Food

30 Summer Foods that are Not Good for the Health

A popular gym mantra is that summer bodies are made in winter. This phrase may have been used, abused and misappropriated but there is a nugget… Simi - April 29, 2019

A popular gym mantra is that summer bodies are made in winter. This phrase may have been used, abused and misappropriated but there is a nugget of truth in it. The idea is that fitness goals cannot be achieved in a short space of time. It is more of a lifestyle than a hobby. You cannot wait for summer to come along before you start exercising and eating healthy. These decisions and actions need to be made every day and then they need to continue once summer hits. What is the point of achieving your fitness goals only to throw them away on summer binging?

This is not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy the summertime. There’s nothing quite like walking along the beach while eating an ice-cream or slurping down a chocolate milkshake on a hot afternoon. These are things that are inseparable with summer and if you want to partake then do so but remember to do so with moderation. Even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. There are certain summer foods, however, that you should just not eat. A bite here and there won’t kill you, but these foods are simply bad for you. They have zero health benefits and they will only serve to increase your daily caloric intake without providing you with the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that needed for a healthy life. The following are 30 such foods that you should swiftly walk away from.

Corndog. Image via Shutterstock

Corndog

Is there anything that is more quintessentially American than a corndog? Is a carnival even a carnival without corndogs? If you grew up in the US of A then the chances are when you were a kid, you went to town on a corndog at some carnival or festival. You can probably remember the sun shining, the people laughing around you, the delectable crunch of the batter and then the glorious taste of the sausage when you get to the middle. What’s more, these tasty little treats can be eaten on the go. There was no need to stop having fun so that you could have lunch. You could very happily walk around with your sausage on a stick and go about your summertime business.

Corn dogs with dip sauces on white serving plate. Image via Freepik

But and there is a very big but here, did you ever stop to think about what was in these portable treats? At the center, we have a sausage. Even healthier sausages are highly processed meat with a whole lot of fat thrown in, and the sausage in a corndog is certainly not a healthy sausage. To make matters worse, these sausages are then immersed in a carbohydrate loaded batter which is then deep fried in oil. The combination is simply a cardiovascular nightmare!

Funnel Cake Image via Shutterstock

Funnel Cake

There are three things that Americans love when it comes to food. They love to fry things. They love sweet things and they love things smothered in cheese. Not a single one of these is good for your health, by any means. But here, we are going to talk about the sugar portion of things as well as the whole deep-fried culture. Take your average sponge cake. A slice at a birthday party is not going to utterly destroy your life, but you have to consider what goes into making a cake.

Image via Bigger Bolder Baking

A short list of ingredients would include white cake flour which a highly processed and therefore contains a shocking number of calories, large amounts of sugar and either copious amounts of butter or margarine, both saturated fats that your heart will not thank you for. All of this is unhealthy enough without having to deep fry it. Once the thing has been immersed in hot oil, the cake acts like a sponge. It sucks up the oil and holds onto it. If you were to eat an average plate size of funnel cake, you will be consuming upwards of 750 calories in one go. If you were limiting yourself to about 2000 calories, then that is almost half your food for the day right there.

Nachos. Image via Shutterstock

Nachos

You have to admit; Mexican people sure do know what they are doing when it comes to food. The spices they use, the ingredients that they combine make for a complete journey for the senses. In essence Mexican food is not unhealthy. It is made up of beans, fresh vegetables, and spices to add natural flavor. But when people order a plate of nachos, they are not necessarily getting an authentic Mexican dish. They are not getting a plate of food that was made by a grandmother out of the goodness of her heart. They are getting an American version of the dish.

Nachos with salsa dip. Image via Freepik

This means that the tortilla chips are the furthest thing from corn that one can get. Each little bite contains a fair amount of carbohydrates and sugars. Then we look at the cheese. This is American cheese that is not made from free-range milk. It is processed. It is saturated and it is basically plastic. As if the huge amount of cheese that is present weren’t enough, a whole dollop of sour cream is then thrown over the chips. The only two things that could be considered healthy, depending on how they are made, is the salsa and guacamole. When it comes down to numbers, a plate of nachos could land up coming with 750 calories and 38 grams of fat.

