9 Unhealthy Foods You Ought to Eliminate from Your Diet

By Denis Courtney
9 Unhealthy Foods You Ought to Eliminate from Your Diet

In today’s health-aware world, people have started to check whether what they consume is good for their bodies. Some of these foods are advertised as healthy and useful to the body, when in truth they are not beneficial at all. You may eat these foods expecting they have the required nutrients you need, while thinking they are beneficial to your health. You may have included some of these foods in your diet for a long time without realizing they are unsafe or provide no nutritional benefits.

In fact, some foods are more harmful than beneficial. This means you should read labels and try to be more watchful about what you eat, as you could harm yourself unknowingly.

Some foods, such as margarine, vegetable oils, canned and non-organic foods are a part of our everyday diets, yet they contain unsafe compounds and chemicals that may slowly harm us in the long term. To check which food is beneficial and which food is harmful to your body, you need to carefully check the ingredients in the specific food you are purchasing.

For fresh produce, you can how they are cultivated and if preservatives or fertilizer was used to grow them. You need to be cautious when buying anything for eating and know what different chemicals can do to your body. This includes looking at the ingredients in any food you are not certain of, with the goal eating only healthy food.

More foods are being made in labs with chemicals, either to enhance the flavor or to ensure the manufacturing costs are the low. Farms are raising and cultivating animals and crops using chemicals for quick maturity, so they can be ready for the market in a fraction of the normal expected time.

In this article, you will learn about nine foods that are common in most diets, yet are extremely unhealthy. This article does not include every one of the foods you need to avoid, but rather it gives the nine most basic ones used by almost everybody.

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1. Microwave Popcorn

We all love popping fresh, hot popcorn in the microwave. This simple-to-make snack is universally loved, particularly since you can make and eat it in a few minutes. Health authorities; however, have a notice for everybody who appreciates this snack: Microwave popcorn is not healthy.

When you pop your popcorn in the microwave, there is a sweet smell that makes the popcorn more enticing. What we don’t know is that sweet smell is a chemical known as diacetyl, which is an artificial butter flavoring. Breathing in such a substance, as per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is connected with a lung malady disease commonly known as “popcorn lung.” While diacetyl is relatively harmless when you eat it, breathing in the vapor after you have heated it to high temperatures is extremely unsafe. Countless laborers in popcorn production industries have been found to have issues with their lungs because of exposure over a long period to artificial flavorings like diacetyl.

Research has connected diacetyl with Alzheimer’s disease since it can pass through the blood-brain barrier that is supposed to keep toxic substances from the brain. It results in the brain proteins folding into the beta amyloid, creating an Alzheimer’s-linked form. Aside from diacetyl, there has been worries about the high amount of salt in some of the popcorn packages.

Perfluoroalkyls, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are chemicals used to line the popcorn bags, to keep them from being soaked in oil. They blend with the popcorn when you warm it and have been connected to issues with the thyroid and endocrine system.

If you choose to still consume microwave popcorn, be sure to let it cool completely before opening, so that you will inhale less diacetyl. You can pop the kernels the old-fashioned way, or prepare the popcorn using olive oil on a stove, that would be even better. Homemade popcorn is sweeter and healthier than the microwave type – and more affordable, too.

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2. Canned Tomatoes

People like to use tomatoes as the base ingredient in a variety of recipes throughout the world. Nevertheless, numerous cooks are increasingly utilizing canned tomatoes rather than fresh tomatoes, because canned tomatoes have a longer shelf life and provide more flavor and color compared to fresh tomatoes.

Nutritionists have raised the alert on canned tomatoes. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical that makes up is a part of the lining of cans that contain the tomatoes, as well as and other canned items. BPA is a barrier between the can’s surface and the canned food, which keeps the metal and corrosion from mixing with the food. Exposure to BPA, which is believed to act like estrogen in the human body, can lead to health problems, such as:

  • Higher risk of cancers like breast and prostate
  • Diabetes
  • Sperm defects
  • Hormonal disruption
  • Reproductive harm
  • Heart disease
  • Organ malformation in children
  • Brain impairment and neurological effects

Canned tomatoes are worse than most canned foods, because tomatoes are acidic; hence they draw out more BPA from the lining of the can. In as much as canned items are not beneficial to the body, tomatoes are some of the greatest culprits. As per the research done by Consumer Reports, a few servings of canned tomatoes are over the limit that is considered safe for BPA exposure to children per day.

