Usually, knowledge is power. The feeling of knowing more than the average person is something that can’t be matched. But, sometimes, it’s better to leave certain stones unturned in the food world to keep living in complete ignorance, because as they also say, “ignorance is bliss,” and it assuredly applies to these 10 Products You’ll Never Consume After Seeing This Video (Part 3).
If you had Pop-Tarts as a kid for snack time then you were the one kid on the playground everyone would be jealous of. Arguing about which flavor was best, trying to talk your way in to getting a piece – ahh, those were the days. You know, when you could peacefully and carelessly indulge in a Pop-Tart for breakfast without feeling any guilt. Today, because of everything we know about the effects a sugary breakfast can have on your body, things are a little bit different. In fact, it is now recommended by many nutritionists to keep these bad boys out of your shopping carts. Giving one of the yummy treats to your kid for breakfast is practically the same as starting their day with a candy bar. Sure, they’re perfect for when you’re short on time, but they also contain a bunch of highly processed ingredients, which aren’t worth the convenience. These ingredients include soybean oil, refined flour, and tons of refined sugars, like high fructose corn syrup and dextrose. These refined sugars have been linked to numerous diseases, including diabetes and heart problems. No matter the flavor, the amount, or the time of the day, Pop-Tarts are calorie bombs just waiting to explode. So, as delicious and nostalgic as Pop-Tarts might be, they’re probably the worst thing you could subject your body to, especially early in the morning.
9. Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is definitely one of the hardest condiments to pronounce. It’s always a hoot to see people trying their best to say it without stuttering or hesitating – a rare outcome, indeed. But, enough about how it’s pronounced and more about how it’s actually made. Worcestershire sauce is simply a must-have in every kitchen and is a staple in so many different cuisines. Created in England during the first half of the 19th century, this sauce was produced by two chemists – John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins. One of their earliest attempts at creating the sauce was so horrid, they left it in a barrel in the basement, wanting to forget the inedible concoction. However, when they came back to dump it, they decided to try it, and were pleasantly surprised – it tasted good. The sauce, which included onions, molasses, and lots of seasonings, also had a very special ingredient that might make some people shy away from the sauce going forward. The one thing that gives it that special, unique taste is actually the same thing you probably refuse to eat on your pizza: anchovies! But, not just any anchovies – no, these are anchovies that have been marinating and fermenting in vinegar for about 18 months. So, next time you want to give your steak, soups, or marinades a little boost, just think about those teeny tiny fermented fish swarming around. You’re welcome.
8. Rice Cakes
What do you eat when you want a healthy snack? Well, you grab the rice cakes, of course. Why? Because for years now, they’ve been advertised as the ultimate, healthy snack. And while, technically, they do lack in the sugar and fat department, they also lack in other departments – like fiber and overall nutritional value. Apparently, low in calories also means low in nutrients. If you look at a package of rice cakes, you’ll see a whole lot of nothing. There’s no fat, no fiber, barely any minerals or vitamins, and little to no protein. These little wannabe-healthy snacks still have a long way to go before earning the dieticians’ seal of approval. You see, rice cakes are made from a specific carbohydrate which is quickly digested and converted into sugar. They’re also made with refined white rice, which raises blood sugar very quickly, making them anything but the ideal choice for those concerned about blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance, and weight loss. Plus, not only do they taste as if you were eating air, but they’ll also most likely leave you sluggish, unsatisfied, and hungry as heck. If you really want a snack, why not get something with some actual substance and skip the rice cake-nonsense. These might be the “picture perfect” snack, but don’t be fooled; it’s all a facade, and an empty one, at that.
Here’s another childhood favorite – the one meal every kid dreamed of finding in their lunchbox and a parent’s savior in busy and hectic times. By just tossing a Lunchable in your bag, you now had every component you needed for lunch: the main meal, the drink, and the best part – the little dessert. However, as fun as these “build-it-yourself” meals are, we can’t really say the same about their list of ingredients and health impact. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to hear that Lunchables aren’t exactly the healthiest of lunches, especially for young kids. The meal is usually composed of processed meats that are full of nitrates, refined grains, sugary drinks, and a candy bar – not a very balanced meal, to say the least. Nutritionally speaking, Lunchables are a dietician’s nightmare. They are extremely high in sodium – too high in fact for the average elementary schooler. A child should consume about 1,200 milligrams of sodium per day, and the classic Ham + Swiss with Crackers Lunchables contains a whopping 1,130, which is nearly an entire day’s worth. They are also disappointingly high in saturated fat, and even the “healthy” desserts are artificially flavored. The “berry snacks” are packed with citric acid and artificial Red #40 dye. Basically, Lunchables might be the “easy way out” for lunchtime, but that doesn’t make them any better for you.
With everything on this list, it’s starting to look like you can’t eat anything for lunch anymore, and you would almost be right to think that. Now, even your bologna sandwich is at risk of extinction after you learn everything there is to know about this piece of processed meat. Actually, that goes for almost every deli meat: cold cuts, bologna, ham – the whole package. Bologna might be the perfect sandwich filler or the perfect addition to your charcuterie board, but it’s also the perfect way to consume a lot of junk in one tiny meal. Processed lunch meats contain an impressive amount of sodium, fat, preservatives like nitrates, and of course, we can’t forget the trusty sodium. In only one slice of bologna, the sodium level usually ranges between 310 to 480 milligrams, and we all know the effects that too much sodium can have on your body: increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Processed meats have also been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer, as experts suspect that some substances used in the meat change into carcinogenic compounds in the body. The best solution to make your sandwich game healthier would be to replace processed meats with real meats like turkey, chicken, or roast beef to get as much protein and minerals as possible.
