Food

Problematic Foods People Need to Stop Buying

The human body is a busy machine. It has to deal with its normal functions to ensure that your body is functioning correctly. That is a… Trista - January 22, 2018

The human body is a busy machine. It has to deal with its normal functions to ensure that your body is functioning correctly. That is a lifetime of work that involves different systems within your body performing at their top level. Apart from that, the body has to deal with different environmental factors that try to harm you. Sometimes it finds all these overwhelming. In most cases, most people are too busy to realize what their bodies have to withstand. There are many ways in which the body tries to warn you that things are not well. The early warning signs are sometimes noticed because you have got used to ignoring them. When the severe signs come in, it is usually too late. You end up seeking medical help.

When the internal environment is getting damaged, there are early signs. The body, through its various systems, can deal with it. However, when the things that are causing these problems continue coming in, it becomes a problem. The body fails to deal with that extra load of work and requires assistance from you. That comes in different forms, such as medication. Eating healthy foods is not negotiable. You need to consume the recommended diet to ensure that your body is not harmed. However, in most cases, you are forced to eat some harmful foods. That is due to the limited information that is available to most consumers. Eating healthy foods will go a long way to having a healthy living. Here are the 30 worst foods you need to stop buying.

 

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30. Canned Vegetables

Canned veggies are often stripped of fiber and other nutrients and are often loaded with sodium. If canned veggies are your go-to, you’ll experience decreased nutritional quality or, worse, unknowingly consume them with sugar, additives, sodium, or flavorings that detract from good nutrition and make it harmful. They may look convenient to prepare them as they are easy to cook, but the consequences are not good. The canned vegetables also lack fiber and other nutrients. When preparing them, they remove these components, which, unfortunately, are necessary for your health.

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Should you consider eating them, you will consume sugar, additives, sodium, and flavorings. These can be harmful to your body and risk getting some severe health conditions. The canned vegetables may also contain Bisphenol A, which protects the food from metal corrosion and bacteria. This chemical can affect the neural development in fetuses, leading to some deformities in birth. Bisphenol A has also been associated with endocrine problems, heart diseases, and cancer. There have been studies that have found this chemical that was in high levels in some canned foods. In one study, they found 46 of the 50 food products had Bisphenol.

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29. Starchy Vegetables

The starchy vegetables that include potatoes, peas, and corn are renowned for their high calories and carbs. That can affect your health when they are consumed for too long and in larger quantities. Furthermore, they have a larger glycemic scale that means that they raise blood sugar quickly during digestion. It can easily impact the blood pressure, and they are not good if you are suffering from high blood pressure. They are still a good source of nutrients such as fiber and potassium. However, if you rely on them too very heavily as appropriate vegetables, you shy away from other vegetables.

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Most people serve starchy vegetables at night when they are having dinner. They need to be eaten in moderation and prepared adequately. If you are taking them with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and heavy creams, you need to stop. This diet will need intervention with leafy vegetables. Combining starchy vegetables with another heavy carb will do you harm in the long-run. Heavy carbs such as rice or pasta at a meal should not be taken with starchy vegetables. To prevent weight gain due to their high-calorie content, opt for leafy vegetables.

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28. Processed Fruit Drinks

Most people consider fruit juice as healthy. However, fruit juice is full of sugar. Experts have suggested that fruit juice has just as much sugar and calories as sugary soft drinks. There are small amounts of vitamins and antioxidants that don’t compare to the large amounts of sugar. The fruit drinks are stored for long periods resulting in loss of flavor. The manufacturers add flavor packs to the juice to boost the flavor that was lost. So when you buy 100% fruit juice, you are not getting it as a pure juice.

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Fruit juice you find in the store lacks a lot of the contents that are in the whole fruit. The juice has essential nutrients such as vitamin C, antioxidants, and folate. However, when compared to the whole fruit based on calories, they are nutritionally inadequate. The fruit juice doesn’t contain fibers and has higher contents of sugar, unlike the whole fruits. The fruits are supposed to be eaten in their natural ways. If you eat the whole fruit, it will take you a lot of time and effort to chew and swallow them.

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27. Canned or Dried Fruit

The fruits are sweet, and they don’t need any added sugar. Even the flavor enhancers coated with sugar found in the canned or dried fruits are not required. That includes syrups and honey. Even dried fruit can have added sugar to increase flavor. However, they still contain fiber and texture, which are suitable for your health. The downside part of it is that they contain many calories. It can be quite deceptive, thinking that you’re eating healthy when you’re only putting more carbs into your body.

