While food is an essential part of our life, not all foods are good and will offer health benefits, nutritional value or boost energy. In fact, 7 out of 10 people never get their daily nutritional necessities just by the foods eaten on a daily basis. This may result due to a lack of information about healthy eating, a busy lifestyle, work or addiction to junk foods etc. However, when choosing or preparing your meals; it is important to go for the healthier options.
- Instead of fry chicken, choose salmon
- Instead of a Donut, get a salad
- Instead of manufactured fruit juices, make your own or make a smoothie
While foods are important, not all foods are equal. Below I have listed the top 20 most common foods people tend to eat which are unhealthy if eaten in large consumptions. If you’re on a diet or trying to lose weight, consider limiting your intake of these foods. Now let’s jump into the top 20 popular foods to limit or avoid.
- Packaged cookies
Cookies are one of the most popular snacks to grab whenever feeling hungry, but these pretty treats can have a staggering amount of sugar stored up. While they are available in many different shapes, sizes and colors; cookies can be unhealthy if eaten in large quantities. Ensure to read the nutrition facts, before eating 3 or more cookies. There are also possibilities of trans-fat in packaged cookies even in most popular brands. Try to limit your intake of packaged cookies.
- Microwave popcorn
These contribute to high cholesterol levels, heart diseases along with Cancer since most popular brands of microwave popcorn are filled with trans-fat. Despite how enjoyable popcorns are whenever watching movie, the can significantly contribute to obesity or weight gain if eaten regularly. It is wise to read the nutrition facts so you consume accordingly and not eat off the whole pack.
- Sugary drinks
Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients that is enough to bring out bad health, it has been a necessary part of our modern diet though it is severely injurious to health. When people take added sugar drinks, it increases their calorie intake level while brain does not recognize it as a healthy food resulting in insulin resistance in body lead to fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes and heart troubles.
Pizza is one of the world’s most popular junk foods, while they may taste delicious and satisfy an immediate hunger; they offer no nutritional benefits to your body. Since most pizzas are made from highly refined white flour and processed toppings along with cheese; this can make the perfect high calorie unhealthy combination. This may contribute to weight gain, obesity and other diseases if consumed in large amounts. If you’re on the go; it is best to request a thin crust pizza or whole wheat which is better than the regular pizzas. However, homemade pizzas is the most recommended as you get to choose the ingredients to make a healthy combination. Well that’s if you’re a healthy person. Pizzas are not your best option if you’re on a diet or trying to lose weight; so it is wise to limit your daily intake.
- White Bread
This is one of the most popular and sought after bread by many people of all origins. While it may taste delicious with many different foods, white breads are just another name for simple sugars. Consuming white bread along with other high carb foods will ultimately boost your calories and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar level. Even though most breads do not have nutrition facts labeling, it is wise to limit your intake.
- Fruit juices
Most persons on their health pursuits tend to confuse the healthy stuff with the unhealthy. One of the most popular among them all is fruit juices. However, this is a huge mistake. Fruit juices are nothing but sugar, water, added coloring and preservatives which if consumed in large amounts can be detrimental to your health. Instead of buy a manufactured juice, consider creating your own from raw fruits and vegetables which is healthier and more nutritious. Always check the nutrition facts on the fruit juices you’ll be drinking so that you are aware of the amount of sugars you’ll be consuming each bottle.
- Industrial vegetable oils
In last few decades, many scientific researchers have linked the cause of some cancers to consumption of vegetable oils. These oils tend to be very high in Trans-fat, LDL, Monounsaturated fat and high Cholesterol levels. Since most fried foods are prepared in vegetable oil, if consumed frequently can lead to detrimental health diseases. Instead of choose popular vegetable oils such as soya bean; it is best to go for organic natural oils like coconut oil, Flax seed oil or extra virgin olive oil.
This was considered healthy substitute of butter, but this is not true. Margarine is highly processed food which is a fake food only tastes like butter. It is loaded with artificial components and its ingredients are not healthy. It is usually made with industrial vegetable oils.
- Pastries and cakes
While these products appear pretty and taste amazing, they are one of the unhealthiest foods sought after. They are usually made from refined sugar, refined flour and added fats. All in all, these ingredients only make your appetite satisfied for a moment but it does not play any role in making you healthy. Since most cakes and pastries do not come with a nutrition facts label, it is wise to ensure limiting your daily intake.
