Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Junk food and health

If a fair proportion of what you are eating is processed foods and “ready meals”, the assortment of extra salt, sugars, additives, and so forth can accumulate in your body. These types of food are fine occasionally: eating them all the time is really not a good idea—at all! I do not want to go into all the horror stories but (believe me) they do have some validity, especially for children.

Too much salt (sodium) is bad for you, though a little is absolutely necessary: it can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension. Most people should cut their total salt intake, probably by about half. Alot of salt is put into processed foods: check the labels (0.5g of sodium per 100 g in food is too much; less than 0.1g per 100g is all right). Don’t add salt to food during cooking, add it later when it is on the plate—if you wish. Cut out snacks and crisps especially.

Foods high in salt include pickles, smoked fish, soy sauce, stock cubes, tinned vegetables and sauces. Please also avoid aspartame, the sweetener in so-called diet drinks: you really do not want know what it might do to you. But, if you dare to type “aspartame risks” into a search engine, then you can check it out for yourself. In all fairness, the jury is still partially out on this one.

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