Creating a healthy and wholesome health regime benefits us immensely. It not only allows us to enjoy greater energy levels and sharper focus, but saves us from countless health ailments, such as heart disease and obesity. A large glass of orange juice, a plate loaded with colourful vegetables and almond milk with your regular cup of coffee are all habits that promote a long, healthy and disease-free life.
We have undertaken the mission of making you realize the need to review the ingredients, and understanding what really goes inside your food items.
We have put together a comprehensive list of 25 alarmingly unhealthy food items that sabotage your weight loss goals, and put you at risk for countless chronic ailments.
1. Chewing Gum
Even though we don’t usually swallow it, chewing gum still constitutes as an unhealthy food that is made with horrible ingredients, primarily artificial sweeteners, sorbitol and sugar alcohols. Gums are indigestible, but the ingredients they contain are not.
Sugar alcohols are basically substitutes for sugar which have been increasingly associated with development of bloating and severe gastrointestinal discomfort. Ingredients, such as sorbitol, take a much longer time in being digested, while undigested sugar alcohol enters the small intestine and promotes the conditions that allow the fermentation of bacteria, which further aggravates the symptoms of flatulence and bloating.
Popular gums, such as Orbit Cinnamon, are packed with artificial sweeteners and ingesting additives that have scientifically been linked with an increase in appetite, along with triggering the sweet receptors in the tongue, which give rise to untimely cravings. If you have a habit of chewing, pick out crunchy and delicious sunflower taste. They are brimming with heaps of vitamin E, the primary fat-soluble antioxidant of the body.
2. Bottled Lemonade
Bottled lemonade is an extremely unhealthy pick to energize your body and hydrate yourself as it packs nothing but a truckload of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, yellow #5 and tons of additives. Most brands of bottled and canned lemonade, such as Minute Maid, add yellow #5 to give their beverage a dark yellow colour, which researchers have increasingly associated with impairments in renal functioning and hyperactivity.
Pick out some infused water to cut down your calorie consumption and sugar intake, and of course, save your kidneys from horrid medical ailments caused by toxic additives.
3. Flavoured yogurt
This supposedly healthy snack is loaded with shockingly damaging ingredients, primarily carrageenan and staggering amounts of sugar. Majority of the flavoured fruit yogurt brands add very sparse fruit, and use additives and sugar to sweeten their blends. The vibrant colours you admire in your cup of flavoured yogurt are by no means the result of fresh fruits, but in fact, these are processed food colours and fruit juice concentrates.
Research reveals that carrageenan, a plant-based emulsifier that is directly associated with the spread of inflammation, particularly amongst patients with gastrointestinal complaints. If you’re trying to eat healthier, you must entirely eliminate yogurt from your daily diet.
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It’s highly advisable to pick out plain and unsweetened yogurt in order to brim up your body with live cultures, which are extremely beneficial for the strength of gut bacteria, enhancing the immune system, and reducing your risk factors for developing several medical ailments, including depression, obesity and diabetes.
If you experience symptoms of belly bloat after consuming diary, you can always pick out coconut milk yogurt also contains the same gut-health benefits, along with a rich concentration of live cultures without causing the discomfort of bloating.
4. Instant Oatmeal Packets
Most flavoured and instant oatmeal mixtures, including Quaker’s Weight Control Maple & Brown Sugar, contain nothing but waist-thickening calories, partially hydrogenated oil and caramel colour. Caramel colour is a potentially toxic additive that is contaminated with 4-Mel, a carcinogenic chemical that is often unlabelled in foods that we consume on daily basis.
Research reveals that when consumed excessively, this hazardous ingredient increases the risk factors of developing benign and malignant tumors. However, caramel colour isn’t the only ingredient you need to avoid. Quaker’s Peaches & Cream flavoured oats are brimming with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which is basically trans fats that clog up our arteries and increase the risk factors of developing severe heart ailments.
Instead of devouring artificial peach flavours, empty calories and unhealthy ingredients, such as corn syrup solids, it’s probably healthier to fix your own plain oatmeal at home, with a generous topping of fresh peaches, nuts and other fruits.
While adults can always avoid the consumption of candies, children are always tempted and beguiled by these colourful treats. As parents we must be concerned about their candy consumption as they contain harmful fats that clog up our arteries and addictive sugars that disturb our concentration. Researchers revealed that candies are drenched with added sugars, saturated fats and toxic artificial colours, primarily Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6, which are largely found in M&Ms.
