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Harmful Foods And The Alternatives

It is well known that cola, chips, hot dogs, and the like are not exactly the healthiest foods. However, giving up junk food is often difficult. But why not simply replace unhealthy things with healthy ones? Introducing healthy alternatives to the most popular junk food products.

All foods fit into a healthy diet

Some nutritionists love to say that “all foods fit into a healthy diet” if consumed in small amounts. They tell what people addicted to sugar and fast food want to hear and also what the food industry asks of them.

Often they don’t even know that they are cheap hirelings from the big food companies, because there, where they were trained, no one had a greater influence on the curriculum and study plan than those multinationals.

More and more overweight children

So even though there are no harmful foods, people in the world are getting fatter and sicker. Especially in western industrialized countries, the number of overweight people has increased significantly in recent decades. The world map of obesity published by the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) clearly shows that there are many obese people, especially in Europe and America.

Alarmingly, children are also becoming increasingly overweight. In addition, more and more children in rich industrialized countries are suffering from “adult-onset diabetes” and high blood pressure. They have broken blood vessels and are as flexible as an old man.

People with heart attacks are getting younger, people with cancer are more numerous and people with chronic illnesses are found in almost every family – all without the existence of harmful foods. Cola, potato chips, fries, and hot dogs fit perfectly into a balanced diet. End of storytime.

All foods are allowed – complete nonsense

Nutrition experts who have retained their thinking skills and independence have expressed doubts about the “everything is nice and good” theory. The idea that there are no harmful foods is just a marketing ploy devised by the food industry to defend its products.

Every food pyramid – including that of the German Society for Nutrition – recommends a plant-based diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, rather little meat, and high-quality fat. At the same time, however, it is assumed that a bit of sugar, a little chocolate, a piece of cake, one or the other praliné, a hamburger, or a bag of chips doesn’t matter in the slightest.

If we are allowed to eat all this – even in small amounts – when should we still eat healthy food? Nobody comes to that anymore.

By the time he’s eaten everything that’s “just about approved,” he’s already full. No more lettuce leaves fit in there. Additionally, studies show that all of these “sometimes approved foods” can be addictive. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid such harmful foods altogether?

Low-fat and sugar-free foods

Other fatal recommendations from nutritionists are fat and sugar-free products. Of course, overweight people should avoid inferior fats and industrial sugar, but conventional diet products or sugar-free foods usually contain other harmful substances, such as artificial sweeteners or flavor enhancers.

The problem with such nutritional recommendations is that they do not address the quality of the food. Healthy fats and naturally occurring sugars in natural foods are by no means harmful.

Pleasure is a matter of taste

Nutritionists also often recommend that when you’re craving chocolate cake, ice cream, or some chips, you should settle on a small portion of these supposed treats before you start to rotate through the withdrawal stress. You should sit down, relax and enjoy every single bite.

But what do you get out of it if you “reward” yourself with these products? You just want more of it. Because they are addictive due to their ingredients such as flavor enhancers. Experience has shown that withdrawal from these three products – perhaps painful, but short – can be far more beneficial for the mind and body than these pseudo-rewards with the unhealthy stuff. After all, we have wonderful opportunities to live an enjoyable AND healthy life.

Harmful foods and their healthy alternatives

Below we highlight popular unhealthy foods to avoid while also suggesting tasty and healthier alternatives that can help break the junk food addiction. Healthy alternatives to conventional, harmful foods have the advantage that they are not addictive because they lack artificial, addictive substances.

Cola and soft drinks

Cola and other soft drinks are very popular but harmful foods. Soft drinks are extremely harmful to our organisms, unfortunately, very few people know that. Soft drinks are associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, being overweight, sugar addiction, and obesity. Sugar, corn syrup or sweetener, caffeine, flavorings, and acids – that’s all that most soft drinks contain.

The problem with soft drinks is that your body doesn’t even notice that you’re consuming a mountain of calories with every sip. You don’t get full from those liquid calories and instead want to eat more than you need to. The high sugar content combined with the acids also attacks teeth, while artificial sweeteners like aspartame have other harmful side effects.

Conclusion: Soft drinks should be avoided completely in any case. They are addicting and sick. And why would you want to reward yourself with such harmful foods?

Healthier alternatives:

If you fancy a fresh, aromatic drink, it is better to mix your favorite fruit juice (unsweetened and preferably 100% direct juice) with some mineral water or prepare a delicious iced tea from fresh lemon balm or mint tea and, if you like, some honey or stevia. Fruit smoothies can also be a great alternative to soft drinks.

