What really makes junk food bad for us? Here’s what the science says

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Fun, cheap and tasty, but perhaps not the healthiest option

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CUT down on fatty food. No, sugar. Aim for a Mediterranean diet. And remember to eat more plants…

The variability of healthy eating advice has become a cliché in itself. Yet despite all the contradictions, there is one thing that many agree on: we should avoid junk food. Until recently though, no one could give you a decent reason why. Gastronomic snobbery aside, science lacked an agreed definition of what junk food actually is, and that has made it difficult to know whether we should be avoiding it and, if so, why.

It has long been assumed that processed junk foods are bad because they tend to contain too much fat, salt and sugar. Recent studies, though, suggest that other mechanisms could be…

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