A few organizations chose to make BPA-free cans. In any case, they are not as beneficial as they appear, since they substituted the BPA in the can lining for another chemical called Bisphenol-S (BPS), which has more or less similar health risks to BPA.

Here are some alternatives to canned tomatoes:

  • Fresh tomatoes from the market or garden
  • Blend and can tomatoes on your own when they are in season and store them in glass containers for future use
  • Buy tomatoes from companies that sell them in glass bottles or jars, and keep away from cans
  • Use Tetra Pak packaging has no BPA

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3. Margarine

Since margarine contains less saturated fats than butter, with just five grams compared to butter’s eight grams, it has erroneously been hyped in many places as the healthier spread and a better alternative to butter. Companies that manufacture margarine advertise it as a healthy form of butter, which is not the truth, as butter is the best option, since the saturated fats in margerine have been alleged to bring about heart disease in a few people.

In any case, what is not said is that different individuals’ bodies respond differently with saturated fats and that some people need to stay away from all kinds of fat for their wellbeing. Butter is made from cow milk using natural processes, which is suitable and healthy for the body. Margarine undergoes processing and has chemical additives, making it much unhealthier than butter.

The following are few of the reasons why you ought to keep your distance from margarine:

  • The hydrogenated oils in margarine are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Though these omega-6 acids are required by your body, they are found everywhere in our diet. If not well balanced by omega-3s, which are becoming uncommon in our food, they can bring about belly fat, cancer and heart disease.
  • Hydrogenation, which is the process of solidifying the vegetable oils used to make margarine solid, brings about artificial trans-fats, which are harmful. They raise the levels of blood insulin, increasing your risk of getting diabetes. They also lower fertility and the body’s immune response, raise the levels of LDL, or what is known as bad cholesterol, and increase the likelihood of heart disease.
  • Vegetable oils utilized when manufacturing margarine are greatly concentrated in polyunsaturated fats, which when stored for a long period or exposed to light, become unstable and produce free radicals. These free radicals, over the long haul, are the cause of various medical problems, such as heart disease and cancer.
  • Solvents used as a part of the extraction process, such as hexane are industrial chemicals that can have toxic effects in the body.

For these reasons, it is much safer to use butter, particularly from the milk of grass-fed cows. Coconut oil, olive oil, hazelnut, sunflower, canola and macadamia oils are additionally great options to margarine.

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4. Table Salt

Salt is a crucial part of your daily diet. It is required in your body for many processes; however, the table salt you usually use in your food is not the natural salt your body requires. Table or processed salt contains 98 percent sodium chloride, and two percent dangerous synthetic chemicals, like potassium iodide, aluminosilicate and ferrocyanide, as well as moisture absorbents, anti-caking agents and iodine. In a few countries, fluoride is likewise included. Natural salt, on the other hand, has 84 percent sodium chloride, and 16 percent natural minerals such as silicon, vanadium and phosphorous.

Iodine, a vital mineral in the human body, is found in natural salt. When salt is processed or manufactured, the natural form of iodine is lost, and this is destructive to the thyroid. Salt manufacturers then end up adding synthetic iodine to salt, which is harmful to the body.

Table salt likewise leads to hypertension, as the blood tries to move any harmful component far from the heart rapidly. This hypertension increases the risk of coronary heart disease, which results in heart attacks, heart failure and stroke. This is why individuals with hypertension are encouraged to reduce, or eliminate their salt intake altogether.

A lot of salt in the diet raises the risk of getting stomach tumors, too. Salt can lead to the damage of the stomach lining, increasing its susceptibility to H. pylori, the cancer-causing bacteria. Salt can likewise increase the growth and action of the bacteria.

A high salt intake results in more calcium in the body, which is passed out by your kidneys into the urine. An excessive amount of salt prompts a buildup in of calcium in the kidneys, bringing about kidney stones, which are excruciating to pass. Kidney stones may result in kidney disease. There are more effects of an excess salt intake, for example, osteoporosis and vascular dementia.