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It’s essential to check the ingredients on the cans to manage the portion sizes as well. That will enable you to control the amount of sugar and calories that you will be eating. For instance, a half-cup of pears that are canned in their own fruit juice has 60 calories. It also has about 12 grams of sugar. However, when the same fruit is packed with syrup, it contains 100 calories and 19 grams of sugar. The extra calories and sugar are all extras, and that is what will harm your body.

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26. White bread and pasta

In refined grains, such as white bread and pasta, the bran and germ are removed. These types of grains are not suitable for your health. The sugars in them are quickly absorbed into the blood circulatory system, giving you sugar spikes that you don’t need so early in the day. That causes a quick rise in blood sugar levels leading to rapid digestion. Any food that is labeled white is not right for your body. Children enjoy white foods such as pizzas, and you will need to control their intake.

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That is why you should avoid refined and processed foods. They might deceive you by the lovely appearance. However, they lack the presence of the fiber and necessary nutrients. Eating more of these foods can cause serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases. Most parents have become hooked on these foods as well because their children enjoy eating them. Other white foods are great for your body. However, white bread and pasta should be avoided at all costs. When you eat more of these foods, it can lead to unwanted weight gain and metabolic syndrome. That happens when there is an accumulation of visceral fat. It results in dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

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25. Sugary cereals

The added sugar in the cereals is the worst ingredient that is harmful to your body. Overeating sugar will increase your body weight because you’re storing all of those extra calories you’re not using. The processed breakfast cereals are known to have this added sugar. Interestingly, they are the most common foods that are liked by most people. Having breakfast with high-sugar content, such as breakfast cereal, increases your blood and insulin levels. Refined sugars have a tendency to rapidly increasing and decreasing blood sugar levels. When the sugar levels go down, you will need another meal or snack to fill in the gap.

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Consumption of a lot of sugar can cause type-2 diabetes. In most cases, the breakfast cereals are suggested to be healthy. However, the ingredients lists tell another story. Some refined grains and sugars top this list. These are not healthy at all. Other products are labeled whole grain. In fact, they only contain small amounts of whole grains. Therefore, in reality, you are only eating few grains.

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24. Processed Meats

Processed meat is unhealthy and has been associated with illnesses, including cancer and heart diseases. They contain harmful chemical compounds such as nitrite, N-nitroso, nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or heterocyclic amines. N-nitroso compounds are known to cause cancer in individuals. These compounds are formed from nitrite that is mixed with the processed meat products. They are used to preserve the red or pink color, improve flavor, and prevent bacteria growth.

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Smoking meat is common, but this can lead to the creation of harmful chemicals. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed when organic matter burns. They are created from burning wood or charcoal, the dripping fat that burns, and burnt meat. There have been several studies that have indicated that these compounds cause cancer. Eating smoked meat can be dangerous to your health as it has higher amounts of heterocyclic amines. There have been studies that indicate that these chemical compounds cause cancer. The amount of the chemicals can be reduced by frying gently under low heat and streaming. If you enjoy eating processed, smoked meat, avoid eating charred meat.

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23. Flavored Yogurts

Flavored yogurt contributes a lot to weight gain despite diet program listing it as a healthy food. It doesn’t have the real fruit but has the pureed form. That has a high amount of sugar that is harmful to your health. The calorie amount in flavored yogurt is more than that in regular yogurt, so it’s better to go for plain. The hidden source of high calories in yogurt can be dangerous to those who already have weight problems. You may be putting in the effort to remove a few kilos, but this will be effortless if you consume flavored yogurt.

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It is important to consider eating healthy foods and manage calories. Flavored yogurt also has a high content of sodium. That causes water retention in your body. As a result, you may sometimes feel bloated. It’s essential to read the ingredients when buying flavored yogurt. Some of them contain alternative sugars such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Avoid buying such types of yogurts. You can buy plain yogurt, which can considerably improve the health of your body.

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22. Processed substitute cheese

Most people enjoy eating cheese and are a recommended part of some diets. They have a high content of calcium and protein. Some people prefer it because of its versatility. However, processed cheese has emulsifiers that keep oil and water stuck together. That assists them to have consistency. Unfortunately, they contain more salt, food coloring, and sometimes whey. The United States food regulations state that it contains 51% natural cheese by weight. The other contents include dairy components and other food additives. These other contents are what are harmful.

