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The Top 12 Most Unhealthy Foods on the Planet
If you are like most people, you have probably made a resolution to eat healthier this year. But what exactly does that mean? If you ask around, you will get a whole bunch of different answers. With so much information, it’s hard to know what’s good for you anymore.
One of the things we can do is to start pinpointing the things that are bad for you. Not just really bad, but unbelievably bad. For example, if you are trying to decide what to eat for breakfast and you know from reading this list that boxed pancakes and manufactured cereals are out of the question, that will help narrow down your choices, won’t it? Now, just because it’s not on this list does not mean that it’s OK to eat; this is a list for beginners who are wondering if certain foods are healthy for them or not.
So let’s take a look at the top 12 food landmines so you can step around them and begin to search for healthier choices.
1. Artificial Sweeteners
This isn’t a food per se, but it’s an ingredient in many foods that you need to watch out for. You will find this listed on many diet foods, sugar-free foods, and foods that you might think are healthy for you because they have zero calories, such as diet soda. True, many of these foods have lower calories or no calories, but this doesn’t mean they have zero effect on your health. In fact, far from it.
There is a huge amount of evidence showing that the chemicals that make up artificial sweeteners have serious side effects. The FDA has received more than 10,000 complaints about health issues related to aspartame alone. So in your quest to eat healthy, remember that zero calories actually means zero health benefits.
2. Soy Products
Many people mistakenly believe that soy is something healthy people eat. Did you know that 98 percent of soy products come from GMOs? This is a cheap way for many food manufacturers to add fillers that bulk up their food so that it appears you are getting more than you actually are. Soy products today are so heavily processed that there is little to no nutritional value to soy.
The further away from its natural state that a food is, the less nutritious it is. There is absolutely no evidence that GM foods are safe, so unless you like being a guinea pig for Big Agra companies like Monsanto, avoid soy products unless they are naturally fermented soy foods such as tamari and miso.
3. Fried Foods
You probably already know that deep frying anything, whether it’s chicken, potatoes, or zucchini, isn’t good for you. Eating deep fried foods increases your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can lead to strokes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, but you would be surprised at the number of people who are willing to overlook these health risks because fried foods taste so darn good.
Well, if the above items aren’t enough for you, did you know that frying at high temperatures creates a compound called acrylamide, which is a known carcinogen? This is the same compound that is found in cigarette smoke and many plastics. Doesn’t that sound appetizing? Don’t fool yourself. Avoid all fried foods except for stir fry, which uses very small amounts of oil and is cooked for a very short time.
4. Processed Cheese
If you are scratching your head thinking, “Isn’t cheese good for you?” don’t worry; you are not alone in this confusion. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar, are good for you.
It’s the processed types of cheese, such as those that you spray from a can, or imitation products that call themselves “cheese spread” that you should look out for; these are the ones that contain little or no nutritional value. Many of them also use emulsifiers to make them spread easily, such as trisodium phosphate, which is a well-known cleaning and de-greasing agent.
5. Boxed Pancake Mix
You might think that pancakes are a better alternative for breakfast than eggs, but you would be wrong. That boxed pancake mix is loaded with trans-fat. In fact, some of the most popular mixes contain almost 5 grams of trans-fat in each cup of mix! Governmental guidelines say you should consume no more than 2 grams each day.
This means that pancake mix alone has already put you at more than double your daily intake. It only takes one extra minute to mix up your own pancake mix from scratch. Make some up in advance and put it in a sealed container so that it’s ready to go whenever you feel like pancakes. No hassle and no trans-fat!
6. Microwave Popcorn
This is another one that looks so innocent but actually has so many toxic chemicals. Read the label sometime and you will see chemicals that have names so long, they appear to contain every letter in the alphabet. Do you really want those in your body? On top of that, almost all of these pre-packaged popcorns contain trans-fat. Some of them as much as 5 grams per bag!
This is another food that has more than double your suggested intake in just one serving. You can make your own microwave popcorn by simply putting some popcorn in a paper bag, folding it over a few times and sticking it in the microwave. Or use a hot air popcorn maker for super great popcorn that doesn’t have tons of cancer-causing chemicals or trans-fat in it.
This is a great tasting beverage that looks so harmless! Many people simply can’t resist their daily soda with lunch. In fact, 7-UP used to claim that their soda was made with all-natural ingredients.
As if using high fructose corn syrup was a natural thing! They don’t make this claim any longer, but no one is hiding the fact that sodas, all sodas, even fruit flavored ones, use tons of this highly processed sweetener that comes from GM corn. Get off the sugar train and ditch even the one lunchtime soda, for your health’s sake.
8. Hydrogenated Fats
This is one you will find on almost everything that is labeled as “low-fat.” There is nothing healthy or natural about hydrogenated fats, even though many companies will try to fool you by saying this on the label. Hydrogenated fats take a previously natural oil, such as olive oil or sunflower seed oil, and turn it into something more like plastic than food.
Hydrogenated fats undergo a lengthy and ugly process involving many chemicals and gasses. Hydrogenated fats increase the thickness of your blood, which means your heart has to work much harder to push the blood through the body. This is hard on your heart and will increase your blood pressure. Read labels carefully and avoid anything that lists hydrogenated fats.
9. Commercial Baked Goods
Although it’s fairly obvious that doughnuts, cookies, cakes, and pies are not healthy fare, this also applies to other baked goods as well including most breads, tortillas, rolls, croissants, and breadsticks. Almost all of these foods use highly processed, super refined flours which have had nearly all the nutrients removed from them.
They are treated with toxic chemicals to make them soft, white, and fluffy, but contain known carcinogens that are often used in the production of many plastic products such as flip-flops and yoga mats. Then there are the preservatives that are added that give these foods a long shelf life but don’t do much in the way of adding to your life span. Unless you know exactly what is in these breads and other baked goods, you are better off avoiding them or making your own bread from scratch. It’s easier than you think!
10. Commercial Cereal
This is another product where something that used to be healthy has been so processed and had so many unhealthy things added to it that it doesn’t resemble anything like the nutrient rich food it once was.
Modern cereals are full of sugar, corn syrup, and GM corn and soy. Most cereals are also made by a process called extrusion, which means they have been heated in extremely high temperature ovens to make them crispy. This absolutely destroys any essential amino acids the grains might have contained as well as altering the actual structure of the grain, not only making it valueless nutrition wise, but actually making it dangerous.
This is a hard one because the FDA says that if MSG is added to other things, such as salt or a flavoring, then they don’t have to list MSG on the label. MSG also goes by a bunch of other names including; Monoammonium glutamate, yeast extract, sodium caseinate, autolyzed yeast, calcium glutamate, monopostassium glutamate, natrium glutamate, soy protein, and textured protein. Oh, and let’s not forget their most deceptive way of labeling MSG: “natural flavors.” MSG is the salt form of a non-essential amino acid.
You might think that MSG is only in Chinese food, but you will also find it in salad dressings, canned soups, canned veggies, BBQ sauce, even baby food. MSG has been linked to liver and kidney damage as well as hypertension.
12. Lunch Meats/Deli Meat
Almost all lunch meats, such as bologna and pimento loaf, are very highly processed. Most of them are loaded with extra sodium, cancer causing nitrates, and fillers. Some meats, such as those “honey” hams, include sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Many of these meats also contain added oils, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. You don’t want any of these toxic chemicals in your body.
Although many of the things on this list might be considered a no-brainer, not many can tell you why these are so bad for your health. The best advice is to avoid processed foods and try to eat as close to the natural source as you can. Mother Nature really does know what she is doing and she has already provided us with the best foods available. Stick to those as much as possible and you will be well on your way towards healthy eating.