One of our biggest indulgences as humans is our culinary choices. We can barely regulate our cravings for a delicacy we love. One of the reasons why it’s difficult to avoid these types of food is because their taste is almost irresistible.
So, our brains have been trained to anticipate them, and we are drawn to the most subtle cues that remind us of them.
Scientists say the habit loop is defined by a three-step model: a cue, a routine, and a reward. This habit loop is triggered, promoted and maintained by a craving, meaning that craving is all that is needed for a habit to be triggered and sustained.
It's not difficult to figure out why we are engulfed in the habit of eating these unhealthy foods: they taste incredibly great, and we never seem to be satiated!
However, great taste is not one of the markers of a healthy culinary menu. Most fatty foods, sweet dishes, and salty delicacies taste great, but they are not the best diet choices for a person looking to maintain a healthy diet.
While you shouldn't avoid eating some of these foods entirely, it’s crucial you regulate your consumption.
Although most canned foods taste great, they have an insidious effect on overall health and well-being. This is because they contain additives that have been identified to produce adverse effects on the body.
Below is a list of some of your most cherished delicacies that may have insidious effects on your health.
1. French Fries and Potato Chips
French fries and potato chips are a delicacy! You can consume high amounts without being satiated. However, some studies associate this food with weight gain. Although whole, white potatoes hold great health benefits, studies have shown that they contain huge amounts of acrylamides, carcinogenic substances that show up when they are roasted, baked or fried.
However, this does not mean you should stay away from potatoes. Boiled potatoes also make a great delicacy, and hold health benefits too. Just stay away from fries. If you want something crunchy, try nuts.
2. Fruit Juices
Fruit juices are one of the most consumed beverages. Aside from their great taste, the assumption that they are healthy also make them a popular choice. However, most fruit juices are actually fruit-flavoured sugar water.
Although they contain antioxidants and vitamins, they also include a great deal of liquid sugar. Even if most of the fruit juices in the market are an unhealthy choice, there's a few that taste great and still hold health benefits, such as blueberry or aloe vera juice.
However, this should not be considered as a staple diet, that you binge on to quench thirst. No beverage holds a better health benefit than water!
3. Processed Cheese
Cheese has for long been a part of our regular diet. Our inclusion of it in our meals tells the story: we love cheese! While a slice of cheese is loaded with nutrients and holds a number of health benefits akin to the same nutrients you would find in an entire glass of milk, processed cheese is far from the regular type in healthy nutrients.
Processed cheese products are made from ingredients that are formulated to look and taste like cheese. Although cheese is healthy, processed cheese holds little or no health benefits.
Before you commit to a purchase, ensure you have read the label to verify you are actually buying cheese.
4. Candy Bars
Candy bars are a great delicacy! They are almost irresistible. Ask your kid. However, due to their high sugar content, refined wheat flour, and processed fats, they are highly unhealthy. They also contain negligible amounts of essential nutrients. Candy bars are formulated to be delicious and are designed in a way that makes for easy consumption. However, because of the way they are metabolised, they can cause you to be easily hungry. As an alternative, replace your candy bars with fruits.
5. Processed Meat
Another incredibly delicious delicacy that may hold threats to your health is processed meat. Although unprocessed meat holds some health benefits, some studies indicate that processed meat can have insidious effects on the body.
These studies say people who consume processed meat have a higher chance of developing diseases such as type II diabetes, colon cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Although most of these studies have been observational, there seems to be consistency in their findings.
At this point, we can say if processed meat can cause these diseases, but to be on the safer side, you should apply caution when you buy them. Choose sellers that do not add unhealthy ingredients.
6. Sugary Drinks
The only place you won't find sugary drinks is in outer space. They are a major part of our weekly, and for some, daily consumption. And this partly because of their sweet taste and partly because of their addictive nature. However, added sugar has been identified as the single most dangerous ingredient found in the contemporary diet.
Sugary drinks employ the worst sources of sugar in their formulation. Since the brain doesn't recognise sugary drinks as food, the can facilitate an increase in total calorie consumption.
When consumed in significant amounts, sugar can drive insulin resistance in the body. Sugary drinks have also been strongly associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes as well as cardiovascular diseases. Sugary drinks are also responsible for the fattening quality of the modern diet, meaning excessive consumption can facilitate fat gain and obesity. You should stay away from sugary beverages generally. As an alternative, you should consider soda water, tea or coffee. However, no beverage beats water.
7. Fast Food Delicacies
One of the biggest indulgences of people that live in urban regions are the delicacies that are available at fast food chains. Although these food chains offer a delicious, almost irresistible menu, their food is basically “junk”.
Most of the food available at the food chains are mass produced junk food with negligible nutritional value. However, not all fast food chains offer junk food. So you would need to look closely and do your research before you commit your patronage.
Now you may have found that your favourite snack, dessert or fries are doing you more harm than good. What is a person to do? Ignore all of them? That would be hard, if not impossible. The moral of the story is: pay more attention to your diets and regulate your appetite for these foods so that you can alleviate their effects on your body and enhance your overall well-being.
Michael Smith is the chief-editor of UVHero.com, an online magazine with the mission to help you learn more about Ultraviolet light and how to properly use it for being and staying healthy – simply because you’re awesome and deserve living a healthy life! Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.