Chocolate chip cookie. Image via Shutterstock

Chipwiches

Nothing says youth like a chocolate chip cookie. Even if you were more into candy than cookies as a child, would you have turned down a massive, gorgeous cookie with those shiny chocolate chips sticking out every side? The answer to that question is always no. But you could never stop at just one cookie, that would be absolute madness. Given the opportunity, each one of us would have finished a whole sleeve of chip ahoys without even thinking twice. While this is certainly not healthy behavior, even for a child. Children are luckily more resilient than adults. They move around a lot, so the sugar is worked through quick enough and they are even waiting on their next set of teeth so thankfully even those effects are relatively transient.

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This is not the case with adults. We do not spend hours playing with our friends, so a sugar-rush is translated into nervous energy and a possible case of diabetes in the latter years. This would all be bad enough, but these same adults are not just eating cookies. They are eating cookies with a whole dab of ice-cream between them. This is the equivalent of eating three desserts in one and it comes with the associated amount of fats and sugar.

Onion rings. Image via Shutterstock

Onion rings

Deep fried potato chips are not healthy. We all know this, we might try and convince ourselves otherwise. We might go to sleep thinking that that plate of chips counts as a serving of vegetables, but we know that it is not. With this in mind, we feebly try to look for a healthy alternative. Oh, look it’s a plate of onions rings. What could go wrong with that? Onions are good for you, right? Not only are they a vegetable but they are also not loaded with carbohydrates like potatoes. Yes, thank you, I will have a plate of those. Does this thinking sound familiar? If it does, then we regret to inform you that you are wrong.

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Onions may be good for you, but deep-fried things are not. What’s more, deep fried things that are first drenched in the batter are most certainly not good for you. Think of it as drinking the oil that these things are fired in because that is what you are doing. When a batter is immersed in oil, it holds onto more of that oil than one would think. The result is that a harmless side of onion rings could rake up almost 500 calories along with at least 30 grams of fat.

Potato Salad. Image via Shutterstock

Potato Salad

If you have started to eat healthily at some point, then you probably read somewhere that you should eat more salads. There are blogs piled upon blogs that spout lyrical about the massive health benefits of a fresh green salad. The key word here is green. But what makes a salad a salad? Is it simply a dish that has some fresh ingredients and is served cold? If this were the case, then a salad could be almost anything and as a society, we have certainly pushed the bounds of this. Take the glorious potato salad for instance. Its cold, is it not? It has some fresh ingredients, right? What on earth could be wrong with that?

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To answer this question, we will need to take a closer look at the dressing. Your average American potato salad dressing is just dressed up mayonnaise. If we had to put mayonnaise under the microscope, all you would find is oil. Because that is what that creamy white stuff is. It is simply a whole lot of emulsified oil. It is at this point where we should bring bacon to the table. Bacon is great but it is just not good for you, under any circumstances. Throw it into a potato salad and you have yourself a devilishly unhealthy and fattening dish.

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Processed cheese slices

A couple of points back, we talked about how Americans love cheese. There was nothing hyperbolic about this statement. Americans certainly do love cheese. They will put it on everything. They will dunk everything in it, and they will do so without any thought or restraint. If they did this with minimally processed mozzarella or cheddar cheese than they might not be heading for such a cardiovascular crisis. Don’t be mistaken this is not healthy itself, but it certainly is better than using processed cheese slices.

Processed cheese slices. Image via Shutterstock

If you had to look at the food pyramid that the USA is so fond of, you will find a small section up at the top that is dedicated to dairy products. There is a lot of debate at this point as to whether humans need to eat dairy or not. For argument sake let’s say that dairy is an essential part of a healthy diet and you should include it in your food, sparingly of course. The thing is, processed cheese slices are barely cheese. There is some dairy in there, but it is negligible at best. What you are getting is thickening agents, a whole bunch of salt and a fair amount of preservatives.

