7 Unhealthy Foods to Stop Eating Today : Begin the winter months with your best foot forward. Improve your diet by dropping these unhealthy foods from your life!
If eaten in large quantities, white bread can be unhealthy because it’s highly processed, which means manufacturers remove the bran and germ from the grain, leaving behind the endosperm, the easy-to-digest carbohydrates. Processing the grain helps to extend the shelf life of bread. Unfortunately, it also removes most of the healthy nutrients, including fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
You might see labels that promise “enriched grains” on some packaging, which re-adds vitamins and minerals after the initial processing. However, consuming any white bread in excess is still not as healthy as eating whole grain, multigrain, or 100% wheat bread.
When out grocery shopping, you might have stumbled across agave nectar and seen it marketed as healthy compared to other sugar options. That agave nectar indeed has lower glucose levels than other options. However, agave nectar is quite harmful to your health because it’s refined and has a high level of fructose. Agave nectar has 85% fructose compared to table sugar with 50% or high-fructose corn syrup with 55%.It’s best to avoid agave nectar as a sweeter entirely. If you’re looking for a natural sweetener, try stevia or xylitol.
Carbonated Beverages and Energy Drinks
Beverages with added sugar like soda and energy drinks are detrimental to your overall health but are specifically bad for the upkeep of your teeth. Sodas and energy drinks contain carbonation and various acids that can wear on your enamel. Some beverages contain dyes that can cause teeth discoloration.
When you consume a high-calorie soda or energy drink, your body doesn’t understand it is processing calories because of the liquid form. If you drink multiple soft drinks a day and still eat your average amount of calories, you’re taking in more than your daily recommended amount. This can lead to weight and fat gain. Try to limit your soda and energy drink consumption to one beverage a day.
While fast-food meals are convenient, most are bad for your health and should not be part of a regular diet. The reason fast food is so unhealthy is that it’s processed and has high levels of sodium. If you regularly consume lots of sodium, this could increase your blood pressure, stress your cardiovascular system, and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Additionally, fried fast food is high in saturated fat. When you eat too many saturated fats, you increase your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Higher LDL levels in your blood add to your risk of stroke and heart attack. If you’re on the road and need to eat fast food, try to eat a non-fried option or opt for a restaurant with healthier ingredients.
Processed Meats and Cheeses
High consumption of processed meats and cheeses are linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Examples of processed meat include hotdogs, sausages, hams, and beef jerky. Processed cheese examples include Cheese Whiz, Velveeta, and American cheese singles.
Both processed meats and cheeses are high in sodium and saturated fats. These ingredients make them foods you can enjoy on occasion, but not something to eat regularly.
While “fruit” is the identifier of this juice, it doesn’t automatically make the beverage healthy. Unfortunately, in most cases, fruit juices are packed with liquid sugar. There may be some benefits of fruit juice, like antioxidants or vitamin C, but in most cases, you’d be better off eating the fruit. One study found that most fruit juices had as much sugar as, if not more than, most soft drinks.
If you want to continue drinking fruit juice, try blueberry or pomegranate juice for the antioxidants and other health benefits. You could also try making a fruit smoothie for your breakfast. It could give you the taste of juice with more of the nutritional value of the fruit.
Many breakfast cereals are highly processed with refined grains and feature added sugar. You may start out feeling full, but an hour or two later, your blood sugar will crash and you’ll find yourself craving another meal. Sugary breakfast cereals also increase your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.
Instead of sugary cereals, try whole grain oats, granola, or a cereal high in fiber. Consider adding protein, like yogurt, to your breakfast routine, as this will fill you up for many hours.
Improve Your Health Today
To keep the weight off this winter, eliminate processed foods, sugary drinks, and meals with high sodium and saturated fats. You can improve your health by making smart choices every day.
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