Both of these artificial colours increase the risk factors of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) amongst children and teenagers. Many countries, including Sweden and Norway, have banned the consumption and use of these artificial colours, and in the European Union, manufacturers who use these artificial colours are required to mention this phrase on the label: “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
Give your kids tasty homemade candies made with fresh fruits, dark chocolate, nut butters and no added sugars or artificial colouring. If you simply cannot imagine life without M&M, pick out a healthier chemical-free alternative with Unreal’s Milk Chocolate Gems.
6. Lean Cuisine
Most people regard Lean Cuisine meals an incredibly healthy alternative for a low-calorie diet, completely unbeknownst of the fact these supposedly healthy frozen meals contain an alarmingly high amount of heart-damaging trans fat in the form of partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
Research reveals that Lean Cuisine’s Glazed Turkey Tenderloin meal happens to be the unhealthiest meal amongst the entire cuisine, as it contains the highest concentration of partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Even though the packaging claims that it only contains 2% of this oil, trans fats tend to accumulate if you eat these meals regularly. It’s highly advisable to avoid these chemical-laden meals and prepare whole foods yourself at home.
7. Boxed Cake Mixes
Most packaged cake mixes are brimming with chemicals, artificial colours, added sugars, artificial flavours and trans fats, mostly in the form of partially hydrogenated oils. It might be easy to create a cake from a boxed mix as opposed to preparing all the ingredients from scratch and dealing with failed baking attempts. However, keep in mind that this shortcut is laden with health-damaging chemicals and toxins.
Most cake mixes from famous brands, such as Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines and Jiffy, contain nothing but toxic chemicals, shrouded trans fats and sugar, all ingredients that promote belly bloating and inflammation. Instead of these harmful cake mixes, give your festivities a healthy cake with easy no-bake recipes and healthy chemical-free cake mix boxes.
8. Baked Treats
Baked treats that you pick out from your favourite bakeries and supermarkets are loaded with potassium bromate, clocked under the supposedly healthy name of bromated flour. This harmful ingredient has been banned in Canada and the UK, but it is still prevalently used in the United States, mostly found in baked treats such as bagel chips, pizzas, rolls, bread crumbs and wraps. A study revealed that the consumption of these dough enhancers can increase the risk of developing tumors, which provoked the EPA to classify bromate as a possible human carcinogen.
The consumption of bromate has also been associated with severe cell deterioration and episodes of kidney failure. Even though the FDA has taken commendable steps to prevent bakers from using this toxic substances, research reveals that this harmful chemical is still prevalent in over 86 products being sold in the markets, including GOYA’s Disco Dough sheets.
It’s essential to spend a little time scanning and assessing all the ingredients listed on the baked items that you chose to eat at supermarkets and bakeries. For those who live in California, thanks to the California Proposition 65, any product containing bromated flour is marked with a cancer warning, which makes it easier for you to eat safe baked treats. Just remember, if you spot a package that contains bromated flour or potassium bromate on the label, just put it back and walk away.
9. Bottled Water
BPA or Bisphenol-A is one of the scariest toxins that are being added to regular food items, and it is basically a hormone-like chemical present within almost all packaging plastics and preserved food items.
A recent study revealed that chronic ingestion of this damaging toxin can cause a wide variety of severe hormonal changes, such as a greater risk of reproductive cancers, early onset of puberty amongst women, excessive weight gain and even sperm reduction. Another study examining reproductive toxicology revealed that BPA is largely associated with the disruption of hormones that cause the emergence of breasts amongst men.
Instead of bottle water, meet all your hydration needs and reduce your risks for changes in the size of your breasts with clean filtered water, consumed with a BPA-free bottle or a metal flask. S’Well bottles are an ideal pick and they come in such amazing colourful packaging for a mere $35. You can shop them on Amazon.
10. Dried Fruit Snacks
Most dried fruit snacks contain sulfites, which is an essential ingredient to make sure prepared foods remain fresh. Research reveals that patients struggling with the symptoms of asthma have a greater risk of suffering damaging reactions of sulfites, such as migraines, hives and swollen throats.
