ll too often, people are plagued with guilt after enjoying a tasty afternoon snack or indulgent weekend feast.
But are our favourite ‘junk’ foods really so bad for us?
Speaking to FEMAIL, Australian holistic nutritionist and Supercharge your Gut author, Lee Holmes, said there’s absolutely no need to feel guilty after eating one too many treats.
‘While I don’t recommend eating junk food all the time, it can be made part of your routine if you don’t associate it with guilt and just enjoy it for what it is,’ she said.
‘While one healthy meal won’t make you strong, one unhealthy meal won’t make you put on weight. It’s all about balance. When you really need to justify a treat, just remember that moderation is key. Heck, it’s part of what makes us human.’
‘While decadent chocolate can be filled with sugar and high in fat, chocolate does release serotonin in the body which makes us feel happy,’ Lee said.
‘Chocolate can also be high in the mineral magnesium, which is necessary for our body function.
‘However, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. If you’re going to be biting into your favourite slab, fully embrace it. Let it melt in your mouth and appreciate it.
‘Or, if you’re looking to up your chocolate game, maybe try out some darker chocolate, like the 70 per cent cocoa ones or even go with the raw variety. It’s high in antioxidants and full of delicious taste, minus some of the nasties.’
‘If you’re looking to strengthen your bones and teeth, you may want to up your calcium. Do you know what’s high in calcium? Dairy!’ Lee said.
‘Obviously, I’m not telling you to get your sole calcium fix from dairy (there’s vegetables and other great sources for that), but just remember when you’re picking your favourite flavour that it’s not all bad.’
‘If you’re thinking about gobbling down a greasy cheese burger (vegetarians, look away!) and trying to work out whether it fits into your macros, think again,’ Lee said.
‘While burgers from fast-food chains contain unhealthy saturated and transfats, additives and more, enjoying a nice home-made burger can be a real treat.
‘If you have your lean protein of choice for the base, delicious fresh vegetables for the middle and some good quality-bread (or maybe a lettuce wrap or open burger), it doesn’t need to be an unhealthy meal.
‘It’s important to remember that when it comes to junk foods, you don’t need to finish the whole thing either! Sometimes just a few bites are enough to satisfy our desires for that feeling.’
‘It’s time to cut to the chase – alcohol,’ Lee said.
‘Moderate alcohol consumption may actually provide some health benefits because of its level of antioxidants.
‘Alcohol, in moderate amounts, can potentially reduce risk of heart disease, ischemic stroke and even diabetes.
‘However, again, moderation is key. If you’re going to drink, opt for spirits with soda water and fresh lime/lemon or red wine as they’re higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar.’
‘Pizza is truly a dish that is universally enjoyed. However, not all pizzas are created equally,’ Lee said.
‘Pizza sauce is usually made from tomatoes which are high in vitamin A and C, our antioxidants.
‘Pizza is also topped with vegetables and we all know that veggies are good! Some pizzas contain a hefty amount of fat and sugar so that may be a factor to consider when deciding on your pizza of choice.
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‘You can find some gluten-free bases that are a healthier alternative.
‘If you’re looking at making pizza at home, why not try swapping out your pizza base for a cauliflower one or even a simple eggplant? Ham and Cheese pizza? No problem.’