Why people chose junk food. 🍔: Hi everyone... - Healthy Eating

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Why people chose junk food. 🍔

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator

Hi everyone,

Like many I'm intrigued why we we crave some foods and sometimes ones that aren't really healthy. It's very interesting how some foods stimulate our brains so that we crave fat sugar and salt!

Here's an article in Medical News:

medicalnewstoday.com/articl...

And here's an easy to read article:

tweentribune.com/article/tw...

My opinion is that after not eating junk food or highly processed foods my taste buds now find the majority of confectionery so sweet that they make my teeth tingle and I use less sugar than recommended in recipes. But most importantly my taste buds love the taste of real unprocessed foods like the zing from citrus fruits or the sharpness of raspberries.

The other interesting thing is the cost of these highly processed foods especially with their packaging which can make lots of instant meals seem very economical and thus attractive.

We have to be aware of what we are really eating and why. But and there is a very big but junk food can be appealing...It's a good job that we're foodies. 🍇

32 Replies

Thankfully I didn’t grow up eating or liking junk food except for sweets can’t resist sweet stuff because of my sweet tooth 😊

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to Hb2003

Hey good for you Hiba and I'm retro so grew up before processed foods dominated the market.

Hb2003 profile image
Hb2003 in reply to Jerry

That’s a good thing 😊

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to Hb2003

Hey Hiba I think that your mum has done a great job as I've seen her cooking with her couscous dishes and her lemon meringue pies which is a nice thing to satisfy your sweet tooth. 😊

Hb2003 profile image
Hb2003 in reply to Jerry

Thank you so much Jerry ☺️ It’s appreciated .

Greenland44 profile image
Greenland44 in reply to Hb2003

I keep on eating junk food

Cuz they hit the spot and taste ooooo sooooo goooood...lol

Eating junk food on the regular was never my thing. Back in the day when I was in a more healthier state I would "go to town" meaning no holds bar eating once every couple of months with friends/family. I loved and enjoyed it and I ain't gonna pretend I didn't. Sweets were never my thing, always preferred savory.....If I could, I'd luv to dig in a Canadian poutine right about now.....

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to Imaaan

Hi Imaaan thats quite right and they're designed to taste good this was one of the problems with trans fats they literally ticked our taste buds.

I'd never heard of poutine and can see why its tempting, chips even if high in calories have over 3 times as much vitaminC weight for weight than a few apples so it high calorie food rather than highly processed.

Imaaan profile image
Imaaan in reply to Jerry

In the past, I've watched a few interesting documentaries on how certain fast foods affect the brain. I found it fascinating to also watch shows on secret eaters and food bingers who struggled with obesity. Some of them continued eating despite feeling full. The body and mind is complex and certain foods/ingredients definitely have pleasure inducing qualities.

Btw dont mind me, I use junk and fast food interchangeably whether it's highly processed or not. Interesting to hear about the vit C content of apples and potatoes weight for weight. The real question is how much vit c it retains after being fried? I'd assume sweet potatoes have higher vit c content.

To have not experienced good ol' fashion poutine is a travesty...lol

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to Imaaan

It's the cooking the potatoes in cooking oil that adds to the Vit. C. As long as you use fresh cooking oil and good quality potatoes and I cook mine in their skins so especially in the summer as I don't worry about calories I often have chips and salad. 😊

Imaaan profile image
Imaaan in reply to Jerry

Good to know :) Leaving the skin gives u some fiber, so good on ya.

Subtle_badger profile image
Subtle_badger in reply to Jerry

"cooking the potatoes in cooking oil that adds to the Vit. C." That's not true. Heat denatures vitamin C, and cooking oil doesn't contain vitamin C.

I checked to confirm on the Quadram Institute database, and 100g of raw potato has 14mg of vitamin C, and 100g of chips has 11mg. I am surprised only 20% is destroyed in cooking.

But I am mystified why we are comparing vitamin C in apples and potatoes. Apples are famously low in vitamin C. It's like saying potatoes are higher in protein than apples. That true, but it's not interesting. You don't go to apples (or potatoes) for protein.

