Which Food Is Harmful?
Satisfying your thirst and hunger with anything served on your table can be difficult.
This is especially because there is also food that is harmful to the body, and you definitely want to avoid it, especially if you are trying to lose weight or prevent health detriments.
Which food is harmful? Among those foods are white bread, agave nectar, elderberries, low-carb junk foods, sweetened breakfast cereals, nutmeg, processed meat, pastries, cookies, cakes, bitter almonds, processed cheese, green potatoes, etc.
This article aims to raise awareness about the foods that are harmful to the body. But don’t worry, as there will always be a healthy alternative to your favorites.
Some of the foods mentioned below are also safe for moderate consumption without causing permanent health damage.
Most bread that is sold commercially is harmful to the body if eaten in large amounts. The reason is that most commercial bread is made from refined wheat, which is a flour that is low in essential nutrients and fiber.
This ingredient can cause a rapid increase in sugar levels in the blood.
Among the best alternatives to white bread are rye bread and Ezekiel bread. As its name suggests, rye bread is made from rye, a grain related to wheat.
Compared to regular bread, this healthy alternative is denser and darker and contains higher amounts of fiber. To top it all off, it has a unique taste that you might love.
Ezekiel bread, on the other hand, is among the healthiest white bread alternatives that you can find. It is made from various types of legumes and sprouted grains such as barley, wheat, millet, lentils, spelt, and soybeans.
You can rest assured that the grains have lower levels of harmful antinutrients, as they are allowed to sprout before processing. This bread is also easy to digest and contains no added sugar.
Usually, agave nectar is marketed as a healthy sweetener. However, it contains a high amount of fructose and is highly refined. As a matter of fact, agave nectar has more fructose compared to many sweeteners sold in the market.
For example, table sugar contains 50% fructose, while high-fructose corn syrup has 55%. Agave nectar, on the other hand, is made of 85% fructose.
A healthier alternative to this sweetener is erythritol or Stevia. These are natural sweeteners and are calorie-free.
You can consume elderberry as a supplement or syrup to treat cold, constipation, or flu symptoms as well as boost your immune system.
Just make sure to avoid eating unripe fruit or any of its leaves or bark, as these carry cyanide and lectin, which are chemicals that can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Low-Carb Junk Foods
People who want to lose weight have probably heard of a low-carb diet. It is a diet that allows you to eat many whole foods but forbids eating processed low-carb replacement foods such as low-carb meal replacements and candy bars. The reason is that these foods are loaded with additives.
To follow a healthier low-carb diet, try better alternatives such as foods that are naturally low in carbohydrates, like leafy green vegetables, eggs, and seafood. Your tummy will thank you later.
Sweetened Breakfast Cereals
Among the most popular breakfast staples are cereals, which are processed cereal grains, including corn, wheat, rice, and oats.
Breakfast cereal manufacturers make them tastier and look more appealing by roasting, pulping, shredding, rolling, or flaking the grains. Kids love them when eaten with milk.
The problem is that they are so high in added sugar that most health professionals compare them to candy.
Instead of most breakfast cereals, you can keep your children healthy by choosing cereals rich in fiber and low in added sugar. Or, you can cook oat porridge from scratch.
When added to baked goods in small amounts, nutmeg gives a nutty taste to your food. But take note not to eat it by the spoonful, as it can cause trouble to your body.
In fact, it takes only 2 teaspoons of nutmeg to harm the body, as it can act as a toxin due to myristicin. This is an oil that causes drowsiness, hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, and seizures.
Eating unprocessed meat can benefit the body, which is not the case for processed meat.
According to studies, people who consume processed meats are more likely to have serious health detriments such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.
Most research is observational in nature, which means it doesn’t hold any solid evidence that processed meat is the only factor to blame.
However, the statistical link to those who eat processed meat is consistent in each study.
If you enjoy eating processed meat, now is the best time to make better health choices. Buy from local butchers who do not include unhealthy ingredients in their products.
