We all have our moments of weakness and indulge in a little junk food once in a while. Like they say “everything in moderation”. But the next time you feel the urge to “fall off the wagon” and have a little nibble of something unhealthy, whatever you do, avoid the following 5 foods at all costs.
The average can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, artificial food colors and sulphites. Diet sodas are even more unhealthy because they contain dangerous artificial sweeteners. Even more alarming is the fact that 56 percent to 85 percent of children consume at least one soft drink a day, and 20 percent of adolescent males drink four or more sodas every day.
- Potato Chips and French Fries
Both of these snacks contain acrylamide, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin that is formed when foods are baked or fried at high temperatures. “I estimate that acrylamide causes several thousand cancers per year in Americans,” said Clark University research professor Dale Hattis.When tests were conducted on some popular brands of french fries and chips, the amount of acrylamide in a large order of fast food fries was at least 300 times the amount allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a glass of water. They also contain trans fats, the artery-clogging fat that’s been linked to raising bad cholesterol increasing the risk of heart disease.
- Hot Dogs and Processed Lunch Meats
Processed meats including sausages, bacon and pepperoni contain a carcinogenic precursor ingredient known as sodium nitrite.”Sodium nitrite is a dangerous, cancer-causing ingredient that has no place in the human food supply,” says nutritionist Mike Adams, author of the Grocery Warning Manual.According to a University of Hawaii study that followed nearly 200,000 people for seven years, people who consumed the most processed meats (hot dogs and sausage) showed a 67 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer over those who consumed little or no processed meat products.
- Canned Soup
Most canned (and packaged) soups have high levels of trans fats, sodium and artificial preservatives like MSG. Just one cup of canned soup can have almost 1,000 milligrams of salt (and most people eat more than one cup), which is extremely high considering dietary guidelines recommend consuming no more than 2,400 milligrams for the entire day.There are healthy options out there, particularly natural, organic brands, but be sure to read the label.
- Commercially Packaged Baked Goods
This category includes all varieties of baked goods, including packaged cake and biscuit mixes. What makes these foods so bad is that they almost always contain high amounts of trans fats as well as additives including corn syrup, preservatives and artificial flavors and colors. In fact, commercial baked goods typically contain more trans fats than any other food.
If you still need a little more motivation to stay away from these unhealthy foods, consider that fact that four of the ten leading causes of death in the United States are related to diet (diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke). So if you want to improve your health, steering clear of these five foods is a great way to start.