These foods give us a lot of energy but they are loaded with calories and don't give many nutrients either. Junk foods are often high in fat, sugar and salt. It's important not to have too many foods from this group too often.
There are some fats which are good for you. These are unsaturated fats. The other type of fat is saturated fat, which is bad for you.
This is nearly always animal fat and is often solid at room temperature. You'll find this in full-fat dairy products and things made with these ingredients like cakes, biscuits, chocolate and pies. It's also the white stuff you see on red meat. Eating a lot of this type of fat can lead to heart disease.
This usually comes from vegetables and nuts and can be polyunsaturated (like corn oil) or monounsaturated (like olive oil). This fat is liquid at room temperature and you can use margarines containing these fats instead of using butter. It's a healthier type of fat also found in oily fish such as salmon or sardines.
Sucrose is another name for sugar that we add to our tea and cereals. It makes up a large part of the calories in cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolates. It's highly refined and has no nutritional benefits. So steer clear if you can!
Glucose is also highly refined and found in sweets and some sports drinks. You should cut down on glucose or cut it out as it simply gives you extra calories.
As fat and sugar are high in calories they can lead to weight gain. So it's important to try to cut down on the unhealthy fats and sugars. As you probably already know, sugar's bad for your teeth as well, so that's another good reason to cut down on it.
Tips to stop sugar and sweets spoiling your smile
- Try sugar free squashes or sugar free gum instead.
- If you're having sweets eat them just after a meal as this way they do less damage to your teeth.
- If you like a sweet taste have more naturally sweet foods like fruits, in meals.
- Use lower sugar products, such as fruit tinned in fruit juice or water, reduced-sugar jams and other spreads.