Do you eat junk? why or why not?

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Replies

  • Warchortle
    Warchortle Posts: 2,197 Member
    I do what I wanna do.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,942 Member
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    calories = energy
    This doesn't make sense.
  • spoonyspork
    spoonyspork Posts: 238 Member
    I eat what people consider 'junk'. A LOT of it. I have to, as I'd otherwise only get like 1100 cal/day and never meet my other nutritional goals. My '80/20' is probably more like '60/40'.

    I know what you're thinking, and it's because I don't like beans, avocados, or really many nutritionally 'dense' foods at all. And the lean stuff like veggies and meat are VERY filling. Plus, my husband needs less salt and fat than me so I don't cook with much of either. So my much of my fat, carbs, and some fiber - dark chocolate has a surprising amount of fiber! - comes from cakes, cookies, potato chips and such. I have a whole special dark chocolate bar nearly every night (or a trader joe's 60% dark if someone else hasn't already gotten to them). My whole evening is often lots of sweet and salty snacks, that I sometimes have to force myself to eat. Which is very ironic. Never ever thought I'd be at a point in my life where I'd have to sigh and grudgingly down a whole candy bar XD
  • tincanonastring
    tincanonastring Posts: 3,944 Member
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    calories = energy
    This doesn't make sense.

    Shhhh....get out of here with your logic and rationality. This is MFP; there's no place for that here!
  • Warchortle
    Warchortle Posts: 2,197 Member
    I just ate a boneless skinless pork chop with peas, corn, and broccoli... but I also have a bag of mini kit kats and reeses cups on my desk.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    MeiannaLee wrote: »
    Its not worth the calories to me to be honest.
    How many calories is a donut? 280-300? I can have egg whites with veggies and cheese and a side of fruit with those calories and it fills me tenfold.
    And as a sweet treat I just have some hot chocolate or some coffee with a biscotti. I dont know, cutting the junk cold turkey was really easy for me.

    Wouldn't the hot chocolate and biscotti also fit the definition of "junk"? So you are cutting the calories from it, but not cutting it out entirely.

    For me, whether it's worth it or not depends on how many calories I have. I had a toasted miga sandwich and a croissant on Saturday (both things that tend to have more calories vs. nutrients than I'd normally have for lunch), since I had tons of extra calories due to a 17+ mile run. I had beef and veg with Japanese noodles last night from a Japanese place that delivers (so that's "junk," right? delivery? high cal?), because I had reason to celebrate and haven't ordered anything for a while and could fit it in. Also, tasty.

    I think it depends on your definition of "junk". I don't consider what I put in bold to be junk. I consider things like potato chips, candy, sweets, cakes, cookies etc. to be junk to me. Someone else might not consider it junk but I personally do. To me "junk" = something that I would just mindlessly shovel into my face whilst watching t.v. or when I'm bored.

    I don't really either, but I get the sense sometimes that others would call anything like takeout or delivery "junk" even when it has lots of nutrients or isn't that high cal.

    My own definition (and what I think is in the dictionary) is high cal and low nutrient, but then we have the issue of what's high cal (how high does it have to be?) and what's low nutrient. I tend to think of sugary cereals as junk food (I have a prejudice against all cold cereal because I dislike them and they were pushed on me as a kid, so I'm sure I'm biased), but of course cereals have tons of nutrients because so many are added. But if those count, why wouldn't taking a vitamin with a cookie, as someone else brought up (I think).

    I'm not complaining about the term, but I do think it's vague and ambiguous.

    I think it has more to do with the calorie / nutrient ratio
  • ErinR82
    ErinR82 Posts: 50 Member
    I try to avoid added sugar in general. I did an internship rotation for nutrition last summer and spent some time working with a diabetes educator. Honestly... it scared me! I learned a lot and I've cut a lot of added sugar out since and I actually don't even miss it. My taste changed too. I feel like I actually taste food better and I don't crave sweets as much and when I do have something, it's often too sweet and I can't eat much of it.
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    whole wheat, apples, bananas, coconut, and whole grain rice would also have to be examples of foods meeting the "junk" classification...

