Here’s a list of certain foods cannot be categorized as junk food, but nutritionists would not recommend that you eat them, either.
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The humble potato makes up a large portion of some peoples’ diets, and this is increasingly being seen as a bad thing.
Potatoes are primarily composed of carbohydrates, which are used by the body for energy. However, the carbohydrates in potatoes are more prone to increasing blood sugar quickly than those found in foods like whole grains. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly also tend to cause blood sugar to drop rapidly, which can make one feel very hungry.
Another problem with potatoes is that people tend to eat them as a vegetable. The proper place for potatoes in the diet is in the same category as white rice and pasta. These foods should be eaten sparingly and replaced with whole grains and whole-grain-derived options as often as possible.
Whole corn on the cob is not as nutritious as other vegetables, but again, it is not too bad for you.
Nutritionists warn that most corn in the U.S. is genetically-modified, so those watching their health should look for corn that is labelled non-GMO or organic.
The problem is also with the corn ingredients in other foods. Corn products have omega-6 fatty acids in them. Humans need both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, but they should get a ratio of close to 1:1. Right now, Americans are eating about 15 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. Part of this problem is caused by the ubiquitous presence of corn-derived products in all sorts of foods.
Whole grains have lots of nutrients in them that are important to overall health. That means that these grains do not need enrichment. Enriched grains are those that have had their nutrients stripped from them by processing and then added back in an artificial form. Not only does this mean that enriched grains are always highly-processed foods, but it is also unknown at this point whether artificial nutrients are as good for you as natural ones.
Some swaps that you can make in order to eat more whole grains instead of enriched products include:
- Brown rice for enriched white rice
- Whole grain bread for bread made with enriched flour
- Whole wheat pasta for pasta made with enriched flour
- Whole grain crackers for those made with enriched flour
- Rolled or steel-cut oats for quick-cooking, enriched oatmeal
Popcorn is a great snack when made from air-popped real kernels. However, microwave popcorn is high in fat, extremely high in sodium and loaded with chemicals. Instead, consider popping regular popcorn kernels in the microwave in a paper bag; a cooking method that offers the same convenience as pre-packaged microwave popcorn but without any of the downsides.
Fat-free yogurt is a great choice, but flavored fat-free yogurts are usually very high in sugar. Make your own snack or meal from plain fat-free yogurt and fresh fruit. If you like it sweeter, use a little bit of honey. You can even choose fat-free Greek yogurt for a higher-protein option.
Peanut butter is relatively high in calories and fat, but it is the good kind of fat. But when the fat in peanut butter is reduced, it is usually replaced by sugar and chemicals that have no redeeming value in your diet. Instead, you should choose all-natural, full-fat peanut butter and eat it sparingly for the best health benefits.
A recent dietary option is the invention of veggie chips, made from vegetables other than potatoes but fried or baked to resemble them. The fried options are high in fat, and both the fried and baked options lack most of the nutrients of the original vegetable. No matter what the source material, processed foods like these are best avoided in a healthy diet.
While plain rice cakes aren’t bad for you, they are a nutritionally empty food without many benefits. The flavored options are often high in sugar and may sometimes be flavored using chemicals. For the best nutritional benefits, eat plain rice cakes only occasionally and avoid the flavored ones entirely.
So, now you know that apart from junk food, there are certain foods which must be consumed only in moderation. Such foods as discussed above are not bad for health in their natural form, but because they are processed and chemically treated before packaging, their nutritional value becomes zero when they reach you. Also, some foods like potatoes are not good for people with a given medical condition. So, make yourself aware of what you eat , know the ingredients in packaged foods and stay healthy always.