As people with type 2 diabetes, one of the first things we try to do is to let go of foods that aren’t healthy: junk food. It may sound simple to just quit eating a certain type of food but, for me, it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do!

Junk food isn’t just candy and potato chips. Junk food is any food that is low in nutritional value and high in fat, sugar, calories and salt — pretty much most of the processed foods you can find in any grocery store. If it’s simple to identify those foods that are “junk,” then why is it so hard to give them up? Because it’s addicting and it’s made to be that way.

The processed foods in our country are heavily formulated to find the “bliss point” — the point at which sweetness, saltiness and/or texture reaches the optimum point that makes the food irresistible. According to James Behnke, a Pillsbury exectutive, there is a “hidden power of some processed foods to make people feel hungrier still.”

The New York Times printed an article about a meeting held in 1999 in which food company executives discussed how they might be able to help with the obesity epidemic. They weren’t interested.

Junk food is addictive and those people who produce it aren’t willing to do anything about it. It is up to us to take charge of what we eat. Giving up our beloved junk food isn’t easy, but it’s important to try.