If our body is our temple, why should we feed it junk food? Check what it is and how to avoid damaging your health.
Let’s face it, the fast food it is popular because it is easy and rich. It is specially formulated to make life easier and so that we do not stop enjoying it. However, when it comes to our children, it may be time to change our habits.
In Mexico, the childhood obesity It has been one of the biggest problems children have faced in recent years.
Interested in: How harmful is junk food to children?
Harmful Effects of Junk Food on the Body
Health coach Carol Roizen ensures that:
“Hoy today we are facing a crisis of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases that are due to our poor eating habits and lifestyle.
What happens is that the human being is designed to live in a world where physical activity is abundant and calories are scarce, but today the scenario is completely opposite, we live in a place where physical activity is scarce and calories are scarce. calories are abundant “.
What is junk food?
In addition to this, the food we eat is very different from what was previously found in nature: we eat highly processed products with chemicals made in a laboratory in order to prolong the duration of food.
However, the human body is not designed to process or use these types of chemicals. We are made so that we want what we need.
Fat, sugar and salt are ingredients that the body requires: they are sources of energy; elements such as salt are essential to keep the body in optimal condition. The problem is that now we consume them in excess.
Fat helps the body maintain its temperature, gives it energy and is a fundamental part of its cellular structure, among other things.
However, many foods from which we obtain fat have so-called “trans” or laboratory-made foods. There they are saturated with hydrogen molecules, making them more stable.
Food made from these fats has a longer shelf life, but with a high health cost.
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Why Junk Food Hurts
These substances stick to our arteries, increase our bad cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Sugar is an important source of energy, but today it is easy to consume too much because processed foods contain it.
It hides under many names: high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, cornstarch, glucose, and fructose, among others.
It is almost impossible to have a modest intake in the processed products we eat: it does not matter if they are sweet or salty, most abuse it.
Consuming too much sugar is linked to obesity, some types of cancer, and other serious diseases.
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Salt is another ally that becomes a daily enemy. An exaggerated intake of this mineral promotes high blood pressure, which causes heart attacks and cerebrovascular diseases.
The maximum recommended sodium per day is 1500 mg, on average, the common person consumes 3500 mg daily. Avoiding processed foods helps us reduce this amount from our body.
Finally, artificial colors and flavors that are used to simulate the color of food appear to carry something that they do not actually contain (for example, “grape-flavored juice,” which does not contain grapes, but is purple) and gives it consistency. , flavor or texture to foods in order to make them attractive.
Some of them are believed to be related to allergies and other conditions.
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How to prevent junk food from harming your health
Health coach Carol Roizen suggests having a balance between what we eat and the physical activity we do.
Children can occasionally eat some junk food if their daily intake is nutritious and they exercise.
A tip to provide them with a better diet is to learn to read the labels of the products purchased. The first ingredient on the list is the one that is present in the highest proportion in the food.
For example, sugar appears many times in the first place, so consume these products from time to time.
Guide your purchase with a simple ingredient list and look for groceries that contain more than 2 grams of fiber.
It is essential to involve the little ones in conversations about nutrition. Invite your children to accompany you to the supermarket and choose the ingredients to prepare quality food.
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Reinvent junk food with these recipes
In addition to changing habits, we will help you with easy-to-make and healthy recipes to replace the processed foods that we commonly give to our children.
Roizen shares with us some of her favorites for “junk” (healthy) food prepared at home that you will enjoy together with your little ones.
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Healthy waffles vs frozen waffles
While there’s no way to get two frozen waffles out of the toaster for a quick breakfast, the ingredient list will change your mind.
The recipe that we present below is to prepare when you have time and freeze them for use in a hurry.
- 1 cup uncooked oatmeal (other than instant)
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup of cottage cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- Blend all the ingredients and pour them into a waffle iron.
- Follow the cooking times of the waffle iron and that’s it.
Serve them with your favorite natural ingredients, like blueberries, which will provide you with different nutrients.
Cottage cheese will provide you with low-fat proteins and eggs, essential amino acids, vitamins B12, D, A, B2, niacin, and minerals such as phosphorus and zinc.
Healthy bars vs cereal bars
Believe it or not, in the ingredient list of a processed cereal bar that is advertised as “healthy” or “dietary” we find ingredients such as different types of sugars (mentioned by other names such as fructose or glucose), partially hydrogenated palm oil (trans fats), many types of artificial flavorings, artificial colors, and varieties of preservatives.
Now we present you a simple recipe that contains only eight ingredients. You know all of them, you can pronounce them, they are natural and they do the body good.
- 10 finely chopped dates
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 of cup of peanut butter
- 1 cup of mixed nuts
- 50 g dry coconut, grated
- 50 g of sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dried fruit (black or green raisin, blueberries)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cover a bowl with wax paper. In a small saucepan add the dates, water, and peanut butter. Put it on low heat.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are covered. Arrange the preparation in the container with paper, help yourself with a spatula.
- Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 min. Dice. You can store the bars in a closed container in the refrigerator.
The base of this bar is the nuts and seeds that contain healthy fats. If you vary the ingredients of the bar, you will have more opportunities to have many benefits for your health, since each food contributes its own particular properties.
Healthy breaded fish sticks
These are a fast and fun way for children to eat fish, which is a light and healthy food.
However, those that come pre-packaged are generally made with a long list of items that include a mix of many types of fish, skim milk powder, and preservatives.
Here is a delicious recipe with higher quality ingredients.
- 2 fish fillets thin and cut into strips
- 1 egg
- Ground oats, chia and / or ground amaranth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, dip the fish strips into the beaten egg. Pass them through the mixture of oats, chia and amaranth previously seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Cook the strips in a pan with a little oil or spray it with cooking spray. A quick secret to improving the quality of your sticks is to bread them with oatmeal, amaranth, or chia, instead of breadcrumbs.
- It is unnecessary to submerge the sticks in a pool of oil to make them look good; To prepare them you can use cooking spray or spray them with oil and cook them in the oven.
Remember to control the amount of oil during preparation.
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