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Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

For running a car, you would need fuel, similarly for keeping your body active and healthy, you would need food rich in vitamins, proteins, iron, carbohydrates and all other essential multi-vitamins to keep you energetic. However, you must have felt yourself exhausted, tired and sluggish at times after having meals, have you ever thought the food that you are taking is actually providing you the required energy or is it an energy drainer?

Certainly, even after having high calorie food and beverages in your diet, you feel exhausted, sleepy and tired. What you eat and drink determines your state of health and activeness and alertness levels. Here are 7 foods items that take a toll on your energy levels.

Fast/fried foods

Meals that are high in fat, such as potato chips, burgers, cheese and fried foods are a good source of energy drainers and cause fatigue in the short run. This is apparently especially true for meals that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, as well as a diet that is high in both saturated fat and refined carbohydrates. Because fried foods are very fatty, it takes much more energy to break them down during digestion. Rather than fuelling your body, these foods make your body work overtime for digestion. This can lead you to feel sluggish and tired after indulging.


Excessive intake of alcohol or especially red wine can take a toll on your energy levels. In a study published by Forbes magazine, findings showed that alcohol suppressed the release of glutamate, and excitatory neurotransmitter, which typically works to increase brain activity and energy levels. The reason for this is that alcohol actually slows down central nervous system of your body. This causes you to feel completely wiped out and drained.

High sugary food – doughnuts, sweet rolls etc
High sugary food intake makes you feel that it will boost your energy but in fact it provides you with the energy boost instantly but crashes it the very next moment. Thus you feel sluggish and sleepy. That is because when you first eat them; your blood sugar levels rise way up. However, your body then instinctually releases insulin and the blood sugar levels drop rapidly. What is the result? You crash as you run out of energy.


You would be wondering why coffee? Although caffeine helps us feel energized and awake. Unfortunately excessive caffeine intake can also increase our anxiety levels, a development that can cause increased stress, and chronic fatigue.

White bread

White bread is one of the most common breakfast component in every household, because of its easy to prepare and usage. But this is one of the food and beverage items that kills your energy levels. White bread is typically composed of refined carbohydrate that produces high level of insulin. This insulin drains the sugar absorbed from your blood streams and stored as fats under your skin. Thus making you feel less energetic.


Most cereal is a combination of high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and genetically modified (GM) corns are the worst energy drainers. However, even "healthy" adult cereals are better off avoided, as they're nothing more than refined carbohydrates.


Most sodas contain too much sugar and artificial sweeteners. The chemical aspartame, which is used as a sugar substitute in soda, has over 92 different side effects associated with its consumption including diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures.

We all love junk food; but who would like the consequences the oh-so-tasty meal brings along? We are talking about weight gain, obesity, heart problems, diabetes and bad breath. Yes you heard us! Even if you skip the onions in your burgers, there is a chance you may be left with a bad breath that doesn't go away easily. There's a study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine that found that young people who frequently binge on fast food, that is at least thrice a week, are more likely to suffer from bad breath or halitosis as compared to those who ate junk food less frequently. Now, if you wonder why this bad breath has left you embarrassed, probably your junk food eating habit is the culprit. We tell you why!Junk food items may taste heavenly. While they wreak havoc on your body and overall health, they are also responsible for taking a toll on your oral health. Bad breath, sores and gum diseases are some of the conditions that junk foods can be blamed for. One of the main reasons for this is that since most junk and fast foods lack proper minerals and vitamins, bacteria and germs tend to reside in such places, thereby causing such oral health problems.

Hard to Digest Junk Foods

These foods are mostly hard to digest and tend to cause a build-up of gas. This gas is released through the mouth, causing a pungent smell that can only be masked through gums and mints.

Oils In Junk Foods Can Cause Acidity

The oils in junk and fast foods make you more likely to suffer from acidity, which in turn may lead to gastric reflux, which is a major contributor of bad breath.

Conditions Like Diabetes May Only Add to the Problem

If you have an underlying condition like diabetes, the smell can get worse. The bacteria in your mouth tend to feed on sugar, and higher levels of sugar are associated with diabetes that give the bacteria plenty to feed on, further allowing the bacteria to multiply.

Your diet plays a major role in keeping your oral health in check. If you are dealing with bad breath due to excessive consumption of junk foods, it's time you switch to healthier alternatives and save yourself from being embarrassed. Eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruits to reduce the risk of bad breath significantly. Eating apple can be an excellent way to freshen your mouth as it contains compounds that can inhibit the activity in your mouth. Try eating oranges and strawberries; the vitamin C content in these fruits creates an acidic environment in the mouth that makes it difficult for the bacteria to grow and thrive. Here are more foods that you can eat to treat bad breath.

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There is a difference between hunger and craving. Hunger is when the want to eat is truly physical. It follows a set pattern and is often satisfied by eating wholesome foods.

