Is There Such Thing as Healthy Junk Food?

Is there such a thing as healthy junk food? It’s a question that has been asked throughout the years, and one that is still being debated today.

The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no”, as the definition of “junk food” is highly subjective. Some people consider any processed food to be unhealthy, while others may define it as anything high in fat and/or sugar.

In truth, there are some types of food that could be considered both healthy and junk food. For example, popcorn can be a low-calorie snack if it is air-popped without added butter or other flavorings. On the other hand, store-bought popcorn drizzled in butter and salt can be high in calories and saturated fat.

Similarly, some chips can fit into a healthy diet if they are made from whole grains with minimal added fats and sodium. Baked chips made from potatoes or corn are usually lower in calories than their fried counterparts. Similarly, pretzels tend to be lower in fat than chips because they are made from dough instead of fat.

Fruits and vegetables also have the potential to become unhealthy when they are processed or treated with unhealthy ingredients such as added sugars or syrups. Frozen fruits and vegetables can also lose some of their nutrition during the freezing process, so it’s best to opt for fresh produce whenever possible.

Even foods like ice cream can be considered healthy if they are made with low-fat milk or yogurt instead of cream and contain real fruit puree instead of artificial flavorings. Similarly, candy bars can be part of a balanced diet if they contain whole grains, nuts, and dried fruits rather than syrups or other sweeteners.

Overall, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all definition for what qualifies as healthy junk food; it depends on the individual’s dietary needs and preferences. Eating healthfully doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid processed foods; rather you should strive for moderation by making smart choices when selecting snacks and treats.


It is possible to find snacks that balance taste with healthfulness when considering what constitutes “healthy junk food”; however, it ultimately comes down to personal preference when making smart choices about snacks.