Potato Chips

There isn’t much in a pack of crisps, you can easily manage the contents in one evening in front of the television. In terms of calories, however, chips are a real bombshell. Depending on the brand, one pack has 900 calories. Compare that to the total recommended adult calorie count per day (1900 to 2400) and you’ve already eaten just under half with one of those ridiculously airy bags of chips.

If you were to eat two bags now – which is not so far-fetched for some people – you wouldn’t need to eat anything else that day (at least as far as the calories are concerned). You haven’t ingested vital substances and minerals for a long time, but you have eaten a lot of salt and usually several flavor enhancers, all of which enjoy a dubious reputation.

Healthier alternatives:

Homemade potato chips are far healthier than regular supermarket chips. Simply bake thin potato slices in the oven and sprinkle them with some sea or rock salt and lots of freshly chopped herbs. These chips contain neither flavor enhancers nor harmful trans fats.

Even better than homemade potato chips, however, are raw vegetable sticks with a homemade yogurt or avocado dip. A delicious recipe can be found here: Avocado Dip

Carrot or pepper sticks can greatly satisfy the craving for something to nibble on and you save hundreds of calories, lots of fat, and lots of synthetic food additives, and also provide the body with valuable nutrients and minerals.

Chocolate biscuits and pralines

Commercial baked goods like cookies, cakes, and crackers are also a major source of trans fats. When the label for a regular chocolate chip cookie lists sugar, hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated fat, white flour, various powdered products (milk powder, egg powder, powdered cream, etc.), or a bunch of unpronounceable chemicals, you know that cookie is great as a Decorative material on the Christmas tree is suitable (watch out for the dog!), but not for eating – nobody knows that…

Even conventional chocolates are not only real sugar, fat, and calorie bombs, but also contain a whole range of unhealthy additives:

Sugar, vegetable fat, glucose syrup, whey products, humectants, sweetened condensed skimmed milk, condensed sweet whey, lactose, butterfat, skimmed milk powder, cane sugar syrup, emulsifiers, salt, flavorings, spirits, and liqueurs depending on the filling, preservatives, acid improvers and a number of colorings – all of this is in standard chocolates included.

It’s definitely not healthy.

There are many alternatives to pralines, but the question arises as to whether the palate, which is usually trimmed to the special melt-in-the-mouth chocolate of its favorite variety, is at all open to an alternative. Nevertheless, we present you with some delicious, healthier alternatives to cookies and chocolates.

Healthier alternatives:

If you don’t want to do without biscuits or chocolates, you should use healthy alternatives. Biscuits or chocolates from the health food store or health food store usually do without the additives mentioned above. But you can also bake your own biscuits from wholesome ingredients.
A quick recipe that even works without baking is this: grind nuts, mix some fruit juice with dried fruit of your choice (dates or raisins are best), knead it into a dough, shape it into biscuits and leave them in the sun or dry it on the heater.

If you want, you can also mix a spoonful of cocoa powder into the dough and form small balls out of it. This results in wonderfully healthy chocolate balls without any harmful ingredients. The balls can also be varied with other ingredients, e.g. B. Coconut flakes, various dried fruits, and nuts, organic marzipan, and various spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, gingerbread spice, etc.

Ice cream

Who doesn’t love to eat creamy ice cream, especially in summer? But traditional ice cream contains milk or whey products, glucose or fructose syrup, artificial flavors, emulsifiers, stabilizers, colors, and lots of low-quality saturated fats that contribute to heart disease and other health problems. But did you know that there is also healthy ice cream?

Healthier alternatives:

Various suppliers of organic and natural products also have homemade ice cream in their range. These ice creams are made from nut or almond butter and rice or oat milk. The rice drink is heated, seasoned with the desired flavor (e.g. cocoa powder, vanilla, coconut flakes, fruit juice, etc.), and mixed well with a mixture of nut butter, locust bean gum, some sunflower oil, and some agave syrup until a uniform, viscous mass is formed. You can then pour this into molds, let it cool down, and put it in the freezer. After 3 to 4 hours you get a creamy, delicious, and healthy ice cream.

You can either make this delicious ice cream yourself from the basic ingredients and refine it according to your personal taste, or you can buy a ready-made ice cream mix that includes all the ingredients mentioned in the right proportions.

These examples show that we don’t need all the bad foods to be happy. Try it, you will see that avoiding harmful additives is doing you a great favor. After a while, you no longer want to do without healthy foods and you no longer have cravings for harmful foods. Eating a healthy diet is also key to maintaining a clear mind and good health.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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