Whatever you want to start a weight loss regimen or simply want to be healthier and live o few more years you should avoid or limit the consumption of certain food that is very dangerous to your health. In fact, these foods can kill you in the long run. So, why are they dangerous? Where can I find them and how can I avoid them? Continuing reading to find the answers. These are the foods that kill you.
1.- Sugary drinks like soft drinks, fruit drinks, and iced tea.
Sugar, sugar and more sugar = Type 2 diabetes. Every day there are more and more people with this disease and one very important factor is sugar consumption. Sugary drinks have a lot of sugar; it is one of their main ingredients. If you drink one or two normal sodas a day then you have 26% more probabilities of developing diabetes than a person who doesn`t drink these beverages. (1)
But diabetes is not the only health problem that sodas can give you:
Sugary drinks have a weight gain effect because they add a lot of calories and large amounts of absorbable sugars and no essential nutrients.
Sugary drinks elevate the risk of coronary heart disease by increasing overweight and raise the risk of diabetes, both elevates the risk of a heart disease.
Sugary drinks are really harmful to our teeth health, they provide acids which make the teeth to decay, plus the sugar environment that sugary drinks give our mouth make harmful bacteria to grow.
2.- Sausages and processed meat:
There are 2 main reasons to why you should avoid or at least to limit processed meat:
Too much fat in them, making sausages a very good calories resource. And if you fried them, well, a lot more calories.
The second reason is the most important because it can kill you: Nitrites and Nitrates.
These minerals are added on processed meat to help preserve it, also they kill the bacteria that causes botulism and they add color to make meat attractive, but a lot of studies suggests that Nitrite and nitrates are a major cause of cancer. In fact, the World Health Organization ranks processed meat alongside smoking as a major cause of cancer. This is why you should at least limit the intake of processed meat, and if you are a pregnant woman completely avoid consumption of processed meat because it raises the baby`s risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.
If you ever had the question Which is better, margarine or butter? Here is your answer. For many years butter had been labeled as bad for health for the fat that it contains, but recent studies show that animal fat does not increase the risk of diabetes or heart stroke but hydrogenated oils raise the risk of death by 34%. So butter is not that bad for health but margarine can kill you. (16) (19)
So what are hydrogenated oils? They are oils that went through a chemical process in which hydrogen was added to them. This makes the oils solid or semi-solid at normal temperature. Trans fat is present in hydrogenated oil, meaning if a product contains hydrogenated oil then that product contains trans-fat. Hydrogenated oil is present in a lot of processed foods like margarine, coffee creamers, fried food and package snacks because they add texture and extend the shelf life of products. POH (partially hydrogenated oil) still contains trans-fat and it is used widely on processed foods.
Why are hydrogenated oils bad for health? Well, it makes blood thicker and thus increase the blood pressure in your body. It also makes arteries to build plaque increasing the risk of a heart stroke. This is really a substance that you should avoid at all costs. (17)
So, how do I avoid hydrogenated oils? Almost all processed foods contain these bad oils, so you must try to consume as many natural products as you can. Even pre-made vegetables may contain trans-fat so you should prepare your food from scratch. Also be wary of restaurants and fast foods. What kind of oil do you think they use for French potatoes? Hydrogenated Soybean oil mostly. (2) (15) (18)
All salty snacks, including chips, contain a lot of sodium which can increase your blood pressure. If you eat a bag of chips once a month, for example, then it can be tolerated, but, if you eat them on daily basis then you have a health problem. Chips are highly addictive. A lot of parents give their kids salty snacks, chips among them because are easy to get products but they are bad for health and not only for getting fat (low in nutrients and high in calories).
When cooking certain foods at high temperatures, like chips, acrylamide compound is created. This substance may raise the risk of cancer, and there is a higher concentration of this substance in chips than in French potatoes. (14)
It may seem that salt is harmless because it is used in almost every food we eat, but this is far from the truth. It is true that foods without salt have no “taste” but the over-consumption of salt is bad for health.
Salt overdose makes the body to keep water in order to dilute it, making more blood in your system. More blood equals more pressure blood which can provoke a stroke or heart attack.
Sometimes the high intake of salt doesn`t raise blood pressure but kidneys are affected, and it also can help to provoke osteoporosis.