In as much as natural salt has advantages for your body, you need to consume it with some restraint. Check the potassium to sodium ratio in your food, as well, since it is in many common items like bread, cereal and frozen foods. Maintain a healthy balance by eating whole and organic foods for the best ratio.

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5. Produce with Pesticides and Non-Organic Foods

There has been some debate on the significance of purchasing organic foods, and their nutritional value to the body compared to non-organic foods. Organic foods are the foods produced using organic and natural means, while non-organic foods are produced using artificial and synthetic means, for example, fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.

Organic foods are favored by some people since they contain fewer pesticides and more nutrients than the non-organic ones. Pesticides used to grow non-organic produce can be absorbed into fruits and vegetables, leaving residues. These traces of pesticides are detrimental to the body and are connected to health issues like congenital disabilities.

According to research by Newcastle University, organic produce contains up to 40 percent more nutrients, including iron, zinc and vitamin C, compared to non-organic produce. Studies found that organically-grown berries and corn have 58 percent more antioxidants that assist in the prevention of cardiovascular infections than the non-organic ones. This is credited to the fact that when growing produce organically, the nitrogen in the soil is gradually discharged, subsequently the plants grow normally with a balanced nutrient allocation.

Non-organic produce is grown using fertilizers, consequently growing much faster. Their nutrient allocation is subsequently less. Purchasing fresh food from the farm is additionally advantageous, because they still contain their maximum nutrients since nutrient values are at their peak soon after harvest and at prime ripeness. The fresher the food, the more nutrients it has.

Non-organic animal products, for example, eggs and meat, are generally produced by animals that farmers give hormones and antibiotics for faster growth. These chemicals wind up in the bodies of anyone who consumes them. Researchers have discovered a link between the long-term consumption of such foods with breast and prostate cancers.

Organic foods and vegetables are recommended for a healthy life. They have more nutrients and do not contain the chemicals that are found in non-organic foods.

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6. Unfermented Soy Products

There is a belief that all soy products are healthy, so people can be utilize them in foods as a substitute for other protein products; however, a large portion of the soy we consume is genetically modified, which can bring adverse effects when you eat these genetically modified and engineered foods.

Soy products can be categorized into two types: fermented and unfermented. Fermented products like soy sauce and natto have no unfavorable health effects for your body. Unfermented soy, however, is exceptionally harmful and you should avoid it at all costs. Some of the harmful effects of unfermented soy include:

  • Synthetic Vitamin D – Since soy items increase the body’s vitamin D needs, soy companies add artificial vitamin D2 to products like soymilk. This is an extreme form of vitamin D.
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency – A compound that is similar to this vitamin is generally present in soy items, yet your body can’t utilize it. This results in an insufficiency of vitamin B12 in your body.
  • Manganese and Aluminum – Found in high levels in soy items, they are destructive to the body, as aluminum damages the kidneys and the nervous system, while manganese hurts an infant’s metabolic system.
  • Phytoestrogens – Some compounds in soymilk, especially if a woman drinks at least two glasses per day, can change menstrual cycles and the hormonal balance. Phytoestrogens, which human estrogen, can bring about infertility and increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Phytic Acid – Found in soy products, it is not quickly neutralized and can only be neutralized by long fermentation. It brings about development issues in youngsters.
  • Soy Protein Isolate – A powdered food ingredient produced using genetically engineered soy, research has shown this substance may enlarge the thyroid and pancreas, and is connected to allergies. Those with allergies are encouraged to stay away from soy products, since soy isolate is found in a lot of processed foods.

Vegetarians are advised to consume only fermented soy products, which are much more beneficial to the body.

Artificial-Sweeteners

7. Synthetic Sweeteners

Most people think artificial sweeteners are a healthy substitute for the normal table sugar we use, because it has fewer calories and sugar, compared to table sugar. Synthetic sweeteners are in cakes, desserts, drinks, toothpaste and chewing gum. These products are regularly promoted as sugar-free or diet, particularly yogurt, fruit juice and soda. They are said to be healthy, particularly for people who suffer from diabetes, so that they can enjoy food while watching their sugar levels.

Nonetheless, are these artificial sweeteners really healthy? Despite the claims by some people that they have no impact on the human body, research into some of them has proved this to be wrong. People who frequently consume these artificial sweeteners may intensify their risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

There is a worry that artificial sweeteners make your body less adaptable to the sugar found in different foods. Somebody may end up not eating sweet foods like fruits, since the body isn’t used to having that much sugar. You end up eating foods with minimal nutritional value, since they contain less sugar, to the detriment of nutritious and healthy food.

