In a perfect world, we would go to a farmer’s market everyday for fresh foodstuff and cook all of our dishes from scratch. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Fresh food sources are inaccessible to most of us, which is why we settle for canned and packaged goods and hardly have time to eat dinner, much less prepare it.
Although it is true that processed foods can save us a lot of time, we also get dangerously large amounts of hidden fats, sugar and sodium in exchange for the convenience. Here is a list of which processed foods to avoid and why.
Containing high levels of sodium, eating too much bacon can lead to high blood pressure. It is also loaded with saturated fat which has been linked to obesity and heart disease. Stay away from store-bought bacon as it is alarmingly filled with preservatives which have been linked to every health concern from headaches to heart disease to cancer.
7) Granola Bars
Do not be fooled with the healthy and wholesome marketing image, granola bars are loaded with added sugars, which do not satisfy hunger for long as this kind of food is digested quickly. Also known as cereal bars, granola bars do not have much to offer when it comes to good nutrition so make sure that you stay away from them.
6) Instant Ramen
Unfortunately, a lot of college students are guilty of relying on ramen and cheap coffee as their fuel to power through finals week but what they might not know is just how unhealthy these instant noodles really are. Containing 2,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium, instant ramen has 500 mg more than the American Heart Association daily recommended intake. As any doctor will tell you, too much sodium elevates your blood pressure, which can lead to stroke.
Furthermore, ramen provides almost zero nutritional support as most of its ingredients are made up of simple carbohydrates and fat.
5) Dried Fruits
There is no harm in reaching for a few spears of dried mango or a handful of raisins if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth. In fact, they are a better choice than Skittles as they have healthy amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber. What you should be watching out for however is the portioning as even a small portion packs a lot of sugar and calories. Do not eat more than your body needs as the extra sugar can mean weight gain.
4) Flavored Nuts
It does not matter if it is soy, wasabi or maple-coated, flavored nuts are loaded with lots of sugar and salt. Too much salt and sugar in your body will lead to obesity, high-blood pressure and diabetes.
3) Fruit Snacks
Think fruit snacks are healthy? Think again. Most fruit snacks are not only loaded with cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup, they also contain only a drop of actual fruit ingredients. The gelatinous ingredients and excessive sugar also make fruit snacks enemies of your dental health.
Margarine is filled with trans fats, the most unhealthy kind of fat which increases bad cholesterol and can lead to heart problems and stroke. Although there are not enough studies to support the link between trans fat and cancer, the John Hopkins Medicine is just one institution that supports the idea of decreasing trans fats intake as part of the dietary recommendations for cancer patients and survivors.
1) Microwave Popcorn
It is not that popcorn is bad (as long as you keep it light on the salt and butter) or that microwaving food is bad.
The issue here is the bag that the popcorn came in. Perfluoroalkyl is just one of the harmful chemicals found in microwavable plastic bags. Countless research have associated perfluoroalkyls with health problems such as poor semen quality and kidney disease.