We’re all used to those articles that tell us what to eat to improve health, and that’s amazing because they make our lives easy by summarizing what we really need to eat. However, today let’s have a little twist and look at those foods you should never eat. I guess you know what that means; they are bad for you! And in case you’ve been eating them, this could be the right time to stop. So, what are they?
Also, check out, Top 10 plant-based anti-inflammatory superfoods to consume and 11 sneaky ingredients that are not vegan.
Foods You Should Never Eat
1. Hydrogenated vegetable oils
Hydrogenated vegetable oil means that a particular oil has some hydrogen atoms added to it. This is done to reduce the number of unsaturated fats and increase saturated fat, making the oil solid or spreadable at room temperature.
Many manufacturers prefer hydrogenated vegetable oils because of their stability, texture, long shelf-life, and low cost.
However, they have been linked to various health issues. When ingested, hydrogenated oils create trans fats which are harmful to your health. Common issues include:
One of the effects of trans fats is that they promote diabetes. This is because trans fats increase insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. One study found that people who ate the most trans fats had a 48% greater risk of developing diabetes than those who ate the least. Trans fats make it difficult for your body to process insulin, which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. These spikes increase your risk of developing diabetes over time.
Trans fats block the absorption of vitamins
Consuming trans fats has been shown to decrease the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K. This is a problem because these vitamins are essential for maintaining good health. For example, vitamin A is important for vision and immune function, while vitamin D is necessary for bone health. If you’re not getting enough of these vitamins, you could be at risk for serious health problems.
Trans fats can damage the myelin sheath, which is the protective coating around your nerves. This damage can lead to symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness. Trans fats can also increase inflammation, which can further damage nerves and lead to pain.
They can cause cancer
Trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. One study found that trans fat consumption was associated with a 24% higher risk of breast cancer. Trans fats may also increase the risk of other types of cancer, such as ovarian and colon cancer.
Trans Fats Cause Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune diseases occur when your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. Trans fats have been shown to increase the risk of developing autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Trans fats increase inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to a host of health problems. These include heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and even cancer. Inflammation is also thought to be a major contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease.
Trans fats fuel tumors
Trans fats have been shown to promote tumor growth and metastasis. In one study, rats that were fed a diet high in trans fats developed significantly larger tumors than those that were not. Trans fats also increase inflammation throughout the body, which can contribute to the development and progression of cancer.
Increased LDL cholesterol and decreased HDL
One of the main effects of trans fats is that they raise cholesterol levels in the blood. This is because trans fats are made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which contain high levels of saturated fat. Trans fats not only raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, but also lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Everyday food items containing hydrogenated vegetable oils include:
- Baked goods
- Fried foods
- Coffee creamers
- Microwave popcorn
- Packaged snacks
- Potato chips
- Vegetable shortening
- Pre-made dough
- Frozen foods
- Salad dressings
- Peanut butter
- Some cereal
The best way to avoid these oils is by obviously avoiding the common culprits and opting for healthy alternatives like olive. coconut and avocado oil.
You may also want to read labels carefully, limit packaged foods, and shop for healthy snacks like mixed nuts, bananas, carrot sticks, and apple slices.
2. Dairy and its products
Dairy has been cherished and recommended by health organizations as a great source of calcium to strengthen the bones and promote growth. Is Milk Bad For You?
While we don’t dispute the high calcium fact, drinking dairy may drag along other unsuitable health problems.
Dairy and dairy products are high in saturated fats, which causes inflammation, elevated bad cholesterol, and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Its high insulin-like growth hormone increases the production of androgen hormones like testosterone, which interrupts normal hormonal balance.
Dairy also contains lactose, the main carbohydrate in milk and which most people are intolerant to. Usually, the body produces lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose.
However, some people produce minimal amounts of this enzyme, making it difficult to digest lactose. This may cause symptoms like diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
Some high-lactose foods to avoid include
- Milk and heavy cream
- Ice cream
- Sour cream
- Condensed and evaporated milk
- Cheese spreads
- Ricotta cheese
Obtaining your calcium from healthy sources is the only way to avoid issues associated with dairy. If you must take milk, consider plant alternatives like:
- Organic soy milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
- Cashew milk
- Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Vegan Sour Cream
3. Processed vegetable oils
Vegetable oils are edible oils extracted from plants. Common ones include sunflower oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, corn oil, and olive oil.
