Fast Food Vs. Junk Food: Whats The Difference? Which Is Worse For Health?


What comes to your mind when we say fast food? The most common replies will be pizza, burger, chips, soda and all things decadent. For most of us, junk foods and fast foods are synonymous. We put both under one category and define them by their harmful effects. These decadent delicacies contain trans-fats and excess calories, which are known to affect our health negatively, increasing the risks of obesity and diabetes among others. But did you know, fast foods and junk foods are actually not the same? You heard us. If you look into the definition, you would find some striking differences between the two. Now, that might be a bit confusing for you. Right? Don’t worry, we have got your back.
In this article, we will take you through the concepts of junk foods and fast foods and explain the differences between the two. Let’s get started.
Also Read: 5 Harmful Effects of Junk Food

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What Is Fast Food?

If you search on the internet, you would find multiple definitions of fast food. However, the most accepted one remains – fast food refers to food that can be prepared and served quickly. According to Cambridge dictionary, it is the category of food that can be prepared and served quickly at some special eateries and you can also “take away to eat”. Some of the most common examples of fast foods are pizza, noodles, sandwich, sushi, burger and fruit juice.

What Is Junk Food?

Junk food, on the other hand, is referred to the food items that lack nutritional values. According to an article on WebMD, it is the category of food that adds “lots of calories but little nutritional value” to your diet. These foods lack nutrients like fibre, minerals and vitamins. Some of the most common examples of junk foods are chips, cold drinks, chocolates, wafers, pastry and ice cream.
Also Read: Strange But True! Unhealthy Food, If Looking Good, May Seem Healthy To You: Study Claims

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What Is The Similarity Between Junk Food And Fast Food?

To put it simply, both fast foods and junk foods are affordable and easily available in the market. Some of the fast foods, like French fries, chips, soda etc, can also be called junk foods due to the high amount of salt, sugar and fat. Excess consumption of these foods is associated with increased risks of heart problems, diabetes and weight gain.

Junk Food Vs Fast Food: What Are The Differences Between The Two:

1. Cooking process:

Fast foods are generally prepared on the spot, before consumption, while you can get packaged junk foods that are ready to eat at any given point.

2. Availability:

While fast foods are generally available at QSRs and street side stalls, junk foods are pre-packaged and sold at grocery shops and convenience stores.

3. Shelf life:

Fast foods are generally made on the spot for quick consumption, meaning, they get spoilt if kept for long. However, junk foods (packaged) have preservatives and can be stored for a long time.

4. Cost:

While fast foods like noodles, momos, burgers etc can be both affordable and expensive (depending on the eatery), you can get a packet of chips or chocolate for as minimum as Rs 10.
Also Read: A ‘Fitness Chef’ Shares How To Slash 1000 Calories From Your Favourite Fast Food

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Junk Food Or Fast Food: Which One Is Healthier?

While junk foods are always unhealthy, fast foods often come with some healthier options. For instance, salads and fruit chaats fall under the fast-food category and are considered healthier. Then we get healthy sandwiches that are easy to make, convenient and load you with a good amount of nutrients.

Bottom Line:

Now that you know all about fast foods and junk foods, we suggest, identifying the right kind of food while you crave for something indulgent. This will not only satiate your cravings but also do less harm to your overall health. But remember, moderation is the key!



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