It’s called “junk” for good reason.
Dump the junk. NO MORE JUNK FOOD. Get rid of it, don’t shop for it, don’t store it.
Unless that isn’t clear yet: while you can lessen some less-than-healthy foods, junk food does your body, brain, and skin ZERO favors, period, and needs to not have a role in your life. At all.
Trans fats, for example, cannot be processed by the body and are linked to many health concerns including lowering our “good” cholesterol and raising our “bad cholesterol;” heart problems; obesity, diabetes, immunologic conditions, and asthma. Because they cannot be processed by the body, they can build up in the brain; they can even be transferred from nursing mothers to babies, with effects that can remain for years.
Feeling good because you’re eating chips labeled “zero trans fats?” Be careful. Some FDAs allow “zero trans fats” as a claim when a food product contains less than 1% trans fats…but because trans fats are in so many thing that we eat, even 0.5% trans fats can add up very quickly (and again, the body can’t process them so even minute traces can build up in the body for decades.)
Dumping the junk can contribute to dramatic improvements in skin, from helping to lessen acne and psoriasis or atopic flare-ups — junk food is pro-inflammatory, after all — to giving your skin a natural, lit-from-within radiance:
• Opt for fresh-squeezed juice or fresh fruit over pre-packaged, longer-life options. Throw out colas and sodas altogether.
• Choose whole-grain, nut-filled, wilder or rawer options over white counterparts: sugar (try coconut sugar, which has some nutritional value and a low glycemic index), pasta, rice, breads.
• Got a sweet tooth? Instead of flavored yogurt, buy raw Greek yogurt and add fresh fruits and raw honey to taste. Look for coconut-sugar and complex-flour pastries. Instead of pancakes, drizzle organic, pure maple syrup over fruit or yogurt. It may take a while but your palate will adjust — and relearn to love — to how natural foods actually taste!
• Need a snack? Try dried or baked root or kale chips, or just raw nuts (incredibly good for you and far more filling).
Stuff to watch out for in ingredients lists:
• If the ingredients list is long.
• If the product can last a long time, it may have lots of preservatives.
• Any mention of trans fats.
• “Hydrogenated” anything.
• Safflower, sunflower, rapeseed and vegetable oils — most of these oils need some hydrogenation to stay stable.
• Preservatives and dyes (some dyes in drinks, chips and candy can cause acne and rashes around the mouth, in addition to other flare-ups).
• Look for “organic” (this claim is strictly regulated by most FDAs).
For more quick tips on how to choose healthier food, check out Eat Right & Move!