junk food-slow poison - St. Francis Xavier Church , Panvel

Green Earth Movement
An E-Newsletter for the cause of Environment, Peace, Harmony and Justice
Remember - “you and I can decide the future”
Our health depends on what
we eat daily.
Foods are the building blocks
of every cell in the body. Our
body cells, the building blocks
of our body, are responsible
for the proper functioning of the whole body.
Without adequate nutrition, we cannot expect
ourselves to be healthy. The nutrition comes from
what we eat and drink. It is important, therefore,
to know what is good for our body and what is
What is a Junk Food?
Any food that has poor nutritional value is considered
unhealthy and may be called a junk food. A food that is high
in fat, sodium, and/or sugar is known as a junk food. Junk food
is easy to carry, purchase and consume. Generally, a junk food
is given a very attractive appearance by adding food additives
and colors to enhance flavor, texture, appearance, and
increasing long self life. A fast food may also be a junk food.
Junk foods contains higher amount of
fats, sugar, salt,
Artificial colors and preservatives
Sugars, Refined foods, like sugar and plain flour (maida)
based items like white bread and most packaged goods,
like Twinkies and sugar donuts, etc. (Sugar
Substitutes)Our body eventually turns sugars into fat. If
you consume just 3 tsp of sugar daily, imagine how much
sugar you would have consumed by the time you are 50
years of age; it will be about 275 kg !, about 5 time your
weight !!
Many junk foods contain artificial
color and preservatives which do
no good for our body, rather they
act like poison. Sweden’s National
Food Administration is a
government food safety agency.
With their cooperation a research was carried out at
Stockholm University. The research showed that
baking or frying carbohydrate-rich foods, such as
potatoes or cereals, formed acrylamide. International
Agency for Research on Cancer, found that
acrylamide induces gene mutations. It is also known
to cause damage to the central and peripheral
nervous system.
Higher potential of suffering from health problems: If you are
habituated to eat junk foods almost everyday or very
regularly you are sure to be an overweight or obese person
unless you do a good amount of physical work everyday. There
is absolutely no doubt about that. This overweight or obesity
will lead you to some serious health problems like heart
diseases, joint problems, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes.
Besides those serious problems they are also responsible for
faster tooth decay, constipation, problems related to digestion
and tiredness.
Junk foods are a real threat for the children and
younger age groups: If your children eat too much
junk foods, then you should really control their
food habit. Because if they eat too much junk
food they will eat fewer amount of nutrient foods.
This in turn will result in:
1. Childhood Obesity
One major effect of fast food on children
is carrying excess body fat. Weight gain
Can occur when a child eats fast food,
Since Many fast food meals are very high
In calories, and a child can easily eat more
calories than her body burns in a day. Over time, this caloric
surplus leads to weight gain and eventually obesity. The
Penn State Children's Hospital recommends preventing and
treating childhood obesity by providing your child with
sweets and fast food in only moderation, encouraging your
child to eat breakfast each day to avoid overeating in the
afternoon, and providing healthy snacks to sate hunger. If
your child already suffers from childhood obesity, consult
with a physician to determine an appropriate plan of action
to address the health concern.
2. Insulin Resistance
Feeding children a diet rich in fast food can also lead to insulin
resistance. Colorado State University explains that insulin typically helps
control blood sugar -- the release of insulin from the pancreas
encourages your child's cells to take up sugar in their blood, lowering
overall blood sugar levels. Following a poor diet, such as one rich in fast
foods, can decrease cells' sensitivity to insulin, so the release of insulin is
no longer sufficient to lower blood sugar levels. This insulin resistance
can act as a precursor to other diseases in adulthood, including type 2
diabetes. Limiting your child's fast food intake and improving his diet
may help improve insulin responsiveness and help prevent the
development of diabetes in the future.
3. Difficulties at School
Eating a diet rich in fast foods can also affect your child's
performance at school. The brain
relies on proper fuel as a source of
energy, as well as a range of
nutrients that facilitate learning and
memory. A fast food diet may lead to
nutrient deficiencies, meaning your
child's brain does not have the tools to learn effectively.
Virginia Tech recommends Packing a nutritious lunch for
your child -- and offering an alternative to a cafeteria fast
food lunch -- since a healthy lunch composed of proteins,
dairy products, grains, fruits and vegetables can increase a
child's attention span and positively affect her academic
Junk Food & Cholesterol
Fried and processed food, particularly fast food, contains
high amounts of oxycholesterol, Reports Scientists from China
in the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in
August 2009. Oxycholesterol is a little-known type of
cholesterol which may prove to be the lethal to heart health.
