Are you struggling to eat better and avoid junk foods? I know I was. My journey from a junk food upbringing was a long and bumpy journey. My friends made fun of me for always being sick. I often wonder whether I wouldn’t have had as many health problems if I were raised to eat better. Here’s how I went from junk food to healthy eating.
The Health Risks of Junk Food
The Oxford English Dictionary defines junk food as “food that has low nutritional value, typically produced in the form of packaged snacks needing little or no preparation.” Junk food is often characterized by its high levels of sugar, salt, processed carbohydrates, or artificial additives, and its low nutritional value.
We all recognize chips, candy, soda, fast food, and processed snacks as junk food. Yet even seemingly healthful foods have been infiltrated by genetically modified organisms (GMOs), chemical flavors and colors, and heavy metals. These all harm the effective function of the body.
Perhaps junk food should now be defined as any food that is manipulated by companies and designed to appeal to consumers’ taste buds at the expense of their health.
My Slow Turning Point
However, changing your diet is not easy. I was raised in a small farming town in the Midwest. My mother worked in the food industry. We ate a lot of spaghetti from a jar, processed Chinese food from a can, and a ton of other junk.
A huge drawer in our kitchen held chocolate bars, cookies, and toaster strudels. Our garage freezer was stocked with microwavable donuts and corn dogs. Ours was a pretty popular house.
In my early teens, I decided I wanted to stop eating meat because of what I’d heard about the poor treatment of farm animals. Yet when I voiced my decision, I was met with eye rolls, arguments, and comments like “give me a break.” Therefore, I had no support from my family or friends.
Since I had no control over my food supply, I continued to eat sweets and other junk and be sick. I was a kid in a country town and had no control over my food supply. But then, something happened that changed my life.
After college, I moved to a state where I was able to make better choices. There, I could finally talk about my food beliefs with others who shared similar interests and taught me what they knew. In the decades since then I have shifted my food choices and my health has greatly improved.
Even my mom, who worked in the junk food industry, now understands the benefits of eating healthful foods and barely touches junk anymore. This shows that anyone can change their habits and improve their well-being.
What Can You Do?
First of all, don’t eliminate everything at one time. I found it easier to crowd out the junk food with real food and natural choices. Replace or eliminate one thing at a time and be proud that you are taking steps to improve your health.
Next, explore the produce section of the grocery store and choose something new to try with recipes you find online. Delight in the nutrients you are providing your body and the taste that isn’t chemically engineered. Celebrate each new healthy food you eat.
Finally, when you are choosing meats, consider how the animal was raised. Knowing that over 70% of the antibiotics produced in America are used in agriculture, organic meat or wild-caught fish would be a better choice.
Read About Eating in America
Here are some great resources for educating yourself on the effects of food:
The American Way of Eating – a fantastic book to learn about behind the scenes of American food and how it is grown, processed, and funneled into our communities.
The Unhealthy Truth – an absolute must-read that has taught me how to choose better.
The impacts of junk food on your health – an interesting article about what happens to your body when you eat a lot of junk food.
You May Need Help
Despite eliminating junk food and improving my diet, I suffered from migraines and headaches. They were debilitating and the Ibuprofen I took for relief had adverse effects. Working with Kelly further changed my life.
Implementing her guidance worked and I now experience far fewer issues. If you have a health concern, I recommend you reach out for a chat. Her support could get you to your goal faster.
Jennifer writes content and copy for established businesses. Her work helps clients reach their customer base and demonstrates their knowledge in the best light. She writes in a format proven to boost readability, reader enjoyment, and optimization to help websites stand out and speak to customers’ needs. www.voiyoo.com