Majority of these dried fruit snacks are made with added sugars, vegetable oil and fruit juice infusions, all of which are potentially damaging for the human body. Be sure to steer clear of dried fruits that contain added sugars without water, as dried fruits already boost a great concentration of sugar as opposed to hydrated fruits, and the added sugars only serve to spike blood sugar and elevate the risk of diabetes.
Even more disturbing is the fact that most dried fruits are coated with vegetable oils, which are highly inflammatory and pack up a rich concentrate of unhealthy fats and empty calories. Instead of these packaged dried fruits varieties, pick your assortment of dried fruits for an organic food or a trustworthy retailer, such as Whole Foods, to find 100% sulfate-free dried fruits.
11. American Cheese
Before you toss that beguilingly tempting brick of orange cheese into your grocery bag, remind yourself that it contains an assortment of favourless dairy-like ingredients, and countless processed additives. Most cheese-making companies pick out natural colours a vibrant orange hue, however, they still add harmful ingredients, such as phosphate and sodium citrate, which is incredibly damaging for your health.
Kraft Singles are loaded with sodium citrate, which has been associated with increased muscle spasms, along with worsening the symptoms of patients struggling with kidney ailments. Most American cheese varieties also contain sodium phosphate, an ingredient that aids in preventing the crystallization of dairy products and meat. Its excessive consumption has been associated with a greater risk of kidney ailments, bone demineralization, and osteoporosis.
Instead of picking out these overly processed cheese varieties, treat your cheese cravings with a nutrient-rich serving of organic cheese, which doesn’t contain any artificial colours or preservatives. If you want to lower your calorie consumption, pick out parmesan or aged white cheddar, as these varieties contain the lowest levels of lactose, which makes them the ideal pick to reduce digestive discomfort for the 75% adults who experiences distress while digesting dairy products.
12. Wheat Bread
Don’t pick out any wheat bread unless it says 100% whole wheat on the label, because these supposedly healthy wheat breads pack up nothing more than waist-thickening refined white flour and heaps of sugar. Several loaves, such as Bimbo Bakery’s “Whole Grain” loaf, even pack up tiny amounts of actual whole grains blended with unhealthy refined flour. A two-slice serving of this unhealthy bread contains a shocking 2 grams of sugar.
Manufacturers actually increase the quantities of added sugar in breads created with whole grains just to provide customers the sweet tinge of white bread, alongside the supposed healthy claim of consuming whole grains. If you want to add healthy carbs to your daily diet, pick out a label that says 100% whole wheat flour listed down as the first ingredient.
13. Food Items Coated with Artificial Chocolate
Treats prepared with artificial chocolate pack up offensively damaging ingredients such as polysorbate 6 and polyxyethylene – (20)-sorbitan monostearate, a prominently used emulsifier in the food industry. Artificial chocolate is created with petroleum, corn and palm oil, and it is used in several bakery items and baked treats instead of dairy products.
Research reveals that such ingredients are prevalently contaminated by 1.4 dioxane, a chemical that has been scientifically associated with an increase in the risk factors of cancer. Why not coat your food items with decadent dark chocolate instead? It will invigorate your taste buds and brim you up with antioxidants.
Most popular packaged pickle brands, like Vlasic Dill Kosher Pickles, add potentially toxic yellow dyes into their pickle jars, and considering the fact that cucumbers are naturally green, it is hard to understand the need for this unhealthy addition. These pickle brands use offensive ingredients, such as sodium benzoate, polysorbate 80 and yellow 5.
Research reveals that polysorbate 80, a prominent emulsifier that is also used in diet ice creams, has been increasingly associated with increased risk factors of cancer. Moreover, several pickle jars are brimming with another hazardous ingredient, sodium benzoate, which has been scientifically proven damaging to the mitochondria, which is titled as the ‘power station’ of our cells.
Pick out a jar Woodstock Farms Organic Baby Kosher Dill Pickles, which provide the flavourful taste and nutritional value of healthy pickles without damaging additives and preservatives.
15. Chips Ahoy! Cookies
Chips Ahoy! Chocolate chip cookies are loaded with the alarmingly damaging trans fats, which clog up our arteries, and drain our brain. These popular treats are made with shockingly unhealthy ingredients such as caramel colour, artificial flavours, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, which is largely classified as trans fat.
