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Guilty Pleasures: The Negative Effects of Junk Food

Do you find yourself constantly eating unhealthy food to satisfy your taste buds?

People tend to consume large portions of junk food daily because it is easily accessible, inexpensive, and contains flavors we crave, such as sugar, fat and salt. Junk food can be found in the most convenient places, whether it is a vending machine, strategically placed at the check out of a grocery store, or within a gas station. Most junk food is inexpensive, making people more prone to replacing healthier choices with items that may be more affordable. Lastly, the salt, sugar, and fat within junk food causes us to want more and more, which eventually results in the need to consume it. However, although junk food gives us a sense of pleasure, it can have long-term negative effects.

What is Junk Food?

Junk food is food that is high in calories and low in nutrients. Food that can be considered junk food is candy, chips, chocolate, sugary drinks, cakes, processed meat, and most fast food. It is imperative for us to eat junk food in moderation to avoid long-term negative effects.

Negative Effects of Junk Food:

  • Acne outbreaks

  • Depression

  • Dental cavities

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Obesity

  • Inadequate growth and development

  • Increase in blood sugar

Healthy Alternatives:

  • Fruit

  • Greek yogurt

  • Kale chips

  • Popcorn

  • Smoothies

  • Snack bars (fruit/ oats)

  • Trail mix

We do not have to cut out junk food completely in order to remain healthy. However, if we constantly add junk food to our diet we risk experiencing long-term negative effects. Adding healthy alternatives can make a big difference in maintaining a healthy diet. So, the next time you begin to crave junk food, think of the consequences you may experience in the long run.

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