Junk Food…Yea or Nay?
It’s 100 degrees outside, you are at the grocery store and you can’t resist the ice cream on a stick covered with a thick coating of chocolate…so in the basket it goes! Of course, there are many other tasty temptations such as nacho cheese chips, double-stuffed cookies and donuts in the bakery you can’t help but include, too.
These foods all fall into the “junk food” category. Use of the term “junk food” implies that a particular food has little nutritional value and contains excessive fat, sugar, salt and calories. Junk food can include candy, chips, cookies, ice cream, soda, donuts, most sweet desserts and French fries. Too much junk food in your diet can be associated with an increase in obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and other diseases.
Some tips to consider the next time you crave your favorite junk food indulgence:
- Moderation is the key. Don’t make junk food its own food group within your diet.
- American Heart Association recommends women enjoy sugar in moderation by budgeting 100 calories per day; men 150 calories per day.
- Read labels to determine portion size. Typically, a serving of ice cream is ½ cup, not 1 cup or more, which could double or triple the calories. Not knowing portion size could turn 160 calories into almost 500 very quickly!
- Plate your serving or put in a bowl instead of eating out of a bag. This is mindful eating.
- Ask yourself…are you eating this food because you are hungry, or is it because you are bored, angry or filling an emotional need? If it is one of the latter reasons, choose another activity such as taking a walk or calling a friend.
- If the first bite isn’t good the second bite won’t be any better. Don’t waste your calories on something you don’t love.
For more healthy eating tips and tricks, check out Nutrition Bites on our website. To learn more about services offered by Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.
Blog post provided by Patty Kirk, RD, RDN, LD, Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.