Fudge cake. Image via Deposit photos

Fudge

What is the difference between an ingredient and something that you can eat on its own? This is not a particularly easy question to answer. The reason for this being the use of the word can. Sure, you can eat whatever you want. But it comes down to whether you should eat it or not. Take whipped cream for instance. You could eat it by itself. You could sit there, and spray whipped cream directly into your mouth. You certainly shouldn’t but you can. Let’s talk about fudge now. If you head to any store, you will find chocolate bars with fudge in them. You will find ice-cream that has slivers or swirls of fudge. These are not healthy food options, but they are treats that you might buy to satisfy that occasional sweet tooth.

chocolate fudge cake. Image via Freepik

Now, if you head over to the checkout aisle, you will find fudge. Just fudge. Packaged all prettily by itself. Not fudge as an ingredient but just fudge. A small bite won’t hurt, right? Granted you may lose a tooth in the process but you have a great dentist down the road so who cares? No. There is no other answer, but no. Fudge is sugar, just sugar. Would you put four teaspoons of sugar in your mouth as a treat? Because that is what you are doing when you eat an ounce of fudge.

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Food that has been left out in the sun

Why do we put food products in the fridge? Do we do it because no one wants to eat a piping hot fresh tomato? That is part of the reason, but for the most part, we put food in the fridge to preserve its freshness. Now that that is cleared up, what does it mean for food to be fresh? Is it just about crispness or is it about the absence of rot? For the most part, we are talking about the latter. We try to keep our food from rotting because food that has gone bad will make you feel bad. The reason for this being the teeny tiny organisms that produce the rot in food. These organisms are called bacteria. They are microscopic so you cannot see them, but you can tell that they have paid a visit to your favorite bowl of pasta if it is suddenly emitting a very undesirable smell.

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Going back to the topic of food that is left in the sun, bacteria need a warm environment to thrive. This is the real reason why we put food in the fridge. Bacteria cannot survive in this environment. They can, however, survive and multiply on that cooked steak that has been left on the table outside.

Coleslaw. Image via Shutterstock

Coleslaw

Ever heard food that has negative calories? The reason why these foods are described like this is not that they have less than zero calories. That would be impossible. This is instead food that uses up more calories in the digestion process than they had in the first place. If your main goal is to lose weight, then this kind of food should be your first port of call. More specifically you should be looking at cabbage. Raw cabbage to be exact. But cabbage does not exactly taste that great by itself. In light of this, what did Americans decide to do? Well, they came up with the novel idea of throwing a whole lot of mayonnaise at the problem.

Image via Freepik

The end product being coleslaw. A dish we love throwing on the table at a good old-fashioned barbeque. We have already covered the issue with mayonnaise. Remember the whole part about it being oil and nothing else? This same warning applies here. You might be throwing mayonnaise on an incredibly healthy vegetable but that does not make the dish healthy. The exact opposite is true. You have instead taken a negative calorie food and transformed it into a gloriously fattening dish.

Frozen cocktail. Image via Shutterstock

Frozen cocktails

Can you imagine what prohibition looked like? This was a time when alcohol was illegal. You could not have a glass of wine with dinner. Forget about a cold beer at the end of a hard day at the office or a raging right out when exams finally came to an end. Nope, if you lived at the time of prohibition, you celebrated with pop. You drank a coke to cool yourself down on a hot day. Unless you were a figurative guest at one of Gatsby’s scandalous parties, you were not about to enjoy a lovely frozen cocktail on an even lovelier summer day. Despite the picture that has been painted, this would have been a good thing.

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Not because you would have been kept away from alcohol, but because you would not be consuming the enormous amount of sugar that is included in every frozen cocktail ever. These drinks may taste nice. They may be oh so pretty, sitting there with little beads of condensation running past the sunsets worth of colors in the glass. But they are not good for your waistline. If you are looking for a cold alcoholic drink, then you better off with a vodka seltzer that has a cool dash of lime in it.

Soft pretzel. Image via Shutterstock

Soft pretzel

What do you think of when you think about New York City? Do you imagine Carrie Bradshaw sauntering around Manhattan in a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s? Maybe wall street comes to mind with its high-powered investment bankers who have nothing but coke for lunch… If your mind errs on the side of innocent delights, then you might be thinking about a soft pretzel. Just picture it, there’s you walking down the fifth avenue when you stumble across a street vendor. Here, a cheerful man with an almost unintelligible accent offers you a soft pretzel. You willingly offer up the required dollars and head off with a pretzel in hand.