I think it's more useful to compare isocalorific servings. As an experiment, I compared the amount of vitamin C in 200kcal of various foods - that's a handful of chips, 1/2 pound of potato, 3/4 of kg blackcurrants or more than 9 cups of chopped parsley!

Vitamin C in 200kcal of various foods.
Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator

Hi Jerry,

Both articles make good points about why there are some people who constantly eat junk food. I know that years ago, I would go on trips in the car and my parents and I would try to find a place to eat that wasn't unhealthy/junk food related, but when that was impossible, I would get myself a salad with low fat/calorie/carb. dressing ( if it was on the menu). Since we hadn't been able to travel for a while now due to COVID, we've had a lot less junk food to eat, in general. :-)

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to Activity2004

Hi Leah, It's nice to understand why we crave these foods as we can then change our attitude to them.

Your parents have always been very diligent with your diet so thats good as it must be difficult having Type1 D and gluten intolerance so yes a salad with fruit sounds a great option to me. 😊

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator in reply to Jerry

That's exactly right. When having certain health issues, it's always a balancing act to try and keep junk food low to none in the diet. :-)

Kitten-whiskers profile image
Kitten-whiskersVegan star

I completely agree with you Jerry, I find most sweet treats in the shops far to sweet for me and for me they tend to give me stomach ache if I consume them, so I am now very selective.

One thing that drives me to sweet/unhealthy snacks is stress also sometimes its convenience

but on the whole I make good choices 😁

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to Kitten-whiskers

It's a shame that they think they have to make things so sweet, I guess we make healthier puddings as they have less sugar and lots of healthy ingredients, so I think that you make great choices. 😁

Kitten-whiskers profile image
Kitten-whiskersVegan star in reply to Jerry

😁

I totally agree with you Jerry, never been a fan of fast food, can with all honesty say that I have never eaten a burger meal, the smell putting me off if nothing else does. I cannot understand why people would pay £18 for a take away pizza. I do occasionally have fish and chips but everything is homemade. I like a bit of chocolate but a bar lasts a whole week. We do try to eat healthier options, vegetable based and very little oil. Resent paying for fancy packaging which goes straight into the bin.

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to kitchengardener2

Hey thanks and I think that you've got this right as I eat chocolate sometimes but like you I don't eat junk food. I also dislike the smell from burger joints and used ti cycle past one and could never understand the queues for a deep fried drive through family breakfast.

I also think that the packaging is probably more healthy than the junk food inside...🤢

We have a nephew who has McDonald's every morning for breakfast yuk. I have just had a bowl of porridge with fresh Autumn raspberries, dried apricots and a few almonds. I make my porridge with water and add Quark for extra protein and a spoonful of my rosehip syrup. Took all of 4 minutes to make and will keep me going until lunchtime. Lunch today is a flask of homemade vegetable soup and dinner steak and mushroom pie (meat in slow cooker whilst we are out). Hospital checkup today for my CLL so fingers crossed 🤞Have a good day. Alice

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to kitchengardener2

Hi Alice, your porridge sounds a perfect start to the day as does your lunch and planed evening meal.

Best of luck with your hospital appt I hope its all goes well as CLL is not nice so poor you. 👍 😊

Oh, I just googled CLL 💜&🤞

Your nephew makes me think of a colleague I had many years ago. He was a young man, early twenties, from Michigan. He was slim built, and very tall - when they installed electronic door locks he arrived at his desk with a huge bandage on his forehead, because he hit his head on the part that projected into the doorway 🤕

Anyway, one day he told me he used to way 300&some pounds. "No you didn't", I replied. He just put his hands up to his neck, and pulled the skin out on both sides: Yup, there was room for at least one more neck under that skin, maybe too.

"How did you get to weigh 300 pounds?"

"Eating McDonald's"

"How did you lose it?"

