It can be challenging nowadays to know what foods should really be avoided with all of the different theories and views on health. Should you eat paleo? Go vegan? Eat strictly organic? Many of these lifestyles have potential benefits but it’s not always necessary to adopt a whole new regime. Below are 10 tried and true items to avoid purchasing and eating no matter what diet you follow.
1. Prepackaged sliced cheese
This is always a no-no. This type of “cheese” can barely be considered a food item at all with all the processing it goes through. The shelf life of sliced cheese is much longer than any natural or fresh-made cheese or dairy products would be, which is almost always the reason for concern because it reflects a high level of chemical preservatives in the product. Ban this from your shopping cart and opt instead for fresh or artisan cheese with a realistic shelf life.
2. Cold cuts
Again, cold cuts are the mysterious franken-meat of the butchers’ department. With increased shelf lives attained by adding chemical preservatives, extremely high sodium levels, and an untraceable single animal of origin, cold cuts are also a food item that barely qualifies as such. If you really enjoy thinly cut meats for snacking or sandwiches go to a specialized butcher who gets fresh cuts of unprocessed meats in daily and has them hand slice whole pieces of meat instead of opting for the prepackaged supermarket brands.
3. Microwave popcorn
Microwave popcorn has made its way onto every nutritionist’s list of things not to eat. The oils and processed fake butter alternatives used only add to the unhealthiness of an item that’s very method of preparation is cause for concern. Microwaving popcorn causes leaching by a chemical which coats the microwavable bags called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) which is carcinogenic, meaning cancer-causing. Not only that, but the chemical diacetyl (found in fake butter) is extremely harmful to humans in multiple ways. Microwave popcorn is like a cocktail of carcinogens and salt all combined together to absolutely obliterate your health. Opt for home popping corn instead using sea salt and natural oils like cobnut or olive oil.
It’s no secret these days that soda is more beneficial for cleaning your toilet than it is for your body. The myriad chemicals and astronomical levels of sugar in soda rot organic matter (which our bodies are made of). Diet soda is even more harmful as it uses aspartame and other fake and chemically processed sugars to sweeten the beverage which has been proven to cause the growth of cancerous cells in the body. All sodas, no matter how health consciously they promote themselves to be, are simply not good for you. Switch instead to flavored (but unsweetened) seltzer water.
5. Diet anything
Anything labeled as “diet” or “low calorie” should be approached with extreme caution. These products tend to be made up of mostly chemical additives and processed “sugars” which all-cause cancerous growths in the body. Instead of stocking up on diet low-calorie brownies or ice cream, buy the real thing and simply practice moderation.
6. Processed sliced bread
White, processed, sliced bread is about as nutritionally valuable as cardboard. The bread has been stripped of all its nutrients and fiber during the process of bleaching and is therefore so quickly broken down by the body that it turns to pure sugar after consumed causing a spike in glucose levels. This causes a spike in energy, a crash, and unstable blood sugar levels. Opt instead for a natural whole or multigrain bread that is slow processing and full of nutrients and fiber.
7. Microwave and convenience meals
It should go without saying that freezing and microwaving already low-quality food strips whatever nutritional value there is right out of it. Microwave dinners are usually high in salt, preservatives, made with low-quality food and become nutritionally deficient and possibly carcinogenic once heated in the microwave. Certain organic food companies have begun carrying convenience meals and if you must buy them, try to stay with those brands that use higher quality ingredients.
8. Energy drinks
Full of caffeine, taurine, and other unidentified chemicals, energy drinks should be avoided. They’re a completely processed food item with an incredibly unhealthy blend of chemicals that cause a spike in heart rate. If you need a boost of energy to opt instead for green tea which is high in caffeine and antioxidants.
9. Sugary yogurt
All the incredible health benefits of yogurt are pretty much nullified when high levels of sugar are added. Sweet, candy, and ice cream flavored yogurts are usually full of sugar and preservatives. If you enjoy yogurt stick to plain Greek yogurt and add honey and fruit to taste.
10. Packaged cookies and snacks
Again, these food items are totally processed with very few real ingredients and therefore very little nutritional value. Not only that, but prepackaged cookies and snacks are full of sugar and chemical preservatives that reap havoc on the body and spike blood sugar levels leading to an eventual crash. Whole foods are always the better choice when it comes to healthy eating but if you really love your cookies and snacks, try some vegan and organic alternatives which give you sweetness without all the processed nonsense.
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