    How could fruit ever meet a classification that included the phrase "compared to fruit and veg."?

    apples and bananas are very nutrient poor fruits.

    That's not true, nor does it answer the question.

    fruits in general are nowhere in the ballpark of being as nutrient dense as vegetables. And apples and bananas are among lowest in nutrient density of the fruits americans commonly consume.

    Apples: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

    Bananas are a little better /100 cals, but still.

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2

    RIght in line with wheat:

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5744/2

    Not being as nutrient dense as something else is not the same as being nutrient poor. And still does not address my question.

    I'm showing an example of how a food generally thought to be super healthy, in reality is little better than food considered junk (say potato chips or crackers).

    It puts things in perspective of our trying to draw a line between junk and not junk.


    I don't think you did a very good job, but maybe it's just me.

    So, at what point does a food become not just "not as nutrient dense" and instead "nutrient poor"? Is there a table somewhere? A measurement? Is it a flat number or dependent on the person eating? Taken in isolation or compared to the whole diet?
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    whole wheat, apples, bananas, coconut, and whole grain rice would also have to be examples of foods meeting the "junk" classification...

    How could fruit ever meet a classification that included the phrase "compared to fruit and veg."?

    apples and bananas are very nutrient poor fruits.

    That's not true, nor does it answer the question.

    fruits in general are nowhere in the ballpark of being as nutrient dense as vegetables. And apples and bananas are among lowest in nutrient density of the fruits americans commonly consume.

    Apples: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

    Bananas are a little better /100 cals, but still.

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2

    RIght in line with wheat:

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5744/2

    Not being as nutrient dense as something else is not the same as being nutrient poor. And still does not address my question.

    I'm showing an example of how a food generally thought to be super healthy, in reality is little better than food considered junk (say potato chips or crackers).

    It puts things in perspective of our trying to draw a line between junk and not junk.


    I don't think you did a very good job, but maybe it's just me.

    So, at what point does a food become not just "not as nutrient dense" and instead "nutrient poor"? Is there a table somewhere? A measurement? Is it a flat number or dependent on the person eating? Taken in isolation or compared to the whole diet?

    I think you need to look at the calorie to nutrients ratio. Like the potato chip example a few pages back. Nothing really wrong with the ingredients in potato chips. Potatoes, oil, salt. But to get any decent amount of micronutrients you'd have to eat more calories than the average person can afford without becoming overweight. Therefore, I call them junk food. Food that should be tossed in the "treat only" bin.
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    whole wheat, apples, bananas, coconut, and whole grain rice would also have to be examples of foods meeting the "junk" classification...

    How could fruit ever meet a classification that included the phrase "compared to fruit and veg."?

    apples and bananas are very nutrient poor fruits.

    That's not true, nor does it answer the question.

    fruits in general are nowhere in the ballpark of being as nutrient dense as vegetables. And apples and bananas are among lowest in nutrient density of the fruits americans commonly consume.

    Apples: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

    Bananas are a little better /100 cals, but still.

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2

    RIght in line with wheat:

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5744/2

    Not being as nutrient dense as something else is not the same as being nutrient poor. And still does not address my question.

    I'm showing an example of how a food generally thought to be super healthy, in reality is little better than food considered junk (say potato chips or crackers).

    It puts things in perspective of our trying to draw a line between junk and not junk.


    I don't think you did a very good job, but maybe it's just me.

    So, at what point does a food become not just "not as nutrient dense" and instead "nutrient poor"? Is there a table somewhere? A measurement? Is it a flat number or dependent on the person eating? Taken in isolation or compared to the whole diet?

