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What is 'junk' food?


'Junk' food is food that contains little or no nutritional value, but harmful amounts of salt, fat and sugar.

Some foods, such as cakes, biscuits, sugary drinks, sweets and crisps are high in fat, sugar and salt. They foods are usually low in vitamins, minerals and fibre. While these foods are enjoyable to eat, it is best to only have them occasionally and in small amounts.

If you are having some of these foods, stick to smaller, snack-sized versions. Check the label of similar foods and choose the option that is lower in fat, sugar and salt.

The following examples are about 100 calories:

  • About 4 squares of chocolate (half a bar)
  • 1 small or fun-sized chocolate coated bar
  • 1 bag of lower-fat crisps
  • 1 small cup cake (without icing)
  • 1 plain mini muffin
  • 2 plain biscuits or 1 chocolate biscuit
  • half a can or 200ml of sugary drink
  • 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream
  •  half or 1 cereal bar - check the label for calories
  • 5-6 chips

If you are hungry between meals, try having some healthier snacks such as fresh fruit or a yoghurt instead. This will give you energy and keep you feeling full.

Healthy swaps

Crisps

Low-fat crisps, rice cakes or popcorn

Chocolate

Fun-sized chocolate bars

Biscuits

Low-fat or plain biscuits

Hot chocolate

Choose low-calorie hot chocolate or cocoa

Chips

Oven chips

Ice-cream

Low-fat frozen yogurt/ ice-cream/ ice-pops

Cream

Low-fat natural yogurt

 


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