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What is wrong with that picture? It’s not like you stopped at the corndog stand instead. You are eating an innocent pretzel. What did that pretzel ever do to the world but handover quiet satisfaction on a busy summer’s day? If we are going, to be honest here, then we will tell you that that pretzel has just added 500 calories to your daily total. That same picture doesn’t look so alluring any more, does it? When you are eating celery sticks for dinner in a vain attempt to stay under 2000 calories for the day, you might then rethink that innocent pretzel.

Diet soda. Image via Shutterstock

Diet soda

There was once an episode of Oprah where a little girl went on about how she doesn’t like water. When asked what her problem was with the innocuous beverage, she replied that she didn’t like the taste of it. At the time this reply seemed very odd. Water has no flavor so how could she not like the taste of it. The statement was quite obscene actually. But the more shocking thing here is that there are a lot of Americans who share this sentiment. Given a choice, your average person will choose a soda over water any day. Then you have your individuals who may think twice and will instead settle for a diet soda. They still won’t accept the water, but in their mind, they are making a healthier choice by opting for diet over regular.

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These diet sodas may not have as many calories as their regular counterparts. But this does not make them a healthy option. The problem with these drinks is not sugar or calories. The problem is the chemicals that are used to replace the sugar. Studies have shown that the phosphoric acid in diet sodas could hurt one’s bone health because the body is less able to absorb calcium.

Fried calms. Image via Shutterstock

Fried Clams

You have decided to spend your summer on the coast. The day has been sublime. You have walked on the beach and have taken in all the sights. But now it is time to eat. You can feel the hunger growing and know that you won’t make it to nightfall if you do not get some food in your stomach. As luck would have it, there is a clam joint in sight. A huge sign claims to offer up the best clams in the state. Well yes, thank you. Who in their right mind would turn down the best-fried clams in the state?

Image via Freepik

This is when the bargaining side of your brain takes over. You remember that article you read which talked about the risks of animal fats that come included with every burger you eat. But clams are seafood. Everyone knows how healthy seafood is. That same bowl of fried clams will not only satisfy your hunger, but it will also provide you with the necessary protein to keep your muscles healthy. This is correct, but it is also incomplete. Fried clams do have protein, but they also have battered and they are also deep-fried, making them not as healthy as you once thought.

Potato chips on wood. Image via Freepik

Potato chips

It seems that doctors and alleged health and wellness experts can never stick to their claims. One day eggs are bad for you, the next they say that you can have one egg a day. Then there is the topic of potatoes. Over the year’s potatoes have been vilified, which seems odd considering how potatoes are a staple in Irish and Russian households. To simply all the nonsense that is out there we will say this, potatoes are not bad for you. If they good enough for Matt Damon, then they are good enough for us. But it depends on how you eat potatoes.

Potato chips. Image via Freepik

Potato salads smothered in mayonnaise are a no go, so are French fries. What about a bag of potato chips? This is not a healthy snack, but it seriously will not kill you. The problem lies in the size of the bag. Are you eating a single serving or is your single serving equivalent to a family sized pack? If the latter applies to you, then it may be time to downsize. If you are going buy the big pack for fiscal reasons than at least divide it up into small Ziplock baggies and take only one out of the house when you head to the pool.

Corn on a stick. Image via Shutterstock

Corn on a stick

There are many conflicting reports when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One person will say that fat consumption is key, the other will talk about protein while a third will carry on about carbohydrates. Then there is the whole group of people who will say that counting calories are close to godliness. Who is right and who is wrong? There is no simple answer here because there is a bit of truth in all of it. When it comes down to the calorie argument, if you are only looking at weight gain, then you should reduce the number of calories that you consume. When it comes to corn on a stick, then you should not accept all the add-ons that are offered.

Image via Shutterstock

At your average carnival, corn on a stick is not just corn on a stick. It is instead corn, with mayo, with butter, with cheese and with a considerable about of salt. If you are experiencing a period lacking in restraint, then your corn on a stick will come with every one of these additives. It will also come with almost 500 calories.

Friend chicken Image via Shutterstock

Fried chicken

When it comes to protein, there are some that stand above the rest. You could eat a Texan steak, or you could opt for the healthier alternative which would be chicken breasts. The latter option is what is known as lean meat. It does not have as much fat as the red meat alternative and is a proud favorite of seasoned dieters. But unfortunately, without the correct seasoning, these breasts are downright bland. In unskilled hands, chicken breasts take on the consistency and flavor of cardboard.

