Eating junk food isn’t just a bad habit – it can also be a serious hazard to your health if you let it get out of control. If you feel like you have a junk food addition, use the following information to help you break the cycle of eating poorly and get back on the right track to health and happiness.
We all know junk food is bad for us – that’s why it’s called “junk,” after all. But just how bad is eating junk food on a regular basis? The answer is probably worse that you might have imagined. Here are just a few things that eating junk food regularly can do to your body:
Another surprising factor that many people may not link to junk food is mental health. According to a study by Spanish researchers featured in the journal of Public Health and Nutrition, individuals who ate processed foods were found to have a higher chance of developing depression. Therefore, avoiding junk food could help you to avoid mood disorders and other similar problems.
[Related: The Link Between Fast Food And Depression]
Negative effects on a person’s intelligence have even been linked to eating junk food. A study in the UK found that children who ate lots of junk food like chips and pizza were more likely to have a lower IQ compared to their peers. These effects are thought to be irreversible. Once the damage has been done, switching to a healthy diet can’t boost IQ scores.
The first – and often the hardest – step in managing a junk food addiction is to cut back on how much junk food you eat. First, stop buying junk food at the store. If it’s not available to you at home, you’ll eat bad foods much less often. Stock up on healthy snacks like yogurt, fruit and unsalted nuts that you can turn to when a craving strikes.
If you find that you still have those strong cravings for junk food, find a suitable replacement that will help ease you off your junk food addiction. One example is dark chocolate, which is a great option for those who’ve developed a sweet tooth. Allow yourself a small piece of this candy once a day if you do get a craving. If you get a dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa, you’ll be eating something that tastes great but is actually healthy for you. Try to slowly decrease the number of times that you turn to your “replacement” junk food each week.
[Related: Eating Dark Chocolate For Weight Loss]
Once you’ve cut back on junk food, it’s time to focus on creating new eating habits that will keep you on track. Here are some ways to start eating better and build a foundation for better habits that you can keep up for the rest of your life:
A junk food addiction is nothing to take lightly. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is second only to tobacco as the most common preventable cause of death. Take control of your health by cutting back on the junk and creating healthy habits to last a lifetime.