Source: Cure Joy
It's the 21st century and "junk food" has gone global. For better or for worse it is now available all over the world. We see it everywhere we go -in grocery and convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, on television. Junk food contains many calories, from sugar or fat with little fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It also refers to high protein food like meat prepared with saturated fat. Food from many hamburger joints, pizza places, and fried chicken outlets is often considered as junk food. Junk food is a guilty pleasure that you may indulge in from time to time. Unfortunately, it can leave you feeling queasy, bloated, and gassy. A group of Dietitians at Trustmedi have come up with 5 foods that you should eat after a junk food binge. These foods will help you balance your nutrients and lower down your cravings too!
WHY ARE JUNK FOODS BAD?
Junk food is very high in salt/sodium, saturated fats or fats in general, sugar, and even artificial flavors and preservatives. Daily recommended intake of sodium should be under 2,300 mg while that of sugar is ideally under 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Fat intake should be under 65 gm on the average 2000-calorie diet. That includes your meat and cheese, cooking fat, dairy, and anything else you eat.
To put things in perspective, here’s a look at an easily available snack – a 100 gm serving of plain salted potato chips contains 527 mg sodium and 34 gm of fat which is more than half the daily intake you’re permitted across meals! A single cheeseburger with condiments and vegetables has 13.22 gm of fat, 5.88 gm of sugars, and 628 mg of sodium. And a 12-oz can of cola contains as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar, putting you over the recommended intake for the whole day!
So how do you counter the effects of all the fat, sugar, and refined carbs you have just consumed? Worry not! Some foods can be smart choices in the aftermath of a junk food binge and we have the lowdown.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK AFTER A JUNK FOOD BINGE
As mentioned earlier, junk foods use a high level of sodium to flavor the food. Having too much sodium in your body could raise your blood pressure, thus raising the risk of heart attack, stroke, and even kidney disease. The good news is you can counter the effects of sodium by eating more potassium-rich foods.
Here are some potassium-rich foods:
Bananas have 422 mg of potassium in a medium-sized fruit.
Oranges (or three-quarter of a cup of orange juice) contain 232 mg of potassium and 357 mg of potassium each.
Black beans in a half-cup portion have around 305 mg of the mineral; just boil it without salt.
Half a medium avocado has 487 mg of potassium.
Half a cup of plain boiled spinach has around 420 mg of potassium.
WATER, LEMON/LIME WATER, AND WATERY FRUIT.
Water is the biggest ally as a junk food binge. That’s because all that sodium intake can upset the electrolyte balance in your body. The high amount of sodium can leave you feeling incredibly thirsty. This also causes your body to retain water, resulting in bloating. When you drink water, you flush out the toxins from your food. This eases the work of your kidneys and helps your gastrointestinal tract work as it should. For better results, have warm water because it breaks down the food faster and encourages muscular contractions to purge the toxins/waste from your body.
One way to deal with a junk food binge is to ensure you don’t give in to temptation again. And a good way to do that is by eating something that will keep you feeling full for longer. Fiber-rich foods like whole grains prevent sugar cravings or cravings for fatty food. This tends to happen when quickly digested refined sugars and carbs in junk food leave you suddenly famished not long after you have eaten.
The fiber also aids digestion and helps you expel waste from the junk food meal easier. Here are some whole grain options:
· Oat and banana smoothie
· Oatmeal with fruit
· Quinoa salad with fresh vegetables and a lemon vinaigrette
· Vegetable barley soup
· Tabbouleh, a lemony bulgur wheat, parsley, cucumber, tomato, and mint salad.
Ginger can help in cutting down the fat consumed when on a junk food binge and reduces inflammation. Ginger is beneficial for the liver because it has properties that lowers hepatic triglyceride levels. It is also good for body's cardiovascular health.
Low Fat Yogurt
Yogurt restores the balance of good bacteria in your gut if you’ve been eating junk food for a while. Constantly consuming fast food that has low nutritional value could also mean you aren’t getting adequate vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants typically found in fresh produce and whole grains. This tends to leave your body’s immune system weaker. Yogurt contains lactobacillus bacteria that are gut-healthy and is recommended as a probiotic food to boost immunity.
Here are some ways you can have it. Stick to low-fat, unsweetened yogurt to prevent unwanted fats and sugars from sneaking into your meal.
· Plain low-fat Greek yogurt
· Low-fat yogurt with fresh berries
· Low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit smoothie
· Low-fat yogurt with honey
· Low-fat yogurt with nuts and seeds sprinkled over and honey for sweetness.
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