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Are you a junk-food junkie? Here's what you need to know.

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AAA By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column It's the 21st century and "junk food" has gone global. For better or for worse (mostly worse), junk food is now available all over the world. We see it most everywhere we go -- in grocery and convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, on television -- usually looking very appealing. But just what are the facts about junk food? "Junk food" generally refers to foods that contribute lots of calories but little nutritional value. Of course, what's considered "junk food" depends on whom you ask. Some might say pizza is junk food, for example. But I personally don't think so, since it contributes real food with nutrients, like cheese and tomato sauce. Add whole-wheat or part whole-wheat crust, plus veggies as a topping, and I'd say pizza completely exits the junk food category. One problem with junk foods is that they're low in satiation value -- that is, people don't tend to feel as full when they eat them -- which can lead to overeating. Another problem is that junk food tends to replace other, more nutritious foods. When people drink lots of soda, for example, they are usually not getting plenty of low-fat dairy or other healthful beverages like green tea or orange juice. When they're snacking on chips and cookies, they're usually not loading up on fruits and vegetables. Most "junk food" falls into the categories of either "snack food" or "fast food." And then there are things like breakfast cereals. They seem innocent enough, but some of them could definitely be considered "junk food," as they mostly contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and white flour or milled corn. Calories From Snack Foods Popular snack foods are usually commercially prepared and packaged, like chips, cheese puffs, candy bars, snack cakes, and cookies. The contribution of snack food to the calories we eat should not be underestimated. Between 1977 and 1996, the contribution of snack calories to total calories for American children between 2 and 5 years old increased by 30%, according to an article published in the Chilean medical journal, Revista Medica de Chile. Fast Food and Overeating Of course, junk food is also readily available at restaurant chains across the country in the form of French fries, chicken nuggets, shakes, soda, etc. Not only are most fast foods not terribly healthy, one study indicates that there may be something about fast food that actually encourages gorging. In the study, from the Children's Hospital in Boston, teens age 13-17 were given three types of fastfood meals (all including chicken nuggets, French fries, and cola). In one meal, the teens were served a lot of food at once. In another, a lot of food was served at the same time, but in smaller portions. And in the third test meal, a lot of food was served, but in smaller portions over 15-minute intervals. The researchers found that it didn't seem to matter how much food was served -- the teens still took in about half of their daily calorie needs in that one meal. The researchers suggested that certain factors inherent to fast food might promote overeating: It's low in fiber. It's high in palatability (that is, it tastes good). It offers a high number of calories in a small volume. It's high in fat.

It's high in sugar in liquid form.

Junk food
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With protein of poor nutritional quality, more fat than (and nearly five times the sodium of) potato chips, pork rinds meet the common criteria for junk food

Junk food is an informal term for food that is of little nutritional value and often high in fat, sugar, and calories.[1][2][3] It is widely believed that the term was coined by Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in 1972.[4] Junk foods typically contain high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals. Common junk foods include salted snack foods, gum, candy, sweet desserts, fried fast food, and carbonated beverages. [5]


1 Health effects 2 Taxation 3 See also 4 References 5 External links



A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at the Scripps Research Institute (2008) suggested that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin.[6] After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure. After the junk food was taken away and replaced with a healthy diet, the rats starved for two weeks instead of eating nutritious fare.[7] A 2007 British Journal of Nutrition study found that female rats who eat junk food during pregnancy increased the likelihood of unhealthy eating habits in their offspring.[8] A report published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology suggests that babies of mothers with a high-sugar and high-fat diet while pregnant are more prone to junk food themselves. The study was conducted on rats and suggests that "infants whose mothers eat excessive amounts of high-fat, high-sugar junk foods when pregnant or breastfeeding are likely to have a greater preference for these foods later in life."[9]

To reduce unhealthy foods, in December 2011 Denmark has introduced the first fat-food tax in the world by imposing a surcharge on foods that contain more than 2.3 percent saturated fat. Hungary has also imposed a tax on packaged foods that contain unhealthy concentrations, such as beverages containing more than 20 mg of caffeine per 100 ml.[10]



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Comfort food Glutamic acid (flavor), common flavoring compounds and their synthetic versions, which may be added to some processed foods, to boost their savoriness

Health food, foods that tend to be nutrient rich, and may be eaten for their potential benefits to health List of food additives