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The processed cheese also contains sodium phosphate. It is an emulsifier which happens to be an artificial ingredient used in manufacturing processed cheese. This compound has been linked to causing kidney problems. There is also milk protein concentrate used, which is a dairy substitute used as an alternative to the real processed cheese component.
There is some food coloring that is used when making processed cheese. These include yellow six and yellow tartrazine. The dyes improve the color of the processed cheese. These colorings have been banned in some other countries, including those in Europe. They can cause tumor growth in the adrenal glands and kidneys.

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21. Trans Fat

People have reduced consumption of trans fats in recent years because of their unhealthy attributes to the body. Trans fats are regarded as a form of unsaturated fat. They have customarily been eaten for a long time because common foods contain them. Some of the foods that contain them include hydrogenated vegetable oils. There have been some observatory and clinical trials that have linked trans fats with heart disease risk. In the clinical trials, people were fed with trans fats instead of other fats or carbohydrates.

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The results indicated that those who ate the trans fats showed clear signs of being susceptible to heart risks. Trans fats have also been linked to diabetes risk. In a study of more than 80,000 women, they had significant results. It was determined that those who ate the trans fats had a 40% higher risk of diabetes. There have been other studies to relate trans fats with diabetes risk factors such as blood sugar levels. Although the results have been inconsistent, some results show that they can harm your body.

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20. Industrial Vegetable Oils

Industrial vegetable oils such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, and cottonseed oil are harmful to your body. These oils have extensive contents of biologically active fats known as omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. When they are in excess, they can be dangerous to you. There are other industrial oils, such as coconut oil, which is incredibly beneficial to your body. Several effects are caused by the oils, such as inflammation. They disturb the fatty acid makeup of the body’s cells, for example. The essential acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 are necessary to the well-being of your body.

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However, they need to be taken in moderation to avoid getting harmful effects. The omega-3 and omega-6 are crucial in your body. They help in the body functions, including cellular messaging, immunity, and inflammation. A diet that has a high amount of fatty acids can promote inflammation. However, a well-balanced diet of fatty acids will reduce inflammation. Increased inflammation can cause serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and depression. That is why they should be eaten in moderation.

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19. Margarine

Margarine has a high content of trans fatty acids. That will cause a high risk of a heart attack. It has been suggested that when margarine is more solidified when at room temperature, there are more trans fats. The problem is that more brands of margarine have artificial ingredients and synthetic vitamins. These play no role in your body and cannot boost your health, such as the immune system. The artificial colors are there just to improve their appearance.

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A study was carried out at Harvard School of Public Health revealed that trans fatty acids increase the risk of a heart attack. The study revealed the risk of heart attack was double for those who ate more vegetable oil trans fatty acids. Margarine also affects the quality of breast milk. In another study, it was found that for mothers who were eating trans fats, the number of trans fats in the milk increases. Margarine also decreases the immune system. It reduces the efficiency of B cell response. It also increases the proliferation of T cells. Most significantly, margarine decreases insulin response, increasing the risk of diabetes.

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18. Pastries, Cookies, and Cakes

Many people like pastries, cookies, and cakes. However, these foods are very unhealthy for your body. They are made from refined sugar, refined wheat flour, and added fats. Unbelievably, they use trans fats, which are unhealthy. Although they are delicious, these are some of the worst foods that you should be eating. There have been studies that have associated these ingredients with obesity and type-2 diabetes. Eating desserts at night is not a good idea, and you should avoid it.

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The studies have shown that women should eat less than six teaspoons or 100 calories equivalent of added sugars in a day. For men, it should be less than nine teaspoons or 150 calories. However, most of these foods contain more sugar. If you are making your own of these foods, then you can control the number of ingredients. Most of the foods that are bought exceed this daily limit, which poses a danger to your health.

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17. French Fries and Potato Chips

Understandably, most people find it difficult to stop eating French fries and potato chips. These are some of the delicious foods that are available. They are addictive once you get used to eating them. However, French fries have been linked with causing eye problems. They also cause age-linked muscular degeneration. If you are older, then you are susceptible to this problem. Older people are susceptible to dietary problems. There is a high risk of getting carcinogen acrylamide. That is a chemical that forms when you fry, roast, or baked French fries.

