.

How dangerous is junk food?

Foods high in fat, sugar and salt are unhealthy. Excessive use of junk food may lead to obesity, increased cholesterol levels, hypertension and coronary problems. However, some people are deficient in fats and carbohydrates and for them junk food may actually be nourishing. Common sense should be applied to decide the proper diet.

Tips for better diet

The best possible way to enjoy junk food and avoid causing damage to health would be to prepare junk food without junk ingredients. Thus, pizza should be served without extra cheese topping, and burgers should be served on plate, as a meal and not a snack.

Reason should prevail. It is perfectly all right to enjoy junk food from time to time. The most important thing is to be smart and practical in planning daily diet. Regular exercise will also help to burn out all those extra calories.

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