Junk Food – How it is Actually Good for You

Introduction

In America, junk food has become a really popular source of food in everyday life. When watching movies, studying, working on projects late at night, and reading a book, junk food has always been a buddy that people relied on. But what many people known junk foods for are the bad things about them and how they are addicting, and also how they are the leading causes of many bad consequences. Consequences like obesity, heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases. But has anyone ever thought of the positive impacts that junk food can bring to us beside the negative consequences?

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What kinds of food are considered junk food? Junk foods are food that’s high in fat, salt, and/or sugar and low in nutritional content. Right now from the definition of what junk foods are, they may sound like something that’s really bad, but as always there are exceptions to it. Bad things can sometime be good and good things can sometime be bad, it all depends on how they are used. What people didn’t know is that the diets many people believe to be healthy most of the time contain junk food.

The most important about these diets has been proven by one of the scholarly journals named “Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter”. It claims that such food can help people lose weight and become healthier. Because of the high energy that junk food contains it can easily fill a person up, and also the sugar that’s in the junk foods helps maintain a person’s blood sugar level (Robinson, 2006). Beside having high calories that make junk foods a good diet meal item and the sugar that can maintain blood sugar level, they also contain many nutrients. In this research paper, it will provide detail about the positive benefits of junk food. It will answer the question how there can be more positive impacts that junk food can provide, than there are negative ones.

Section 1: What kind of nutrients does junk food contain and how is it good for us?

As stated in the introduction, junk food is a popular source of food to all humankind. It had already built an attachment with many people. There are many kinds of junk food, but the most common junk food people will consume when watching a movie, working late at night, doing homework, gaming, and partying are cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, ice cream, puddings, cheesecake, sugar, candy, syrup, soda, sweetened non-carbonated beverages, corn chips, tortilla chips, and potato chips.

This junk food can be harmful to the body, if not consumed properly or too much of it is consumed. But what most people didn’t know is that junk food actually contains different kinds of nutrients that the body needs. As Tufts University Health & Nutrition’s scholarly journal article “Junk food, or junky food choices?” stated, for every bit of junk food we consume there is a small amount of nutrients that we consume along with the junk food. For example, vitamins A, B6, Bi2, C, folate, calcium, protein, and iron. These important nutrition elements are actually in the junk food, a source of food that people believe to be harmful.

Why are vitamins A, B2, B6, C, folate, calcium, protein, and iron an important kind of nutrition to the human body? From the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s nutrient chart it shown that these nutrients provide many uses for the body. Vitamin A can help the body lower the risk of getting cancer, normalize the blood sugar, prevent asthma, and it also helps construct a more healthier skin and hair. Vitamin B2 and B6 both help the body convert food into energy the body uses, metabolize fats and protein, and the most important is that they also help the nervous system function properly. Vitamin C provides protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular diseases, prenatal health problems, eye diseases, and even skin wrinkling.

Folate can help fetal development, it is the main key to the production of red blood cells in the body which help prevent cancers, not just preventing cancer but also thwarting heart disease, and another important thing it can do is preventing people brain from aging. Calcium is another one of the nutrition elements that is commonly found in junk food. It can make your bones and teeth strong, without it your bones will be like a Popsicle stick, they will be really easy to break.

Protein is an element in your body that helps heal all the damaged tissues; without it when your bones or muscles are injured, they won’t heal. Finally the last most common nutrition that is found in junk food and is also the most important one overall is iron.  Iron is a substance that is in the red cells that carry oxygen from your lungs throughout your whole body. Without it you can die. That’s why junk food is not just a type of popular food source, but also a good way for us to gain our nutrients.

Section 2: Why is junk food a more preferable source of food for all workers?

What are the main reasons that make people prefer junk food over healthy food? From research, there are few reasons that people picked junk food as their main course. The first reason is the amount of time workers get for their lunch break. Office Team had done a survey to reveal the information about lunch break of workers. The result shows that 48% of the workers only have less than 30 minutes of lunch break. Therefore, these workers try to find a place where they can get their food as fast as possible, so they can have more time to eat and socialize with friends. These places that provide the fast service are known as fast food.

The second reason why workers make junk food their main course is because of the economic hardship that every worker faces. The Huff Post Healthy Living study reveals that eating healthy food is simply more expensive than unhealthy food. The most comprehensive study of its kind indicates that unhealthy food is about $1.50 cheaper per day, or about $550 per year, than healthy food. This study also found that meats and proteins had a larger price difference with the healthier options; it will cost $0.29 more per serving than the unhealthy food option. These price differences were also on snacks. Because of all the money people can save from eating junk food, junk foods have become workers’ common main course (Smith, 2012).

The last and the most important thing out of all the reasons why junk food has become workers’ main course is the taste of the food. This was proven by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s article “Why eat at fast-food restaurants: reported reasons among frequent consumers”. They had done a survey with several questions related to junk food and one of the questions is “Is taste one of the reason why people chose fast food?” and the result was 69% of the people believe taste was the reason. The result of the survey concludes that the theory of taste plays the major role in junk food as the right option. Therefore, people like junk food not just because of the time and money they can save, but also for the reason of taste.

Section 3: Is junk food really harmful to people?