Junk Food
Lollies, chips and fast food are called 'junk food'. This kind of food has too much fat in it. It has too much salt in it too. And it has too much sugar. It's OK to eat a little bit, but too much is not good. What is junk food? Lollies, soft drink, potato chips, hot chips, ice cream, and hamburgers, hot dogs and other kinds of take away food are called junk food. What's wrong with junk food? Too much fat! Junk foods such as hamburgers, pizza, fried chicken and chips usually contain loads of saturated fats. Too much saturated fat in the diet will cause people to put on weight and get fat or obese (very fat). Being overweight is a risk to the health of the heart and can cause other diseases. Too much salt! Junk foods often have too much salt. There's a lot of salt already in foods such as bread, breakfast cereals and biscuits and cakes. So people are getting more salt than they need when they eat junk food. Too much salt is unhealthy for the heart.

Too much sugar! Soft drinks, cordials, biscuits, cakes and lollies all have loads of sugar. That's what makes them taste so good! But too much sugar makes people fat, rots the teeth, is bad for the blood and may cause other diseases. Should people eat junk food? Junk food does have some of the good things that the body needs for good health. And the body needs some salt, fat and sugar for energy to burn while we work and play. However too much fat, sugar and salt is bad for our health and eating lots of junk food will overload your body with these things. It is probably OK to eat junk food sometimes! But people should look for foods that are low in fats and salt and sugar. Choose grilled fish and chicken rather than fried, fish burgers instead of beef, grilled lean beef burgers, and vegetarian pizza and pizza with seafood instead of fatty meat type pizza.

Eat lots of fresh foods, healthy foods most of the time. Choose to eat junk food only now and again. Go here to read the kidcyber page about the healthy food pyramid and how to make healthy food choices

Read about junk food and good food choices

here: o_have_sometimes?open

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this: Thomas, R. & Sydenham, S. Junk Food. [Online] (2008)
August 2008 kidcyber

Healthy Recipes to Satisfy Junk Food Cravings

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Cure your cravings with our healthy twists on favorite junk foods.
As delicious as eating healthy can be, we all still crave our favorite junk foods. So we turned to you, our readers, and asked you to share your favorite unhealthy foods youd like to see made healthier. Here they are: better-foryou swaps to satisfy both sweet and salty cravings guilt-free. Our recipes cut back on sugar, salt and fatand we incorporate fruit and whole grains when possible. Go ahead, give in and enjoy! Begin

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3 WAYS TO TURN JUNK FOOD INTO HEALTHY FOOD Kirby Archer | Jun 2, 2011 | DIY Week, Lifestyle | no comments
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Whether youve got a salty craving or sweet tooth, its hard to say no to a not-so-healthy indulgence now and then (or every day). Its biological, actually; were hardwired to crave high-calorie foods to prepare our bodies for times of scarcity since, thousands of years ago, hunters and gatherers didnt always know when their next meals would be coming. In this day and age, however, its nearly impossible to avoid overloading on everything from salty chips to gargantuan prepackaged cookies. But there are a million ways to satisfy your cravings in a healthy and nourishing way. If you keep an open mind and do some research, youll find endless recipes and techniques to keep yourself happy and well fed. Here are a few tried-and-true suggestions. Kale Chips, the most disgusting-sounding (and surprisingly delicious) of the lot. This leafy green is a health food darling, packed with vitamin A, iron and tons of cancerfighting antioxidants. The problem is, we humans arent generally too excited about vegetables, especially bitter greens, and would prefer to dive into a plate of raw butter before we even touched the stuff. But we are so missing out! To make your own kale chips, wash the kale, pull out the tough ribs and tear it into small pieces. Arrange it on a baking sheet, drizzle with good olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in the oven until theyre crisp like potato chips. Delicious, simple and oh, so good for you. Whole Wheat Flour. Whole wheat anything (bread, pasta, baked goods, etc.) is an incredible step up from the refined white flour that most of use are used to. Refining wheat and other carbohydrates takes the nutrients out of the grain, resulting in fine white flour that tastes good but spikes blood sugar, is high in calories and offers no nutrients whatsoever. You can make a huge change to your diet and waistline by trading in white products for good, whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, polenta, barley, quinoa(an incredible cous-cous-like seed thats packed with protein perfect for vegetarians) and whole wheat pastry flour. If youre afraid to substitute half of your baking flour with whole wheat flour (dividing the flour this way usually doesnt change the baking process), just look online for some fabulous whole wheat flour recipes. You can have your cake and look good, too.

