In the information age in which we live, it seems that people are more aware than ever of what they consume on a daily basis. As we are discovering, some foods that were once considered healthy, such as margarine, may actually be more harmful to you than what they were meant to replace. For example, you may be shocked to discover the dirty secrets behind foods like agave nectar, rice cakes and fat-free salad dressings. Even foods that you know are unhealthy, such as icing, can be surprisingly dirty. Read on to see what foods you might want to consider banning from your pantry.
Rice cakes have a high glycemic index.
Rice cakes have a high glycemic index according to Harvard health published reports. What matters is that the higher the GI, the faster your blood will rise when you eat it.
In addition to being a bad choice for people with diabetes, high GI foods will flood you with energy and leave you hungry soon afterwards. This imbalance can lead to increased hunger and cravings, which can cause you to overeat.
Cream-based soups are full of fillers
Dr. Taz Bhatia reports that cream-based soups are something she does her best to avoid. That’s because they are full of empty calories, which means they provide a small amount of nutrients per calorie.
Take chicken cream soup, for example, which has more than twice as much fat as protein per gram and almost half your daily sodium intake per serving. Dr. Bhatia adds that these soups often contain fillers that can have harmful effects on your health.
Bakery products often contain trans fats.
Trans fats are a by-product of hydrogenation, which is the process of converting a liquid unsaturated fat into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. Because hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, some manufacturers will use it to increase the shelf life of a product.
Often, the baked goods you see on the screen contain these trans fats that make them last as long as they do. The Mayo Clinic warns that these fats increase your LDL (the bad cholesterol) and decrease your HDL (the good cholesterol), increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Coffee creamers are often full of artificial ingredients.
Artificial sweeteners, carrageenan and artificial colors are some of the “fake” ingredients that dietitian Gina Consalvo is concerned about. She warns that some of these ingredients can raise your LDL cholesterol, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Gina recommends half and half with only milk and creamy ingredients. Non-dairy drinkers may enjoy almond or oat milk, but be careful with the fillers. If you must have sweetener, try adding a small amount of pure sugar or honey with a hint of cinnamon. At the very least, look for creamers that list only natural ingredients and watch the sugar per serving.
Cereals can increase your sugar cravings
Given the amount of grain processed, it should not be as surprising that it often contains high levels of sugar. Starting your day with high sugar levels can lead to an accident before breakfast, in which case your body may crave more sugar, and the cycle begins.
It’s best to choose a cereal that is low in sugar and high in fibre and make sure you get enough protein. Rather than relying solely on the milk in your cereal for protein, add nuts or an egg on the side for an extra boost.
Nutella is packed with sugar and palm oil.
Although Nutella contains hazelnuts, its nutritional value is nothing like what you would find in the actual nut. If you compare two tablespoons of Nutella to two tablespoons of hazelnut, you’ll find that the chocolate spread contains twice the fat, seven times the carbohydrates and half the fibre.
That’s because the two main ingredients in Nutella are sugar and palm oil. Fortunately, not all nut butters are created equal. Many brands of almond butter contain only almonds, providing a quarter of the carbohydrates and four times more protein and fiber than Nutella.
Pretzels are full of sodium
Although sometimes considered a healthy snack, pretzels are high in sodium. Take the Rold Gold small pretzels, for example. One ounce, or 17 of the small pretzels, contains 20% of your daily sodium intake.
The worst part is that they don’t have a lot of nutritional value, so it can be easy to overdo it by snacking on a salty snack. Live Science reports that eating too much sodium contains excess fluid in the body, leading to high blood pressure and an increased risk of osteoporosis, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and stomach cancer.
Soda contains high levels of acid and sugar.
Soda’s adverse health effects have become increasingly well known over the years. One of the most obvious reasons is its high sugar content, which, combined with its lack of nutritional value, facilitates over-consumption.
In addition, researchers have discovered that sweetened beverages such as sodas can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Sodas and diet sodas can cause tooth decay due to their high levels of phosphoric and carbonic acid. And diet soft drinks may be linked to kidney disease, according to a study published by NCBI.
Fat-free dressings make your vegetables less beneficial
According to Mario Ferruzzi, professor of food science at Purdue, the absence of fat results in the loss of some of the benefits of fruits and vegetables. That’s because fat helps your body absorb carotenoids, a phytochemical that acts as an antioxidant in the body.
Dietitian Lily Nichols warns that fat-free dressings are often filled with harmful ingredients such as hydrogenated oil, xanthan gum, carrageenan and corn syrup. In short, it is more important to be critical of the ingredients in dressings and make sure you are getting enough healthy fats.
Icing is full of ingredients that are bad for you.
While it’s not surprising that icing is mostly sugar, it’s not the only ingredient that can be harmful to your health. Depending on the brand, you can expect to see hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, palm oil, corn syrup, artificial colors, modified corn starch, xanthan gum and a host of other preservatives and fillers.
To top it all off, there is virtually no nutritional value in the glaze. In addition to moderation, you can enjoy a number of healthy icing recipes that use cashews or avocado and provide nutrition rather than harmful additives.
You may be surprised to see the next item on that list.
The barbecue sauce is full of sugar and sodium.
Unlike mustard, which is low in calories (only 3 calories), each serving of barbecue contain about 75 calories per serving, that come from sugar. You can usually find sugar or high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient, which means it is one of the most predominant ingredients.
In addition, barbecue sauce usually contains about 10-20% of your daily sodium intake, which is especially high for a condiment. Although its content makes it a perfect blend of salty and sweet, that’s also why its health impact is double the problem.
