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How Junk Food Hurts You Even if You're Careful With Your Calories

Yes, everyone knows that junk food is bad for you. But, while common knowledge tells us that foods like burgers, fries, soda, and candy are harmful to the waistline, there are in fact many other disadvantages to relying too heavily on junk – whether or not you’re careful about the number of calories you eat on a daily basis.

It’s Less Filling Than the Real Deal

It’s well known that junk foods contain much more calories than whole foods. Because of that, eating junk food is simply a bum deal, in terms of both your diet and your wallet. While you might get more initial enjoyment from the taste of something sugary or fatty, you’re going to feel hungrier in the long run, meaning you’ll have to eat more to feel satisfied. Rather, focus on a diet of whole foods that are more filling and less caloric. If you really need something tasty to munch on, chew on a piece of sugar-free gum after your meal instead.

You Don’t Get the Nutrients Your Body Needs

When tracking your nutrition, it can be easy to look at only the calories of what you’re eating. After all, your daily calorie intake directly affects your weight loss goals. However, the number of calories an item of food has is only part of the story. Junk food lacks vital nutrients that your body relies on to function properly. So, even if you’re below your daily calorie goal for the day, your body still isn’t getting the right “fuel” it needs, in time can lead to some serious conditions like a weaker immune system.

Junk Food Might Contain Harmful Chemicals

If your diet relies too heavily on junk food, you aren’t just facing a lack of proper nutrition; you could also be ingesting chemicals that are harmful to you. Junk foods often consist of processed foods, which can contain artificial additives that make them tastier or give them a longer shelf life but could be harmful to you over time. Even natural chemicals that are abundant in junk foods, such as sugar and sodium, cause a greater risk of cancer and heart disease.

Your Teeth Pay the Price

Your dentist may advise you to lay off the sweets, but that goes for all junk foods that are high in sugar. A hamburger and fries won’t lead to a mouthful of cavities, but that large soda you order with it definitely could. Be aware: even foods that aren’t sugary can lead to teeth problems. Be mindful also of the starchy foods that you eat, such as potato chips and grain-based foods, as these foods can also lead to tooth decay.

[Image via Getty]

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