Nutrition Warning: Foods that Should be Strictly Forbidden
While long supermarket shelves might lure you with lots of time-saving and ready-to-serve products, you should not yield to the temptation to cram cans, boxes and packages of heavily processed foods into your shopping cart. Remember: you are what you eat, so if you want to avoid disastrous consequences inflicted upon you and your family by regular consumption of unwholesome meals, you’d better keep away from the a number of best-selling, yet extremely unhealthy foods listed below:
1. Carbs and Bad Fats
Products loaded with simple sugars include breakfast cereals, packed baked goods like pastries, ice cream, carbonated beverages, and cakes; they “endow” you with empty calories and have little to none nutrition value. Consuming simple carbohydrates causes a spike in your blood sugar level and lets your body energy skyrocket, but only to be soon replaced by fatigue. They are not at all filling; in fact, you’ll feel much hungrier after you satiate your hunger with those rapidly absorbed calorie-laden foods. Make a healthier choice of replacing simple carbohydrates with complex ones – fiber-rich brown rice, whole grain bread, etc. – or fresh veggies and lean meats. The nutrients contained in these foods are absorbed at a slower pace, but energize you for a longer time period. And if it is your craving for sugar that needs to be satisfied, choose seasonal fruit and berries.
2. Pre-Cooked Meats
Processed meats have a longer shelf life because they are loaded with nitrates, which are well-known carcinogens. Bacon, sausages and cold cuts fill your stomach with an ample portion of unhealthy saturated fats, absorption of which leads to a bad cholesterol level increase, which, in its turn, is linked to various heart diseases. If you can’t abstain from processed meats altogether, choose the ones that claim to be “nitrate-free.” You can also replace red meats with chicken or turkey, which are low in saturated fats, or choose lean cuts.
3. Ingredients with Obviously Chemical Names
Does your mouth water when you hear or read thiamine mononitrate or ferrous sulfate? If you need to brush on your school Chemistry in order to understand the first 5 components of the food you are going to eat, throw it away before it touches your plate. If you need to munch on something, choose nuts, cut-up carrots or celery instead of packed crisps. Besides, you can always pop some popcorn (with little oil, of course) or cook your own crisps at home: brush sliced beets, sweet potatoes and carrots and cut-up kale with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs and bake in the oven.
4. Seemingly Healthy Foods
If the label states “low in fat,” it does not mean that the food immediately turns into a healthy product. Nonfat yogurt may be loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners; packaged bread that “contains whole grains” literally contains them, but does not feature them as the main ingredient. Opt for real foods; if you still can’t harness your craving for sugar, try dried fruit.
5. High-Sodium Canned Products
80% of sodium we consume on a daily basis comes from canned foods. Some foods even contain twice the recommended daily amount of salt. If you make your body absorb big amounts of sodium, it can lead to BP issues. Stop buying canned soups; find an easy recipe and cook it at home. If you are pressed for time, read the label thoroughly until you find the “low in sodium” inscription. You can also compensate for the lesser amount of salt with flavorful fresh and dry herbs.
If you want to ensure long-standing health and well-being of your family, you must immediately stop buying frozen dinners, salty snacks, breakfast cereals and other pre-packed products and replace them with meals you cook from real foods at home.