No-Fry Fries. The easiest way to enjoy these beloved American carbs sans guilt? Bake em! You really dont need a deep fryer to get amazing French fries just cut up some potatoes into thick matchsticks and follow the method for the kale chips, but make the potatoes soft and roasted instead of crispy (or slice them into thin rounds to make baked potato chips). Want something even better? Sweet potato fries may actually be the best thing since sliced bread (or French fries). In fact, theyre better. They have the richest taste, are full of vitamins and antioxidants (bright or deep colors are generally a sign of these cancer-fighting agents) and go above and beyond as the tastiest and most inspired fries youll ever try. The best way to make unhealthy food healthy is to get creative. Try new things, and see what works best for you. The web is an unparalleled resource for finding excellent recipes that youll want to make over and over again. Get as close to nature as possible by incorporating real fruit, vegetables and whole grains into your comfort food of choice. Youll find that the healthy version is often more flavorful than the original! Photo by Ben + Sam

KIRBY ARCHER I'm a California native studying Writing, Literature and Publishing and Communication Studies at Emerson College. I love people and sunny days and I shouldn't listen to 80s music as much as I do. I think I think this generation can do anything and I'm glad to be a part of it. View all posts by Kirby Archer


junk food turned healthy

(9 Recipes) Created by KPARKS21

Recipes in this Collection

Very Good 4.2/5 (188 ratings) Very Good 4.3/5 (12 ratings)

80 calorie chocolate chip cookies

Very yummy and much lighter than regular chocolate chip cookies. Considered a hit by all! Submitted by TERRIANGEL
Carbs: 14.2g | Fat: 2.9g | Fiber: 0.3g | Protein: 0.8g | Calories: 83.3

Potato Chips
These are a great alternative when you need the crunch factor!! Taste like Lay's chips! Submitted by DAIZEEFLI
Carbs: 29.7g | Fat: 4.7g | Fiber: 3.7g | Protein: 3.4g | Calories: 170.7

Very Good 4.3/5 (10 ratings)

Stepf's Cornmeal Crust for Mexican Pizza

Use this whole-wheat and cornmeal crust to make my delicious Mexican pizza. Submitted by SP_STEPF

Very Good 4.4/5

Carbs: 18g | Fat: 2.2g | Fiber: 2.8g | Protein: 3g | Calories: 97.7

(93 ratings)

Stepf's Mexican Pizza

This Mexican pizza is a tasty alternative to traditional pizza. Add grilled chicken or cooked shrimp to change this up! Submitted by SP_STEPF
Carbs: 29g | Fat: 5.7g | Fiber: 3.6g | Protein: 11g | Calories: 203.9

Very Good 4.0/5 (3 ratings)

Pepperoni and Bacon Pizza

Submitted by HEATHYLIZ
Carbs: 16.6g | Fat: 4.6g | Fiber: 0.7g | Protein: 6.1g | Calories: 131.5

Very Good 4.4/5 (23 ratings)

Baja Fish Tacos

Great fresh Baja taste without empty calories Submitted by TAZANGEL36
Carbs: 36g | Fat: 11.4g | Fiber: 9.2g | Protein: 24.3g | Calories: 318.4

Very Good 4.3/5 (16 ratings)

buffalo chicken sandwiches

moist and delish Submitted by EVELYN1980
Carbs: 27.7g | Fat: 4.9g | Fiber: 4.4g | Protein: 30.3g | Calories: 269.2

Very Good 4.3/5

(356 ratings)

Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich

This tastes just like cheese pizza, plus you get about 25% of your daily calcium in one meal! Pair this with a salad and you have a great pizzaria style lunch without the calories attached...or the bill. Submitted by PUNKGIRL213
Carbs: 27.7g | Fat: 8g | Fiber: 3.8g | Protein: 13.2g | Calories: 234

Very Good 4.2/5 (178 ratings)

Healthier Hot Wings (Chef Meg Approved)

Fried, battered, dripping sauce--hot wings are calorie bombs! Here, boneless skinless chicken is coated in hot sauce and dredged in breadcrumbs for a tasty game-night appetizer. Submitted by CHEF_MEG
Carbs: 16g | Fat: 2.7g | Fiber: 1.6g | Protein: 29.3g | Calories: 210.6

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Transform junk food into healthy food!



