Dietitians more than anyone know how true the saying can be: you are what you eat. Eating well ensures a healthier and more active lifestyle. Therefore, this can help you live a longer and more productive life. But eating unhealthy foods can do the opposite.
26 harmful foods to avoid according to dietitians
Here is a list of 26 harmful foods that dietitians recommend that you avoid.
Most hot dogs are a mixture of pork, high in fat, and spices. If that were all, there would be nothing wrong with eating a small portion occasionally. The problem with most processed meats like sausage is that manufacturers often use nitrates as a preservative.
Once these chemicals enter your system, they break down into substances that have been linked to causing cancer. This popular breakfast meat is also loaded with salt, which can raise blood pressure and cause other health problems.
2. Cereals with sugar
Studies show that most sweetened cereals contain almost a tablespoon of sugar per serving, and those for children tend to have 60 percent more sugar than those marketed for adults. The best option is a low-sugar cereal or a good old-fashioned bowl of oatmeal.
3. Artificial sweeteners
The debate over sugar versus artificial sweeteners has raged for decades. When dietitians realized that people who ate too much sugar gained weight and were prone to disease, the search for a sugar substitute began. However, these lab-made substitutes comprise a different set of health hazards.
For years, scientists have warned consumers about the cancer risks of ingesting saccharin. Aspartame, which at one point was regarded as the miracle sweetener, soon fell out of favor and was considered one of the worst harmful foods when researchers discovered its potential health threats.
Most dietitians recommend leaving sweeteners aside and instead opt for honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar in moderation.
4. Microwave popcorn
Even if you buy a brand of microwave popcorn that doesn't have salt, butter, or other ingredients, it could put your health at risk. When the container is heated in the microwave, it can produce a carcinogenic compound called PFC.
If you want to try some tasty popcorn, better make popcorn with fresh corn in a pot and flavor it with herbs or spices.
While margarine may be lower in saturated fat, it still contains a lot of calories and fat just like plain butter. Most of the fat in this butter substitute is trans-fat, which is worse for your body than the saturated fat in butter. And that's why it enters this list of harmful foods.
6. Canned cheese
Sure, it can be fun to sprinkle canned cheese on crackers or directly into your mouth if you're a kid (or a kid at heart). However, there are many things that should not be canned, and cheese is one of them.
Not only is the canned cheese variety packed with sodium, it's also packed with chemicals and preservatives that aren't good for your health.
7. Ramen noodles
These very cheap, dry, crispy plastic-wrapped noodles sold in many stores don't even come close to the traditional Japanese version. This college student staple may seem healthy and easy to cook, but the noodles are high in fat and the questionable spice package is mostly salt and MSG.
8. Fruit yogurt
Perhaps dietitians would prefer you to have tasty fruit yogurt for breakfast rather than sugary cereals? Well, it may surprise you that there really isn't much of a difference.
Most brands of fruit yogurt use jam that contains large amounts of sugar instead of whole fruits, so you won't benefit from consuming them. Instead, try plain yogurt with fresh fruit.
9. Soft drinks
Did you know that many of your favorite carbonated beverages can contain up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per can? Most of these drinks have a surprising 185 empty calories, plus artificial colors and ingredients that aren't good for you. Drinking water is always the best option. And you could even drink some sparkling water and a few drops of lemon.
10. Diet sodas
Diet sodas may contain zero calories, however artificial sweeteners have been linked to the development of cancer. Also, countless studies have suggested that drinking diet soda can cause you to gain weight.
11. Canned fruits in syrup
Better enjoy natural and fresh fruits, which are sweet and juicy on their own. Why ruin them by soaking them in high fructose corn syrup that can contribute to obesity and diabetes?
Dietitians suggest that if you buy canned fruit, that it be canned in water or fruit juice with no added sugar. Fruits canned in syrup are not healthy at all.
For most people, it is okay to eat natural wheat products in moderation. However, some people are intolerant to gluten, the protein found in wheat. If you have this condition be sure to speak with a dietitian to find alternatives.