It is amazing how junk food brands advertise their products. The marketing strategies are good enough to deceive the customers. More focus is towards profits and rewards and health is the least concern of most junk food brands.
It is a choice of the consumer to prefer junk food or to go for healthy alternatives. Not all products of junk food are we considering and not all brands are 100% bad for you. But while you make up your mind on what to eat and what to avoid, here are 9 things that you should know, before buying any junk food.
1- Junk food that says low fat or fat-free
Does this look familiar? Of course, that’s what we have been hearing a lot these days. As people have become conscious about their health, the new marketing strategy is to tempt customers by telling one not-so-true fact.
The biggest reason why junk foods aren’t considered healthy is that they are processed foods. When the labels say that these are low in fat or reduced-fat or even fat-free, the problem is that they are not healthy at all.
When fat is removed from the food, it doesn’t taste as good as the actual full-fat food taste. They are not tasty and few people may want to eat them. So to overcome this, the producers of these foods add sugar and other additives to the product.
It means that fat-free or low-fat foods are even worse than the actual full-fat product. As this added sugar has enormous health damages.
2- Junk food that says trans fat-free
There are certain products that have “trans fat-free” written on their labels. But you must know that this is not always a true thing. For any product of trans fat-free claim, check for the ingredients label.
If it has lower than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving, they are entitled to call the product trans fat-free otherwise it is not the case.
Also, check for the word “hydrogenated”. If you find this anywhere, it means that there are trans fats inside the product. It is not rare to find hydrogenated fats in products. You may find them in many products that say they are trans fat-free.
3- Junk food with whole grains
One of the many things health blogs will tell you are that whole grains are the healthiest food choices that you can make. It is true. Whole grains are better than refined grains.
Many processed food products like breakfast cereals say that they have used whole grains to prepare it. One thing that everyone should know is that whole grains are not always whole. They are crushed to make a fine powder of grains.
There are chances that they will have all ingredients from the grain. But they may affect your blood sugar just like refined grains. So even a small portion of whole grain means there are additional ingredients inside as well, which are problematic. They include sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
4- Junk food that is gluten-free
A gluten-free diet is a healthier trend, which many people prefer to follow. As per reports, around 1.5% Americans prefer to eat gluten-free food for health. Not all of them are patients with celiac disease.
It means that if you support gluten-free diet, you are conscious about your health. Junk food that has labels of gluten-free is generally not healthy for you. Also, they are a lot more expensive than typical products.
These proclaimed gluten-free food products are manufactured from highly refined, high-glycemic starches, such as cornstarch, potato starch and tapioca starch. Also, they may have high amounts of sugar added. It means, eating a food that says its gluten free doesn’t always mean that you are eating healthy.
5- Junk food with hidden sugar
Unfortunately, most of us don’t read ingredient label when we are buying anything. But even if you do, the food manufacturers take advantage of hiding facts.
For example, the ingredient list is usually made in descending order by amount. If you can read the word “sugar” in initial spots of the list, it generally shows lots of sugar. But there is this trick of manufacturers.
They use different names for sugar in their product. This sugar is added to the ingredient list by various names, however, all of them represent one same thing. You may never notice that all of them are same and the overall amount of sugar added to the product is quite high. Some of these names are sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and evaporated cane juice.
By naming sugar these fancy terms, it looks like a natural ingredient. Nevertheless, if you add up the quantities of all these ingredients and check, the sum will make a high quantity, which should definitely be placed, at top of the list. This is a clever trick to hide sugar content of a product.
6- Information on calories per serving
It is your right to know how much calories you are taking while eating food. The actual calorie count of your food is never revealed to you.
The information on calories and sugar content is never really expressed and is often masked by saying that product has more than one serving. Food producers take advantage of saying that there are a limited amount of calories per serving. However, many products are said to be having more than one serving.
You should read labels and check the number of servings that it has. If there are more than two servings and the calories for each calorie is more than 200 per serving, you will be eating a high amount of calories so beware of it.
RELATED: Why should you avoid sugar?
7- Fruity flavoured junk food
Many people like fruity flavoured foods, which sound natural to them. For example, there is this orange or lemon flavoured vitamin water that tastes like oranges and lemons but you know that there are no oranges or lemons used to make it?
The taste that you feel comes from sugar and artificial flavouring made by chemicals. It is true for all the food products that come in a fruity flavour. However, if there are fruits mentioned in ingredients, there are chances that they have not used the chemicals. But in that case, some producers use fruit and artificial flavouring both.
8- Junk food with controversial ingredients
Surprise surprise! Food ingredients don’t tell you the complete truth. Many people claim that people have got severe reactions by using certain foods. But there wasn’t anything mentioned in ingredients that could be linked with a reaction. In this case, the best strategy is to avoid them.
But have you noticed why does this happen in the first place? It happens because food manufacturers sometimes hide ingredients that are controversial for use. Or they add these ingredients by calling it complex technical names that people cannot guess.
One example of such ingredients is MSG (monosodium glutamate), which is sometimes, called E621 and carrageenan is called E407 in Europe. Who would understand what these words E621 and E407 mean?
This statement is also true for many types of sugar. Cane juice, grape syrup etc is few from many names of sugar, which sounds natural, but it is just simple sugar.
9- Junk food that says its low carb
For weight watchers, using a low carb diet is ideal. The choice of eating foods with low carb has become very popular in past year years. Many food manufacturers have used this trend to spread their business and earn high profits.
Many food producers offer a huge range of low carb foods. But beware because these low carb junk foods may not be healthy for you. They often have unhealthy ingredients, which are damaging to health.
The low carb protein bars, bread and many replacement products usually have more carbs than the label lists. Additionally, these foods come with additives and hidden ingredients that are not safe for health.