Snack food versus junk food

Snack food or junk food? Just in case we weren’t entirely clear….

Some foods that we eat may taste delicious, but they aren’t very good for us, at all. These foods should be consumed sparingly. We want to mention them here because you probably eat these foods and think nothing of it. But, in fact, they are not helping your brain or body like the foods found on the healthy MyPlate.

What are these foods that aren’t so great for us and which we might want to avoid? Do you recognize any of them?

  •  Salty foods,
  •  sugary snacks,
  •  soda,
  •  most white food,
  •  red meat.

Use these foods sparingly!

What? No more donuts? No cheese doodles? Coke-a-cola? Even potato chips? Think about your body as under construction (because it always is). You decide what that construction site looks like, what you’re building and how you’re protecting those buildings from storms. Your cells are like the project managers for your construction. If they are fed properly, they will do a good job of constructing great buildings (tissues, organs, skin, muscles) in a timely manner. If your cells are not fed well and actually have to deal with poor nutrition entering the construction site, then it begins to get messy. The cells are tired and cranky and irritable. They are sleeping on the job. Invaders enter the scene and the buildings don’t get built as tall or with a solid foundation. Not good. The next snow storm that comes through town (the common cold) and your buildings are not going to manage well at all. 

That is why when you are offered a donut or an apple, choose the apple. Envision your body repairing damaged tissues or building new muscle – you need the apple. If you eat the donut, don’t worry. It’s just one. You can eat those foods that are not so great for you sparingly. 

The key word here is sparingly – in small amounts.  You can eat them, just don’t make them part of your regular diet. They do not provide nutritional value that your brain and body need. They also add a lot of fat, sugar and salt that in large quantities over time damage cells, clog arteries, increase weight and leave people vulnerable to a host of illnesses – the building begins to fall down. All of this can be prevented by a good diet!

DID YOU KNOW? Various studies in public schools have demonstrated that classroom performance has improved when junk food was taken out of the school lunch program. Also, obesity rates fell.


Today, most people’s diets contain much too much of these mostly processed foods. (Are gummy bears actually a food?). Again, read the label. If something packaged has more than five ingredients and words you can’t pronounce, you may want to think twice about it. Grab an apple, it only has one ingredient!

The  main point is that certain foods can harm us and lead to diseases like cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. You are responsible for your health. You choose what to eat each day. What will you choose?

We suggest you choose wholesome foods—foods that are as close to how they appear in nature as possible: avocados, apples, grapes, watermelon, lettuce, tomatoes… you get the idea! But it won’t always be that easy. So here is an idea for a day:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with nuts and berries. 

Lunch: Turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato on whole wheat or multigrain bread. If you need a spread, try coconut oil, ketchup (without high fructose corn syrup) or mustard.

Snack: Peanut butter (or almond butter) with an apple

Dinner: Roasted chicken with broccoli and brown rice.

This combination will keep you sailing through the zone all day. And don’t forget to save room for a couple squares of dark chocolate!

Whatever you decide to do, BALANCE is key for a healthy diet. Thus, incorporating vegetables, fruits and grains with protein and healthy fats is your goal. MyPlate does not have a section for junk food for a reason;-).

Here are some examples for how to eat a better diet that is both delicious and fills you up. We call this the old switcheroo….


High processed cereals (especially the high sugar kind) with oatmeal (and add some fruit and nuts)

Creamy dips and chips with hummus and veggies or guacamole and multi grain chips

PB&J sandwich on white bread with celery with almond nut butter

Cookies with apples and cheese

Potato chips with popcorn (low on the butter) or nuts

Candy bars with one ounce of dark chocolate

French fries with baked sweet potato fries

White bread with multi-grain bread

Orange juice with an orange


Take care of your body – it is the only one you will ever get!

Post Question:

Do you think we are a “junk food” nation? What are the consequences of being known as a junk food nation?

Answer the post question here

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