Image via Shutterstock

In an attempt to rectify this fatal flaw, Americans did what Americans do and we went on ahead and fried the dang things. We took a bland piece of white meat, dipped it in a delicious batter and then threw it in the fryer. The result is a finger-licking treat that will live on in infamy. Fried chicken may be a tasty alternative, but it is by no means a healthy one. That same unfried chicken breast only had about 200 calories. But after its baptism of fire, it now has almost 500 calories. Quite the transformation wouldn’t you say? Instead of falling back on frying, take a cue from the exotic cuisines of the world and learn how to use spices.

Lobster rolls. Image via Shutterstock

Lobster rolls

Here we stumble upon the seafood argument again. Seafood has protein, it has all those illusive Omegas and fatty acids that are very healthy for you. Heaven only knows what they do, but we do know that we need them, so we want them now! Take lobster for instance. The problem is not with the meat itself. It is arguably good for you. The environment may not thank you for it but let’s not complicate this matter more than we need to.

Image via Freepik

So, lobster is good for you. This we know. Therefore, what is wrong with a lobster roll? It’s not like you are eating a burger from MacDonald’s. Well, what is in that lobster roll? Is it just bread and lobster? No, it would be more accurate to ask if you wanted some lobster with your mayo because that is what you are getting. You are eating mayo with a dash of lobster. In terms of fats, calories, and carbohydrates you may as well be eating 2 Big Macs. Granted, this is a generalization and not every lobster roll is made the same way. But if there is mayo in it, then there is fat in it.

BBQ ribs. Image via Freepik

BBQ ribs

Not every person is a chef or a butcher. It is therefore unreasonable to expect your average person to know about the different cuts of meat you can get from one animal. As far as most of us know, beef is beef while chicken is chicken. A chicken breast is equivalent to a chicken wing and rump is no different from the ribs that are taken from that same animal. Unfortunately, this is not accurate. Each cut of meat has a different amount of protein and fat. There are cuts that have more fat than others.

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Take ribs for instance. Think about your own body for the moment. Your rib cage protects all your vital organs. This means that there needs to be a fair amount of fat present to ensure the correct cushioning. The same can be said for the ribs of the animals we eat. There is meat, but there is also fat. Take these same ribs and cook them in barbeque sauce and you are getting sugar added to your fat. The amount and sugar and fat that comes with a serving of ribs is equivalent to 2 slices of strawberry cheesecake.

Macaroni salad. Image via Shutterstock

Macaroni salad

We are going to ask the question again, what makes a salad a salad? If you had to head to France, arguably the origin of some of the greatest chefs in the world, even a Parisian child would balk at the idea of a macaroni salad. Where is the vinaigrette they might ask? What about the fresh tomatoes? Why is it not green? Getting a scolding from a child might be humiliating, but they are right. Just because the dish is cold, it does not mean that it is a salad. It is a bowl of pasta. If you were running a marathon in a weeks’ time, then you could use it to carbo-load.

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The fact that there are a lot of carbs in this dish is only one of the issues. Another problem is the mayo. The point cannot be made enough. Mayo is just fat. It is not good for you. You are gaining nothing from it. Seriously, there is no upside here. All is not lost though. If you want to make a pasta salad, then make one but skip the mayo. Use olive oil and lemon juice. If you are looking for a creamy texture, then Greek yogurt will work just fine.

Pulled pork sandwich. Image via Shutterstock

Pulled pork sandwich

Not all meat is created equal. Pork is not beef and beef is not chicken. They are not all protein. They are not just meat. They come from very different animals with very different builds. You know that saying, you are what you eat? Bring to mind the image of a pig. Not a teacup pig with its adorable little snout. No, think about a fully-grown pig. Think about the sheer girth of a pig. You could try and fool yourself into thinking that that is meat. It is not. It is meat with a whole lot of fat. When you eat pork, you are eating that meat and the fat that comes with it.

Pulled pork sandwich. Image via Freepik

In the case of pulled pork, the shoulder of the pig is used. There is a fair amount of fat in every cut of pork, more so with the shoulder. This fat is not cut off, it is cooked down with the meat and left to add richness to the sauce. To make your pulled pork sandwich they take this fatty meat, add BBQ sauce, dash some coleslaw on top and then shove the whole lot into a white bun. Not a single element of this is healthy.

