BY MICHAEL ROIZEN, M.D., AND MEHMET OZ, M.D.Almost 40 years ago, the song "Junk Food Junkie" told it like it is:
"When that clock strikes midnight/And I'm all by myself/ ... I pull out some Fritos corn chips, Dr Pepper and an ol' Moon Pie/Then I sit back in glorious expectation/Of a genuine junk-food high."
Decades later, North Americans still are addicted to high-fat, sugar-loaded treats -- and we're passing the craving from generation to generation. Pregnant moms who eat junk food give birth to kids with a built-in tolerance to these unhealthy, processed foods. That makes the little ones crave more and more fat and sugar to get the feel-good sensation these foods trigger. The result: kids who are overweight, pre-diabetic and depressed.
What do you do if you and your children are JFJs? Try our three steps to family freedom from junk-food follies.
When you take your lunch to work with you, remember: Eat away from your desk, and stop working! That stretches out mealtime, which lets your "I'm full" hormone, leptin, kick in so you don't overeat. Start with six walnut halves at your desk as a snack 30 minutes before lunch. Then, eat with friends: Social interaction reduces stress and boosts everything from your work performance to your immune strength -- and helps make your RealAge younger!
What to take? Pack a protein: The baked chicken nuggets recipe at RealAge.com is tasty; canned salmon delivers calcium plus omega-3s. Add in: 100 percent whole-grain carbs (quinoa, brown rice), veggies (steamed broccoli or salad with red pepper, carrots, a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar); and a midafternoon pick-me-up of nonfat, no-sugar-added Greek yogurt with fresh berries. Tip: Keep healthy frozen meals in a fridge at work for days you can't pack lunch. More great lunchtime ideas are at RealAge.com and DoctorOz.com.