The American Institute for Cancer Research says meats preserved by smoking, curing, or salting, or those that contain chemical preservatives, are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. Products like bacon, salami and pepperoni also tend to have lots of salt, fat, and cholesterol, and very few nutrients. While a few pieces of bacon won’t hurt, the added salt and fat won’t help your health either.
It’s no surprise that fried, frosted and glazed dough made the list, but they may be worse than you thought. Doughnuts are packed with trans fats, sugar and refined flour and contain between 10 and 20 grams of fat each, along with tons of empty calories. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease, so avoid banana cream-filled doughnuts and just reach for a banana instead.
Another worst food that shouldn’t come as a shock are potato chips. Chips are packed with trans fats and, along with french fries, contain acrylamide, a substance that accumulates in foods fried in oils at high temperatures and is known to be carcinogenic. While “natural” potato chips have gained popularity in recent years, they’re not much better.
It’s not just the empty calories in regular soda – drinking as few as two soft drinks a week can nearly double a person’s risk of pancreatic cancer and soda consumption has been linked to diabetes, premature aging and osteoporosis. Here are 6 reasons to stop drinking soda today!
One of the worst ways to start your day, particularly for kids, is with a Pop Tart toaster pastry. This sugary frosted mess is loaded with corn syrup, sugar and fat, loading you up with 400 empty calories for just two pastries.
Did you know the average bagel is 350 calories – before putting anything on it? Lots of calories aren’t the only reason you may want to rethink your breakfast habits: the refined white flour found in most bagels is mostly absent of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Refined white-flour foods are linked to weight gain, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. There is some good news: bagels made with 100% whole grains avoid many of the health concerns their refined white-flour cousins have.
Beware of anything labeled LOW-FAT! What low-fat foods lack in fats, they usually more than make up for in calories with added salt, sugar and unhealthy fillers to compensate for an otherwise bland, processed taste. A cup of sugar is fat-free, but at nearly 800 calories a serving, you probably want to avoid adding it to your daily diet.
Sugary Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce has tomatoes in it, which is a vegetable, which makes it healthy. Right? Check the label on popular brands of tomato sauce and you’ll see that they’re loaded with extra sugar and sodium. One cup can contain nearly 2.5 teaspoons of sugar and a whopping 960 grams of sodium. Look for tomato sauces that don’t list sugar as an ingredient and watch the sodium content.
What foods are you always sure to avoid in the grocery aisle or when you go out to eat? Share your food nightmares below and let’s see what else we can add to the list.