    I think you need to look at the calorie to nutrients ratio. Like the potato chip example a few pages back. Nothing really wrong with the ingredients in potato chips. Potatoes, oil, salt. But to get any decent amount of micronutrients you'd have to eat more calories than the average person can afford without becoming overweight. Therefore, I call them junk food. Food that should be tossed in the "treat only" bin.

    And at what ratio is it nutrient poor? You said that fruits not being as nutrient dense as vegetables did not mean they're nutrient poor. So there clearly has to be some cutoff somewhere because else you can make the same arguments against fruit that you can make against "junk" food. Namely that there's better alternatives for your calories.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    _John_ wrote: »
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    whole wheat, apples, bananas, coconut, and whole grain rice would also have to be examples of foods meeting the "junk" classification...

    How could fruit ever meet a classification that included the phrase "compared to fruit and veg."?

    apples and bananas are very nutrient poor fruits.

    That's not true, nor does it answer the question.

    fruits in general are nowhere in the ballpark of being as nutrient dense as vegetables. And apples and bananas are among lowest in nutrient density of the fruits americans commonly consume.

    Apples: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

    Bananas are a little better /100 cals, but still.

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2

    RIght in line with wheat:

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5744/2

    Not being as nutrient dense as something else is not the same as being nutrient poor. And still does not address my question.

    I'm showing an example of how a food generally thought to be super healthy, in reality is little better than food considered junk (say potato chips or crackers).

    It puts things in perspective of our trying to draw a line between junk and not junk.


    I don't think you did a very good job, but maybe it's just me.

    So, at what point does a food become not just "not as nutrient dense" and instead "nutrient poor"? Is there a table somewhere? A measurement? Is it a flat number or dependent on the person eating? Taken in isolation or compared to the whole diet?

    I think you need to look at the calorie to nutrients ratio. Like the potato chip example a few pages back. Nothing really wrong with the ingredients in potato chips. Potatoes, oil, salt. But to get any decent amount of micronutrients you'd have to eat more calories than the average person can afford without becoming overweight. Therefore, I call them junk food. Food that should be tossed in the "treat only" bin.

    And at what ratio is it nutrient poor? You said that fruits not being as nutrient dense as vegetables did not mean they're nutrient poor. So there clearly has to be some cutoff somewhere because else you can make the same arguments against fruit that you can make against "junk" food. Namely that there's better alternatives for your calories.

    Well it's a made up term so there wouldn't be any hard and fast rule. Apples aren't a high calorie food, though they are a high evil food.
  • Colorscheme
    Colorscheme Posts: 1,179 Member
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    calories = energy
    This doesn't make sense.

    That's good you don't see it the way I do, but plenty of other people know what I mean.
  • Warchortle
    Warchortle Posts: 2,197 Member
    edited January 2016
    The simplified version between Macros and Micros is that Macros largely effect body composition where Micros can effect well being. These things aren't mutually exclusive, but that being said.. there are plenty of crazy diets of people losing a tremendous amount of weight, while lowering their bad cholesterol, blood pressure, etc only eating fast food like McDonalds or a large amount of their calories being Twinkies.
  • melnorwich
    melnorwich Posts: 60 Member
    I find that if I eat lots of sweet foods on one day, then, on the next day, I really crave them. So, I try to control sugar by thinking of it as being kind to myself for tomorrow. I'm not really interested in savory junk as I'd honestly rather have a well balanced meal than non-sweet carb based snacks.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited January 2016
    melnorwich wrote: »
    I find that if I eat lots of sweet foods on one day, then, on the next day, I really crave them. So, I try to control sugar by thinking of it as being kind to myself for tomorrow. I'm not really interested in savory junk as I'd honestly rather have a well balanced meal than non-sweet carb based snacks.

    What about non carb savory junk?

    I love good cheese, and although I don't consider it junk (I call it an extra), it certainly seems to meet the criteria.

    Same with high fat meat, although I don't happen to eat a lot of that or want it all that often. Occasionally, though.

