The foods listed below are some of the unhealthiest foods for you to eat. Awareness and education is the first step to cutting these 10 unhealthy foods out of your diet. We’ve included a basic healthy food alternative under each of the 10 unhealthy foods below.
* 30-55mg of caffeine eliminates good b-complex vitamins, vitamin C, potassium and other electrolytes from the body
* 10 teaspoons of sugar in one regular soda may produce Type II diabetes and can cause sugar addiction
* Aspartame/sucralose in diet soda has the same effect on the brain as sugar
* Phosphoric acid in soda decreases calcium absorption, decreases bone density, and causes digestive disorders
Alternative: Water (At least 10 8-ounce glasses a day). To have something different add stevia sweetened flavors or make lemonade with stevia.
* Typically contain 40% trans fats, this is comparable to eating plastic
* Contain high amounts of sugar which may cause addiction and Type II diabetes
* Made with white enriched/processed flour; the combination of sugar and flour increases blood sugar faster
Alternative: Small or ½ high fiber muffin
3. French fries
* Increase insulin production or create a spike in blood sugar
* The deep fried starch creates acrylamide, a cancer-producing substance
* 40% of french fries contain trans fats
* Causes aging, inflammation, clotting, heart disease, etc.
* Some restaurants infrequently change their frying oils due to cost and time, this leads to over-used damaged fat
Alternative: Baked fries with olive oil
* Heating vegetable oils to high temperatures damages the oil and makes it more like a trans fat. Chips cooked in olive oil are better due to the stability of the oil under heat, and baked is better than fried
* “Partially hydrogenated” is more damaging than chips that are not hydrogenated
* Trans fat increases the likeliness of Type II diabetes and decreases the abilities of the immune system
Alternative: Raw nuts such as almonds or cashews
5. Bacon/Fatty Processed Meats
* Contain harmful chemicals such as nitrites and sulfates that the body doesn’t know how to process
* Processed meats may create liver toxicity
* Buy fresh from the deli rather than pre-packaged processed meats
Alternative: Nitrate free chicken sausage
6. White Refined Flour Products
* Good vitamins and minerals in bran and germ are removed
* Lack essential nutrients, even after being enriched
* White refined flour is linked to heart disease
Alternative: Whole wheat flour products; brown rice flour products
7. Hot Dogs
* Manufactured under very poor health standards; chemically treated to control high bacteria
* All hot dogs contain MSG, which causes headaches and allergic reactions
* Up to 40% of its content is undisclosed saturated fats
Alternative: Nitrate free turkey dogs
8. Fast food hamburgers
* Manufactured under poor health standards and contain high amounts of bacteria controlled by chemicals
* Most burgers contain MSG which is used to fatten up laboratory animals (and will have the same effect on you)
* Beef industry is largest user of antibiotics to fight bacteria in meat, which causes antibiotic resistance in consumers
* 1 cheeseburger contains more than 100% of your daily recommended fat intake
Alternative: Salmon burgers
* Commercial pizzas are genetically modified foods that contain pesticides and unnatural synthetic substitutions for vitamins and minerals
* Cooked at high temperatures the crust forms acrylimides, a known cancer-causing agent that can cause nerve damage
* Meat toppings like pepperoni and sausage add chemicals and saturated fats
Alternative: Turkey, cheese and tomato melt on sprouted wheat bread or whole grain flatbread, whole-wheat pasta.
10. Packaged Cookies
* High sugar content depletes the immune system and causes free radicals in the body
* Empty calories providing no nutritional value
* Leave you craving more sugar soon after eating them
* Contain flavor enhancers that are harmful chemicals
Alternative: Small, snack size dark chocolate bar with 70%+ cocoa
Once you have cut these 10 unhealthy foods out of your diet, it is important to fill the void that is left with healthy foods. Form healthy shopping and eating habits by following this basic rule to avoid the 10 unhealthy foods: the longer the ingredient list, the more you should avoid the food.
There are plenty of reasons to steer clear of the 10 unhealthy foods. By choosing healthier options you decrease your health risks and pay more attention to overall good nutrition.
David Smith is passionate about cooking. He contributes to WannaPasta – a website that confins tasty pasta recipes and cooking tips.