You know what they say: “You are what you eat.” In today’s high-cholesterol and trans-fat loving world, this age-old saying has begun to physically manifest itself more than ever before.
Here are the top 10 food you should never, ever eat.
Made from vegetable oils, margarine boasts lesser saturated fats than regular butter. For this reason, people consider it the healthier alternative.
However, margarine is full of trans fatty acids (TFAs), or simply trans fats. TFAs are fats that occur when vegetable oil-based products are solidified.
TFAs in our diets contribute to clogged arteries, restricting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and causing heart attacks.
- Processed Meats
Meat preserved by smoking, salting, drying or adding harmful preservatives like nitrates is processed meat. This includes bacon, ham, sausage, salami, beef jerky, canned and smoked meat.
Research has shown that eating processed meat contributes to fatal heart disease, cancer and premature death.
- Soft Drinks/Soda
One bottle of soda contains 44 grams of sugar.
Consuming soda regularly spikes our blood sugar. The excess sugar is stored as fat, contributing to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Daily consumption of 1 to 2 cans of soda elevates the risk of diabetes in young adults and increases the risk of developing gout for both men and women.
Colas, in particular, also contain phosphoric acid that inhibits calcium absorption, weakens bones and increases the risk of osteoporosis.
- Artificial Sweeteners
As more people look to lower the calories in their diets, artificial sweeteners are replacing natural sugar in many products.
However, recent research has shown that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of diabetes by raising blood sugar levels and negatively affect the body’s immune system.
In addition, although artificial sweeteners are sweeter than sugar, they tend to increase sugar cravings and sugar dependence because there is a strong correlation between repeated intake of a flavor and preferred intensity for that flavor.
- Deep-Fried Foods
Deep-fried foods like French fries, potato chips, onion rings, fried chicken and breaded cutlets are exceptionally delicious, but also exceptionally unhealthy.
Oil contains fat, and in order to deep-fry food, you need lots of it. Deep-frying is also a slow process, allowing foods to absorb a lot of the fat.
Eating these fat-laden foods on a regular basis increases cholesterol and clogs arteries. This leads to heart problems. A 2015 study published in the Journal of American Heart Association showed a positive association between fried food intake and heart failure.
Furthermore, carbohydrate-rich foods like potatoes, when fried at high temperatures, produce acrylamide – a substance that increases the risk of cancer.
- Microwave Popcorn
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that microwave popcorn bags are lined with certain chemicals (PFOA) to keep the grease from leaking out. When these bags are microwaved, the chemicals leak into the popcorn.
Other studies in the U.S. have also proven exposure to PFOA chemicals is a major cause of breast, kidney and testicular cancer. These chemicals also increase cholesterol levels and, consequently, the risk of chronic heart disease.
- Canned Foods
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a compound found in canned food linings that leaks into the food and, upon consumption, causes myriad health problems.
It interferes with the hormone and gene regulation system of the body and is linked with problems like early puberty, obesity and cancers.
In addition, a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found a direct correlation between BPA levels found in children’s urine and childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is one the leading causes of heart disease in adulthood.
- Instant Noodle
Instant noodles are laden with artificial flavors, preservatives, seasonings and colors. It contains minimal nutrition with high levels of calories, fat and sodium. When consumed, we end up absorbing the harmful preservatives and additives.
Results showed that women who consumed noodles 2 or 3 times a week reported an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome which is characterized by elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and abdominal fat.
All these conditions combine to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Regular high sodium consumption can also cause heart and kidney disease.
- White Bread
White bread is made from white flour. A wheat kernel comprises two parts – the germ and the bran – that contain all the nutrients.
When white flour is manufactured, the germ and bran are removed. Therefore, white flour is stripped of nutrients, and all that remains is the starch.
Starch increases the blood sugar level in your body, raising the risk of diabetes. The excess blood sugar also carries the risk of converting into fat and being stored away in the body. Gradually, this increases the risk of excessive weight gain.
Since white starches pack no nutritional value, and the sugar is quickly digested, we also tend to feel hungry sooner after eating. This, unwittingly, can lead to a spike in our daily caloric intake.
- Soy Protein
Almost all of the soybeans cultivated in the U.S. are genetically engineered and sprayed with an herbicide called glyphosate for protection from weeds.
Processed oil and protein from soybeans is found in myriad food products and are popularly consumed. So, the herbicide is consumed along with it.
Since soy protein re so widely added to a variety of foods, it is important to read the label before purchasing anything.
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