Many people nowadays are starting to have diets in order to try and become healthier as well as staying fit, but are these diets really healthy or harmful? From Teen Vogue’s article by Professor Hensrud “Wait—Eating Healthy Can Be Bad for You?!”, there are two popular diets people like to practice, which are “Juicing” and “The Paleo Diet”. Are people eating or drinking correctly for each diet? Juicing is a diet where people won’t be consuming any food, but juicing whole vegetables or fruits and drinking them as their daily meals. Vegetables and fruits sound good, so what’s wrong with this kind of diet?

From Teen Vogue’s article, an Associate Professor of Nutrition, Donald Hensrud, M.D in his research finds that juicing vegetables and fruits will cause them to lose all the fiber and some of the good nutrition that’s contained in them. What will end up in the cup of juice are small amount of protein, and it has high glycemic load. Which means that it becomes something that contains more calories than a burger and it will even cause weight gain. This diet also has many side effects like feeling weak, irritable, and exhausted. What professor Hensrud said about juicing diet was correct, juicing diet can cause serious health problem.

But what he didn’t know is, there will only be problem with the juicing diet if people didn’t do it correctly. From Huffpost Living’s article “Do Juice Cleanses Work?”, they find out that people are not doing their juicing diet properly by being lazy and wanting to obtain faster results. They would skip meals and sometimes will even go buy factory manufactured juice for the diet, which kills the purpose of the diet (Smith, 2006). Since the manufactured juice does not contain any good nutrition inside and only contains sugar, it will only make a person fatter. Which will cause the issues that Professor Hensrud stated.

The Paleo Diet is a diet that follows our ancestors’ way of eating; basically only allowing eating foods that can be eaten by gatherers or hunters. For example, meat, poultry, fish, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, things like dairy and whole grains will be eliminated. The problem of this diet is that it can cause miss out on key nutrients, including fiber, iron, vitamins B and D, and calcium. This will cause a person to feel tired and wind up eating unhealthy amounts of saturated fat from all the protein in this diet that can put a person at risk for problems like heart disease (Trice, 2010).

So do these diets have anything to do with junk food? The idea is very simple, – there are no good or bad foods, there are only bad eating patterns caused by person’s preferences, food cost, times, and the way people eat. As from the example of “juicing diet” and “The Paleo Diet”, supposedly that diets are healthy to people and not do have any bad side effects, so how did they end up to be harmful instead?

The problem are people not doing their diet correctly, causing them to lack other nutrition that the body needs, which makes the diet into a harmful diet instead because they shape the diet based on their personal references. Same idea is for the diets as for junk food: if people are not abusing junk food, sometimes even making junk food their only meal, then junk food can actually be a good source of food instead of something that is harmful to our body.

Conclusion

Junk foods are commonly known for their negative effects, but there are also many good benefits. They are not only providing people with nutrients that the body needs to keep bones, muscles, and the brain strong, but junk food can also provide economical benefits. Economical benefits such as helping people save time on their lunch break, save money over a long period of time, while also providing a tasty meal. Therefore, junk foods are providing more positive things to people, than there are negative ones.

Junk foods are associated with negative implications on human health. They seem to be the easiest and faster mode of food taking more so when one is busy with work or held up in preparing food for consumption. Being adopted by most teens especially the ones in colleges, junk foods have disoriented good habits of feeding. Bodies require well balanced diets which enhance proper building of body muscles and at the same time which can not cause chronic diseases. Excessive take of chips for instance leads to accumulation of fats in the body which may in turn cause blockage of body tissues.

Junk foods are not good for human consumption especially when taken frequently. They make the body weak at some point due to lack of enough nutrients necessary for body immunity (Robinson, 2006). Despite the fact that juices and vegetables offer some small percentage of vitamins to the body, their nutrients are not enough to strengthen the immunity of the body. Some juices include added natural sugar to make them sweet for consumption, an act which only increases calories which result in weight gain.

Protein content in juices is small. An individual feels weak, exhausted and irritable since junk food only satisfies the stomach in order to avoid being hungry. Junk foods are hazardous to health matters since frequent take of biscuits and more so sugary stuffs leads to tooth decay. Butter contained in chocolates and yummy cookies if taken in large quantities especially in young kids and females results into obesity. Obesity is a dangerous chronic condition which if not taken care of can cause heart failure and thus death. Junk foods make teenagers lazy in the context of food preparation since they depend on readymade foods which seem to be cheaper but expensive to health matters of their bodies.

Despite the fact that advantages of junk foods seem to outdo the disadvantages, frequent use of junk foods should be fought against. Health risks associated with junk foods are severe to humankind. Good health increases life expectancy of people. Research has shown that regions with higher life expectancy observe good morals of eating. Nutritionists play a critical role in ensuring that people observe eating standards which foster good health. Human bodies are delicate in nature and need to be taken care of through modes of consumption putting in mind the kinds of food taken so as to avoid diseases. Junk foods should be taken in small amounts if needed when in hurry and not frequently in order to maintain the body size as well as good health.

Works cited

Bove, Jose, Frantcois Dufour, and Gilles Luneau. The World Is Not for Sale: Farmers against Junk Food. London: Verso, 2002. Print.

Cobb, Vicki. Junk Food. Minneapolis: Learner Publications, 2006. Print.

Robinson, Anthony, and Lachlan Grant. Woopsi Daisy Drives to Junk Food Junction. Victoria, B.C: Trafford, 2006. Print.

Smith, Andrew F. Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food. Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.

Smith, Andrew F. Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2012. Print.

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.

Trice, Laura. The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook: More Than 100 Healthy Recipes for Everyday Snacking. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2010. Internet resource.

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