To make it worse, these cookies also pack up 11 grams of sugar in each serving, along with frightening amounts of high fructose corn syrup, which increases triglyceride levels, body weight and body fat. Instead of these sugar-loaded chocolate chip cookies, why not fix your own indulgent and nutritious recipe with oatmeal, whole wheat, dark chocolate and natural peanut butter.
16. Chinese Food
Chinese restaurants, such as P.F Chang’s, provide the saltiest meals in the world, loaded with excessive amounts of heart-damaging sodium. All you need is one serving of Hot & Sour soup to brim up your body with a shocking 9,590 milligrams of sodium, which is four times more than your recommended daily dosage requirement. It’s always healthier to fix your own soups, steamed veggies and other Chinese recipes at home, so you can control your consumption of sodium.
17. Low-Fat Peanut butter
The supposed low fat peanut butter does not constitute as a health food as it packs a wide host of unhealthy ingredients, primarily sugar, sodium and hydrogenated vegetable oil. Peanuts, as a standalone snack, provide powerful concentrations of protein and fiber, while processed low-fat peanut butter varieties provide you nothing by health-damaging ingredients.
Natural peanut butter contains heaps of healthy fats, and when these fats are removed, they are mostly substituted with excessive amounts of salt, and heaps of sugar, to make sure the product isn’t entirely flavourless and inedible.
Pick out some full-fat homemade natural peanut butter without any salt or waist-thickening sugars. Spread the Love peanut butter is created without adding any oils, sugar and salt, and it also provides the MUFA content provided by peanuts to brim your body with their cholesterol-reducing benefits. You can easily fix your own peanut butter recipe at home, all you need is some peanuts, some honey and a bit of oil. Toss all these ingredients into a blender and blend until you see the ingredients form a smooth and thick paste.
18. Veggie Burgers
Heavily processed veggie burgers are not exactly a healthy substitute for a beef burger because they are made with caramel colour, artificial flavours and disodium inosinate. If you think these are healthy, you are in for a shocking revelation.
Most popular veggie burger varieties, such as Morning Star Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger, are packed with offensively unhealthy ingredients, such as artificial flavours, potential carcinogen caramel colour, and disodium inosinate, which acts much like an MSG by improving the flavour and igniting your appetite.
If you must enjoy the convenience of a packaged veggie burger, pick out Amy’s Sonoma Burger, which contains organic vegetables, walnuts and quinoa.
19. Instant Cinnamon Oatmeal
Instant oatmeal is the worst way to reap all the countless benefits of oatmeal, but truth be told, they pack up nothing but artificial flavours and shocking amounts of sugar. Most manufacturers are branding their instant oatmeal packages as a health food, while the shockingly large serving size packs up a whole lot of unhealthy ingredients.
Supposedly healthy instant oatmeal brands, such as McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal provide your body an alarming 21 grams of sugar, which is a whopping 40% of your daily dosage requirement of added sugars in one day. This makes instant oatmeal an extremely unhealthy pick to start the day.
You need to power their mornings with the nutrient-rich energy offered by unflavoured oats, they will cut down your consumption of calories, and providing a satiating satisfaction that will curb your appetite for longer hours. Fill up your oatmeal bowl with antioxidant-rich berries, and fiber-filled raw almonds, walnuts and pecans.
20. Hot Dogs
There is an abundance of valid reasons to avoid the consumption of hot dogs for they are brimming with a long list of carcinogen-forming nitrates and alarmingly high levels of sodium. Hot dogs are packed with health-damaging ingredients, such as sodium nitrite, sodium phosphate, sodium, and corn syrup.
A recent study revealed that consumption excessive amounts of serum phosphates leads to heightened risk factors of developing heart ailments, weaker bones, premature aging and chronic kidney ailments. If you simply can’t avoid the consumption of a delicious dog, pick out healthier organic varieties, for instance the Applegate Farms’ Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog.
Sprinkles beguile us with their flavourful scent but come to assess the ingredients that create them, one realises that they are a shockingly unhealthy addition to our ice creams. They are mere accessories that pack up heaps of sugar and no nutrition whatsoever. Sprinkles are created with hydrogenated vegetable oil, carnauba wax, artificial colours and loads of sugar, almost the same ingredients sued to create scented candles.
