Below is a detailed list of junk foods
Posted on June 14th, 2018

Dr Hector Perera         London

After a long day of school, you ride the bus home and anxiously anticipate having a snack as soon as you burst through the front door. But what kind of snack will you choose? Will it be a healthy apple or celery with peanut butter? Or will you head for the potato chips and soda?

The answer probably depends upon what’s available in the kitchen cupboards and the refrigerator and whether or not your parents are home. After all, if Mom or Dad is around, you probably won’t get away with chugging soda and noshing on chips. In fact, they probably have a special name for those foods. What are we talking about? Junk food, of course!

Every kid at one time or another has had some of his or her favourite foods referred to as junk food. But what exactly does that mean? It’s obviously not made from garbage, so why do we call it junk food?

The term “junk food” has been around since the early 1970s, when the center for Science in the Public Interest began using it to raise awareness of foods it considered to be unhealthy. Although not everyone agrees on exactly which foods should be considered junk foods, the term is generally used to describe foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. Junk foods tend to contain large amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. Junk foods also tend to be processed, which means they usually contain artificial flavourings and additives, and are packaged in boxes, cans or bags.

Some common examples of junk foods include sodas and snack foods, such as potato chips, crackers and candy. Popular fast-food items, like hamburgers and French fries, are also often lumped into the category of junk foods because they often contain lots of calories but not many nutrients.

Other foods are considered junk food by some but not by others, depending upon how they’re made. For example, some people consider pizza a junk food because it can be high in fat and calories. Others, however, believe pizza can be a good source of grains, dairy, vegetables, and meat, which contain many nutrients the body needs.

As most kids learn in school, it’s important to eat well-balanced meals full of the nutrients the body needs. Such meals would include lean meats, whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. So why are junk foods so popular?

If you like potato chips, candy, and soda, the reason is usually obvious: they’re delicious. Foods with high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt simply taste good. Plus, they’re usually cheap and readily available. Manufacturers make junk foods because they’re inexpensive to make, have long shelf lives, and tend to be popular sellers.

If you’re a fan of junk food, there’s no need to despair. These foods are usually fine to eat if you eat them in moderation. If you’re eating a well-balanced diet overall and maintaining a healthy weight, you shouldn’t have any problem eating junk food occasionally. Just remember: your body needs fuel in the form of nutrients to perform at its best. When you replace nutrient-rich foods with high-calorie/low-nutrient snacks, your body doesn’t get the fuel it needs. Fast food: Fish & Chips, Pizza, Burger, Fried chicken, Sausages, Noodles, Pasta, Noodles, etc. Snacks &, Desserts: Hot-dogs, Donuts, Potato chips, French fries, Crisps, Popcorn, Sweets, Biscuits, Ice cream, Tacos, Potato wedges, Pancakes, Biscuits, Cookies, etc.

What is junk food list? Why is it bad to eat junk food?

Several research studies have shown that fast foods and processed foods have increased childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes and other chronic diseases. … The more junk food you consume, the less likely you are to consume the essential nutrients that your body relies on.14 Aug 2017

5 Harmful Effects of Junk Food

The dark side of junk foods is not an unknown fact. Several research studies have shown that fast foods and processed foods have increased childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes and other chronic diseases. Recently, the Delhi Government demanded a crackdown on junk food that is sold in schools and within 50 meters of them. Not only do they add inches to your waistline, but scientists and researchers have also indicated through various studies that junk food can actually cause serious damage to your brain. The worrying bit is that it’s not just years of poor eating, but regular consumption of junk food even for few days can lead to a mental meltdown. If eaten moderately in rare occasions it might not damage your health but still one must be careful.

In his book, Encyclopaedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, Andre F. Smith defines junk food 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. While not all fast foods are junk foods, most are. Fast foods are ready-to-eat foods served promptly after ordering.” If you look around in any high street, day or night, there are plenty of delivery people on small motor cycles or even on cycles, delivering these foods. I am not blaming them, they try and earn some money by delivering those food. They don’t make them, just deliver in the rain or shine for other people’s comfort.

