One of the biggest catch phrases in the media right now is “fake news,” so it’s fitting that there is also something called “fake junk food.” Fake junk food is food that resembles your favorite junk food, but doesn’t contain all the bad things that your body doesn’t need.
If you are a junk-food junkie that enjoys deep fried mini donuts, you are probably thinking there is no way you can trick your own mind or body into liking something healthy by making it look like something that is bad for you but tastes oh, so good. But research is showing that fake junk food may not only be good for you, but may also be your ticket to overcoming your junk food addiction.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, junk food is food that is not healthy specifically because it contains either a high amount of fat or sugar, or even worse, both. Junk food is something that typically provides the body with a temporary euphoric feeling. But in the end, it makes you feel awful and can lead to unhealthy consequences.
There is intense debate in nutritional circles about what junk food really is. To some nutritionists, junk food comes from drive-thru restaurants, while others insist that things like simple carbohydrates have the makings of being nothing but junk. If you are a carb-crazed individual, then there really is a cure for your cravings.
So what are the advantages of fake junk food?
Junk food that is high in fat and sugar can lead to weight gain and cravings for more junk food. Sugar is a substance that works in the body by raising your blood sugar levels. The spike in your blood sugar levels leads to an abundance of insulin being released. The biggest problem is that the blood sugar spike leads to a “sugar crash” and a cycle of hunger that can make you eat more than you need.
When you eat fake junk food, it is not devoid of the bad things, but also loaded with good things. Instead of eating the processed sugar or simple sugars in junk food, fake junk food has whole grains that stop the insulin spike and make you feel satiated longer, and it also contains fiber to help manage your weight. Instead of a big plate of pasta that metabolizes to sugar in the body, eating spaghetti made from things like squash or zucchini gives you vitamins, minerals and fiber, and many believe it tastes exactly like real spaghetti.
Fake junk food that is a real fake
The problem with the term “fake junk food” is that many manufacturers have caught onto the phrase and call their junk food fake when it really is nothing but junk. Things like veggie sticks are supposed to be more nutritious and better for you than potato chips. But the reality is that they are no better for you than a potato chip, even if they have the word “veggie” in the title.
As a consumer, it is a buyer-beware atmosphere in the grocery store. When you make fake as a substitute for the real thing, it can really save you calories, help you lose weight and increase your overall health. But if you believe the hype and aren’t label- conscious, you can get fooled into thinking something is healthy when it is not.
The best way to overcome your junk food addiction and start a healthier new you is by finding things that give you the same satisfaction as junk food, but is loaded with the good stuff your body needs. If you need to trick yourself, then go ahead. Research proves that the brain is susceptible to things like textures and tastes, so it is all about finding the right ingredients to get you hooked on good foods.
You don’t need to avoid simple carbohydrates like pasta altogether; just try to eat them in moderation. And when possible, substitute them with things that taste and look just like their bad cohorts. Being label-conscious is your best defense, as is making your own fake junk food in your kitchen. The key is to experiment and get creative with tastes and textures. The heart wants what the heart wants; you just have to trick the brain into wanting something good.