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Deep-fried candy bars or cookies

Remember the food pyramid that we were talking about earlier? You must have seen it at some point. Well, do you remember there being any part of it devoted to candy bars or cookies? In any version of it, did you see anything resembling one of these foods? Reason with this question in any way that you like. But if you are brutally honest with yourself, then you will admit that no such thing exists on the food pyramid. Why is this so, you may ask. They are not good for you. There is no argument here. They are sugar and they are fat. Not the healthy fats that you need. Not the ones that contribute to heart health. They are bad fats. Fats that go into your hips, buttocks, and stomachs.

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The sugar does provide your body with the fuel it needs. All it does is send your pancreas into overdrive. Take these same awfully unhealthy foods, throw them in batter and deep-fry them and you will be doing some serious damage to your health and body. One small bite will not spell the end of the world. But, who has just one bite? You’d be better off avoiding the whole affair!

Cotton candy. Image via Shutterstock

Cotton candy

I must not eat sugar. Sugar is bad for me. Sugar hurts my brain. Sugar damages my teeth. Sugar wreaks havoc on my blood glucose levels. Eat too much sugar and I may get diabetes one day. If I get diabetes and don’t manage it, I could lose a foot. If I get diabetes, my entire life will change. Is this line of thinking slightly dramatic? Maybe. Does this mean that it is not true, certainly not! Every single word of it is true, unequivocally so. This cannot be stressed enough. There is no argument. There are no ifs or buts. Sugar is bad for you.

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This should be a mantra. One that you repeat to yourself every time you walk down the candy aisle. You should hold it in your head when you look at the dessert menu and you should possibly say it out loud when you look at the cotton candy booth. Why bash the cotton candy booth you may ask? Cotton candy is sugar, literally. It is sugar and nothing else. It is spun sugar. 12 spoonful’s sugar is not at all different to a ball of cotton candy.

Snow cones. Image via Shutterstock

Snow cones

Let’s take a little trip for this one. The summer has just begun. Your cares have melted away with the last of the snow. Your spirits are lifting as everything grows green. The days are longer, and the nights are shorter. Summer dresses have been brought out of retirement and kids are playing outdoors. It is an absolutely sweltering day, you weren’t sure how you were going to manage the heat when as if by providence you stumbled upon someone selling snow cones. They sit there in their dazzling colors. Almost begging you to buy one. It’s just flavored ice, what could be the harm in that? It will cool you down. It will make you happy. For a short time at least.

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Once the snow cone has been devoured, you may find a momentary respite from the heat. But then your blood glucose levels will spike. You might get a headache. Your stomach might hurt. You will possibly feel worse than you did when you were suffering through the heat. This is because like cotton candy, snow cones are sugar. Granted they are not pure sugar, but its pretty close. Don’t let the ice fool you, this is not a healthy treat.

Lemonade. Image via Shutterstock

Lemonade

We have gone over diet soda. We have vilified frozen cocktails. Now we head into the realm of lemonade. But, how dare we? Lemonade is America. Like apple pie is America. How can you have summer without lemonade? You can’t, that’s how. How else are you going to cool yourself down? Are you going to drink a glass of cold water? No, you are not! You are going to head out onto the street and stop at the nearest lemonade stand. You are going to hand over a small offering of money and get a cup in exchange. Then you are going to blissfully walk down the street while sipping on your hard-earned drink. At some point, it might come to your attention, that the drink is rather sweet.

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But lemons are not sweet. They are almost the opposite of sweet. They are sour. They are known for being sour. What is that sweet taste then? Could it be honey? Possibly. But honey is expensive, and your beverage was not. Could it be sugar? Well yes, yes, it is sugar. It is also a lot of sugar. This summer, if you are going to drink lemonade then at least do yourself a favor and water it down with seltzer.

Double-crust pies. Image via Shutterstock

Double-crust pies

When it comes to food, most of us tend to have little conversations with ourselves in our head. We look at a bag of chips and think about how it is at least better than a big bag of candy. We consider drinking a diet soda and reassure ourselves that is has no calories so what could be the problem. Then it comes to desserts. There are some pies on display. Its just one slice. Is it going to break my diet? I’m not going to get fat from eating one slice of pie. It has to at least be better than a slice of cake. The pastry cannot possibly be the villain of this story. I had a salad for lunch, so I have a couple of extra calories to spare. Why not spend them on a slice of pie?