    I like savory junk that's about half and half carbs and fat too, like french fries and even naan (which has quite a lot of fat calories, I'd guess). Or lasagne (which again could fit, I suppose, depending on where our cutoff line is) or pizza (same point -- let's say Chicago-style to add to the calories substantially).
  • Colorscheme
    Colorscheme Posts: 1,179 Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    Yeah, wouldn't "junk" food be a first world problem?

    A daily fare of Pixy Stix, deep fried Twinkies, Munchos and Mountain Dew might keep someone alive for years who's withering away from malnourishment in a third world heck hole.

    I don't know if I'd consider it a first world problem, you will find poor people in other countries living off junk because it's all they can afford. But I guess it beats starving to death. Mexico's obesity rate is getting up there. They consume the biggest amount of Coca Cola in the world.
  • Colorscheme
    Colorscheme Posts: 1,179 Member
    edited January 2016
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    melnorwich wrote: »
    I find that if I eat lots of sweet foods on one day, then, on the next day, I really crave them. So, I try to control sugar by thinking of it as being kind to myself for tomorrow. I'm not really interested in savory junk as I'd honestly rather have a well balanced meal than non-sweet carb based snacks.

    What about non carb savory junk?

    I love good cheese, and although I don't consider it junk (I call it an extra), it certainly seems to meet the criteria.

    Same with high fat meat, although I don't happen to eat a lot of that or want it all that often. Occasionally, though.

    I like savory junk that's about half and half carbs and fat too, like french fries and even naan (which has quite a lot of fat calories, I'd guess). Or lasagne (which again could fit, I suppose, depending on where our cutoff line is) or pizza (same point -- let's say Chicago-style to add to the calories substantially).

    Ooooh, cheese! I love cheese. Especially cheese curds. I bought a huge bag of them from Costco. And when I go to Dairy Queen or Buffalo Wild Wings, I always get cheese curds. I also like fries. Especially Wendy's.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    I know this will raise the ire of many, but I have no interest in overeating green salad with vinagarette dressing and asparagus spears and quinoa kernels and boneless skinless chicken breast.

    There are a couple of salads that aren't too different from that that I could overeat easily.

    One is a greek salad (had it today) from a little place in my office building -- chicken and cucumbers and tomatoes and olives and feta and red onions and greens and a tasty dressing. Not all that high in nutrients compared to some other salads, but good enough for me on occasion and delicious.

    Another is the buffalo chicken salad at Protein Bar: chicken, organic quinoa blend, blue cheese, cucumber, carrot, celery, and spicy vegan Buffalo sauce, over our Super 6 Salad Mix (romaine, spinach, broccoli, carrots, kale, purple cabbage). That one has 35g protein, 350 cals, 33g carbs.

    I'd bet both would be considered "junk" by at least some at MFP.

    Anyway, I could easily overeat both, but I also don't, since the serving sizes of both have acceptable calories.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,942 Member
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    I don't label food as junk. All food provides energy.

    I get where you're coming from, but the definition of junk food is food that is low in nutrients, like cake, cookies, etc. and typically high in calories. They don't really provide vitamins and minerals compared to fruit and veg. Maybe you don't like to label foods and that's ok. But junk food typically doesn't provide energy. At least not sustainable energy. A donut and a sweet potato certainly don't act the same.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with eating things in moderation. Especially if I log it.

    calories = energy
    This doesn't make sense.

    That's good you don't see it the way I do, but plenty of other people know what I mean.

    I'm sorry, but it's like saying I shouldn't eat carrots because they're high in beta-carotene and thus won't meet my vitamin A needs.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    There are a couple of salads that aren't too different from that that I could overeat easily.

    You're just a luckier duck than me I guess :smile:

    If I overeat them, I still get fat, so having more things I can overeat doesn't necessarily make me lucky. Unless it's because I have tasty salads very convenient to my office on a lazy didn't bring lunch day, which I will grant. ;-)