So June is coming up, and in the last few years “Junk Free June” has become a thing in New Zealand. I for one think it’s great!! It’s an opportunity to create better eating habits, it’s accountability to not go and eat the typical junk food that has found it’s home in our lives, and it allows us to donate to the Cancer Society when let’s be honest, we otherwise probably wouldn’t.
Here are a few reasons why we should do Junk Free June (in no particular order):
Number one: Why the heck are we (as New Zealanders) eating so much damn junk food anyway?! We have a beautiful luscious green country and yet will fill our faces with processed packaged crap. We NEED to get more vegetables into our diet. The more colours we eat (from veges, not artificially coloured junk food, obviously) means the more nutrients we are getting, the more vitamins we will be eating, and the better our health is going to be. It’s actually going to give you more energy too! See ya later sugar!
Number two: There is a reason we donate to the cancer society when cutting out junk – It has been proved that certain junk foods cause certain cancers. Processed meats have a direct link to bowel cancer. So why do we eat so much of it? Why does bacon have to be on our breakfasts every weekend? A little bit here or there surely won’t hurt us (fingers crossed), but it does not need to become staple in our diet.
We NEED to get away from overly processed foods and we NEED to get back to eating wholesome foods in their most natural source as possible.
Number three: We as a nation, have a HUGE obesity problem. Did you know we have the third highest rate of adult obesity on the OECD?! The majority of the junk foods we are eating all have excess sugars – these will cause a spike in our insulin and promote fat storage. They also often provide more energy than we probably need, also leading to fat storage. We as a nation need to make a stand, cut the crap, and look after our health! If we continue eating junk, we will continue putting on weight, and we will continue to become sick!
Number four: Also related to number three, we as a nation have a HUGE diabetes problem!
Fun fact: The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
New Zealand's rate of type two diabetes is one of the highest in the world too – what the hell!? How can a country that has such a great farming culture be so bad with our food and our health? Yes it’s expensive to eat well (well, it can be, but doesn’t have to be!!), but there’s no reason we can’t have a vegetable garden in our back yard. We might even save money by not buying the junk and making our meals at home. Being prepared is a major necessity that we so easily come up with excuses for.
So! The moral of my story is,