Most of us know which foods we should avoid: there are the obvious choices like fast food, candy, and anything overly processed. However, there are also some foods you thought were in the clear that are, in fact, just as bad for you. So, here are 15 Foods You Should Never Eat!
15. Fruit Juices
Many of us grew up being told to drink our juice. We think of fruit juices as healthy because some like orange and grape juice contain vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients – but according to some nutritionists, you should probably never drink any of those. The problem is that many fruit juices contain a lot of sugar and calories, sometimes even more than what’s found in sodas. In the past, some of these fruit juices were touted as alternatives to soda, but it’s been proven that they are just as destructive. The nutritionists don’t deny that many of these juices do have real health benefits that are completely absent in sodas and other sugary drinks, but they still recommend that if you are going to drink fruit juices, you should enjoy them only occasionally and in small amounts. You’ll be much better off choosing fresh-squeezed fruit juice or even just plain water. Your body will thank you in the long run.
14. Gluten-Free Junk Food
Gluten-free foods have gained a lot of attention over the last decade. Some surveys say that as many as a third of the population try to eat fewer foods that contain gluten and seek out gluten-free alternatives. People might think that gluten-free junk foods are healthier than regular junk, but this is usually not the case. Gluten-free junk food is still junk food in the end and contains the same harmful ingredients. Many of these foods, like bread and cookies, contain a lot of sugar and refined grains such as corn starch and tapioca starch. Refined grains can cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels and are often low in nutrients as well, so there’s really no good reason to eat them whether they are gluten-free or not. Some foods are naturally gluten-free, including unprocessed plant and animal products, which are much healthier options than highly processed gluten-free foods.
13. Fries And Chips
We all know french fries and potato chips are unhealthy, but we still eat them because they taste so darn good. Where would fast food be without french fries or school lunches without potato chips? White potatoes are actually good for you and include a lot of potassium. However, when these potatoes get deep-fried in fat-laden oils and heavily salted, they lose most of their healthy appeal. Fried foods produce unhealthy substances that can actually be responsible for a lot of diseases. Of course, most people who love french fries and potato chips won’t want to give them up entirely at all once, but eating some on rare occasions should really be the target for everybody. McDonald’s now offers kids the choice of apple slices instead of french fries when they get a Happy Meal, which is a small step in a positive direction – something more fast-food joints should take note of.
Pastries, cookies, and cakes are very popular foods and for good reason – they’re delicious! This category includes breakfast foods such as doughnuts and cinnamon buns, and let’s not forget the more specialized pastries like birthday cakes and Thanksgiving pumpkin pies. The problem, though, is that many of these products are mass-produced as highly processed foods. Processed foods contain refined sugar and wheat as well as high levels of fat. Shortening, which contains unhealthy trans fats, is also sometimes used to make these products. If you have a sweet tooth and all of these treats sound appealing to you, just remember that they are extremely high in fat, sugar, and calories and contain very little if any essential nutrients. The best way to satisfy your cravings is to make those snacks yourself and steer clear of the processed store-bought junk.
11. Fast Food
Everyone knows fast food burgers and fries or tacos and nachos, are unhealthy. These foods are prepared with high levels of fat, salt, and calories. We know all this, but we eat it anyway because it’s quick, convenient and many of us can’t resist the taste. There’s really no getting around the notion that fast food restaurants serve the kind of junk food that we should probably never eat. Various value menus offer meals at low prices, but it’s usually not worth the trade-off, at least not as a regular thing. You should especially avoid deep-fried foods like french fries and fried chicken that are literally soaked in fatty oils. These low-nutrition and high-calorie meals are not the way to go most of the time. Healthier options like a turkey wrap or even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are better choices and make a lot more sense for lunch.
Sodas are one of the more obvious foods, or in this case drinks, you should never consume. Soda is just carbonated water sweetened with sugar and or corn syrup. This is pretty much the definition of empty calories since they provide you with zero nutritional benefits. A 12 0z. can of soda comes with 140 calories and sometimes more, so if you drink a couple of these a day, the calories can really start to add up. Your brain doesn’t recognize the calories you drink in the same way it recognizes the calories you get from food. This fact can lead you to drink a lot more calories than you might think. Consuming large amounts of sugar can also disrupt the way your body releases insulin and cause health problems like fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes. An occasional can of soda won’t destroy your health, but the fewer of these sugary drinks you consume, the better off you’ll be.
9. Orange-Colored Snacks
Why pick on orange-colored snacks? In reality, we’re really calling out all the snacks drenched with artificial colors, but the orange-colored chips and puffs are some of the guiltiest culprits. This particular artificially colored junk food is full of fats and sodium, basically, things you should never get too much of. Although these brightly colored snacks have no nutritional value, they do taste good because salt and fat can make a compelling combination. One benefit of avoiding these unhealthy snacks is that you’ll no longer have the telltale messy orange fingerprints to give you away. Air-popped popcorn, minus any orange food coloring, is one of the healthier substitutes to choose from. The chemicals that create the bright colors add nothing to the flavor, so it’s always better to seek out the snacks without the artificial colors.
