Junk Food Vs Healthy Food - Which one to choose?

Junk food and healthy food are antagonistic and keep clashing with each other over nutrients and calories. Though we know healthy food is good for our body but then also we pick junk food if given a choice. Why do we do this? Why we prefer to have a burger instead of fruit salad? Are we concerned and want to satisfy our taste buds and hunger pangs at the cost of entire body?

Junk food which is rich in calories, fat, sugar and salt is much yummier and easier to prepare than healthy food. This food does not contain vital nutrients required for a good health and made up of fried and preserved food which does not remain natural. Moreover high refined sugar, hydrogenated fats, saturated fats, sodium, artificial sweeteners and calories make it an unhealthy food option.

How does a junk food impact our body?

After eating junk food you feel satisfied but actually it lacks all the essential nutrients. So you just have the feeling of fullness and nothing else. Also you must have felt drowsiness after having junk food. Sleepiness is caused by a drop in the blood circulation as fat gets accumulated in the inner walls of arteries.

Obesity is the most common result of eating junk food. A study by the Diabetes Foundation of India has a very shocking result to reveal. It shows that 25% of school children in Delhi are obese or overweight. It is highest in the country. School kids eat junk food sold outside the school premises. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was asked to develop guidelines to restrict the exposure of children to junk food but till date no strict rules and regulations have been made.

Eating junk food like burger, wafers, salad full of preservatives leads to poor concentration. Children eating junk food often lack concentration.

If you are among those who regularly eat junk food then be prepared to have digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acidity in stomach is caused by the deposition of oil in junk food leading to these problems. Moreover these lack fibre which aids in digestion.

Blood sugar level gets irregular by eating junk food. Refined sugar in this food hampers the normal metabolism. To digest high level of refined sugar in blood, pancreas secretes more insulin. But as junk food has less carbohydrates and proteins so there is a sudden drop in blood sugar. This increases the craving to eat more and disturbs insulin level. On the other hand healthy diet means steady supply of glucose and balanced insulin level. But eating just the junk food means stressed metabolism and inability of body to produce normal insulin. This may result in diabetes.

Cholesterol and triglyceride level increases by eating junk food which put you in the risk of developing heart diseases and even heart attack. Such a condition also leads to kidney problems. A study indicates that arteries start begin to clog at the age of 30 and lay the foundation of future heart attack. So right from the childhood children must be encouraged to eat healthy food rather than junk food. Apart from this osteoporosis, prostate and breast cancer have their roots in childhood and eating habits.

Fast food rich in sugar and fat also increases the chances of developing cancer. This has been found out in a study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.

On the other hand health food like vegetables, fruits, lean meat, cereals and pulses contain plethora of nutrients. By eating healthy food your mind, body and soul feel healthy. Brain functionality can be increased by eating nuts. Whole food with minimum or zero processing is the best for health. Healthy food increases the immunity and reduces the risk of health problem. Berries, such as blueberries are rich in antioxidants which reduces the risk of cancer. Nuts, legumes and cereals are rich in protein and fiber. Children must consume green healthy vegetables, fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes, milk and water.

Fast food is the fastest growing food in today’s food industry because of easy availability, better taste and reasonable price. As per a study conducted by worldwatch.org, fast food industry in India is growing by 40% each year. India is among top ten consumer of fast food in the world.

What we eat affects our growth, health, behaviour and mind. Traditional Indian home cooked food is as diverse as its culture. But with the rising influence of western culture there is a paradigm shift in the food consumption patterns especially among urban families who prefer eating international delicacies and junk food outside their homes. Multinational joints are now acceptable and can visiting these is a fashion statement.

But we must not forget the advantages of healthy food and what good it can do to our bodies.

Eat healthy, stay away from junk food, do exercise and stay fit should be the mantra of life.

Examples of Junk Food

  • Soft Drinks
  • Burger
  • Sandwich
  • French fries
  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Crisps
  • Chocolates
  • Sweets
  • Hot-dogs

Share your views on junk food and which is the most harmful junk food according to you.