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These chemical forms when the foods are cooked at high temperatures. Acrylamide is created when food has sugars, amino acids, and high temperatures. All these are present when making fries or potato chips. This chemical can affect your body as it increases the risk of getting cancer. It is a health concern and has been studied intensely. It is vital to limit the intake of French fries and potato chips. More importantly, avoid giving your children these foods. It is recommended to reduce the cooking time. That helps to decrease the amount of the chemical in the food.

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16. High-Calorie Coffee Drinks

There are many stories about the effects of coffee on your body. Coffee is a healthy drink and lowers the risks of some diseases such as type-2 diabetes. However, the substances added to coffee are what turns this excellent drink into a harmful one. Coffee that has vast amounts of creameries and sugar is not suitable for your health. The calories that it is loaded with will not be good for you. The extra calories are harmful to your body. A 2007 survey found that calories found in beverages account for almost one-fourth of America’s overall calorie intake. That means that many people are being exposed to extra calories through drinks, including coffee.

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In a related survey that was done in 2011, they found that most people drink sugary drinks. It was revealed that nearly half of the United State’s population from the age of two drink sugary drinks daily. That has been attributed to the occurrence of serious weight gain. The downside part of it is that coffee will not make you full. After drinking all the coffee and its calories, you will still need to eat. All these calories will be loaded into your body during the day. The sugar in itself is bad enough. Drinking a lot of caffeine can affect your body. It causes high heart rate, insomnia, and nausea.

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15. Splenda

To reduce people’s caloric intake, more and more companies are looking to reduce the sugar content in their products. They’ve looked to many alternatives, and Splenda happens to be one of them. It has zero calories but still provides a sweet taste to whatever it’s added to. However, you may want to reconsider this sugar alternative. Although it may help you lose weight, it can still have a detrimental effect on your health.

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In reality, sucralose, the main ingredient in Splenda, will promote weight gain and puts you at risk for cardiometabolic diseases and conditions, both of which are detrimental to your health. A better alternative is honey; although it’s rich in fructose, it’s more natural, and it is filled with antioxidants that are great at helping your body fight off cancer. Honey is also known to relieve inflammation and reduce allergy symptoms, so even just adding a tablespoon of it to your tea or coffee will do better for your health than Splenda.

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14. Water Enhancers

People are always looking for a way to drink more water. They think they can fool themselves by adding flavor enhancers. We’ve all seen them on the shelves, too: small bottles of flavoring syrup. Just add a few drops to your water, and you’re ready to go. Some of them even advertise that they’re rich in B vitamins so that they can give you more energy. However, these water enhancers are made of more artificial ingredients that you shouldn’t be putting into your body.

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Many water enhancers are made with sucralose, acesulfame potassium, propylene glycol, and various food dyes. The biggest culprit is propylene glycol, which is a thickening agent and stabilizer that is also used in antifreeze. The substance is also found in polyester resins and electronic cigarettes, neither of which are suitable for your body. If you want a healthier way to flavor your water, add a few fruit slices into your bottle of water and give it a fair shake.

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13. Canned Soup

Most people turn to cans of soup during a cold winter day to help tide them over. It’s a great and fast way to warm up your body while eating healthy instead of going out for fast food. However, canned soup is not as healthy as you think it is. Although they’re relatively easy to prepare, canned soup is loaded with a lot of salt, more than the daily recommended amount. Therefore, overeating canned soup can quickly lead to hypertension and extra stress on your heart.

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That much salt is also awful for your kidneys. Why? Because they have to process the salt out of your blood. All of this salt remains in your kidneys, leading to possible kidney failure in the future. Too much salt in your blood will make you retain more water, making you feel bloated and leading to more weight gain. A better alternative to canned soup is to make soup from scratch so that you’re fully aware of all of the ingredients going into your soup.

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12. Frozen Foods

Frozen foods such as pizza or chicken fingers are a great way to prepare a fast meal that you don’t have to slave over. It’s great to have them once in a while, but it’s not a good idea to have them for every meal or once every day. That is because frozen foods are rife with sodium and plenty of preservatives that you shouldn’t be putting into your body. Strangely, companies would add even more preservatives when the process of freezing is supposed to make food last longer already.

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By doing a bit of research, you can find healthier frozen options available to you. Look for brands that use less sodium and less sugar and are more organic. Taking care of your body means that you should know what’s going into your body when you buy food from the grocery store. These frozen products may be a bit pricier, but your health is worth it in the long run.