A healthy diet rich in antioxidants can counter these effects.
Fats & Hydrogenated oils
They are found in cookies, chips, candy bars,
fried foods, muffins, bologna, etc. etc. Many
snacks, such as potato chips, cheeseburgers
and fries, have high levels of fat, sugar or
salt-ingredients that are usually best limited
to a small portion of your diet. The saturated fat mainly
comes from animal products. Remember there is nothing
that is useful for our body in foods with hydrogenated or
trans fat.
The excessive fats stick to our arteries and cause the
blockages leading to heart disease and strokes. They can also
aid to cancer, arthritis, PMS and sexual dysfunction.
Some fats like Omega-3 fatty acids are good for our bodies.
Excessive salt is not good for our body (Daily
Salt Recommendation). However, sodium in
moderate amount, along with potassium,
maintains the water balance in our body. But
too much sodium can cause high blood
pressure. Pretzels, chips and
many canned food items
contain excessive salt.
(High sodium food list)
Despite all the bad press about fast food, why do people
continue to throng fast food restaurants? The reasons often
given by people are:
Friendly service
Delicious food
Value for money
In conclusion, it can be deduced that nutritional concerns rank
very low on most people’s priorities when it comes to choosing
food. Some fast food eaten now and then, is OK. But for weight
watchers (and people with sensitive physiology, allergies, high
blood pressure, and weak digestion), the high calories, salt,
sugar, and additives of fast food can inflict health problems,
and are therefore best avoided.
Five Tips for a Healthy, Happy Family
When good eating and exercise habits are
formed at home, they can last a lifetime. Use
these techniques to teach your children the
importance of staying active and eating
nutritious (and great-tasting!) food.
1] Good foods in; bad foods out.
Start simple. When kids are
young, you have the advantage
Because they eat at least half
their meals at home. If you stock
your cupboards and fridge with
nutritious foods and toss out the
junk, then your whole family will be eating the same
healthy foods. Shop for fat-free or reduced-fat dairy
(milk, yogurt, and cheese) and lean protein sources
(skinless poultry, fish, turkey sausage and bacon, and
so on), and have freshly washed vegetables and fruit
available at all times.
2. Eat dinner as a
Family — and slim
down favorite
Sitting down to regular meals as
a family is a great way to connect with one another and offers the
opportunity to instill proper eating habits in your children at an
early age. I find that family dinners are the best occasions for kids to
explore new foods — something they may not be inclined to do at a
friend's house or at a restaurant. Learn to make leaner versions of
your kids' favorites — like tacos with ground turkey, pizza with
toasted whole-wheat pita bread and reduced-fat mozzarella
cheese, baked sweet potato fries, and "unfried" chicken fingers. Pick
five of your family's standards and master a healthier, tasty version
3. Minimize snacking
Constant snacking throughout the day can
Set kids up for weight gain and leave them
uninterested in eating when it's time to sit
down for lunch or dinner. And if they're less hungry, they'll be
less willing to try new foods - like vegetables! As a parent, it's
important to set snacking guidelines: Try to stick to a
consistent meal and snack schedule, spacing snacks and
meals at least two hours apart, allowing no more than two
or three snacks a day, and limiting them to about 150
calories apiece. Apple slices with peanut butter, low-fat
yogurt with strawberries, air-popped popcorn, baby carrots
and red pepper sticks with low-fat dip, and homemade trail
mix made with whole grain cereal, nuts, and dried fruit are
all great options.
4. Make the TV room a no eating zone.
Excessive TV watching leads to inactivity and
mindless munching. So make the TV room a "noeating zone," and get the television sets out of
your kids' bedrooms. Turn off the tube during
mealtimes, and try your best to limit overall TV
watching to no more than two hours a day (this
Includes non-academic computer
Activity and video games as well).
Your children will be more active
And well-rounded as a result.
5. Get moving
as a family.
Not only does physical activity
help with weight management,
but it can boost self-esteem and
encourage family bonding.
Kids, especially those struggling
with their weight, like the
acceptance they feel as part of
a team. Plan hikes, go for
family bike rides, toss a ball
around in the backyard, join
exercise classes together, follow
along with exercise videos —
anything goes! Take turns
choosing activities; in no time at
all, the whole family will look
forward to enjoying these fit,
fun outings.
“ Those who think they
have no time for healthy
eating will sooner or later have to find time for
illness.“ Edward Stanley
Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you
what you are. Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
This Presentation was produced by Green Earth
Movement (GEM) Team, c/o St Xavier’s Community
Centre, Panvel
Tel: 2745 5556
Email: [email protected],
[email protected]

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