Most people agree with renowned TV personality Tyra Banks’ statement, “I love all kinds of bread. Whenever I crave junk food, I want salty things like peanuts or potato chips.” However, personal preferences aside, it is crucial that we keep in mind what our body actually needs. What seems like happy food now, might give us a tough time later on in life, if we do not keep our cravings in check. There are several such food items that look and taste scrumptious, but ring the word “danger” out loud. We know, yet we choose to overlook it. Nutrition is no rocket science; we are all aware of the side-effects of most of the food we consume. This is exactly why it is important to know what these dishes contain, or do not contain, that transform them into potential hazards. Trans-fats, saturated fats, sodium, sugar, detrimental chemicals–name it and these foods have it. The urge to eat unwholesome food and snacks can be curbed only if we learn more about them. Read this article and find out what are the 25 unhealthiest foods that we should undoubtedly avoid.
1. White Chocolate
Chocolate, when consumed in moderation, is actually quite good for us. Rich in anti-oxidants, dark chocolate is considered to be one of those sinful pleasures that are actually essential for our body. However, the lighter the chocolate becomes, the less nutritious it turns out to be. White chocolate is the worst, one bar containing more than 12 tablespoons of refined sugar.
Though it is known to be cholesterol-free and healthier than butter, margarine is nothing compared to the original milk product. This camouflaged peril is but a block of trans-fats that increases our risk of cardiac arrest. In case you do want to avoid butter, replace it with olive oil, which is a healthier option.
3. French Fries
Deep fried in hot oil, and sprinkled with raw salt, this popular finger food should come with the warning–“Consume at your own risk.” As if the high glycemic index of potatoes isn’t enough, the technique of frying induces into the vegetable, a huge quantity of trans-fats. Fat apart, French Fries also are filled with a carcinogen that goes by the name acrylamide.
4. Aerated Drinks
Usually aerated drinks use the sweetener, High Fructose Corn Syrup, or in case of diet sodas, it’s aspartame. Neither of these chemicals is good for our health, increasing the risk of obesity tenfold. On a more serious note, HFCS contains significant portions of toxic mercury.
5. Microwave Popcorn
When you need a quick snack, what could seem healthier than the innocent popcorn? However, packaged popcorn that’s meant to be cooked on the stovetop or in the microwave has been revealed to be filled with sodium and unnecessary fat. Not just that, it also contains the carcinogenic Diacetyl as well as the thyroid-inducing Perfluorochemicals.
Unless you are all in for making your own pizza at home, with natural ingredients, this otherwise delectable cheesy treat doesn’t come close to being nutritious. One slice of take away pizza is laden with cheese, and often luncheon meat, which doubles your intake of harmful sodium.
7. Potato Chips
These snacks are definitely a favorite with people of all ages, but the side-effects of these little mouth-watering treats outweigh their flavors. Excessive fat and calories plus the absence of essential nutrients make the potato chips a potential danger to our health. Consume it every now and then, and you are exposing yourself to the risk of high cholesterol.
8. Processed Fast Food
As the saying goes, “Looks are often deceptive”, processed food, which includes meat like bacon and sausage, are nutritionally not as alluring as they might appear. Cold cuts of meat are in particular harmful for men, since they drastically reduce sperm count. To top that off, food items like burgers are so full of fat that they can leave you feeling queasy in the stomach.
9. White Bread
Bread has been a part of a staple breakfast in most cultures, often coupled with butter and eggs. However, white bread isn’t as wholesome as it looks. It contains refined carbohydrates and is devoid of the much-needed fiber and vitamins. If you love bread, choose a whole grain loaf– not only does it taste better, it provides more nutrition.
10. White Rice
Though not exactly harmful, white rice does have its disadvantages that would suggest that switching to a healthier version like brown rice is a plausible option. White rice is polished, and hence loses most of its fiber and micronutrients. Though these micronutrients are later added artificially before the rice is packed, white rice still doesn’t quite match up to the nutrition provided by its counterpart.
11. Lunch Meat
Salami and sausages, collectively called luncheon meat, are usually saviors on a day that you feel hungry and need to fix a quick snack. However, what looks simple isn’t so after all, since it is laced with colossal quantities of sodium and nitrates, becoming a major cause for cardiovascular diseases as well as colon cancer.