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11. Bottled Smoothies

Drinking smoothies has become the epitome of being healthier. They’re full of vegetables, fruit, and sometimes protein powders so that you can get all of the richness of one meal in a single drink. However, buying bottled smoothies from the store isn’t always the best choice. That is because manufacturers use fruit purees to make their smoothies, removing all of the fiber content. It means you’re only getting the raw sugar without any of the added nutrients. In fact, bottled smoothies are packed with more calories and sugars than you initially thought.

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To avoid these excess calories, you should make your smoothies yourself at home. You can customize them exactly to your taste, and you’ll be using whole, raw fruits that add some fiber to your daily content. No more unnecessary sugars and much healthier smoothies that will help you feel full for much longer.

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10. Pancake Syrup

It’s one of the staples at the breakfast table: pancakes or waffles and syrup to go along with them. We all know that pancakes and waffles are already high in carbs, with pancake syrup shortly behind. Furthermore, with how high the syrup is in sugars, you’re setting yourself up for a carb crash not long after breakfast. The more common brands of pancake syrup, like Mrs. Butterworth, are more than just high in sugar: they’re also made from high fructose corn syrup (which is known to damage the liver) and caramel coloring that is a carcinogen.

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A healthier alternative is real maple syrup. Despite being high in sugar, it’s more natural and has less sugar and calories than manufactured syrup. An even healthier option is to drizzle your pancakes in a little honey. That way, you’re at least adding some antioxidants to your diet. Skip the syrup aisle the next time you’re at the supermarket and hit the farmers’ market instead to get a healthier syrup for your breakfast table.

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9. Pickles

No one thinks much about pickles. They’re crunchy sides you can add to your sandwiches, and they’re only made from cucumbers and vinegar. They’re not touted as a health food, but why wouldn’t they be after knowing what goes into them? Unfortunately, this is one food that manufacturers are ruining with preservatives and dyes to help the pickles retain their color. What doesn’t make sense is that pickles are already green, so there’s no need for any dyes to be added to the vinegar.

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The biggest culprit to mass-produced pickles is the addition of sodium benzoate. It is an ingredient that has been shown to damage the mitochondria within your cells, providing them with energy. Damage to these and your cells won’t work quite as well as they did before. For a better alternative, you could consider making your own pickles at home with added spices or going for organic brands that don’t use harmful chemicals to keep pickles looking even more green.

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8. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are a decent way to give you that perk of energy you need when you start to wind down in the afternoons. They’re quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive, depending on the brand that you get. One tiny little can can’t be that bad for you, right? Little do you know just how wrong you are. Energy drinks are filled with high levels of caffeine, sucrose, and glucose, all of which are wrecking your internal organs. Nevertheless, how much worse can they be for you than coffee?

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One fizzy energy drink has the caffeine content of one cup of black coffee filled with a lot of sugar. What’s worse? Energy drinks are more corrosive for your teeth than sodas, so be prepared to make many more trips to the dentist than usual. Those high sucrose and glucose levels are also quite damaging to your liver and can even lead to acute hepatitis if the habit isn’t curtailed. A better way to get your caffeine is to consider strong black teas. They’re filled with antioxidants and other incredible benefits that will help your body thrive.

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7. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise seems to add something special to those sandwiches and salads that you enjoy so much. However, it’s one of the fattier condiments out there. All of the mayonnaise calories are pretty empty, offering nothing in the way of nutrition that your body can use. What’s more concerning is what manufacturers put in mayonnaise to allow it to sit on supermarket shelves for months at a time without requiring refrigeration. That is due to the high number of preservatives they stuff into mayonnaise so that it can last much longer.

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Consider going with a healthier option such as Greek yogurt. There’s less fat in it, it’s filled with proteins and calcium, and it is filled with probiotics that are good for your gut flora. Alternatively, you could try your hand at making your own mayo at home with a little Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, and other seasonings you can use to create a unique condiment for your tastes. It may be more work, but it’s better for your buck and your health.

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6. Sports Drinks

The ads for sports drinks are just about everywhere. They promise to give you more energy and make you better at your game while also keeping you hydrated. They tout being full of B vitamins and electrolytes to provide you with that energy and vitamin C so that you’re helping your cells to repair after a long game. These may be true for some energy drinks, but they’re also filled with a lot of stuff that is also pretty bad for you, like excess sugar and artificial dyes.

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How bad could they be? A thirty-two-ounce bottle of energy drink has about fifty-two grams of sugar. That’s nothing to laugh at! So although energy drinks are also great to sip on when you’re feeling sick, there are better options out there to help you. All you need to do is look at the labels and look for a more natural sports drink that won’t bog you down with artificial colors and sugars.

