Junk Food vs. Healthy Food

As a child growing up, you never really paid attention to what you were putting into your body, typically you loved the sweet, salty and fatty foods because they were tasty right? Now I am years older, matured and very interested in health, I began to look at everything I am consuming. And the sad truth is that we can survive day to day eating the worst kinds of foods way cheaper than paying for healthy foods and ingredients. For example, the TV dinner known as Hungry-Man, this is a meal in a box, one in specific I’ll talk about is the Hungry-Man Boneless Fried Chicken 16oz. Box; in this so-called “meal” it includes the following: Tender white meat chicken patties, homestyle mashed potatoes, and sweet corn, and for desert a chocolate brownie. To some people they see this meal and think, “Hey this meal has everything! Protein, carbs, veggies, and a desert for a total of $2.67!” This is how these companies catch some people, they make their foods look as if it’s a steal for someone, all this food for cheap, and without thinking or checking the nutritional facts, they buy this stuff. The meal I mentioned contains 39.0 grams of fat, 12 G of trans fat, 1120 Mg of sodium!!! 25G of sugar. Needless to say, this meal will kill you slowly if you were to continue to eat it.

So why is junk foods so cheap?

In my eyes the biggest reason is, the junk food is processed food. Processed foods are factory made food, factories filled with machines and whatever else may be in there are constantly pumping out product for the consumers to buy. The prices are so low on these junk foods because it isn’t taking very much effort to be made, if they are able to pump food out of their factories at an alarming rate, there is no need to have a high price on them, thus attracting people to buy the food because it is cheap. Now I’m not saying everyone is being forced to buy these foods because they are cheap, but some people aren’t making enough money to buy steaks and full chickens, they can only afford the Hungry-Mens.

Why buy healthy food?

The number one excuse people give for not buying healthy food is that it’s expensive. Now that is a reasonable argument. But that excuse right there is one of the biggest problems. Most people are out to find ways to save money, whether if its coupons, sales, they will try to save their money; so if you see the cheap packet of deli meat, all wrapped up in plastics and sealed so it can be edible for the next year, you think hey its less money compared to the chicken that is $4 more. When the fact of the matter is that the chicken you’re spending the extra money for is way more nutritious for you. Another reason why people aren’t buying real foods is that it takes preparation to cook a meal. Today we live in an age of rush, we are all in a rush to get somewhere or do something, sometimes we can’t find the time in the day to cook a wholesome meal, so we settle for the lesser of food. Another reason why cheap junk food is appealing for people living in a rush.

One thing I was told that really stuck with me, while reading the ingredients on whatever you’re looking into buying, the more ingredients, the probability of it being bad for you goes up.

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2 thoughts on “Junk Food vs. Healthy Food

  1. Thanks, Monty. You underlined another problem I find myself encountering when trying to buy healthy foods. The labelling – the grams, percentages, etc. – don’t help me figure out whether a certain product is meeting my nutritional needs. The portion breakdowns aren’t standard so your Hungry Man and my Lean Cuisine might be using different portion sizes, so I can’t compare one to the other one very well.

  2. This is a great conversation to have because I’m sure a lot of people aren’t even aware of how bad so many foods are! It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that so many things that your eating are better for you than they actually are. I recently watched a couple documentaries – “Fed Up” and “Sugar Coated” – and they both opened my eyes substantially to the fact that so many of the things I find healthy really aren’t. I’ll use a chicken stock when making soup and think I’m being incredibly healthy, but in reality the chicken stock contains SO MUCH sodium. I found the documentary Sugar Coated to be especially eye opening as to how many foods contain massive amounts of sugar when you would never expect it. I absolutely agree that a big part is cost – it is always more expensive to get everything fresh – but I would also argue that there are a crazy amount of sugar and sodium in so many things that you would assume to be healthy as well (ex. canned tomatoes). It really is unfortunate that more isn’t being done as a nation to fight processed foods and to help everything, no matter your income amount, afford fresh vegetables and healthier food. Fed Up and Sugar Coated both shined a lot of light on how manipulative companies are in order to keep their product on the shelves and in the media.

    I would also open up the discussion of food and social media. Instagram has become a very popular platform for sharing #food and #foodie pictures. I have on more than one occasion found myself hunting out and consuming food that is ridiculously bad for me because of a photo or two that I came across. The rainbow bagel in New York, the amazingly pilled up milkshakes (Hollywood Cone) or even just a Starbucks latte – you see it pop up on your social media from someone else and the hunt is on to find it yourself AND to post it. The first pumpkin spiced latte of the fall season – snapchat! The first chestnut praline with Starbucks new winter cups – absolutely being put on Instagram. I can guarantee I’m never posting the health garden salad I made for dinner tonight.

    A great post to get a much needed conversation started! Unhealthy food is a major problem and more people need to talk about it or even just become more informed about the problem that it is having in society right now.

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