12. Tomato Ketchup
Another popular item that uses high amounts of High Frusctose Corn Syrup, the tomato ketchup is a definite plague. Top the other killers, French fries, with a blob of ketchup, eat it every now and then, and you’ve definitely rung the death knell.
13. Cream-based Dressings
Salads are nutritious options to try out, even at an expensive restaurant. However, what could potentially destroy the whole dish is the dressing you choose to go with it. Cream-based dressings, including the all-time favorite mayonnaise, contain almost 88 calories per spoon, owing to the fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol that they contain. A small quantity of olive oil drizzled on top instead, would be a much salubrious choice.
14. Pork Products
Are you the person who just can’t imagine a complete meal without pork chops, bacon and ham? If yes, then you might be digging your own grave. Most cuts of the meat are full of cholesterol and saturated fats, so if you can’t avoid it, you’d be better off going for a leaner option.
No pun intended, this bottled slayer leaves you high and dry. Be it a sweet rum, or a malted whisky, or a pint of beer, regular consumption of alcohol leaves you feeling dehydrated, and while it sucks all the water out of your body, it makes you sluggish besides lending a ton of calories to your system.
16. Ice Cream
Yes, it’s true that one scoop of ice cream doesn’t do any harm, but whoever settles for just one serving of this mouthwatering dessert? Abundant in sugar, the world favorite sweet dish isn’t really as good for your health as it looks and tastes.
Milkshakes are loaded with sugar and saturated fat that are added to make it taste delicious. Moreover, full fat milk, additives and often artificial sweeteners are used to enhance the flavor. So, next time you feel like having a shake, make it at home, where you can control the quantity of sugar and also the kind of milk you want.
18. Multigrain Bread
When you’re at a bakery choosing bread, most often than not, you would prefer choosing a multigrain option. However, breads that are supposedly made with more than one kind of grain, isn’t as beneficial as it sounds. The grains are usually polished, thus leading to high blood sugar. Moreover, they are drier than the usual whole grain bread, since they lack the required amount of fiber.
19. Baked Beans
Often health freaks opt to include beans in their diet because they are nutritious and a major source of proteins. However, if you are pressed for time, and decide to switch to baked beans that come in attractive cans, you have made the wrong choice for sure. In a bid to preserve them for a longer period of time, the pinto or kidney beans are combined with molasses and sugar which shoots up the calorie count significantly.
20. Canned Food
Canned food is often considered to be the worst invention that man could have ever made. They are brimming with preservatives, especially salt, which translates into excessive sodium. Worse than that though, is the presence of the otherwise banned chemical, bisphenol A, more commonly called BPA, which affects children and pregnant women.
These deceivingly delectable dessert is replete with trans-fats, saturated fats, sugar, refined flour, and the carcinogenic chemical, acrylamide. Though they are a grab-and-go snack, and people love the sugar rush it provides, one doughnut is teeming with 300 calories.
22. Cake Frosting
If you are a first-time baker, there’s every chance that you would get allured by the variety of readymade cake frosting available in the market. While they may taste great and look pretty, they are killers in disguise. Loaded with sugar, artificial coloring, and trans-fats, they are potential danger to your heart, reducing the good cholesterol needed by your body and shooting up the levels of bad cholesterol. The sugar contained in frosting may also lead to diabetes and obesity.
23. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce, which is a staple in most Asian households, is not as beneficial as we think. It does have anti-oxidants, but not the most important isoflavones. Moreover, the salt content is abnormally high and also carries with it the chances of being afflicted with cancer or carcinogens.
24. Refined Sugar
Refined sugar is another poison that we tend to use each day. After the granules are polished, they are stripped of their vitamins and other nutrients, leaving behind pure carbohydrates which are difficult to digest in isolation. The same carbohydrates accumulate inside the kidneys and the heart in the form of fatty acids, which soon enough turn into harmful fat, facilitating the risk of high blood pressure.
25. Protein Bars
Usually after a strenuous workout, your body needs to replenish not only lost fluids, but also a dose of protein to deal with the hunger. That’s why a quick bite from a protein bar that can be slipped into your gym bag, is often the preference. However, these protein bars are accompanied by sugar, fat and sodium. Instead, it’s a smarter choice to go for one serving of skinless breast of a chicken, which would give you the same quantity of protein.