A lot more people are becoming more health conscious over the past few years, with obesity and health complications as the topic of a growing concern. Nutritionists make it a point to advocate for the healthiest foods, with the exception that a cheat day can happen as long as it’s in moderation. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule in certain foods that you should try and always steer clear of.
Everyone knows that candy is bad for you, but there are certain types of candy that are loaded with chemicals, preservatives, and more sugar than any adult requires in one day. Sugary sweets have little to zero nutritional value and are terribly addictive.
A lot of processed meats including salami, hot dogs, bologna, or prepackaged lunch meats contain chemicals that are used to preserve the meat for unnaturally long periods. They also include flavor additives, coloring and poor quality trans-fats that are bad for your heart and body. Try sticking to fresh meat from the deli or local sources.
A lot of companies that bottle Ketchup will lace it with sugar and heavily process it. The same goes for most store-bought condiments. Fortunately, there are certain brands out there that make all-natural ketchup or any other condiments that have great flavor without all the additives.
Soda drinks or certain bottled juices contain excessive amounts of sugar and are filled with other harmful chemicals that are terribly addictive. Similarly, if you stick with diet drinks, many of these contain aspartame which is a known cancer-causing agent. Some beverages, like small bottles of ‘energy’ contain up to 10x your daily sodium intake. If you need a caffeine boost, stick with a natural coffee, espresso or tea.
A lot of boxed fish and cheap filets come from Tilapia. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that Tilapia farms often keep the fish in tightly confined tanks which tend to breed cancer-causing organic pollutants. Farm-bred fish also have lower levels of nutrition and contain sometimes dangerous levels of Dioxin, another cancer-causing chemical as the result of toxic water, which can take up to a decade to leave your system after consumption. Always stick to fresh market fish if possible.
“Westernized” Chinese food (not necessarily the authentic stuff) contains extraordinarily high levels of sodium fats and carbohydrates. Some Chinese food chains will add Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) to their food which, although recognized as ‘generally safe’, is met with a great deal of controversy. This food is also high in trans and saturated fats which are large contributors to obesity.
Foods With Hydrogenated Fat
Hydrogenated fat is a special kind of fat where hydrogen is pushed through the fat at an extremely high temperature, altering the state of the fat from a liquid to a solid. This process can be harmful when consumed in excess and is almost like eating plastic. Foods high in hydrogenated fats should definitely be avoided.
A common misconception made by a study in the 80s determined that margarine was healthier for you because it helped you avoid consuming excess animal fats. However, this belief has since been debunked by modern science, proving that margarine is actually very high in trans fats which, when consumed long-term, can contribute to heart disease and raise the risk of death by almost 34%! Heavily processed vegetable oils are also high in trans fats. Stick to natural butter, olive oil, and coconut oil instead.