In as much as consuming a lot of sugar is harmful to your wellbeing, these artificial sweeteners are not any better. Research has demonstrated that consumers of either sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened products are equally at danger of medical problems such as diabetes and weight gain; hence artificial sweeteners do not lower the risk by any means, contrary to manufacturer claims.

What are better options to table sugar when you need to avoid artificial sweeteners? Normal honey has shown to be one of the best sugar substitutes, with a lot of health benefits. Pure maple syrup – not the artificial kind that contains additives, molasses – a by-product of sugarcane processing, and date sugar from dried and ground dates are delicious, natural and healthy sugar substitutes.

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8. Vegetable Oils

Advertisements promote vegetable oils as beneficial to for you to use when cooking. This opinion is because they contain unsaturated fats, which most people view as healthier than saturated fats. Over the years, you may have been encouraged to use vegetable oils, for example, like corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil or soybean oil. In any case, would we say they are as safe as we think they may be?

According to most specialists, they are not, and they say these oils can harm your body over time. This is because they contain the following:

  • Omega-6 Unsaturated Fats – When utilized in surplus, these types of fat are destructive to your body. Omega-6 fats fuel the body’s inflammatory pathways and lessen the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats in the body cells and tissues, bringing about the irritation of the cells.
  • Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs) – These types of fats are unstable and oxidize easily, leading to the mutation and inflammation of cells. They are additionally linked to endometriosis, cancer and heart disease.
  • Chemicals and Additives – These compounds are not beneficial to your body. For example, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) prevents food from spoiling quickly. BHA produces potential cancer compounds. It is also connected to other health issues like kidney damage and infertility.
  • Trans-Fats – Profoundly toxic, this type of fat is connected with an increase in the risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease.

When cooking, you have to warm vegetable oil, and then it mixes with oxygen and grows rancid. This is oxidized oil, which may lead to vascular disease, so you should avoid consuming it. Whenever hydrogenated, the trans-fats in the oil raise the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.

Physicians suggest the consuming foods containing healthier fats and oils like:

  • Fatty fish like mackerel and wild salmon with omega-3 fats
  • Nuts like macadamia, walnuts and almonds
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocados
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

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9. Processed Meats

Processed meat is basically any meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing, canning, drying, salting, or by adding chemical preservatives. This includes hot dogs, sausages, ham, bacon, canned meat, corned beef, smoked meat and salami. Many individuals consume processed meat every day, without thinking about the danger it can pose to their bodies.

Processed meats are high in sodium. Most have more than the 20 percent of the prescribed daily intake of sodium. Research has linked a high sodium intake with the risk of hypertension, and it also adversely affects organs, such as the heart and kidneys. Some processed meats, such as hot dogs and sausage, are a source of high saturated fats and calories, which may prompt weight gain and heart problems.

Some chronic diseases like heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stomach and bowel cancer are connected to a high intake of processed meats.

Sodium nitrate, utilized for protection against the microorganisms that cause foodborne sicknesses, is an ingredient in most processed meats. In the stomach, which is acidic, some of the nitrate is changed to nitrite, which joins with the protein in the food. This combination is then converted to nitrosamine, which is a carcinogen. Long-term exposure to this builds the risk of getting cancer.

When smoking or grilling meats, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) form. These PAHs have been shown, through studies and research, to bring about cancer. Cooking meat under high temperatures, for example, frying, leads to the development of heterocyclic amines (HCA), which studies have connected with cancer.

There are some methods for controlling the intake of processed meats:

  • Avoid consuming processed meat and go for fresh meat from grass-fed animals and freshly-caught fish.
  • Use lower-temperature cooking techniques, for example, stewing, steaming, poaching and braising.
  • Grill meat at a lower temperature and without charring, if possible.
  • When buying any processed meats, check the label and purchase those items with low sodium.

You do not have to give up all your favorite foods to eat healthy. Just be sure to read labels and be aware of what is in whatever you consume. Go for fresh, organic produce and avoid processed foods whenever possible, and your body will thank you later with good health.

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