Maraschino cherries are sweeter than cherries.
The maraschino cherries are preserved in a thick layer of high fructose corn syrup, which gives them their shine. They can last for years because they are so heavily preserved, but the preservation process removes almost all of the nutritional value of the cherries.
Although cherries are naturally red, maraschino cherries are pumped with artificial colouring to give them a brighter tone.
The white grains are stripped of their nutrients.
Whether it’s white rice, white bread or white pasta, they are all essentially stripped of their worthwhile nutrients. One of the most essential nutrients that are depleted is fiber.
They lose their nutritional value because the grains undergo much more processing than whole wheat variations. Moreover, white flour is sometimes bleached to look brighter. That’s why it’s often suggested that you choose a healthier option or eat these foods in moderation.
Granola bars are not worth the calories.
Doctor Lara Devgan says she avoids granola bars because they are high in calories and yet don’t seem to fill you up. Granola bars usually contain about 200 calories and a few packets of sugar.
Those that are lower in sugar may use sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners that may not be better for your long-term health. Despite their contents, many of these bars do not satisfy your hunger for long despite their fat and micronutrient content.
Now let’s see what other items around your kitchen can be avoided.
Diet ice cream can be hard on your digestive system.
Diet ice creams like Halo Top, which contains less than 400 calories per pint, seem to be a dream come true for some dessert lovers. The problem is that they reduce calories with ingredients like erythritol, locust bean gum and guar gum. The downside is that this can lead to digestive problems if consumed in excess, which is precisely what these diet ice creams promote. Similarly, the Natural Health Journal reports that people with gastrointestinal problems are more likely to have a negative reaction to gum thickeners.
Pre-made fruit smoothies
Freshly prepared fruit smoothies can be a great choice for added nutrition throughout the day, especially if you add vegetables. However, most of the pre-made fruit smoothies you’ll find and groceries are very high in sugar.
Although there is no sugar added, these juices often condense the fruit into such a small amount that they lose filler nutrients like fibre and provide too much sugar at once. You’d better eat a ton of fruit and feel extra satisfaction.
Fruit juice is all sugar and no fiber.
First and foremost, it is essential to make sure that if you drink juice, it is 100% juice. Many juices contain sugar before the fruit from which they are derived and contain only 10 or 15% real juice.
Second, even 100% fruit juice is essentially the fruit stripped of its fiber, leaving you feeling less full and more likely to abuse it. From a nutritional point of view, it’s best to eat the fruit to get the full benefits. If you must drink juice, keep it moderate by diluting it.
Packaged bakery products can be loaded with chemicals.
Gastroenterologist Rebekah Gross discourages the purchase of packaged products deemed “low fat” because they often compensate for the lack of fat with chemicals. The same can be said for low sugar alternatives.
She says that the more natural the ingredients are, the more likely they are to satisfy. In addition, highly processed foods are more likely to cause stomach upset because they may contain ingredients that our bodies digest more poorly. Moderate indulgence is better than trying to cut the round corners with questionable ingredients.
Deli meats can be highly processed
The World Health Organization has classified processed meat as a carcinogen and has found that eating 50 grams per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Nutritionist Joy McCarthy suggests avoiding breakfast meats that contain nitrates/nitrites, BHA, BHT, smoke flavour, corn syrup and aspartame.
She also recommends choosing organic options because they come from animals that had a pesticide-free diet. It is also important to be wary of excessive sodium content in these meats.
Hot dogs are high risk
As with other processed meats, hot dogs contain carcinogens that can increase the risk of certain health complications. In addition, they are high in saturated fat and sodium. A hot dog link includes one quarter of your daily sodium intake and four grams of saturated fat.
Although they are naturally low in carbohydrates, a link contains only about 5 grams of protein, which is not enough to sustain a meal. Because they are made from several types of meat, they are also more likely to be subject to a food recall or cause an allergic reaction.
The bouillon cubes are filled with sodium.
Apart being an easy way to flavor soups, bouillon cubes Have very little to offer nutritionally and have a high levels of sodium. Hydrogenated oil, food colouring, monosodium glutamate, TBHQ and maltodextrin are some of the most common ingredients in these cubes that can have adverse effects on your health. Making your own broth is the best way to make sure you get natural nutrients without the risk of processed ingredients.
Chicken that is not antibiotic free
While the FDA requires chickens to be weaned off antibiotics before being treated, the consumption of antibiotics at any time in their lives still poses a risk of disease to humans by creating drug-resistant bacteria.
That’s why it’s important to make sure the chicken you select is free of antibiotics. If you really want to go the extra mile, choose organic chicken. To be considered organic, the chicken must be antibiotic-free, fed organic food and have access to the outdoors.
Margarine has artificial ingredients
Invented in France towards the end of the 19th century, margarine was initially considered a healthier alternative to butter because it was lower in saturated fats. While this is true, highly processed foods have resulted in trans fats, which are not exactly better for you.
Although many brands of margarine today avoid trans fats, they are still riddled with chemicals and artificial flavours that turn the oil from which it is made into a butter-like substance. That’s why it’s ideal to opt for butter and consume it in moderation.
Sports drinks are filled with sugar
While it is important to replenish the electorate after intense training, some sports drinks can be misleading. They often come in large bottles of 12 to 32 fluid ounces and provide about 14 grams of sugar per cup.
The high sugar content sends the calories through the roof, negating some of the hard work you’ve just done. Instead, try getting a mixture of electrolytes that you add to the water for a sugar-free recovery drink.