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Junk Food List in India: 20+ Unhealthy Foods You Must Avoid to Stay Healthy - MyHealth

Food And Nutrition

Junk Food List in India: 20+ Unhealthy Foods You Must Avoid to Stay Healthy


Medically Reviewed By
Dr Divya Rohra

Written By Dr. Ragiinii Sharma
on Mar 25, 2022

Last Edit Made By Dr. Ragiinii Sharma
on Mar 18, 2024

20+ Unhealthy Foods You Must Avoid to Stay Healthy

When it comes to food lovers, Indian street food is famous all around the world. Whatever time of the day it is, Indians can always hog the spicy and tasty food, and still have space for desert. The junk food is surely irresistible. You might feel that taking a small quantity of such junk food is not at all harmful, but is that really the truth? Find it out in this article, where we deal with the top 20 Indian food items that can be harmful for your health and you should avoid its consumption.  [wptb id=6990]

List of Unhealthy Food that you must avoid

There are certain food items or ingredients that are most commonly used in preperation of our favorite junk foods. Although it makes the food tasty, it can have an adverse effect on your health. The list of such Indian food items is given below.

White bread

White bread is one of the most commonly consumed food by Indians. Food made from white bread constitutes the majority of the snacks cooked for breakfast and evening tea. White bread does not contain any dietary fibres and lacks majority of the nutrients. They are also known to raise the blood sugar level exponentially. 

Ready-to-eat Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast cereals are generally considered as a healthy substitution for a balanced morning breakfast. There are innumerable cereal brands available in the market in today's time. In reality, most of the breakfast cereals are processed grains like oats, wheat, corn and rice that are fibre deficient and also artificially sweetened to increase taste. It not only lacks the basic nutrients but also has unhealthy sugar.

Fried Food

Fried food is one of the most unhealthy and most widely available junk foods available in the market. Not surprisingly, it is also one of the most consumed foods in today’s time. Various studies have explored the relation of fried food with the risk of development of chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, type II diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and increased body weight. 

Bakery Products

Bakery products like cookies, candy, pastries and cakes are no doubt delicious, but are also unhealthy at the same time. Most of the bakery products are made up of refined flour, refined sugar, preservatives, and fat. This makes these products rich in sugar and low in fibre. These food items can lead to health issues like higher body weight, lower cholesterol level, increased waistline, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and risks of stroke.


Pizza is one of the most loved food items among children as well as adults, they however, have a negative impact on your health. This is because the refined flour and the processed meat like pepperoni, bacon and hot dogs used as a topping in pizza can have a susceptible link to cancer.

French Fries and Potato Chips

Potatoes are undoubtedly a rich nutrient source but when they are baked, fried or roasted for a prolonged time, they may form compounds like acrylamides that are associated with cancer. According to studies, french fries can also cause hypertension and type II diabetes.

Processed Meat

Meat like ham, sausages and canned meat that have been processed to improve their quality, flavour and shelf life are known as processed meat. According to the World Health Organisation, processed meat is categorised as Group I carcinogen because of its ability to cause cancer.

Gluten Free Food

Gluten free diet is a trend these days. But not everyone needs to have a gluten free diet. Replacing nutritious food with a gluten free diet decreases the intake of fibre and increases the chances of nutritional deficiency.

Ice creams and Frozen Yoghurt

Ice creams and frozen yoghurt are generally high in calories and contain refined sugar, artificial flavours and additives. The consumption of added sugar is often found to be linked to health issues like increased body weight, dental cavities, fatty liver, heart disease, and type II diabetes.

Low Fat Yoghurts

Most often, the fat content of a product is reduced by replacing it with sugar and additives so that the flavour remains intact. The evidence of a low fat diet working on chronic inflammation is not very concrete and reliable. Therefore, more accurate studies need to be done before it is considered as a healthy eating option.

Low Carb refined food

Low carbohydrate diet including food like cheddar cheese crisps and cookies which are ultra-processed food. There are mixed studies regarding these food items. According to some studies, a low carb diet may help in managing insulin levels, weight and heart issues. However, other studies do not find any link between better health and ultra-processed food. Therefore, their contribution in chronic disease is still unknown.

