Hamburger… French fries, warm fresh right out the oven bun…Katchup, Mayo, pickles decorating the culinary exhibition of… food that is counted as the mother of junk vs the nurture of soul…
In this article I will do my best to explore both perspectives on the type of food served in most places around the world, what it does to us – for better or worse & whether we should consume it – on the physical & mental level…
So according to our beloved Wikipedia :”Junk food is a pejorative term for cheap food containing high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals. Use of the term implies that a particular food has little “nutritional value” and contains excessive fat, sugar, salt, and calories.”
Food is fuel for your body, So imagine for a moment what happens when you put bad fuel in this spectacular machine of wonders of yours? disaster … in my opinion anyway.
See, Junk food is often high in calories yet offers little or no nutritional value at all. When fast food frequently replaces nutritious foods in your diet, it can lead to poor nutrition, poor health, weight gain, depression due to damage in central nervous system, Memory loss, skin problems, metabolism changes for worse and quiet frankly, it’s a never-ending list.
So after starting with the “against” what else does Junk food cause us?
It’s Addictive – processed foods such as junk food stimulate a strong reward response in our brains that it can easily get to over eating… and from what I understood doing my usual research over the web – one of the guiding principles of the processed food industry is known as “sensory-specific satiety” which sounds to me, in the end of the day as mega addictive.
The sugar syndrome – The more you eat it the more you crave it and it becomes a vicious cycle. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine (you can ask the poor lab rats experimented use of both).
More harmful than cigarettes – some researches claim and there are also the “bad fat” consumption in sugar claims…
And the list goes on and on and on…
BUT… apparently there IS a bright side to everything in life 🙂 so I went on a small research in regards this Junk-food-for-soul consumption and this is what I came up with:
Emmmmmmmm basically nothing. Nadda. Gurnisht.
Some articles mentioned protein which is essential to our body, some Low level of belly fat in Red wine consumption on a daily basis (glass or couple), Some mentioned better absorbent of vitamins and antioxidants in butter and coconut but hey-who counts those two as junk food anyhow? (not me), and some even mentioned fiber and antioxidants in popcorn (yummy but come on, corn? I donno ;)).
So on the nutrition part I couldn’t really find something that supports any sort of “in favor” claims so I tried the “how does it make us feel” attitude since there are claims suggesting that if we do things that makes us happy-we will be healthy as well…
Happiness do makes you healthier… being satisfied with your life decreases your stress levels and assist your body function better… Having said that, I couldn’t really find any direct connection between eating junk food AND being healthy at the same breath.
Yes-Junk food will cheer us up once consumed, the sugar, salt, smell, texture has almost immediate effect on us and sometimes we do need this bust of energy to get going in life but for the long run, does it really help us healthier? mmmmm… you think?
I personally feel that in life we should strive for balance. Avoiding things you love is as much harmful as consuming things that are bad for you.
Charles Bukowski used to say : “My dear, find what you love, and let it kill you”.
I’m not sure about the killing part but I would say “My dear, find what you love and let yourself grow from there…” in your own pace, willingness, awareness and balance. You love burgers? have them! be aware for the price paid by having them but by all means do not beat yourself up after because t-h-a-t will be the worse. Enjoy you burger (or any other meal as such), make love with it, allow your body to endure that pleasure and afterwards be that bigger person and allow yourself amuse your mind with the wonder whether it was worth it and if there’ll be a next time… not as self-criticism but by balanced positive thinking.
If you feel less good afterwards simply try to reduce the habit to twice or once a month. Start involving healthier food in your daily diet and if you have the urge here and there – allow yourself to “free-fall”. With pleasure!
And by all means – Be in the moment. right there. in that taking a bite of this greasy piece of food containing high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals moment, embrace it, enjoy it, love it alongside with balancing the urge, cause after all – we do all live once… and tomorrow is a new day :).