11 HARMFUL JUNK FOODS THAT EVERYBODY LOVES
Drugs, smoking, and alcohol are considered some of the most addictive “habits” of our generation (and generations past), in spite of the fact that nowadays high-tech video games, the Internet, and spending 24/7 with a smartphone in your hand seems to be just as addictive, especially for the younger generations. In our humble opinion, however, two of the most addictive “habits” or, to be more accurate, the two most basic needs of human beings have always been food and of course, sex. Today we are illuminating 11 popular “drugs” from the amazing kingdom of junk food which, as most scientific studies show lately, can kill you just as effectively as drugs, smoking, and alcohol do. We suggest you read this list with a full stomach, because some of these photos will make a hungry dude even hungrier. written by Theodoros II for TCMag
THE AMERICAN BURGER
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the absolute joy of every fat kid—in body or soul—on the planet. All you really need is two buns, a patty or two or three or as many as you want really, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and you got the best fast food in the world on your plate. It sounds kind of healthy, right? Unfortunately it isn’t; especially the ones we usually eat at McDonald’s, Hard Rock Cafe, TGI Fridays, and BK. We should probably blame it on these tasty magic sauces they include, all the mayo, the extra cheddar cheese, and the fries of course. Add in the mix a 500ml cup of Coca-Cola or Sprite and just one meal easily exceeds the daily, recommended 2,000-calorie diet. All good things come with a high price.
Greeks are known for inventing things that the rest of the world usually embraces and the clear proof of this are the Olympics, democracy, philosophy, and classic architecture among many other things. One such case is another divine “junk dish” from our list and we are of course referring to good ol’ Greek gyros. You can have it on a plate with tomatoes, feta cheese, and onions or you can eat it traditionally in a pita bread with fries, tomatoes, and lots of tzatziki sauce. It started as a local specialty but because of the fast-growing tourism industry in Greece during the 70s and 80s, along with the Greek Diaspora in America, specifically in New York and Chicago, gyros have become a global symbol of good fast food. However, rumors say that nothing can be compared to the real thing, which you can find only in Greece. So next time you’re visiting Greece don’t forget to order it like that «Ένα απ’ όλα».
CHOCOLATE CANDY BARS
Some things never change no matter how old we are. A good chocolate bar is usually the “best friend” of every kid, and as the years go on it becomes a “comfort” food and keeps us good company after failures, especially on an emotional or even professional level. It’s also one of the most popular and simple gifts we can give to show our appreciation and love to the people we care about. Some of its most famous ambassadors would be Mars, Snickers, Boost, Lacta, Twix, and Milky Way among many others, while for the ones with a more elegant sweet tooth and more bucks in their wallet there’s Ferrero Rocher and Leonidas Belgian Chocolates.
In this case there’s a great dispute between those who consider ice cream to be a healthy food and the ones who include it in their black list of trashy foods. Ice cream contains big doses of milk, which is a good thing for sure, but also has lots of sugar and preservatives, which makes things really bad and unhealthy for consumers. Another disadvantage is that in most cases ice cream comes prepackaged, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but ermmm, let’s be honest, nobody thinks of quality health food when he sees a Ben & Jerry’s, or Baskin Robbins gigantic box of ice cream with 500 calories per portion. The saddest part of the story is that despite knowing all this, we will continue eating ice cream, especially during the hot summer months when grocery stores and street vendors seem to work overtime to seduce us into eating it, especially when they throw in a “Buy 1, get the 2nd half off” coupon.
Arguably the most addictive food in the world, pizza is the kind of junk food that everybody loves. With roots in ancient Greece and modern Italy, pizza began conquering the world through New York in the early twentieth century and since then it has become the absolute pop food for many generations. It comes in many different sizes and flavors and is edible all year long, regardless of the season. The best friend of pizza is usually a cold beer and a football match on TV, but don’t be shocked if you see people holding cutlery eating it in an elegant restaurant accompanied by some good red wine.
