While most of us believe making healthier choices and introducing healthy foods to our diet slowly, can make a difference in our health and get us closer to our weight loss goals.

Scientists have found that a little bit of junk goes a long way and could undo the benefits of your healthy diet.

Junk food acts fast

While a bowl of oats and vetkoek and chips can be equally, unhealthy food choices impact your health much sooner and to a greater extent than healthy foods.
A study done at Rush University Medical Center showed that even small amounts of processed, high fat and high sugar foods introduced to an otherwise healthy Mediterranian style diet had an almost immediate effect on participants.

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How much is a little?

Another mistake many dieters make when ‘cheating’ on their diets and sneaking a bit of junk food is deciding what a portion is.
While a small packet of sweets can feel like a light enough snack, the serving size is usually only a few sweets and not the entire packet.

For example, the serving size for Jelly beans is around 10 beans. The sugar and carb content of these 10 jelly beans is considerable and can set your macronutrients off balance.

However, most people eat the whole packet around 5 times the recommended serving size and be neither filling nor nutritional.

READ MORE: Eggs aren’t unhealthy, a lack of portion control is

Junk food is addictive

It looks more exciting tastes more flavourful and usually makes us happier. A lifetime of having unhealthy food as treats and associating sugar with happiness has trained most of us to be junk food addicts.

Our brains literally crave sugar and high carb foods. Not only have we learned to love sweet treats and fried foods, but According to Professor Susanne Klaus, a biologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam a sugar craving is something we are born with.

Sugar stimulates the brain’s reward system by triggering the release of neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being.

Is being healthy impossible?

While being healthy and staying healthy is more than just a numbers game, consciously making healthier food choices is still beneficial.

It is important to consider the actual effects of giving in to our cravings. This is easy to monitor of a digital food journal that can calculate the nutritional value of all the foods you eat and the impact your food makes on your caloric intake and reaching your macro and micronutrient goals.

Source: Science Daily


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