There are good foods to healthily consume and there are bad foods to avoid. Some foods may lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, anxiety and depression. Likewise herbs are good but some condiments we have in our kitchen are harmful while some need to be consumed in minimal quantities. These are some potentially harmful foods:
Sugar tastes nice but is overly addictive. Besides spiking up your glucose levels, sugar also creates fat and more pronouncedly so in sedentary lifestyle. This can easily lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other serious medical conditions.
Salt is necessary for regulating blood pressure but eating too much becomes a health hazard. Access salt in the body promotes high blood pressure with increased risks of cardiovascular disease. Consuming a mere 3.75 grams per day is sufficient while over 6 grams poses serious health risks.
Alcohol is markedly high in calories and induces dehydration, liver damage, weight gain, depression and skin problems. It impairs judgement and can damage the brain. Aggravatingly, it’s also addictive and where alcoholism is a rather common problem.
Meats like salami, ham, bologna and the likes contain nitrates, sodium, preservatives and additives. These are substances which increase risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes in adults and behavioural and learning difficulties problems with children. It’s better to opt for deli meats from your local butcher over factory-processed meats.
Sausages and Hot Dogs
Processed meats usually contain high levels of salt, preservatives and additives that are fundamentally detrimental to health. Hot dogs, smoked and salted meats are no exception. In fact an organisation called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine likens the effects of eating hot dogs to cigarette smoking. Many of the additives used are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. Go for chemical-free fresh sausages and Frankfurters from your local butcher.
Chemicals formed in meat during barbecuing process have been linked to increased risk of pancreatic and breast cancers. Go easy on BBQ meats and if you feel very much for it, add rosemary to help reduce the amount and number of carcinogens. It’s a compromise.
All deep fried food contains acrylamide which is a dangerous substance. Potato chips are a glaring example since it is widely consumed. Studies show acrylamide increases the risk of colon, breast, prostate and rectum cancers. A better alternative is to modify deep friend chips by applying some olive oil on sliced potatoes, a dash of salt and oven-bake.
What do you reckon makes fast food taste so good so much so it’s so difficult to ignore? It’s the very ingredients that are slowly killing you including trans-fats, sugar, salt, preservatives, additives, dyes, and chemicals to enhance appearance and taste. The most visible adverse effect is weight gain. Other harmful effects include enhanced risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, mood disorders, metabolic disorders and many more health afflictions.
Canned Tomato Sauce
Canned tomato sauce can give rise to increased susceptibility to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It’s often a hidden source of sugar which also promotes tooth decay. Preferably, use fresh tomatoes to make tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes without added sugar and salt.
Bottled Salad Dressings
Commonly found in supermarkets and stores, bottled salad dressings contain sugar, artificial colours and are high in fructose and corn syrup. It has often been said “watch the dressing” because salads are by and large healthy food but commercial dressings aren’t. Make your own dressings where some of the popular healthy ingredients used are lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Some vegetable oils are GMO with long-term effects still largely unknown. Vegetable oils contain trans-fats which are dangerous and can lead to cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Refined vegetable oil contains free radicals that promote cancer growth, accelerated aging and other undesirable effects. Examples of healthy oils are olive, coconut and avocado oils.
Margarine is one of the unhealthiest foods in diets. Made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, it’s unnatural and is actually a derivation of chemistry to mimic butter. Containing trans fats, it can damage your heart, blood vessels and heighten cholesterol levels. Take natural butter instead or opt for healthy alternatives such as olive oil or avocado oil that can also come as spreads for bread.
Carbonated drinks can negate on almost everything from your skin, blood sugar, hormones to moods. Some claim to be fortified with nutrients or vitamins but instead they are rich in sugar, artificial flavouring, colouring and preservatives. Even sugar-free varieties are of no consolation as they are rich in artificial sweeteners which are also harmful. Blend your own juice and preferably remove the seeds – especially for apple seeds since they contain cyanide.
Commercial Fruit Juices
Even labels claiming 100% fruit don’t quite cut it as commercial fruit juices often contain added sugar, flavouring, colouring and preservatives. Pasteurization also causes the loss of nutrients. You are better off finding a reliable and trusted local juice bar or in making your own fruit juice.
These are supposed to replace sugar but instead are just as bad as sugar, or they could even be worse. Typically containing aspartame, neotame and acesulfame potassium they have fewer calories but can still increase risks of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Healthy alternatives include honey, maple syrup and agave syrup.
There are pros and cons to dairy products. The pros would be benefits we get from high-fat dairy but most dairy products you get in supermarkets are low-fat. Also intolerance to lactose can come about as we age. Depending, dairy products have been linked to low nutrient absorption, migraines, arthritis, allergies, and asthma. As an alternative, you can go for coconut milk or almond milk.
Breakfast cereals contain sugar, artificial colouring, preservatives and GMO products. Production process also means that they are often stripped off the nutrients they naturally possess before processing. A healthy alternative to these is oatmeal. Add some fresh fruits and nuts for enhancement. It tastes great and is good for you.
Energy bars are for quick bursts of energy and therefore they have been made with performing athletes in mind and not for the common man. They typically contain a lot of sugar and are high in fructose, corn syrup and preservatives; and often contain trans-fats as well.
White Bread and Refined Flours
Grains are good but not refined flours. White bread is made from refined flour. All the nutritional fibre, minerals and vitamins have been removed from white flour. Instead, what you are getting is grain waste mixed with chemicals to achieve its nice white colour. What’s disturbing is it promotes weight gain and risks thyroid and organ damage. Go for whole grain at all times.
Wheat contains a carbohydrate that rapidly and significantly increases your blood sugar levels which in turn triggers high insulin production and weight gain. Your pancreas is overworked and in time you’ll become insulin resistant and diabetes sets in. High blood sugar speeds up aging and wrinkles your skin by triggering certain compounds that abet this.