Do you feel like no matter how hard you try, your health just isn’t improving? You can do everything else right, but if you don’t adjust your bad eating habits, you won’t get better results. It’s time to look closely at what may be sabotaging your health.
If you’re eating the wrong foods, you won’t get the nutrients and energy your body needs. And some foods do more damage than help. Here are ten foods that are sabotaging your health.
Who doesn’t love the taste of bacon? Munching on crisp, crunchy bacon can be a real treat. Slow your roll, though. This tasty treat is loaded with saturated fat and sodium, two ingredients that can increase your risk of heart disease.
Bacon also contains nitrates and nitrites, which are known carcinogens. Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer. The WHO classifies processed meats, such as bacon, in the same category as tobacco, and that says it all.
Although the campaign to stop eating bacon is not as loud as the one against cigarettes, it doesn’t change the fact that bacon is just as bad for you. You can still enjoy healthier alternatives that are not processed and contain quality ingredients.
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2. White Bread
White bread looks and smells great, but it’s not good for your health. It contains refined white flour, stripped of most nutrients and fiber. The implication is that white bread is low in nutrition but high in calories, which can lead to weight gain.
White bread also contains a lot of sugar that can spike your blood sugar levels and cause energy crashes. Eating this bread for breakfast will leave you feeling sluggish for the rest of the day.
Reach for whole-grain bread instead. It has much more fiber, which keeps you full longer and helps control your blood sugar levels. It also contains healthy grains such as wheat and oats – essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it tastes just as good.
3. Fried Foods
Fried foods are delicious but contain saturated fats, trans-fats, and cholesterol. Regularly eating fried food can lead to health problems such as high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Deep-fried foods are also often served with dip sauces or dressings that contain high amounts of sugar or sodium, which can harm your health. If you’re a fan of fried food, consider opting for the healthier alternative of oven-baked versions.
Related: These Processed Foods Are Bad for You. Steer Clear!
4. Processed Meats
Processed meats are convenient and can save time for meal prepping. But they contain unhealthy sodium and saturated fats levels that can increase your risk of heart disease.
Processed meats are highly processed and contain preservatives, nitrates, and nitrites. These substances can be cancer-causing agents that put you at a higher risk for developing certain types of cancer. Stick with healthier alternatives like grilled chicken or fish.
Soda is a popular beverage, but it’s just full of empty calories and sugar. One can of regular soda contains about 39 grams of sugar – that’s almost ten teaspoons! What a sugar overload! High sugar intake is linked to several health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Diet sodas are not much better as they are loaded with artificial sweeteners.
The World Health Organization recommends limiting your intake of added sugars to less than 10% of your daily caloric intake. If you consume 2,000 calories daily, you should have no more than 200 calories from added sugar, about 12.5 teaspoons or 50 grams of sugar. To reap even more health benefits, reducing your sugar intake to less than 5% or 25 grams (6 teaspoons) a day would be ideal.
Soda also contains a lot of caffeine which can lead to anxiety and insomnia. Stick to healthier alternatives like sparkling water or unsweetened tea, smoothies, and coffee.
Related: How much sugar should you eat every day?
6. Chips and Snack Foods
Salty snacks are delicious and can be hard to resist. But fried foods, chips, and other packaged snacks contain unhealthy fats and a lot of sodium that can lead to heart disease or high blood pressure.
Chips are also heavily processed and contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and food dyes. These substances can have a negative effect on your health and should be avoided.
Reach for healthier snacks such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. They contain more fiber and are higher in vitamins and minerals than processed snacks. Plus, they’re much better for your overall health.
7. Hydrogenated Fats
Hydrogenated fats are artificially produced fatty acids used in many processed foods. They are in snack foods, margarine, and prepackaged baked goods.
These fats contain trans-fats linked to many serious health problems, including coronary heart disease and stroke. Avoiding these fats and opting for non-hydrogenated alternatives is key to keeping your health in check.
How can you tell if a food contains hydrogenated fats? Check the nutrition label; if you see “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated,” it’s best to steer clear.
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Sausage is a popular breakfast food, and we bet you didn’t know that it can be decidedly unhealthy. It’s time to take it off the menu and replace it with lean proteins like eggs, poultry, and fish. These foods are lower in saturated fat and sodium, making them a healthier breakfast choice.
Sausage is usually made with a combination of pork, beef, and other fatty meats high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Regular consumption of Sausage can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Sausages are also usually made from processed meats that contain additives such as preservatives, nitrates, and nitrites. These substances are cancer-causing agents and should be avoided as much as possible.
9. Fried Chicken
Surprised? Don’t be! Fried chicken is tasty but full of unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Eating fried foods regularly can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Fried chicken is usually cooked in oil and heated to very high temperatures. This process produces unhealthy trans-fats, significantly increasing your risk of developing heart disease.
Besides, the number of calories you get from a fried chicken meal can be incredibly high. A single piece of fried chicken contains up to 300-400 calories and 20 grams of fat, most of which is saturated fat. A better alternative is grilled skinless chicken breasts. Add some spice and throw them on the barbecue for a healthier and more delicious meal.
Related: How Long Does Rotisserie Chicken Last?
Fondant is a beautiful yet sugary icing to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. Unfortunately, fondant contains a lot of sugar and is often made with unhealthy fats like shortening or butter. Eating too much can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, and other health issues.
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, try using pureed fruit such as applesauce or pumpkin puree to decorate desserts. You can also use fresh fruits and vegetables to top cakes, cupcakes, and other treats.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to your health, it’s important to pay attention to what you eat. Eating unhealthy foods can lead to serious health problems. You owe it to yourself to make healthier choices and choose foods free of added sugar, trans-fats, and preservatives.
Remember that small changes can make a big difference. So, do your best to avoid processed and fried foods and reach for healthier alternatives whenever possible.
This article was produced on Health Makes You.