"Stopped eating McDonald's" 🤷‍♂️

(He was the youngest of a large family, and by the time he came along, his mother was done with cooking. They went to McDonald's 3 times a day,whenever his mother was hungry. He realised that until a doctor told him he was going to die and he stopped, he had never been hungry in his life.)

Horrific!

Because its fast to prepare and they won't cook

Authorities don't tend to acknowledge that removing the fat from meat or dairy is processing that has measurable detriment; abnormally high insulin stimulation.

With regard to sugar, it's telling that the body has no direct use for fructose (whether from table sugar or fruit for example). It goes straight to the liver for synthesis, in a similar manner to alcohol. No wonder NAFLD is rife.

By cutting down on eating natural fat, modern society is turning the body into a fat making machine, a bit like not drinking water tends to cause water retention.

I remember watching a BBC program showing how junk foods affected the brain.

bbc.co.uk/food/articles/jun...

The program explained that junk foods stimulate the creation of dopamine in our brains, (the pleasure hormone), just like drugs and since we are all programmed via evolution to seek out the the most pleasure for the least pain we are hopelessly attracted to cheap, easily accessible junk foods. Food manufacturers know this and try to engineer foods that stimulate the bliss point in our brains, mouths and taste receptors.

You have to either be extremely stubborn, not living in a place where junk food is really easily accessible or have major food intolerances, in order to avoid junk food in your life. Thankfully I think I fit into all three categories 😂

Hi,

I’ll keep this short and sweet (sweet, literally :D).

People eat a lot of junk food mainly cos it has sugar in it (refined sugar) and sugar is addictive.

When I started coming away from the sugar intake and refusing biscuits and other sugary things, I would get more used to eating foods without sugar, more natural foods.

Obviously there is fructose (natural sugars) in fruits but these are not the same as refined sugars people put in their coffee.

Sugar comes from sugar cane (which is natural) but once it’s been refined it loses it’s colour, among other things, and is addictive when added to food.

Do you know that in one can of Coca Cola there is an enormous amount of sugar added to it. Enough sugar to make a person vomit.

But we don’t throw up when we drink coke… and why is that?

Cos it has chemicals in it that stop people from being sick. Phosphorous, I think.

So basically, Coca Cola are basically shovelling sugar down people’s theoats.

Alb2 profile image
Alb2 in reply to Matt2584

I agree with much of what you write. I honestly believe sugary, fizzy drinks are the scourge of society. Even the so-called ‘sugar free’ appear to be pumped full of chemicals. I just won’t touch them.

Matt2584 profile image
Matt2584Star in reply to Alb2

When I was little I used to have a terrible junk food diet that consisted of many sugary foods, gallons of fizzy drinks and I hardly touched natural, REAL food.When I was 11 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and in 98 I had another.

I’ve had complications with my tumours and have had many operations on them.

I believe my sugar-filled diet is the main reason for my tumours.

At the time, I didn’t and obviously wouldn’t have thought that but now is different.

That’s my belief and I’m sticking to it :).

Plus also, some of the fizzy drinks I used to drink were diet coke, diet Pepsi, lilt and many others.

The drinks named contain aspartame.

Aspartame is a dangerous sweetener and can cause a number of health problems.

Once ingested it turns into formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen.

As I say “The word ‘diet’ has a silent T”

I remember saying telling somebody else about my past health problems and they basically said “Well, of course your terrible diet would cause problems” or something like that.

I thought that was a bit thoughtless because this was the late 80s to mid 90s. Families didn’t really know or care much about what they were giving their kids.

Alb2 profile image
Alb2 in reply to Matt2584

I’ve just always intrinsically felt that fizzy drinks are bad news and not just regarding teeth and diabetes type 2. I once knew someone whose consultant felt her Chrohns dishes disease was caused, in part, by her addiction to coco cola. Whether or not that was truly the cause, I still think it can’t do us much good. As for ‘energy’ drinks, G’rrrrr!I totally agree that more health education would be a good thing😊

Rarely would i eat junk food,in fact i have never ever eaten at a McDonalds,and i believe what makes people eat junk is often due to depression/anxiety..its comfort food.

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