Healthy eating habits ensure adequate nutrition and health besides reducing your risk of many chronic diseases. Simplicity of preparation and addictive taste make junk food irresistible. Children love it and so do adults. Can we convert junk food to healthy food? If you and your family are used to eating junk food, it wont be easy to suddenly start eating healthy, but you can convert junk food to healthy meals with a little ingenuity, provide your family sufficient nutrients AND help prevent obesity and other diseases. Here are a few ways to convert junk food to healthy meals that your family will enjoy.
Use as little butter in your sandwich as possible. Butter only one side. Avoid butter if adding mayonnaise. Choose wholemeal or whole grain bread instead of white bread. Grill your burger instead of frying it. Grilled burgers minus the saturated fats taste just as good. Trim visible fat from the raw meat before grilling it. When choosing meats or poultry, select baked, broiled, or grilled items rather than fried or breaded items. (University of California, Irvine) Serve different types of fresh fruit juice with meals, every day. Try serving chilled tamarind juice, which helps increase appetite and aids digestion. Fresh juice will stop you from reaching out for those colas and other addictive fizzy drinks. "The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times." "Adolescents who consume soft drinks display a risk of bone fractures three to four-fold higher than those who do not." (Marion Nestle :Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, California Studies in Food and Culture) Cant resist chips? Cut them thicker - thicker chips absorb less oil. Avoid very thin French fries. Include large, appetizing salads in every meal. Cut down on salad dressings when eating out. Mix the greens with sweet corn and pineapple or add different fruits each day. Pomegranate is a healthy substitute that goes well with vegetable salads. Salads help satiate hunger and ensure your children eat green leafy vegetables. Salad "freshens without enfeebling and fortifies without irritating." (Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin) Olive oil, flaxseed oil and canola oil are safe oils but use them sparingly. Eat more sprouts. Add fresh bean sprout to salad or soup. Sprouts cooked with a little soy sauce and fresh flax oil makes a nutritive, enjoyable meal. Make pizzas at home. Use low fat cheese, grilled chicken and fresh vegetables for toppings. Making pizzas at home will help you control what goes into its making. Limit the use of cheese as much as possible; substitute cheese toppings with tofu. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. It helps suppress the feeling of hunger and gives you a feeling of fullness. Water is a key ingredient in a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are many health benefits of drinking water. It helps flush impurities and toxins out of our systems. It aids in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. In fact, nearly every system in our bodies relies on water for proper functioning (C.J. Gustafson) Make one small change to your food every day. Include a healthy item like a fruit or vegetable in your menu. Dont make a drastic change overnight as this will only make your body crave it more and youll end up eating larger portions than you should.

Do you have any healthy quick fixes that can replace junk food? Can, and should, we completely avoid junk food?
Healthy junk food choices By Dustin Driver Published April 22, 2012

iStock Its nearly impossible to resist junk food. For decades, food scientists have been engineering delicious snacks that are as addictive as any drug. Barbecue potato chips, cheese puffs, sugary cereal, and pretzels dusted with heavenly honey-mustard powder are the product of an intense scientific effort that has only been rivaled by the Manhattan Project. When facing such insurmountable odds, its easy to give up and gorge on the tasty morsels. Thankfully, the same food-science masterminds that have been working against you all these years have had a change of heart. Theyre actually using their genius to create tasty low-fat, low-calorie snacks that wont stick to your waistline like congealed tallow. These snacks can be eatenin moderate quantitieswithout turning you into Paul Prudhomme. But youll still need to exercise some restraint, because no matter how low-fat junk food is, its still junk food. Whatever you do, don't overindulge. Salty junk foods Baked potato chips Those crafty food scientists at Frito-Lay figured out that deep-frying chips adds a lot of fat and calories. Their solution? Bake those chips in a nice, hot oven. Theyll come out crispy, but they wont drip grease like a leaky oil tanker. Baked! Lays KC Masterpiece barbecue-flavored chips contain about 120 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving (about 11 chips). Fried barbecue Lays harbor about 150 calories and 10 grams of fat. Its a big difference and it makes a previously off-limits food available for light snacking. And the baked Lays actually taste quite good. If youre looking for something a bit fancier, check out Kettle Brand Bakes Potato Chips. The gourmet baked chips are good enough to be served in your favorite fancy restaurant. Low-fat cheese puffs The cheese puff represents a major breakthrough in snack science (and particle physics, but thats another article). Nobody really knows what a cheese puff actually is, but we all love to gobble them down during halftime. Once again, the smarty-pants over at Frito-Lay devised a way of making low-fat, low-calorie Cheetos. They shaved about 40 calories (from 160 to 120) and about 6 grams of fat (from 10 to 4) off a serving. If Cheetos are too scientific for you, you may want to check out Annies Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies. Theyre not quite low-calorie and low-fat, but theyre a lot more satisfying than Cheetos. Each serving of the savory bunny-shaped crackers contains 150 calories and 7 grams of fat. Low-cal, low-sodium pretzels Pretzels seem healthy because theyre relatively sedate snacks. Because of this, its easy to gobble up too many of the tasty knots. If youre going to snack on pretzels, look for healthy ones. Legendary actor-turned-natural food mogul Paul Newman makes (or has other people make) some delightfully healthy and tasty pretzel snacks. The