8. Low-Fat Yogurt
Most of us think of yogurt as a healthy snack since it contains protein, calcium, and other healthy nutrients. So, is this a food you should really never eat? Maybe you don’t have to go quite that far, but a lot of the mass-produced low-fat yogurts sold at your local supermarket are just not that good for you. It’s true that low-fat yogurt doesn’t have much fat, but the manufacturer makes up for this by adding a lot of sugar because a low-fat and low-sugar yogurt wouldn’t be very appealing to most people. To make matters worse, these yogurts are pasteurized, which kills off most of the probiotic bacteria. These are the live bacteria cultures that are touted as the main reason yogurt is a healthy choice. You should choose the full-fat yogurts that usually contain less sugar and choose the least processed kinds of yogurt, so they still have the beneficial cultures.
7. Diet Soda
While most people aren’t surprised to hear sugary sodas are on this list, it might not be as obvious why zero-calorie soft drinks should be. It’s true that these drinks don’t contain high-calorie sugars, but these natural sweeteners have been replaced with other harmful chemicals. Research has shown that some of these artificial sweeteners cause your body to release insulin. This reaction makes your body want to store more fat than usual, so these diet sodas can actually contribute to weight gain, just like regular soda. You can avoid both of these and give some healthier options a try, such as a club soda or seltzers, as long as they don’t contain any of the artificial sweeteners found in your favorite sodas. If you can’t give up soda entirely, at least try to drink as little as possible.
6. White Bread
White bread is a very common food and comes in many forms, including sliced sandwich bread and different kinds of rolls and buns, and is also a big part of lunch for a lot of people. Think of all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers made with white bread. This kind of bread uses bleached, refined wheat flour, which has had a lot of the nutrients stripped out of it. White bread is softer than the brown, whole grain version that uses unbleached flour which is less processed and retains more of the grain’s nutrients. It would probably be unrealistic to say that you will never eat white bread again. However, you would be better off reducing the amount you eat as much as you can. Some people have a little trouble switching to whole grain bread, but if you can make the change, you’ll be making the healthier choice.
5. Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is billed as an all-natural sweetener, so people often think of it as a healthier option to sugar. Some people regularly use it as a substitute for table sugar, but the truth is agave nectar is a highly processed food that is loaded with fructose during the refining process. This nectar usually ends up being higher in fructose than many other sweeteners, which only contributes empty calories into your diet. For example, table sugar is about 50% fructose, while agave nectar can be as high as 85% fructose. These numbers add up to an unhealthy amount of empty calories and mean you should probably never eat this food again. High-calorie sweeteners are added to so many foods; you have to be vigilant in order to significantly reduce how much of them you eat.
4. Sweetened Breakfast Cereal
Sweetened breakfast cereal is mainly targeted to kids. I mean, let’s be honest, names like Froot Loops, Cookie Crisp, and Captain Crunch sound a lot more tempting to a kid than something named Bran Flakes.. These cereals are loaded with sugar, so they are high in calories. Most of them are made with highly processed corn, rice, or wheat, meaning the best thing about these sweetened breakfast cereals is the milk you pour in the bowl because most of them have little nutritional value. Many kids grow up eating these sweetened cereals, and some continue to eat them as adults. These high sugar cereals are not the best choice to get you going in the morning because the processed grains and sugar mean you’re not ingesting a lot of nutrition. They usually end up leaving you hungry right after. They are high-calorie cereals without a lot of upside. You’d be much better off with less processed cereals like oatmeal and shredded wheat – but what kid is going to beg mom and dad for those?
3. Hot Dogs
We all know hot dogs are straight up junk food. There’s really no reason to try and pass off these meaty sausages as something that’s good for you. Hot dogs are clearly a food you should never eat. But we do eat them because they’re delicious with ketchup and mustard or covered with a couple of spoonfuls of chili. Cookouts and baseball games probably wouldn’t be the same without hot dogs, but there’s just no way around the fact that this popular food is full of unhealthy fat, sodium, and preservatives. You can find healthier options like turkey dogs and vegan dogs, but if you only like real deal, these alternatives might not satisfy your cravings. You have to be careful with turkey dogs, too, because they can be high in sodium as well. Relatively lean hamburgers would be a good choice to keep you away from hot dogs as much as possible.
2. Ice Cream
Whether your a kid, teen or adult, no one wants to hear they should never eat ice cream again because it’s such a great treat. There’s nothing better on a hot, sunny day, but this delicious food also comes at a price. Ice cream has a lot of sugar added to it, and the “cream” in ice cream is basically liquid fat. As most of us know, the combination of fat and sugar is a winner when it comes to taste and a major reason why ice cream is so popular. However, the smooth, creamy texture of ice cream makes it easy to eat too much of this frozen goodness, and the calories can quickly add up. There are some healthier brands of this frozen dessert to choose from, but many nutritionists recommend making your own ice cream. You can try making it with fresh fruit instead of a lot of the usual sugar. This would give you the opportunity to experiment with many different flavors that you might not have otherwise tried.
Not pizza! Say it ain’t so! Pizza is one of the most popular foods there is, so it really is a shame that it’s one of the foods you should never eat. The crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings are combined to make a delicious meal that’s hard to beat, but these ingredients are filled with sodium, fat, and calories. When you add highly processed and fatty meats like pepperoni and sausage on top, you’re really pushing past the rules of sensible nutrition. Pizza isn’t really pizza without the delicious melted cheese, but you can use less cheese or a lower fat cheese. It would also help to skip the meats altogether and opt for more vegetables like broccoli, peppers, and eggplant. Deep dish and other thick crust pizzas also add a lot of calories, so you would be better off choosing as thin a crust as possible. You could even experiment with pizza crusts made from cauliflower. These crusts might not be as satisfying as traditional crusts, but they are a much healthier option.