Pastries, Cookies, and Cakes
Most cookies, pastries, and cakes are harmful to the body when eaten in excess amounts.
Generally, commercially sold versions of said foods contain refined wheat flour, refined sugar, and added fats. Aside from that, there are baked products with shortening, which is high in unhealthy trans fats.
If you are craving such foods, remember that they make almost no contribution to your health. In fact, they contain a lot of preservatives.
But for those who really can’t get away from these treats, why not indulge in fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, and dark chocolate instead? These are healthier and have many benefits for your body.
Bitter and sweet almonds contain amygdalin, which is a chemical compound that transforms into cyanide. However, bitter almonds contain higher levels of this possibly harmful compound.
If you love sweet almonds, you can still keep it on the list of your favorite snacks, as it contains fiber and plant compounds that help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.
However, consuming untreated bitter almonds might cause nausea, cramps, and diarrhea, so you’d better watch what you are eating.
When consumed in moderation, cheese is considered healthy, especially because one slice contains all the nutrients that the body can get from milk.
However, do not be confused with cheese and processed cheese. There is a huge difference between the two.
Processed cheese contains filler ingredients that are intended to look like and taste like cheese.
Yet, the health benefits of cheese are not there. For this reason, you should read the product labels well to make sure that it contains dairy and less artificial ingredients.
If you wish to enjoy cheese more healthily, choose cottage cheese, feta, mozzarella, and vegan cheeses.
There is a poisonous agent called glycoalkaloid in the sprouts, leaves, and underground stems of potatoes.
When a potato is exposed to light, gets weakened, or ages, glycoalkaloids make it look green. Nausea, diarrhea, confusion, headaches, and death may be caused by eating potatoes with high glycoalkaloid content.
In the modern diet, added sugar is most people’s worst enemy. However, some sugar sources are even worse than others. These are sugary drinks.
Liquid calories are not read by the brain as food, leading you to eat more high-calorie food throughout the day.
Consuming large amounts of sugar can drive insulin resistance and make you susceptible to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
It is also linked to serious health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Sugary drinks are touted as the most fattening factor of most people’s diets today. Drinking them frequently and in large amounts can cause weight gain and, worse, obesity.
Instead of sugary drinks, quench your thirst more healthily by drinking more water.
You may also drink coffee, soda water, or tea in moderation. Adding a slice of lemon to soda or water is also a better option if you want to enjoy its refreshing taste.
High-Calorie Coffee Drinks
Nowadays, people are more acquainted with coffee because of its wide-ranging health benefits and addicting aroma. Drinking coffee is also associated with a lower risk of serious health conditions such as Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes.
The problem is that creamers, additives, syrups, and sugar are usually added to coffee to produce the desired taste, making it very unhealthy.
Coffee that is high in calorie content can cause the same harm as sugar-sweetened drinks, which is why it is even better to drink plain coffee instead or to add full-fat milk or heavy cream but in small amounts.
Gluten-Free Junk Foods
In the U.S., one-third of the population is trying their best to avoid gluten. The problem is that most people replace foods containing healthy gluten with gluten-free processed junk foods.
Gluten-free replacement foods usually contain refined grains such as tapioca starch and cornstarch and are high in sugar. These can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar and have very few essential nutrients.
Be healthier by eating naturally gluten-free foods like an unprocessed animal and plant products.
Most Fruit Juices
Most health professionals do not recommend drinking fruit juice because of its skyrocketing liquid sugar content. If you want to avoid gaining weight, do not include most fruit juices in your diet.
They might contain vitamin C and antioxidants, but the problem is that they contain almost the same amount of sugar as soft drinks.
But, of course, drinking fruit juices in moderation can do good to your health, especially blueberry and pomegranate juices.
There is one reason why you could consider white grain over brown: arsenic level. This is despite the wide-ranging health benefits of brown rice, such as digestion-slowing fiber and metabolism-boosting selenium.