Cravings, on the other hand, arise anytime and cannot be explained. When a person experiences ‘craving’, it’s mostly for foods that are laden with sugar, salt, trans-fat, caffeine or alcohol, because they instantly hit the spot and satisfy the craving.

Why does a craving for junk food arise in the first place? A couple of reasons:

Bad gut health
Our gut harbours both good and bad gut bacteria. Health lies in maintaining the right ratio between the two. Any imbalances in the ratio due to faulty lifestyle, excessive use of medications, stress, can cause the bad bacteria to outnumber the good bacteria. Since the bad bacteria demands things like sugar, toxins, inflammation for its survival, this is exactly what it makes the human body crave for. If we fail to fuel these bad bacteria by avoiding junk, they die.
So is the case with Candida albicans, a nasty yeast that lives within 85% of the human population. If your body has an abundance of Candida, they constantly require being fed, usually preferring sugar to thrive.

Emotional stress
Junk eating happens when we are emotionally disturbed and most food companies take advantage of this to manufacture the so-called “comfort foods”. When we are stressed, our serotonin (happy hormone) levels hit rock bottom and as humans we cannot stay in discomfort for long, hence we resort to food as the quickest way to seek comfort. These are mostly foods that tend to be highest in sugar, salt and fat content because they offer the quickest fix and elevate our mood. Unfortunately this high is followed by a quicker crash leaving us unhappier and irritable.

Excess sugar and salt
Foods rich in sugar (artificial sweeteners included) and salt act as in addiction. Most foods that are rich in sugar and salt tend to lack nutritional value, thus are termed as “empty calories”. When we constantly feed our body these foods, it robs us of energy and nutrients that our trillion of cells are screaming for. End result? Cravings. The best way to handle such cravings is to create a body that doesn’t crave. Eliminate refined flour, refined sugar, refined salt and everything that contains it for at least 7-10 days and you will notice how cravings automatically stop.

Lack of hydration
Many of us do not drink the right amount of water every day, as a result of which we often confuse the feeling of “thirst” with “hunger”. Whenever you feel the onset of a craving, step back and drink some water. If the craving fades away, then you are surely dehydrated.

Lack of sleep
A night of less sleep can lead to low energy levels, irritable moods, fuzzy thoughts, a toxic body – all of which could take the shape of a craving. If you find yourself craving for junk all day, then all you need to do is fix your sleep.
Consult a doctor before trying out any remedy

लहानग्यांमध्ये जंकफूडची निर्माण होत असलेली आवड ही घातक ठरण्याची शक्यता आहे. जंकफूडचा मुलांचा आग्रह पुरविला गेल्यास व आठवड्यातून त्याचे त्यांच्याकडून तीनदा सेवन झाल्यास लहान मुलांसाठी ते अधिकच हानिकारक ठरणार असल्याचे आंतरराष्ट्रीय स्तरावर करण्यात आलेल्या अभ्यासात आढळून आले आहे. त्याचप्रमाणे, मायक्रोवेव्ह आणि तळलेल्या पदार्थांचे सातत्याने सेवन केल्यास, त्यातून लहानग्यांना अन्नपदार्थांच्या अ‍ॅलर्जीचा धोकाही संभावतो, असे निरीक्षण या अहवालात नोंदविले आहे.

लहानग्यांच्या आहारशैलीतून जंकफूडला बाद केले पाहिजे. अशा पद्धतीच्या पदार्थांमुळे शारीरिक आणि मानसिक स्वास्थ्यावर दूरगामी परिणाम होत आहे. अल्पवयीन मुलांनी आठवड्यात तीनदा याचे सेवन केल्यास, त्यांच्यातील प्रतिकारशक्ती कमी होण्याची शक्यताही अधिक असते, असे आहारतज्ज्ञ सोनिया शहा यांनी सांगितले. जंकफूडमधील फॅट्समुळे जंकफूडचे व्यसन लागते. हे व्यसन लागल्यानंतर आहारात बदल करणेही अनेकांना कठीण होत असल्याचे संशोधनातून उघड झाले आहे, तसेच या गोष्टींमुळे सतत खाण्याची इच्छा होते आणि जंक फूड खावे, असेच वाटते. त्यामुळे शरीराला गरज नसतानाही मीठ, साखर आणि फॅट शरीरात जातात. त्यामुळे लठ्ठपणा वाढत असल्याचेही संशोधकांनी अहवालात स्पष्ट केले आहे.