Why not give your favourite ice cream dessert a deliciously crunchy and nutrient-rich topping with some cacao nibs, slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts or chia seeds perhaps. They will brim up your body with waist-slimming fiber and heaps of antioxidants.
22. Cool whip
Cool whip is increasingly being used as a supposedly healthy and lighter alternative to whipped cream. Truth be told, this dessert topping packs up very little cream and skim milk, and it largely consists of vegetable oil, water, polysorbate 60, and high fructose corn syrup. It contains a large list of some seriously offensive ingredients, including sorbitan monostearate, hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 6, and high fructose corn syrup.
Research reveals that the consumption of sorbitan monostearate is directly associated with the increase risks of kidney ailments and abnormal enlargements. Instead of topping your desserts with potentially-toxic cool whip, fix yourself a traditional whipped cream substitute at home with some coconut milk. It will provide your dessert the same indulgent creamy thickness that you enjoy about regular whipped cream, without loading up your digestive system with unnecessary added fat and sugar.
23. Maraschino cherries
This popular topping is created with at least a dozen preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and several colour dyes. Maraschino cherries are famous for their succulent taste and dark red colour, however, most people aren’t aware that these are a chemically-produced food item that simply cannot be part of any healthy diet. It contains alarmingly unhealthy ingredients such as, red #40, calcium chloride, sulfur dioxide, high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate.
They marinate in a thick concentrate of high fructose corn syrup for an alarming long period of three years before reaching their expiration date. Such an artificially engineered food item should not be on your grocery list when you can pick out dark and rich fresh berries.
Cherries are packed with juicy sweetness that cannot be obtained from a supposedly-syrupy chemically-engineered cherry from a jar, brimming with toxic dyes and added preservatives. Fresh cherries will brim up your body with resveratrol, which aids in eliminating the symptoms of dementia and fighting off excessive belly fat.
24. Deli Meats
We are increasingly relying on deli meats to provide us the much-needed lunchtime nutrition, completely unbeknownst of the fact that they are loaded with alarmingly excessive amounts of sodium, which is horribly damaging for the human being.
All you need is two thinly-cut slices of these deli meats to brim you up with a shocking 680 milligrams of sodium, which is even more than an entire bag of pretzels. Besides, none of us stop at mere two slices, which further increases our consumption of sodium.
Research reveals that a diet that contains excessive amounts of sodium tends to increase the risk factors that contribute to the development of chronic ailments, such as heart disease and hypertension. Statistics show that the average America consumes over 3,400 milligrams of sodium, which is excessively high. We must all make serious attempts at lowering our sodium consumption by picking out low-sodium alternatives whenever we can.
Even natural uncured meats are brimming with nitrates, which come from natural ingredients, such as celery powder, which is why switching to these alternatives won’t really help in cutting down the risks to your health. Health experts and Cancer researchers widely recommend a reduction in the consumption of processed meats, along with advising the consumption of no more than 18 ounces a week, which is no more than six 3-ounce servings each.
25. Bottled coffee
Bottled and packaged coffee is a hazardously unhealthy beverage that will do very little to satisfy your need for caffeine, as it contains extremely offensive ingredients beneath the label, primarily dollops of sugar. All who consume bottled coffee need to keep in mind that these sickeningly sugar drinks are packed with more added and artificial sugars that you should consume in one day.
A recent study revealed that one 14-ounce bottle of Gold Peak Almond Toffee Coffee Drink packs up an alarming 53 grams of sugar and 270 calories, and a mere 77 milligrams of caffeine, which is extremely less as compared to the whopping 166 milligrams of caffeine that you get from 14-ounce of black coffee. Other popular caffeinated beverages, for instance a 9.5 ounce serving of Starbucks Coffee-flavoured Frappuccino, packs up 32 grams of sugar, which can be easily avoided if you fix your own coffee at home.
You can enjoy the convenience of go-to coffee without damaging your body with all that added sugar, you just have to pick out a cold caffeinated beverage instead of a hot one. It will give you a sweet caffeine zing with a refreshing taste, and minus all those high-calorie additives that put at risk for diabetes. Packaged cold coffee beverages are becoming increasing popular, and you can pick out brands such as High Brew, Chameleon, Stumptown, and Blue Bottle for a quick fix of flavourful coffee with a burst of antioxidants.