The more junk food you consume, the less likely you are to consume the essential nutrients that your body relies on. You know that junk food can hurt your health, but you may have not known about the effects of junk food on how your brain functions. It can cause memory and learning problems

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 showed that healthy people who ate junk food for only 5 days performed poorly on cognitive tests that measured attention, speed, and mood. It concluded that eating junk food for just five days regularly can deteriorate your memory. This probably stems from the fact that a poor or toxic diet can cause certain chemical reactions that lead to inflammation in the hippocampus area of the brain which is associated with memory and special recognition.

Diets that are high in sugar and fat can suppress the activity of a brain peptide called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) that helps with learning and memory formation. Moreover, the brain contains synapses which are responsible for learning and memory. Eating too many calories can interfere with the healthy production and functioning of these synapses.
 Increases the risk of dementia

This has been one of the scariest discoveries associated with the consumption of junk food. You may know that insulin is produced in the pancreas and helps in the transportation of glucose to fuel the body. Insulin is also produced in the brain where it helps in carrying signals between nerve cells and forming memories. A study conducted at the Brown University shows that too much fatty food and sweets can substantially increase the insulin levels in our body.

Just like in the case of Type 2 Diabetes, with higher levels of insulin, the brain stops responding to this hormone and become resistant to it. This can restrict our ability to think, recall or create memories, thus increasing the risk of dementia. Researcher Suzanne de la Monte, M.D., a professor of pathology, neurology, and neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University was the first to uncover this association. Following this discovery, most scientists refer to Alzheimer’s as a form of diabetes of the brain.

Lessens its ability to control appetite

Excess consumption of trans fats found in fried and processed foods can send mixed signals to the brain which makes it difficult to process what you have eaten and how hungry are. This is probably why you end up overeating. Healthy brain functions require a daily dose of essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3. Deficiency of these two elements increases the risk of attention deficit disorder, dementia and bipolar disorder and other brain-related problems.

Over consumption of junk food may displace these with trans fats which are harder to digest. A 2011 study shows that trans fats may cause inflammation in hypothalamus, the part of brain that containing neurons to control body weight.

In worst scenarios, the habit of overeating can be similar to drug addiction to an extent that relying on junk foods may activate the pleasure centres of the brain greater than receiving drugs.

A lot of studies have shown that eating foods high in sugar and fat actually changes the chemical activity of the brain making it more dependent on such foods. A study conducted at the University of Montreal on mice showed that they suffered with withdrawal symptoms after their regular junk food diet was discontinued. In humans, these withdrawal symptoms can lead to the inability to deal with stress, make you feel depressed and eventually you would turn back to those foods to comfort yourself and handle these feelings. Soon, you may be caught in a vicious cycle even before you know it. Also, by consuming too much fast food you may lose out on essential nutrients like amino acid tryptophan, the lack of which can increase feelings of depression. An imbalance of fatty acids is another reason why people who consume more junk food are at a higher risk of depression.

It makes you impatient and can cause uncontrollable cravings

Eating a sugary cupcake or doughnut may temporarily spike your blood sugar levels making you feel happy and satisfied but as soon as they return to normal you are left feeling all the more irritable.

Fast food is packed with refined carbohydrates which cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate rapidly. If your sugar levels dip to a very low level, it can cause anxiety, confusion and fatigue.  With high content of sugar and fats, you tend to eat too fast and too much to satisfy your cravings. This can inculcate an impatient behaviour while dealing with other things. Fast foods and processed foods may be laden with artificial flavourings and preservatives like sodium benzoate that tends to increase hyperactivity.

Fast foods are specially designed to be addictive in nature with high levels of salts, sugars and fats that make you crave them. The addictive nature of fast food can make your brain crave them even when you are not hungry. Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

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