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What is a pie though? Start with the crust and you’ll find a lot of butter. That is how you make a delicious crust. The more butter the better. Then we look at the filling and you come across sugar. Enough sugar to make the thing delicious. But the pie is not complete. To make it a real summer treat you need to add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to it.

Sweet tea. Image via Shutterstock

Sweet tea

Say what you will about the English, but they know what they are talking about when it comes to tea. You might not be able to wake up in the morning without that second cup of coffee. But there is nothing quite like a cup of tea. There is a version for any occasion. Need to calm down? Try jasmine tea. Need to sleep? Chamomile will do the job. Dying of the heat in summer? All you need is a cup of sweet tea. It is cool. It is refreshing and man is it delicious. It’s not carbonated. There can’t possibly be any chemicals in it. Preservatives don’t factor in. What could be the problem?

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If you want an answer to this question, then all you need do is look at the name. It will tell you all you need to know. It is called sweet tea. Without sugar, it would just be tea and without tea, it would still be sweet tea. Because let’s be honest here, there is more sugar than tea. It is sugar with some tea not tea with some sugar. It might not seem like you are drinking soda, but in terms of sugar content, you are.

Charred meat. Image via Shutterstock

Charred meat

Summer days are meant to be spent outdoors. Sure, inside the house there are electronics and an aircon. But where is the sunshine? Where is the fresh air? Where is the smell wafting over from the barbeque? Where is that delicious meat that has been grilled to perfection? But, stop for a second and have a look at that piece of meat. Does the outside look like it has been charred a bit? You might think that that adds to the flavor and it might. But just because it tastes good, that does not mean that it is good for you.

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When you put the meat over a flame, you are using very high temperatures for cooking this meat. The problem here is that at these high-temperatures you have things called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic carbons being formed. There are still studies being done here, but it seems as if these compounds could be carcinogenic which means that they could contribute to the onset of cancer. No one is saying that you should stop having barbeques, but if you do you should try to turn the meat more to stop it from blackening. If there is char even after doing this, then cut those pieces off.

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Wine cooler

When it comes to maintaining one’s weight and overall health, both food and drinks are important. It is all well and good maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime. But, if you are consuming regular and above average quantities of alcohol, then you are undoing all of your hard work. The reason for this being that alcohol has empty calories. This means that you are consuming calories without gaining any nutritional value. Luckily though, wine is the lesser of the evils. It has much fewer calories than say a jug of beer and there have been studies showing that moderate amounts of red wine could improve one’s cardiovascular health. This is, however, true for wine and not wine coolers.

Wine. Image via Freepik

An average wine cooler does not just have chilled wine. Instead, it has wine that has been combined with a sugary fruit juice. This may produce fun and delicious tasting drink, but you will also be consuming more sugar than is good for you. If you want to stay away from beer but have not quite acquired a taste for straight wine than you would be better off with a wine and club soda mix. Seltzer and wine may even work. But a wine cooler is certainly not the answer.

Mozzarella sticks. Image via Shutterstock

Mozzarella sticks

A couple of points back, we talked about how mozzarella would be a healthier option when compared to processed cheese slices. But this does not mean that every and any version of mozzarella is healthy. Just like a lobster roll can make lobster unhealthy and mayo can make cabbage unhealthy. The same can be said for mozzarella when it has been battered and deep fried.

mozzarella cheese sticks. Image via Freepik

This has been said a couple of times already, but we will go over it one last time. When you batter and deep fry something, you are adding an inordinate amount of oil and carbs to the dish. A slice of mozzarella cheese is not unhealthy. Pile a couple of these together and deliver them in the form of deep-fried sticks and you have a dish that has almost 100 thousand calories. On average this will leave you with only 1000 to distribute throughout the day.  When it comes to the sodium load in mozzarella sticks, you are looking at almost 2/3 of your daily allowance. Then there are also 44 grams of fat in your average serving. Eat mozzarella if you are going to eat cheese, but whatever you do don’t eat it battered and fried.

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