Junk Food and Healthy Nutrition

Junk food has its place in diet and nutrition.

OK–stop cheering–I’m not finished.

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Junk food has its place because it motivates discussion of healthy nutrition as a hot topic these days.

Some of us haven’t talked about nutrition since grade school health lessons. How many of us today really remember why our bodies need magnesium? I know I didn’t until I ventured into diet and nutrition studies.

I’ve since learned that magnesium is a really, really important mineral for a lot of reasons. But this article is about junk food, not magnesium. We will talk more about magnesium in future articles though.

However, because I don’t want to leave you sitting here now wondering about magnesium, I’ll give you this link to my favorite go-to site for health

information: WebMD explains the need for magnesium much better than I can.


There are a few reasons why I chose to open this discussion of Healthy Nutrition with “Junk Food”:

  1. It is a major culprit in chronic pain and fatigue syndromes as well as problems like cardiovascular disease (heart and circulatory dysfunction), diabetes (blood sugar imbalance), and gastrointestinal distress (upset tummy, acid reflux, ulcers, and other nasty stomach problems).
  2. Believe it or not, changing your diet from junk food to whole food is easier than you think.
  3. Learning about the junk food industry is a hugemotivator toward making healthy diet changes

These were the first three things I learned in my quest for a healthier lifestyle so that’s why Lesson 1 is about Junk Food.


DIY Nutrition Project 1: Learn about the junk food industry

Watch How to Get Fat Without Really Trying, an ABC News documentary with the late Peter Jennings.

This is the video that really got me thinking about what I was mindlessly buying and eating. It got me so riled up that the first thing I did was stop eating boxed macaroni and cheese (which I loved!). It started as my own personal boycott in protest against the food industry and turned into a victory for me when I began feeling better within a couple of months. This one small action–giving up mac n’ cheese–was the start of my movement toward real food.

That’s all it takes: one small action. Giving up just one thing that’s not good for you.

Watch the video in the Healthy Nutrition video library at YouTube. You can choose between watching:

A condensed 10 minute version by Nutrition Mom

This video is a shorter version hitting upon some of the highlights from the full documentary.

The complete 5-part documentary by FoodMattersMovie.com

This is the in-depth version that covers all the tactics and trickery the food industry uses to get us hooked on junk food

Note the happy faces of the corporate food manufacturers and government officials as they talk about ways they get us addicted to processed foods while they become billionaires doing it. And then tell us that our addictions are entirely OUR fault because we’ve demanded junk food all on our own, with no help at all from advertising.

If no part of this video makes you feel disgusted, then you just might be a hopeless junk food junkie.

After you watch it, scroll down to ‘leave a reply’ to share your comments. And share this post with friends, too.

Let’s all work together to let them know we’re not going to take this anymore! 

Cool Beans!

bullbrdframe-colorfulbeansDoes anyone know where the expression “cool beans!” ever came from? I don’t but I thought it would make a great title for this post.

I love beans of all kinds and dishes made from beans: hummus, refried beans, bean soups, baked beans, garlic beans, green beans almandine. Bean there, done that. (Sorry—couldn’t resist).

In the agricultural world, beans and legumes are known as pulses. When I read that, my inquiring mind wanted to know why so I looked it up. PulseCanada.com tells us that the word pulse is “from the Latin puls meaning thick soup or potage, pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family.” They go on to explain that:

“Pulses are part of the legume family, but the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fibre, and are low in fat. Like their cousins in the legume family, pulses are nitrogen-fixing crops that improve the environmental sustainability of annual cropping systems.”

In my email today, I found a link to a site called FoodNavigator-USA that talks about the many ways that food manufacturing is using beans and legumes to make gluten-free flours that can then be made into any number of healthier processed foods. This is fabulous news for people like me who like the convenience of packaged foods but not the way most of them are processed with unhealthy, unsafe, questionable ingredients. FoodNavigator-USA tells us:

“Beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils are now appearing as added value ingredients in every part of the store, from chips and snacks to salads, soups, pastas, dips and baked goods. Non-GMO, gluten-free, high in protein, fiber and micronutrients, and low in fat, beans in particular are undergoing a PR renaissance among consumers, who have been eating them for years in tacos and burritos, but now see them as a more wholesome alternative to soy, rice, corn and potatoes in their snacks.”

I kind of like the idea of incorporating these uber-healthy little pulses into my own recipes. How about you?

A Bit of Nostalgia 

Who remembers this little ditty from grade school?:

Beans, beans, the musical fruit; the more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel so why not eat beans at every meal?

Read all about this revolutionary food processing technique at FoodNavigator.USA.com