One way or another, and despite the fact that it is extremely harmful for our heart and body figure, pizza rules!
FISH N’ CHIPS
The pride of England and every other country in the UK, fish n’ chips are undoubtedly one of the tastiest, but most unhealthy foods in the world. Actually it’s so bad for your system that some studies have shown that if you eat it every day for a few months, you may end up in the hospital with severe heart issues. Despite the fact that the kinds of fish—Atlantic cod or haddock—British cooks usually use to make this dish would be ideal for a healthy meal (if the fish was baked or boiled and accompanied by a green salad), the deep-fried chips that come with it and the way it’s fried in hot oil slathered with batter, make it out to be the ideal food to clog your arteries.
NACHOS WITH CHEESE
This one is not only unhealthy but one of the messiest foods out there as well. There’s no way you have eaten nachos with cheese at least once and you weren’t all messy afterwards. At the same time we must confess that it’s one of the very few snacks that make you lick your fingers, LITERALLY, but unfortunately it’s one of those junk foods that could easily become a calories bomb. The melted cheese is what takes everything to another level but it’s also the one that shatters your allowed daily calorie intake to the sky. If you have it once in a blue moon, however, then it’s not such a bad thing.
Who said Frenchmen don’t have junk food? Who said Frenchmen can’t pig out too? The truth is, however, that the French are classy even when it comes to junk food. Croissants are without a doubt the classiest “junk food” (many don’t even consider them one) on this list and probably the most elegant also. The great thing about croissants is how diverse they can be; you can have them for breakfast or a snack or dinner, they can be desserts if you serve them with marmalade, praline cream (ooh la la, the best possible combination), or milk, but they also make perfect sandwiches especially with turkey and cheese, ham, or salmon. Now that we’ve had a little more time to think about it . . . are croissants really junk food?
One could say that this is the favorite snack of every American cop—who respects himself— while on duty and one of the main reasons why the US police force is considered one of the most obese in the world. Even though “doughnuts” take us back to the 1800s when they were first made, the spelling “donut” remained rare until the 1950s, and has since grown significantly in popularity; this change in spelling has possibly been influenced by the spread of Dunkin’ Donuts around the world, which is for donuts what McDonald’s is for burgers.
Donuts come in an endless number of flavors and can be eaten as breakfast with your coffee or a dessert after a good meal. Keep in mind that a plain donut has about 450 calories and as we all know, no one can eat just one. And who eats a plain donut for that matter? I’m surprised you can still find them anywhere when there’s a number of more tantalizing, delicious flavors to choose from to blow your calorie consumption on. Red velvet, anyone?
Like the name clearly says, this is the absolute must-eat snack when you go to the cinema. Especially if the film turns out to be boring, or your date with the sexy blond chick you had been begging to take out for five weeks doesn’t go well, you can always find comfort in a big bag of popcorn. We are afraid we’ve got bad news for cinema-goers though; just like many other “addictive” comfort things in life, and according to the nutrition watchdog, a large bag of sweet movie popcorn can contain an alarming 1,800 calories, which is about as many calories the average male adult needs (approximately 2,300) per day to keep his weight at a constant level. In other words and in terms of calories, movie popcorn ain’t a snack, but two full meals and a snack in one.
Just like every other junk food that is battered and then deep-fried, fried chicken offers a great “opportunity” to all the people who are hoping to get fat before they even know it. Kentucky Fried Chicken and Colonel Sanders are the worldwide ambassadors of the fried chicken since you can literally find KFC restaurants in every corner of the planet that is not named Afghanistan or Iraq, of course! Okay, okay, we were being overdramatic with our last statement but KFC is the undisputed champion of fried chicken, even though Popeye’s chicken fans will argue against this statement. One way or another, if you eat this kind of food more than once a week (the MAX) you might end up in your cardiologist’s office sooner than you originally planned, and no, this time we’re not joking.