- French fries and potato Chips
While potatoes can be a healthy addition to your meals, deep fried potatoes, popularly known as French fries are not your best option. These foods are high in calories and fats, which ultimately contribute to weight gain, high cholesterol levels and obesity if consumed in large amounts. According to research harmful substances like acrylamides and carcinogenic components are formed when potatoes are fried which can be detrimental to your health. If you’re on a diet or trying to lose weight, eating French fries consistently will take you back 10 steps from achieving your goals. It is best to limit or avoid these foods if you’re seeking a healthier lifestyle.
- Agave Nectar
Agave Nectar is a sweetener which is popular in most foods and considered healthy but it is high in fructose. High amount of fructose can be harmful to your health contributing to diabetes and other types of heart diseases. If you’re seeking a sweetener, zero calories sugar or organic honey should be your best option. Agave Nectar can cause spikes in blood sugar leading to insulin resistance overtime if consumed consistently.
- Low Carb Junk Food
Low carb junk foods are very popular among people all over the world and tend to be the first option for snacking. These foods are high in calories, make you hungry quickly and ultimately convert to simple sugars during digestion. These are also bad for your health and may have severe implication if consumed consistently. Ensure to check the nutrition facts of the foods you eat to keep your health inline and weight on point. Also limit or avoid these foods whenever possible and choose healthier options.
- Ice creams
While these are delicious treats to have on a sunny day, the excess sugars and calories they come along with is not. Apparently, Ice creams are one of the most popular foods loved by children which are not the best option. To clarify, not all ice creams are unhealthy or high in sugars. There are some healthy ice creams around, but since they are so hard to find, one apple spoils the bunch in this case. Homemade ice creams are the best option to choose because you can be creative by adding fruits and vegetables to make it healthier.
- Candy Bars
While candy bars are available in all shapes and sizes; they can be one of your worst nightmares if eaten regularly. These attractive treats tend to be very high in sugars, refined flour and loads of calories. It’s rare to find a candy bar which offers some nutritional benefits. Therefore, if you feel like snacking; it is best to choose a healthy option which will have positive effects on your health. Candy bars can be addictive over time leading to tooth decay, high blood sugar and some heart diseases. Therefore it is in your best interest to limit these or avoid them all together if you’re on your pursuits for a healthier lifestyle or diagnosed with diabetes.
- Processed Meat
Though these are very popular; they are one of the unhealthiest foods available to be avoided. Consuming these foods regularly can have serious implications on your health causing diseases like stomach cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. Try to use only organic meats, fish or substitute for a vegetable.
- Trans Fat
This is most notorious in all unhealthy ingredients which people put in their food. Tran’s fats are even banned in New York City. There are some misunderstandings produced by some food manufacturers that they claim there is no trans-fat in food while it is present in food. You must avoid food containing Tran’s fats in them.
- Processed cheese
Unprocessed cheese is healthy but processed cheese is unhealthy and is made from such ingredients which look and texture like cheese. So try to read carefully on labels before buying cheese.
- High Calorie coffee drinks
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks consumed at almost any time of the day and night. While coffee may offer some health benefits such as weight loss and lowered risks of heart diseases; the additives such as processed sugars and artificial creamers can have a negative impact on your health if consumed in large amounts. It is important to note, coffee is not for everyone. The caffeine can have negative impacts on your health, increase heart rate tremendously and also lead to insomnia. Some coffee also come with sugars added to it is wise to read the nutrition facts to mixing your early morning cup of coffee. Additionally, if you’re allergic to caffeine; decaffeinated coffee should be your best option.
- Cola and carbonated drinks
These beverages are the new generation’s replacement of water. While they are both high in sugars and calories, they offer nothing but a thirst quencher and one step closer to your death. It is noted, that these carbonated drinks can become addictive leading to insulin resistance, obesity and inevitably diabetes. Whenever feeling thirsty; reach for a glass of water instead of a cola or carbonated drink.
- Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets are increasingly becoming a popular sought after fast food. However, these mini delicious foods contain some sort of inimical synthetic ingredients which help to preserve them for many days. If consumed in large amount, this can have a negative impact on your health. Try instead organic chicken breasts cut into pieces or substitute for salmon or tuna.
There you have it, the top 20 popular, yet unhealthy foods to limit or avoid. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “not everything that glitters is gold?” If not, then now you do. If you’re already aware of this, then it’s applicable to the world of food. Nothing everything that looks delicious and taste good is good for your health. So ensure to check the nutrition facts on the foods you consume on a daily basis to keep your health inline and limit the possibilities of various diseases. Remember, you are what you eat. So choose a mixed fruit and vegetable salad over a pizza or donuts or French fries.