Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly clear at just how closely linked our diet and health are. The food that we regularly eat has a huge impact on our overall health, especially our immune system. And this is one reason why superfoods have become increasingly popular over the past decade or so. Studies have shown that these superfoods are incredibly beneficial for improving our immune system and overall health. Not only that, though, but they can also help to prevent you from some of the most life-threatening diseases that we face, such as cancers and heart disease.
However, when it comes to diet and health, it isn’t all good news. Some studies also show that the opposite of these benefits are true and that some of the food we eat can be very detrimental to our health. Instead of protecting the body and its immune system, these unhealthy foods will instead put them at risk. There are also some studies that show them to actually increase the risk of developing cancers and other dangerous diseases.
So which foods should you watch out for in your diet? Here is my concise list of some of the unhealthiest foods that are out there. Next time you are in the supermarket, you better stay safe by not putting them in your trolley!
One of the big battles that we face when it comes to dieting is losing weight. As you get older, you will find that it is much easier to put on weight compared with when you were younger. You will need to start eating less and exercising more to maintain your figure. There is another thing that many of us turn to as we get older as well. And that is diet foods. These are so-called healthy versions of your favorite foods that are often said to be a lot lower in fat compared to the regular versions. However, these foods aren’t all that they seem. Sure, the labels on them may say that they are low in fat and will help you lose weight, but in actual fact, they aren’t quite as healthy as they sound. One reason for this is that all of the sugar and salt that is in normal food is replaced with dangerous chemicals in diet foods, including trans fats. These kinds of fats are artificial and can increase your cholesterol which can cause high blood pressure. Rather than eating these artificial fats, you need to include good fats in your diet from the likes of oily fish and white meat.
Just a few decades ago, we were all told by the media that butter was extremely bad for us as it was extremely high in fat. As a result, many families swapped the butter that was in their fridge for margarine. They believed that this plant-based spread was a lot healthier than the animal fat which was used to make butter. However, the thinking behind this has now changed. These days, we are actually encouraged to eat butter rather than margarine. And that is all because of the trans fats that I have previously mentioned. These manmade fats appear in margarine and are artificial. Our bodies cannot break them down properly and efficiently, and as a result, they are likely to cause mutations in our bodies. These mutations can morph into cancers and also cause strokes and heart disease.
Do you enjoy a cup of tea with a chocolate biscuit every now and then? If so, it may be time to rethink this habit. Especially if you enjoy your tea with a couple of spoonfuls of sugar! The reason for this is that many scientists and dieticians believe sugar to be super bad for our body. Firstly, sugar is very bad for our teeth and gums, which is something that we have all known for a long time now. But there are also a few more negative ways it affects our body too, some of which we have only been aware of for the past few years. Eating too much sugar can overload the liver with fructose. Our bodies find it hard to metabolize fructose, and when our liver is overloaded with it, it puts us at risk of certain liver diseases. Too much sugar in our diets can also lead to insulin resistance. And this is the first step on the path to diabetes! Not only that, though, but many people think that we need to stay well away from sugar in order to reduce our risk of developing cancer: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-to-ward-off-cancer/.
We are often told that we need to source our protein from lean meat sources. By lean meat, dieticians mean white meats, such as chicken and turkey. Fish is also a great source of protein and has the added benefit of being an excellent source of healthy fatty acids. These are the meats that we should be eating on a day to day basis. But what about red meat? It is perfectly fine to eat red meat, but this should be limited to once a week. Eating it less than this, say once a month, would be more ideal for many people. So why is there this big difference between red and white meat? The main reason is that red meat is a lot fattier than white. The fat in red meat can easily cause cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is one more thing that puts many people off eating red meat. And that is the fact that some studies have shown some links between it and cancer. So to reduce your risk of cholesterol and cancers, make sure that you are eating a lot more white meat than red! You can find complete lists of red and white meat online: http://www.reference.com/food/list-white-meat-98efc8dd002ef3a9.
I’m sure that most people enjoy a drink or two after they have finished a busy day in the office. Most of us find that enjoying a cool glass of beer or wine can really help us relax in the evenings. But are you sure that you really need to relax with alcohol? After all, a lot of studies show that it has some pretty bad effects on our health. Alcohol affects our whole body, and even our mind and most of these effects aren’t exactly great. Firstly, many people find that they put on a lot of weight whenever they go through a period of heavy drinking. This is because all alcoholic drinks are full of sugar and calories. So drinking a lot can add a lot to your daily intake of calories. When you have had a bit too much to drink, I’m sure that you will have noticed a change in your brain function. For example, your speech will be slurred, and you might forget things that happen during the evening. If you drink heavily over a long period of time, these effects will worsen, and you could even be putting yourself at risk of developing long-term brain conditions. Long-term drinking is also associated with some forms of cancer. For instance, many heavy drinkers have an increased risk of developing cancer of the larynx, mouth, and throat.
Processed meats are ones that have been preserved by smoking, curing, canning, or drying. There are lots of common food products that are categorized as processed meat, including hot dogs, bacon, ham, corned beef, and sausages. So why are these types of meats so bad for us? One reason is that the dietary choices of people who choose to eat these types of foods are quite bad. For example, studies show that people who eat a lot of processed meats are also a lot more likely to be smokers and eat not enough fruit or vegetables. However, that isn’t the only reason why many nutritionists and dieticians are firmly against us eating diet meats. Another reason is that there are links between these kinds of meat and some chronic diseases. Many studies show that people who eat a lot of processed meats are at a very high risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and bowel and stomach cancers. Scientists believe that is because of all the artificial chemicals that go into the meat during the preserving process.
Refined carbs include white bread, pasta, and rice. These are a lot more common in supermarkets than brown pasta, bread, and rice but are also a lot more unhealthy. Why the big difference? It’s all because the refined carbs have had all their nutritious value taken out of them, so they are low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Many dieticians blame these unhealthy carbs on the current obesity epidemic that is affecting the country. If you swap all your white carbs for whole grains, then you will find that you stay fuller for longer, and won’t feel the need to snack so often throughout the day. That way, you’ll find it easier to lose weight.