You don’t need a scientist to tell you that all foods are not created equal. Generally, you also consciously know when you are choosing a healthy option versus a not-so-healthy option. However, it is also vital to realize that there are some foods that should never enter our systems, as they can be toxic to our bodies and our overall health.
With this being said, the following is a list of the top five foods you should avoid.
1. Fried Foods
Although they are quite tasty, fried foods should be avoided at all costs. Yes, this includes fried chicken, fried ice cream, fried ANYTHING! There is a reason why these items taste as good as they do, and unfortunately it is not because they are healthy options.
According to WebMD, fried foods can lead to a whole slew of health problems, including high blood pressure and obesity. Fried foods can also decrease the good cholesterol levels that exist in the body. Therefore, next time you are craving chicken, consider grilled as a better option than fried. Small changes such as this can lead to a healthier you!
2. Added Sugar
It is unfortunate that sugar seems to be a staple in nearly every dish today. What is even more concerning is that the existence of these sugars are often masked with other names, such as fructose, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, and sucrose, to name a few. Even though you may not be able to avoid some of the sugar that is already in some food options, you can practice not adding any extra sugar to your dishes at home. This means avoiding piling on the sugar on your fresh fruit (you know you do it!) and not topping your cereal off with a mound of the sweet stuff.
Added sugar, that is, any sugar that does not naturally exist in the food item but are added during processing, can have serious effects on our health. First and foremost, they add unwanted calories, which can lead to a larger waistline. They can also increase triglycerides in the bloodstream, which may lead to an increased risk of heart disease. See…added sugar really isn’t your friend!
3. Diet Soft Drinks
In this instance, most individuals equate “diet” with lower in calories and therefore better for you. Wrong again! Although Diet Coke has no calories and technically no sugar, what is actually in Diet Coke and other diet soft drinks may surprise you. Many of these products contain aspartame, a low calorie sweeter than is 200 times sweeter than sugar. According to Prevention, this low calorie sweetener that plays the role of sugar can actually lead to a decrease in kidney function.
Diet soda is also believed to be linked to higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which can place you at a serious risk of heart disease. Reproductive issues may also be the result of diet soda intake. Are these reasons enough for you? Put down the diet soda, and the regular soda too, and enjoy a nice glass of ice water. You will feel better that you did!
4. Frozen Microwavable Meals
Sure, they are quick, easy, and usually delicious. But have you ever actually looked at the nutritional value of these little meals? You are bound to be astonished. The amount of sodium in frozen microwavable meals often comes close to topping out your recommended sodium intake for the day. Many even have upwards of 1,000 calories and are dripping in saturated fat.
Think you are good to go with the “healthy” microwavable meal options? Think again. These meals generally do not have enough calories to sustain you and most lack fiber-filled and nutritious vegetables. The result? These meals have the potential to increase your belly size, raise your blood pressure, and simply leave you feeling like a hungry monster.
5. Margarine With “Trans Fat”
Margarine is not butter and many people don’t even realize there is a difference between the two. However, for your own health, it is necessary to be familiar with both. Margarine is usually high in trans fat (although products that are lower in trans fat are available), which increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Butter, on the other hand, has a lot of saturated fat, which is also bad for you.
The issue arises when we consider that margarine is chemically altered food. Therefore, our body is unaware of how to break it down. It can lead to the production of more chemicals in the body, leading to chronic diseases such as heart disease. For this reason, it is suggested we avoid margarines with trans fat, and at the same time, only consumer butter in moderation. So easy on that toast and butter!
Next time you open your fridge, take a good hard look at what’s inside. Do any of these items make the list? For better health and a better-feeling you, consider slashing these toxic items from your diet.
Next – Top 5 super foods you should eat.