LET'S GET MOVING WITH MARIA

The dangers of junk food addiction

Sep 17, 2023, 1:05 PM | Updated: 2:52 pm

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SALT LAKE CITY – How often do you find yourself eating junk food? You might think it tastes better than the more healthier food options out there, but there are serious dangers to junk food addiction.

In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, Maria Shilaos spoke with Nicole Rodriguez, Registered Dietitian and Owner of Enjoy Food, Enjoy Life, to learn what counts as junk food and what happens to our body and mind when we consume too much of it.

Junk food is about perspective. We all have different tastes and preferences, so one person’s junk food may be different from another person’s junk food.

Rodriguez describes it as foods that are lacking in nutrients and excessive in saturated fat, salt, and sugar.

“When some of those things [salt, sugar, and fat] are combined together, they give you that dopamine hit. So we might want to eat more and more,” she said.

Although junk food isn’t the best for your health, that doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate them from your life. However, you do have to keep your quantity and frequency in check. Make sure you’re not excessively consuming junk food.

“We know that when we have too much saturated fat and too much sodium, those can both negatively impact our heart health,” Rodriquez said. “We know that excess calories in general can contribute to excess body weight and possibly obesity down the road.”

Let’s say you went to the drive-thru for one or two meals out of the 21 meals in your week. If the rest of your meals are relatively well-balanced, then you can still live a healthy life.

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The dangers of junk food addiction