There are some foods out there that you really should stop eating right now. Some of these foods you may not even realize are more detrimental to your health that you’d actually expect. Below is our list of 10 unhealthy foods that you should seriously stop eating right now.
10. Breakfast Cereal
Most doctors recommend that you try to eat breakfast every morning if possible. However, by getting your daily intake of breakfast foods (as recommended) you may actually be hurting your health. If you are consuming breakfast cereals each morning, you are likely taking in large amounts of sugar and carbs you could otherwise avoid. Most cereals only advertise their “healthy” sides such as being “whole grain” or “fat free” but the reality is they are full of sugar and salt which is as far away as you can get from a healthy breakfast.
Try sticking to more natural breakfast foods such as eggs and fruit which will keep you full and you’ll be happy to know you are actually eating healthy as well.
If it looks like butter, its probably as unhealthy for you as butter… Margarine is made from highly processed vegetable oil which is cheap to make for the manufacturer. It looks like butter and spreads easily just like butter, but is far from close to the real deal. Margarine is full of additives and other harmful substances like trans fats which can lead to serious health concerns such as high cholesterol which damages the lining of the arteries. Don’t be fooled by the manufacturer’s marketing, margarine is not a healthy product.
If you must have margarine on your toast or with your meal, try to use very sparingly. As an alternative use olive oil – extra-virgin if possible - as a healthy replacement. Bread with a little olive oil and some balsamic vinegar is delicious!
Bread has been a staple in everyday life for thousands of years – and rightfully so. Bread contains a high amount of calories, carbs and sugars which are a great source of sustenance. But for our more modern and sedentary lifestyle, bread has become an unhealthy source of food that seems to accompany nearly all meals these days. Nowadays, you usually just don’t need the carbs and calories our relatives in the past needed on a daily basis.
By avoiding bread, you can cut out a very large amount of unnecessary carbs you are ingesting daily. If you come up with some creative alternatives, you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods that you’d think just aren’t worth it without bread. For hamburgers, replace the bun with a large piece of lettuce and wrap the burger tightly. Instead of toast, try a rice cake in the morning. There are lots of ways to try to cut out breads which will make you just that much more healthy in the long run.
7. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have been known to cause a host of poor health related issues in clinical research. When they are broken down, they produce toxins in the body that can cause a wide range of problems. That being said, why would you want to put something like that in your body? Well, the fact is that millions of people around the world consume artificial sweeteners daily – some without even knowing it. Although they are marketed as a great alternative to sugar – their negative health benefits don’t outweigh the benefit of lowering your sugar intake.
Studies have also shown artificial sweeteners actually simulate appetite which can be a big problem if you are trying to lose weight. There are a lot of alternatives out there such as honey and agave that are all natural and don’t produce toxins in your body. Give these a try instead!
This may be fairly obvious, but soda is one of the most unhealthy beverages that you can drink. Despite this well known fact, the average American, according to a recent study by Adage, drinks nearly 44.7 gallons of soda a year. The heavy amount of sugar in soda is what really causes the issues. Sugar increases the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
There are myriad alternatives out there for reducing your consumption of soda. Try carbonated water which contains 0 calories and 0 carbs. You still get the crisp and refreshing carbonated sensation but without all the sugary syrup which causes major health issues.
5. Potato Chips
Potato chips should be another obvious food to stay away from, but their crisp, salty taste combined with a nearly endless amount of flavors makes this snack food hard to put down. The average American eats over 4 pounds of potato chips each year, according to a study by nppga.org, which can be quite detrimental to one’s health. Although potatoes are relative nutritious, potato chips on the contrary are high in calories, soaked in oil, and are usually very high in salt content. All of this can lead to type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease.
There are quite a few healthy alternatives to chips. Try dried fruit to still get that crunchy sensation with a delicious flavor.
4. Processed Meats
Salami, bologna, pepperoni, bacon and sausage – these are just some of the popular processed meats which are actually wreaking havoc on the typical American’s health. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, processed meats increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 19% and heart disease by 42%. Additionally, research suggests that the regular consumption of processed meats have a 67% greater chance of contracting pancreatic cancer vs those who consume little or no processed meats. In addition, processed meats are extremely high in salts which can act like a preservative for the meats. High salt consumption comes with its own variety of health risks.
Processed meats can certainly be avoided as there are a lot of alternatives that are all natural and have great flavor. Talk to your local butcher and look for unprocessed, organic meat. This will almost always be your most healthy option.
3. Canned Soups
Although often marketed as low fat, high in fiber, or a good source of vegetables, canned soups can be shockingly pretty detrimental to your health. They contain very large amounts of salt and possibly more surprisingly – large amounts of sugar as well. The soup companies go to great length to make these soups taste great and to do this they are full of sugars, fats, salts and artificial substances which trick your taste buds into coming back again and again to a meal that is really not great for you.
A pattern is starting to clearly emerge here – non-packaged, all natural and organic foods are proven ways to stay healthy. For soups, try making your own out of fresh ingredients – they often taste better and are much more healthy for you in the long run as you can avoid all the additives the canned soup companies are pouring into their canned soups.
2. Frozen French Fries
Who doesn’t love frozen French fries? They come in a wide variety of flavors and shapes which pleases almost anyone – and kids love them. But, as you can imagine, these are far from great for your health. Frozen French fries are very high in sodium and fat which, as stated before, causes major health issues – especially for your heart. Stay away from these types of foods and your heart will certainly thank you down the line!
1. Coffee Drinks
Unless you are getting plain black coffee from your local coffee shop, consuming these drinks every day isn’t doing your health any favors. Usually these drinks are laden with a large amounts of sugar, fatty cream, and salt. Some medium sized drinks can contain over 1000 calories! It may seems like you are just trying to get your morning coffee, but that coffee is coming with a lot of extra baggage which can cause health complications.
Some great alternatives are to basically just have plain black coffee or have coffee with just a pinch of nonfat creamer and use healthy sugar alternatives such as honey or agave. Teas are also a great alternatives as they provide a pick-me-up caffeine boost (although not as much as coffee), but shouldn’t contain the extra sugar and cream as some of the most popular coffee drinks may.
There are some foods out there that you should just stay away from. These foods all contain the at least one substance which can lead to health complications – high sugar, high salt, too much trans-fat, or are laden with chemicals/artificial substances. Foods that are heavily processed usually contain high amounts of these substances which are proven to cause issues for your health. Go for all natural, organic, and unprocessed foods. Your future (and healthy) self, will thank you!
Are you interested in which foods in other countries are most popular? Then check out our list of the 10 Countries with the World's Best Food .