According to recent research conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, brown rice contains an alarming arsenic rate.
Not only is arsenic known to be a carcinogen, but when the body is exposed to high levels of arsenic for a longer period, the FDA said, it is associated with higher rates of bladder, skin, and lung cancer as well as heart disease.
Arsenic stays in the rice grain’s outermost layers, which means it remains in fiber-rich brown rice. However, this is not the case with polished white rice.
For those who love barbeque, like me, it’s time to learn the truth behind our favorite BBQ sauce. Most BBQ sauces contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup, which can cause harm to the body.
For those individuals who love something smoky and sweet, barbecue sauce maybe the condiment of choice, but it can ruin the waistline you dream of.
The majority of bottled BBQ sauces are filled with tons of sugar as well as added sugar. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that HFCS is associated with increased heart disease risk.
This sauce is similar to pouring almost four sugar packets on your bratwurst or pulled chicken, also made with corn syrup and sugar.
If you want to enjoy your BBQ party with a healthier condiment, try mustard. This condiment contains a low amount of calories and is rich in flavor.
You can also try a healthier version of your favorite BBQ sauce but with low sugar: mix vinegar, tomato paste, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.
Palm oil is the main culprit making margarine a harmful food. Margarine might taste indulgently creamy, but the taste comes from an unhealthy source.
Some margarine is also made of vegetable oils blended with palm oil, both high in saturated fat and cause inflammation.
If you love spreading margarine on your bread for breakfast, you will get almost the same taste using olive oil.
However, make sure to control the measurements to make it taste exactly how you want it to.
Mayonnaise contains preservatives, sugar, and sodium, which in high amounts, can ruin your health.
In this case, mayonnaise is ranked as one of the worst empty-calorie condiments because of its preservative and sugar content.
Some people might not be able to go a day without their mayonnaise sandwich, but it is better to keep it away from your table because it is packed with calories and fat.
By blending Greek yogurt, mustard, pepper, lemon juice, and spices, you can make a healthier version of mayo at home. You can save more than 200 calories per each quarter-cup serving and 20 grams of fat.
Besides, Greek yogurt is rich in calcium and protein, making for a healthier, heartier spread.
Soybean oil can be as harmful to the body as sugar. According to studies, soybean oil is associated with harmful liver function and obesity, which is alarming because many processed and commercially sold goods contain this ingredient.
It is always beneficial for the body if you avoid foods that include soybean oil, which is quite challenging to do, as it appears in many of our favorite foods.
However, when cooking, there are many other oils that you can use, like ghee, clarified butter, and avocado oil, which have high smoke points.
Bouillon cubes contain caramel color, Yellow 5, palm oil, and Yellow 6. Guess what? These can all be harmful to the body.
According to a meta-analysis in the Journal of Nutrition, palm oil significantly spikes LDL or low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol, compared to low-saturated-fat vegetable oils.
Also, the artificial coloring agents found in bouillon cubes can be contaminated by carcinogens, which might negatively affect children’s attention and activity.
All of these are the primary reasons why you should be aware of this product. Starting today, discover healthier options to make your cooking taste better and be healthier.
You can also use chicken stock or organic broth to achieve a similar taste in your cooking.
Frozen pies contain hydrogenated soybean oil, which is in a more harmful form, as mentioned earlier. The nutrition labels of some frozen desserts might show zero trans-fat.
However, there is still hydrogenated soybean oil and alarming soybean oil. The reason is that this type of oil is associated with weight gain.
Instead of frozen pies, try homemade pie instead. For those who are not into baking or who know how to bake but have no time to spare, make sure to read the label to ensure that the words “partially hydrogenated” do not appear in the ingredients list of your frozen pie.
Some people will become sad upon reading this list. However, remember that there is always a healthier option. Choose to be healthy today because you are already aware of the harmful foods that should not be on your plate.