5. Microwave Popcorn
Whether it’s for movie night, as light afternoon snack, or simply on a regular Tuesday, microwave popcorn is always there to save the day. Ready in minutes, it’s the perfect quick and easy snack that suits pretty much any occasion, and how could you resist such an inviting smell? Well, as it turns out, you should resist it – big time. Microwave popcorn isn’t as innocent as it likes to appear. But, the problem doesn’t come from the kernel itself; no, it comes from the countless chemicals companies put in the bags as flavoring, like perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). PFCs can resist grease and have been suspected of causing cancer. These were supposedly removed on the FDA’s orders back in 2011; however, new chemicals stepped in to replace the old ones – and these might be even worse. Along with cancer and various other diseases, microwave popcorn has been linked to a serious lung disease: popcorn lung. Yes, it sounds made-up, but it’s actually a real thing. It’s caused by diacetyl, the chemical used to give microwave popcorn its buttery flavor and aroma. Popcorn lung can cause severe and irreversible damage to the lungs and other symptoms like shortness of breath and wheezing. Again, this particular chemical has been removed, but that just means that the new ones haven’t been examined for long enough – so it’s probably just a matter of time before they’re removed as well.
Usually, when it comes to being spread on your bread, margarine is a better bet than butter. While they both serve the same purpose in the kitchen and are meant to be quite similar, real aficionados can always tell the difference. Margarine is made from vegetable oil, which is full of unsaturated “good” fats, while butter is made from animal fat, which is full of “bad” saturated fat. However, just because margarine is “better,” it doesn’t mean that it’s always a good option, because not all margarine is created equal. You see, most margarine is made from vegetable oil, but some are highly processed ones like soybean and palm oil, which have long been linked to heart disease. The majority of margarine contains a lot of trans fat, and in general, the more solid the margarine, the more trans fat it has. Trans fat usually lowers your “good cholesterol” and increases the bad one and has also been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases. Margarine is also extremely high on omega-6 fats, which might promote chronic inflammation. Eating too many omega-6 fats can lead to an increased risk of obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and, once again, heart disease. This is why health authorities, like the FDA, have strongly advised limiting your consumption of it and to always read the Nutrition Facts before carefully choosing your margarine.
3. Instant Ramen Noodles
Ramen Noodles have been in every hungover, penny-pinching, broke college student’s pantry for so long, they’ve become a university staple. No matter the time of day, if you’re looking for a cheap, comforting fix, instant ramen is easy and always there for you. And while cheap and comforting are very important when searching for a meal, basic nutritional value and vitamins should also be part of the package. Sadly, instant ramen noodles are not the complete deal. They do, however, have certain nutrients like iron and B vitamins since they’re made with wheat flour, but that’s about it. They lack everything else necessary to fuel your body: protein, fiber, calcium magnesium – it’s all MIA. Basically, the only thing you’re getting when you eat ramen is salt – and a whole lot of it. Sure, salt is essential to your diet, and not consuming enough of it can be dangerous, but there’s always a limit. Eating ramen noodles once in a while shouldn’t be too bad, but since they’re so easy and convenient, once you start indulging, it’s hard to go back to real meals. That’s why many people end up eating ramen multiple times per day, leading to serious amounts of ingested sodium. The best way to make instant ramen noodles healthier? Just add a bunch of vegetables, some meat, and replace the little flavor packet with other natural broths, and you should still be able to enjoy the quickness and deliciousness of ramen – without all that salt!
2. Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are yet another staple which are not exactly the healthiest thing for us. Yes, a baseball game or a barbecue wouldn’t be the same without a hot dog, but it would probably be wiser to take a pass. No matter how tasty and festive they may be, hot dogs are nothing but an empty food, full of junk. Just like many processed meats, hot dogs are high in sodium and nitrates and low on any type of nutrients. They’re also linked to an increased risk of health issues like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and higher mortality. But that’s not even the most disturbing thing about hot dogs. No, the most disturbing thing would have to be how they’re made. Hot dogs are made from meat trimmings, finely ground until a homogenous texture is obtained. They add salt, water, and nitrites, and the whole mixture is blended together and shaped until you get the familiar hot dog. Okay, when you say it like that, it doesn’t sound so bad but, come on, it’s not exactly the most appetizing process ever! In other words, if you really can’t say no to a hot dog, maybe tweak it a little bit. You know, replace the fake, processed sausage with something a little more natural, and you should be good to go.
1. Boxed Cereal
Pouring yourself a bowl of cereal in the morning is ten times easier and less time-consuming than whipping up a huge breakfast – that’s a given. It’s the perfect way to start your day- that is, if you want to give your body as little vitamins and minerals as possible. It’s true that cereal has long been considered the breakfast of choice for busy families, but the overall harmful properties found in them are simply not worth the time saved. Not only is cereal really high in carbohydrates, but most also have a lot of refined grains and sugar. In fact, more often than not, in most cereal, sugar is listed as the second or third ingredient. Starting your day with a high sugar intake will only spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, and throw your whole body off for the rest of the day. As your blood sugar crashes soon after – and since there isn’t any real fiber or protein in cereal – you will crave another bowl, and another, most likely creating a vicious cycle of overeating. You’re better off preparing a real, hearty breakfast than turning to sugary, harmful cereal.