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken, is one of the most famous delicacies in India. But as the name suggests is an extremely fatty dish that increases your intake of calories, fat and cholesterol level.

Medu Vada

Medu vada is one of the most delicious and common foods of the south. These vadas are made up of black grams which are rich in protein, however it is difficult for your body to break down this protein into simpler forms. Therefore, it takes a toll on digestion and causes health problems. Also, since these vadas are deep fried in oil, it increases their calorie count to 334 per plate.

Samosa and Kachori

Another most famous tea time snack and all time favorite food in India is samosa and kachori. These items are made with all purpose flour which contains high content of sugar. The potato filling used in these Indian delicacies are fatty and increase the calories of the food. Also, deep frying these delicacies increase the bad cholesterol levels in your body.


Bhujia is a Indian snack that is very common all across the country. It is found in every household and is the most common snacking item. Bujias are made by deep frying and its combination with gram flour makes it even more dangerous for your health. Also, one tablespoon of bhujia comprises 78 calories, so you can imagine how many calories you consume when you eat bhujia.

Pani Poori

Pani poori or batashe are another common Indian junk food and surely one of the most unhealthy one. It is a myth that the water used in pani poori is good for digestion. Hence, it is the most common post-lunch/breakfast snack in the country. However, the combination of all purpose flour, potatoes, chutney and deep frying makes it highly rich in fat. This often leads to acidity and gas. Also, the unhygienic water used in pani poori is one of the main reasons for stomach infections.

Excessive Salt

Salt is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in various body functions like maintaining heart rhythm, contracting muscles, conducting nerve impulses and maintaining fluid balance. However, a high amount of salt in your body can lead to hypertension.


Caffeine is another food ingredient found in coffee, chocolates and soft drinks. Consumption of high amounts of caffeine can lead to depression, headache, high blood pressure, insomnia and fatigue. Not to mention the role it plays in causing digestive problems.

Animal protein

Although animal based food like dairy products, egg, chicken and fish are a good source of protein, their over consumption can cause immense damage to one’s health.

Soft Drinks

Sugary and carbonated drinks are one of the most consumed beverages that one must avoid as much as they can. These drinks are low in nutrients and high in sugar and calories. According to a study, daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of heart diseases by 8%. Apart from posing a risk to your health, consumption of excess sugar can actually cause diabetes, weight gain, tooth decay, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer also. Instead of sugary drinks, you can have homemade smoothies or flavoured water.


A nutritious, well balanced diet is known to play a key role in treatment as well as prevention of chronic diseases related to diet. Incorporating ultra-processed food instead of healthy nutritious food can lead to various health complications. Now that you know the food that can cause a potent effect on your health, try replacing them with a healthier alternative in your diet. However, we cannot rule out the fact that development of chronic diseases is not dependent on a single factor but a lot of other factors as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Which junk food can be a healthy option in India?

    Pav bhaji is one of the most healthy junk foods available because of lots of vegetables that are used in the recipe. This makes the dist nutritious.
  2. Which dish of chicken I can eat?

    Since butter chicken is an unhealthy junk food, replace it with tandoori chicken which will satisfy your taste buds while keeping a check on your health.
  3. How to avoid junk food if I am going out for dinner?

    If you are going out for dinner, try ordering things that have lower calorie content. For example, instead of ordering dal makhani, go for mixed veg or dal tadka which will limit your calorie intake and will also satisfy your taste buds.

Leave a comment


  • Jain

    May 28, 2024 at 12:42 PM.

    If the key to avoiding chronic diseases is to eliminate all these foods, what practical, affordable, and culturally relevant alternatives do you propose for the average Indian diet?

    • Myhealth Team

      May 28, 2024 at 7:17 PM.

      To replace junk foods in the average Indian diet, focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthier cooking methods. Limit added sugars and salt while practicing portion control for balanced nutrition and better health.

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