Salt N Pepper flavor is especially delicious, adding a much-needed zing. One serving only has 100 calories and 1 gram of fat. Or try the orgasmically delicious Snyders of Hanover Honey Mustard & Onion Nibblers, which have 130 calories and 3 grams of fat. Fat and calories are a big deal, but the sodium in most pretzels can be your kryptonite, especially if youre on a low-sodium diet. Regular salted pretzels (including Newmans) contain about 400 mg of sodium. Unsalted pretzels are much better, as they only have about 110 mg of sodium. Of course, salt makes pretzels tasty and just a little goes a long way. Low-sodium versionslike Penn Dutch Extra Dark Reduced Sodium pretzelstaste great, but they only have about 190 mg of sodium. Sweet junk foods Better chocolate bars Unfortunately, the massive food-engineering firms havent really figured out how to concoct a good, low-calorie chocolate bar. Theyve made a few breakthroughs, but diluted or modified chocolate is about as appealing as eating fresh potting soil. If you must have a chocolate bar, eat only half. There are a few mass-produced bars that are better than others when it comes to fat and calories. Snickers, for instance, contains 280 calories and 14 grams of fat. Kit Kat is a little better, with 218 calories and 11 grams of fat. Plus, you can eat just one of the bars in a Kit Kat pack and halve that calorie count. Low-fat cookies Your regular, no-frills chocolate chip cookie contains 59 calories and 3 grams of fat. Others, like Archways applefilled oatmeal cookie, hold about 98 calories each. Taken in small quantities, cookies arent all that bad. When swallowed by the dozen, however, cookies can clog arteries and cause you to swell like a balloon. If you must indulge in cookies, reach for the smaller ones or try Newmans Fig Newmans cookies, an all-natural alternative to overprocessed and chemically enhanced sweets. The no-fat versions have about 60 calories per cookie, and of course, no fat. Theyre also super-tasty and figs contain tons of calciuman added benefit. The Italians developed a low-calorie, low-fat cookie thousands of years ago. Biscotti are satisfyingly sweet and crunchy, and a whole bar only contains 90 calories and 3 grams of fat. Thats a lot of bang for your buck. _________________________________________________________________________ More from Calorie Restriction Diets Top 10: Healthiest Junk Food Best Heart Foods Top 10: Junk Food Substitutes Healthy Snacks _________________________________________________________________________ Dont overindulge Dont try to deny junk food, but monitor the amount you consume. Junk food has been carefully engineered to trigger all the pleasure and addiction centers of your brain, so try not to eat it every day or youll get addicted to it. Replace the truly egregious foods with healthier alternatives, both manufactured and natural. Remember: Carrots make excellent snacks and apples can effectively stifle a sweet tooth. So the next time youre faced with a glimmering aisle of alluring junk food, remember that you have options.

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"Eatin' After Edenstrikes a very healthy balance between exposing deception, promoting the
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"If it tastes good spit it out!" Is that your understanding of eating healthy? That's not so with the Creator's properly prepared, fresh, whole foods. The nutrient-dense meal plans found in Dr. Sylvia's latest book, Eatin' After Eden - The Meat of the Word, will enable you to create gourmet delights using her recipes, several of which are included here. Additionally, her latest book goes far beyond recipes to provide life-sustaining knowledge. That can be as simple as quickly teaching you how you can convert thousands of not-so-healthy recipes

into some that are very beneficial. And you won't need to sacrifice a bit of tastiness or give up all your family favorites. Just a bit of adaptation may be all that's needed. (Candidly, some recipes have no redeeming value.) In the Chunky Chicken and Lentils Delight recipe we replaced unhealthy, highly processed vegetable oils with extra virgin olive oil; nutrientless water with nutritious broth; and pasta with lentils. We replaced unhealthy supermarket salt with sea salt. After trying a few examples here and with the brief instructions in the book you may expect your family to resume eating together around the table at home for enhanced relationships, increased wellness levels, and stretching food funds. Couldn't we all do with more of these in this day of noncommunication, illnesses, and tight budgets?