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5. Boxed Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese have been a staple food since most people were children. It’s simple and easy to make, tastes great on a cold day, and satisfied that craving for cheese you might have had all day. Boxed mac and cheese also states that its pasta uses enriched flour, making it a healthy choice. However, with all that cheese sauce, mac and cheese are more unhealthy than you give it credit for. That’s because the cheese powder used to make sense is packed with a lot of sodium, making the body retain water and increasing the chances of hypertension.

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Don’t forget to consider just how much butter you’re adding to the sauce as well, which is putting even more unnecessary calories into your meal. You’d be better off making macaroni and cheese from scratch, with actual cheese instead of processed cheese powder. Throw in some broccoli florets, too, to add some fiber to the meal, and use whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta. High fiber content will help to digest those unnecessary carbs a lot faster, reducing your chances for a sugar crash later on.

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4. Muffins

Muffins are usually considered a little healthy, using full grains instead of white flour-like cupcakes. They can be filled with various kinds of fruit or left plain if that’s what you’re interested in. However, even “freshly baked” muffins that come in packages aren’t as fresh as you think; they’ve been sitting there for a while. That’s because they’ve had preservatives added to them to keep the “fresher” for much longer. Along with preservatives, packaged muffins are also filled with a ton of sugar, soybean oil, mono- and diglycerides. That is why muffins are so addicting.

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You’re more likely to put on more weight eating a muffin than you would toast, scrambled eggs, and two pieces of bacon. Consider just how much more nutrition you can get from that meal than one single muffin. Either make the muffins yourself at home, buying muffins that are made in your grocery store, or full-grain, healthy options such as whole-grain waffles or pancakes. You’ll be a lot better for it, both in reducing your sugar intake and unnecessary calories.

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3. Bottled Water

Staying hydrated is incredibly important. Every major organ in the body requires water so that it can function correctly. Without water, the human body would be incredibly sick all the time. That’s why more companies are making bottled water readily available to those who are out and about, either at work or making trips to the grocery store so that they can stay as hydrated as possible. So how could bottled water be bad for you? It’s not what’s in the water, but what the water is in.

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The majority of the bottles used to house water are made with BPA plastic, which is a kind of plastic that breaks down in sunlight. Over time, the chemicals in the BPA plastic will start to leech into your water, and you’ll ingest it. Some of the more startling effects of ingestion of these chemicals include early puberty in women, obesity, reduction of sperm production, and increased rates of reproductive cancers. That is because these harmful chemicals disrupt the production of hormones within the body. Switch to plastic bottles that are BPA free, or switch to a stainless steel flask to eliminate these effects.

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2. Instant Oatmeal Packets

Oatmeal is the basis for a lot of people’s breakfast. It’s quite filling, very warming, and provides you with all of the fiber you’ll need for the day. Nevertheless, making oatmeal from scratch and mixing one of those oatmeal packets are not the same thing. The latter makes use of many ingredients that aren’t that healthy for you. What’s even worse is if you get the flavored oatmeal, as those have even more sugar than you need.

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Instant oatmeal packets are filled with excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and hydrogenated soybean oil, which do terrible things for your health. They may taste great, but there are better alternatives out there, such as making your own oatmeal from scratch. This way, you know exactly what’s going into your oatmeal, and you can sweeten it up with raw fruit instead of copious amounts of sugar. The oatmeal fiber will help you process the sugars in the fruit much faster so that your body isn’t holding onto excess calories throughout the day.

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1. Chewing Gum

Chewing gum was often touted as a way to stave off hunger and to snack by fooling your body that it’s already eating. It triggers the saliva and swallowing response, which tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating so that you won’t feel as hungry. That used to work for a while until people realized just how much sugar was in chewing gum. No chewing gum is touted as being calorie-free, but that comes at the risk of using artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols that are not good for your body.

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These alcohols and sweeteners have been shown to cause bloating in the body, as well as other forms of intestinal distress. Sorbitol, one of the most commonly used sugar alcohols, takes much longer to digest within the body, creating the perfect breeding environment for harmful bacteria in the gut. Moreover, those artificial sweeteners have the opposite effect than intended: they trigger your sweet receptors and make you more hungry! There are healthier alternative snacks you can consider other than gum, including sunflower seeds.

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