Should You Completely Avoid Junk Food?
Junk food is found just about everywhere.
It’s sold at supermarkets, convenience stores, workplaces, schools, and in vending machines.
The availability and convenience of junk food make it difficult to limit or avoid.
You may have wondered whether you should steer clear of it at all cost or follow the mantra to enjoy everything in moderation.
This article tells you everything you need to know about junk food and whether complete abstinence is better than the occasional treat.
Junk Food 101
While everyone’s definition of junk food may vary, most people agree it’s not the healthiest thing for you.
These highly processed snacks contain an abundance of calories — especially in the form of fat and sugar — and little to no vitamins, minerals, or fiber.
While these items typically come to mind when you think of junk food, others are not so easily identifiable.
Junk Food in Disguise
Many foods that are thought of as healthy are really junk food in disguise.
For example, fruit drinks provide vitamins and minerals but may also have the same amount of sugar and calories as soda.
Manufacturers market granola and breakfast bars as being free of high-fructose corn syrup and packed with heart-healthy whole grains.
Yet, these bars may contain as much added sugar — if not more — than a candy bar.
Similarly, manufacturers market gluten-free products — such as cookies, cake mix, and chips — as healthier options than their gluten-containing counterparts, even though both foods may have similar nutrition profiles.
Even naturally gluten-free products like certain juices, chocolate bars, and hot dogs are labeled as “gluten-free” to make them appear healthier.