Article contributed by Ms Edwina Raj, Senior Dietitian, Aster CMI hospital
Junk food is the most potential element which is closely studied due to it’s high demand and consumption among all age group. Most of them have become ‘enslaved’ to junk foods since these are convenient, lip smacking foods, reduces cooking time and have a greater shelf life hence our efforts to limit the use of junk foods are going in vain. Children and adults are widely exposed to these foods which are nothing but street food, chaats, chips, soft drinks, ice creams, bakery products, chocolates, sweets, and packed foods which have been tagged as ‘junks’.
7 reasons to refrain from them?
What’s the trend in India?
Packaged food in India has been ranked lowest in terms of its healthiness in a major global survey.
A survey conducted during COVID times among teenagers by our department of clinical nutrition & dietetics found that 43% of them agreed that the consumption of fast food or junk is reduced whereas, 31% replied that the they have continued eating unhealthy.
68% of individuals liked
junk foods for their taste as it was one of the predominant factor for their choice
How should we tackle this?
Different cultures or regions have their own perception about junk food – what may be junk food in one culture, may be considered nutritional food for another.
|Masala puri chaat||Swap to channa chaat|
|Sugar based chocolates||Dark chocolates with stevia|
|Aloo tikki||Vegetable, peas sweet potato tikki|
|White flour based chicken roll/momos||Whole wheat/millet based chicken roll|
|Ready to eat noodles/pasta||Millet noodles / whole wheat pasta|
Food industry must prioritize health and contribute in the supply of healthy products more than the unhealthy products. The more you reach out to junk / processed food there is a decrease in your lifespan. Hence switch to natural and home made preparations which is a key to a healthy lifestyle.