If you are looking to improve your health and lose weight, there are certain foods that you should avoid at all costs. These foods are unhealthy not just because they can easily contribute to weight gain but should also be avoided due to the abundance of unhealthy and potentially harmful ingredients.
Having a healthy diet means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Packaged foods should contain minimal and readable ingredients, while providing a variety of vitamins and minerals. Often times, this is not the case and indulging in these foods can cause brain cloudiness, bloat, digestive issues, and even result in carrying around a couple extra kilos.
Below are five foods that we believe that you try to avoid when possible. These foods don’t necessarily have to be banned for a lifetime, but reaching for alternatives might bring you better health–and peace of mind.
1. “Soft Drinks”
If you must stop consuming only one thing, it should be sugar-sweetened drinks. The empty calories they provide help fill up your midsection without offering any nutritional benefit or sense of feeling full after taking them. Consuming them on a regular basis also increases your risks for developing diabetes. It is estimated that a can of “soft drink” contains as much as the equivalent of 12 cubes of sugar.
2. Processed meats
Most processed meat products, including bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, contain chemical preservatives that make them appear fresh and appealing, but they also increase your risk of cancer. Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate have been linked to a significant increase the risk of colon and other forms of cancer. Avoid having that shawarma as much as you can but if you must, go for the vegetable version.
Margarine is loaded with trans fat which raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol, and causes inflammation. This can lead to belly fat and diseases ranging from heart disease to diabetes. Avoid items like pastries, crackers, snack foods, and even microwave popcorn which are packed with plenty of margarine.
4. Packaged Fruits
Choose the real, fresh fruits over the sugar-packed of any kind. These usually have artificial colors that add no nutritional value.
5. Diet/Sugar Free Drinks
Diet drinks and diet foods usually contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K, and neotame. In small doses, sugar is totally fine. But when choosing artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, you need to be aware that they can reset your taste buds to crave sugary foods. This stimulation of sweet taste often leads to eating more junk food. Additionally, the safety of these sweeteners is controversial.
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