आहारशैलीत बदल करण्याची गरज-आहारतज्ज्ञ
आहारतज्ज्ञ डॉ.कल्पिता ननावरे यांनी सांगितले की, एखादा पदार्थ खाल्ल्यानंतर पोट दुखणे, जुलाब लागणे, अंगावर रॅश येणे, सर्दी, खोकला, धाप, तोच पदार्थ पुन्हा खाल्ल्यावर पुन्हा तीच लक्षणे दिसत असल्यास, त्या अन्नपदाथार्ची अ‍ॅलर्जी असू शकते. गेल्या काही वर्षांत ६ ते १२ वयोगटांतील लहानग्यांमध्ये जंकफूडच्या सेवनाचे प्रमाण वाढले आहे, ते नियंत्रित केले पाहिजे.

बदलत्या जीवनशैलीमुळे जंक फूड मोठ्यांसोबतच लहानांच्या जीवनाचाही अविभाज्य भाग झाला आहे. या सवयीमुळे अनेक मुलं हेल्दी फूडऐवजी जंक फूड खाणंच पसंत करतात. जंक फूड खाल्याने मुलांचा शारीरिक आणि मानसिक विकास योग्य पद्धतीने होत नाही. जंक फूडचे जास्त सेवन केल्यामुळे अनेक मुलं सध्या लठ्ठपणासारख्या आजारांचा सामना करत असीन जंक फूडमुळे अनेक घातक आजार होण्याचाही धोका असतो.

अनेक पालकांची इच्छा असते की, मुलांना जंक फूडपासून दूर ठेवावं, पण मुलांच्य हट्टासमोर तेही हतबल होतात. पण सेलिब्रिटी न्यूट्रिशनिस्ट रुजुता दिवेकर आपल्या फेसबुक लाइव्ह मधून मुलांना जंक फूडपासून दूर ठेवण्यासाठी काही टिप्स सांगत आहेत. जाणून घेऊया त्यांनी सांगितलेल्या काही टिप्स...

पहिली स्टेप : जंक फूड म्हणजे काय ते ओळखा

जंक फूड जे सर्वात जास्त नुकसान पोहोचवणारं असतं, ते आपण अगदी सहज ओळखतो. फास्ट फूड चेन पिझ्झा आणि बर्गर, पॅकेज्ड चिप्स, कोल्डड्रिंक्स, चॉकलेट्स, आइसक्रिम्स, पेस्ट्री, नुडल्स, टॉमेटो केचअप इत्यादी पदार्थांचा जंक फूडमध्ये समावेश होतो.

असं पदार्थ ज्यांचा जंक फूडमध्ये समावेश होतो आणि ते हेल्दी असण्याचा जावा केला जातो. त्यांच्यामध्ये फरक करणं थोडं कठिण असतं. उदाहर्णार्थ, असे ज्यूस जे टेट्रापॅक आणि पावडर स्वरूपात असतात, बिस्किट्स अगदी तेही जे फायबरयुक्त असण्याचा दावा करतात त्यांचाही समावेश जंक फूडमध्ये होतो. डार्क चॉकलेट, चॉकलेट सिरप, केक आणि मफिन्स, रेडी टू कूक, एनर्जी ड्रिंक, बेक्ड किंवा मल्टीग्रेन चिप्स, जॅम, न्यूडल्स, फ्लेवर्ड दही आणि दूध यांचाही समावेश जंर फूडमध्ये होतो.

दुसरी स्टेप - जंक फूड खाणं कसं कमी करावं?

जंक फूड खाणं कमी करण्यासाठी एक विशिष्ट योजना तयार करावी लागते. प्रत्येक महिन्याच्या हिशोबाने ही योजना तयार करावी. जर तुम्ही महिन्यामध्ये 8 वेळा जंक फूड खात असाल तर पुढिल महिन्यात 4 वेळाच खा. म्हणजे प्रत्येक महिन्यात 50 टक्क्यांनी कमी करा. तिसऱ्या महिन्यामध्ये 2 वेळाच खा आणि चौथ्या महिन्यामध्ये एकदाच खा आणि 5व्या महिन्यामध्ये जंक फूड खाणं सोडा.

मुलांची जंक फूडची सवय सोडवण्यासाठी पालकांनीही काळजी घेणं गरजेचं आहे. अनेकदा सुट्टीच्या दिवशी किंवा विकेंडला पालकच मुलांना पार्टीसाठी बाहेर घेऊन जातात आणि हे पदार्थ खाऊ घालतात. पालकांनी काही गोष्टी लक्षात घेतल्या तर मुलांना सहज जंक फूडपासून दूर ठेवणं शक्य होतं.

Dr. Nirnjn P.
Dr. Nirnjn P.
MD - Allopathy, Diabetologist Physician, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Neha  Khandelwal
Dr. Neha Khandelwal
BHMS, Homeopath Family Physician, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
BHMS, Family Physician, 14 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shubham Hukkeri
Dr. Shubham Hukkeri
BPTh, 1 yrs, Mumbai
Dr. Ashwin Prasad
Dr. Ashwin Prasad
BDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Cosmetic Surgeon, 2 yrs, Pune