We all think we know which foods are healthy and which we should avoid, but do we really know why? Besides the high fat content and low nutritional value, the world’s unhealthiest foods have some pretty dark secrets. Once you get the low down on the real reasons they’re a lousy choice for your health, you’ll think twice before reaching for that afternoon snack.
Here’s a list of our top nutritional nightmares.
The Unhealthiest Foods
1. Artificial sweeteners
Zero calories yes, zero detrimental effects on your health? Far from it. Hidden in a huge range of products, there’s an increasing catalogue of data to suggest these chemicals are seriously harmful to health. To date the FDA has received over 10,000 complaints in relation to side effects from aspartame consumption alone.
2. Soda and diet soda
When it comes to sugar laden carbonated drinks versus sweetened diet sodas, there’s little difference in terms of the damage they do to your health. Zero calorie drinks increase your chances of developing metabolic syndrome, and studies show that both can increase your chances of going on to develop type II diabetes.
Related: The Dangers of Diet Soda
Candy bars contain large amounts of refined white sugar. Weight gain, tooth decay, and a depressed immune system aren’t your only worries, it’s also highly addictive. People who cut sugar from their diet experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, headaches and depression.
4. Fried foods
Everybody knows that deep fat fried foods increase your amount of LDL or “bad cholesterol” which can ultimately lead to heart disease. But did you know that starch rich food cooked at high temperatures (for example French fries) creates carcinogenic compounds like acrylamide, which is also found in plastics and cigarette smoke? Nice.
5. Hydrogenated fats
Don’t be deceivedby “healthy, low fat” spreads. After undergoing a lengthy manufacturing process, what was once a natural product (sunflower, olive oil etc) becomes nothing more than a poison more closely resembling plastic than food.
Hydrogenated fats increase the viscosity of your blood forcing your heart to work harder, making them one of the worse foods for raising blood pressure.
6. Processed meats
The World Cancer Research Fund reviewed more than 7000 studies into the links between diet