You must be very wary when salting your meals, and it is always better a food with very low salt than a salty one. Also, some people when they go to eat at a restaurant the first thing they do when they get their order is to add it salt, even without taste it. Salt shakers are indeed very dangerous and in some restaurants, they are forbidden. (13)
White flour is the most common flour on any supermarket and the vast majority of bread (white bread, cakes, etc.) are made of this. White flour is made from wheat flour. Wheat is stripped from the germ and the barn. The germ is the reproductive part of the grain, the one that germinates and grow, and barn provides fiber to any flour that keeps it. A whole grain flour keeps both the germ and the barn. (10)
Why is white flour bad for health? It doesn`t have nutrients (they are in the germ and in the barn), have refined carbohydrates and have gluten. (12)
Gluten is a very popular word right now, as many people around the world are having health problems because of their intake of gluten. (11)
What is gluten? It is a protein that can be found in some grains like wheat, rye, and barley. People are getting sick from gluten because they have developed intolerance or allergies from it. Some of the symptoms are diarrhea and bloating.
If you already developed a gluten allergy or sensitivity, then you have to go with a gluten-free diet. There a lot of grains that are gluten-free, like corn, rice, and amaranth.
7.- Breakfast Cereals
I need to say this, marketing is king when presenting products like they are the healthiest and tastiest choice for you and your family. Breakfast cereal`s marketing aims heavily to children, telling stories of adventures, secrets, and superpowers to try to engage the smaller ones into eating the most popular breakfast cereal. What are we really eating? Are breakfast cereals really the best choice for a complete breakfast?
Most of the breakfast cereals are made of fine flour mixed with sugar, chocolate, and water.
So we are back to fine flour and sugar, a lot of sugar. Not the best food for you or your children.
If you really want a cereal, look for the ones that are made from whole grains and do not have added sugar, there are a few options that you can use, but for a complete breakfast is always better to go with unprocessed food, like eggs, which is the most solid choice. (7)(8)(9)
8.- Packed Juice.
Ok, fruit juices are a good source of vitamins and minerals, but Packed Juices go under processes in which juices get heated and thus losing a lot of their nutrients.
Also, juices are standardizing so they have to add artificial flavors and sugar, yes, more sugar.
On top of that, you have to keep them on the shelf for at least 6 months so they have to add a conservative. (6)
Are you getting the picture? Don`t use processed food.
9.- High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sugar substitute for processed food because it is cheaper and easier to handle than sugar. It is made from cornstarch. (5)
I just can`t believe what big companies can do to make money. They don`t care about your health or mine, they just want to make money. Why do I say this? Because HFCS is a multimillionaire business. Producer companies of HFCS claim that its product is the same as caned sugar.
Well, it is not. First of all, it is sweeter and cheaper than sugar, so for the same price they can (and do) add more HFCS to the food like soft drinks. The body doesn`t metabolize HFCS the same way as sugar does. When sugar arrives in the liver it produces leptin and insulin as a way to autoregulate the intake of food. With HFCS this doesn`t occur and this causes that you don’t feel satiety and makes you eat more. Also, HFCS favors the creation of liver fat, which can induce fatty liver disease which has no known cure and in a small percentage of people can become cirrhosis which can be deadly. (4)
But let`s say that is the same as sugar. Well, who said that sugar was healthy?
American citizens consume 126.40 gr of sugar a day per capita (3). That`s more than 40 kg a year, this makes USA the bigger sugar consumption of the world. Why is that? Because Americans eat too much-processed foods which have a lot of hidden ingredients like HSFC which adds a lot of calories and are harmful to your health.
I really don’t know what we are doing with our health. With obesity raising around the world and with diseases like diabetes and cancer I don’t know why governments don’t apply stronger rules to processed food producers, and marketing can be very convincing in making this type of products healthier instead of the harmful that they really are.
My list of bad foods:
Soft drinks, energy drinks, iced teas, sausages, margarine, fast foods, chips, salty snacks, crackers, all kind of bread made of white flour, sugary breakfast cereals, packed juices, canned fruit, coffee creamer, ice cream, nutrition bars.
Do you have any suggestion of a food that should be on this list? Please leave a comment and I will gladly add it to the list.