While healthy oils are made by pressing or crushing the plant or seeds, processed vegetable oils are extracted from the plant using an oil mill or a chemical solvent. These are then refined, purified, or chemically altered.
Also, unsaturated fats in vegetable oils, especially those high in omega 6- fatty acids, oxidize easily when heated triggering inflammation, a risk factor for plaque formation and heart disease. Substitute For Vegetable Oil.
4. Soft drinks
Soft drinks are high in added sugar, the main culprit for inflammation and a weak immune system. They are also the easiest way to consume excess calories since they don’t make you feel satisfied. This may lead to excess weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Some soft drinks such as coke zero or diet coke have been portrayed as healthy alternatives; however, they are rich in additives and artificial ingredients like sweeteners that may cause health issues.
For instance, diet coke contains aspartame, a popular sweetener in the market that has been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and mood disorders. Soft drinks have also been linked to fatty liver, belly fat, insulin resistance, heart disease, leptin resistance, dental problems, and gout.
Other harmful additives in soft drinks include
Most soft drinks contain artificial coloring, which has been linked to health problems like cancer, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and allergies. In fact, a recent study found that children who consume high levels of artificial coloring are more likely to be hyperactive and have behavior problems.
Most soft drinks contain preservatives, which can be harmful to your health. One of the most common preservatives is sodium benzoate, which has been linked to cancer especially when mixed with vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Vitamin C is a common ingredient in most soft drinks.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can have negative effects on your health if consumed in excess. It can cause insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. It can also lead to dehydration and an increased heart rate. Caffeine is especially dangerous for children and pregnant women.
The natural reaction to caffeine is addiction, so those who drink soft drinks often will crave them more than ever. For this reason, it’s important to limit the amount of caffeine you consume, but more importantly, avoid it altogether.
Caramel coloring is a common ingredient in soft drinks and other beverages, typically used to make the drink more appealing. As it turns out, this coloring is responsible for many adverse health effects and even death. Here are three reasons why you should stop drinking caramel coloring:
- Caramel coloring can lead to health problems like liver damage, seizures in children. and cancer.
- It can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
- It causes a disrupt the body’s natural production of hormones, leading to problems like PCOS and infertility.
In order to avoid these dangers, you should stop consuming caramel-colored beverages.
Brominated vegetable oil
Brominated vegetable oil – “BVO” – is an additive that has been used in soft drinks to make the sweet taste more intense. However, there are many dangerous side effects of this additive and its impact on the environment.
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is a type of chemical used as a stabilizer in soft drinks. It is made from vegetable oil and bromine, and has been linked to health concerns, including cancer, liver issues including liver disease, and reproductive issues. BVO may also cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea in sensitive individuals.
Phosphoric acid is a common additive in soft drinks and other acidic beverages. While it is commonly thought of as a preservative, phosphoric acid can also have negative effects on the body. Phosphoric acid can impact your calcium absorption, cause tooth decay, and even lead to kidney stones. If you are drinking soft drinks with high levels of phosphoric acid, I recommend reducing or avoiding these beverages altogether in order to reduce your risk of harm.
White bread is made from highly processed flour, therefore it is low in nutrients and fiber, resulting in a sharp rise in blood sugar when consumed. The type of wheat flour used in bread is usually bleached with chemicals like azodicarbonamide, potassium bromate, chlorine dioxide gas to make sure the bread is purely white with any tint of yellow.
Interestingly, nutrients like B Vitamins, iron, fiber, are removed during the milling process when the bran and wheatgerms are removed. Since 1941, the United States government mandated the fortification of white products with thiamine. How Many Slices In A Loaf Of Bread
High fructose corn syrup is also another ingredient found in most white bread that is potentially harmful. Substitute For Corn Syrup.
6. Processed meat
Numerous studies have shown strong evidence between processed meats and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and a short lifespan.
Furthermore, these foods have been classified as Group 1 carcinogens by The World Health Organization.
Some processed meats to avoid include:
- Smoked meat
- Cured bacon
- Sausages, salami, hot dogs
- Beef jerky
- Dried meat
- Corned beef
Try Gluten-Free Vegan Sausage, Coconut Bacon.
7. Movie theatre popcorn
Popcorns are often part of the cinematic experience, however, movie theatre popcorn may not be a healthy option for you.
They are usually high in calories, and if you include a can of soda, your calories will be way too high. They are also high in fake butter and saturated fat, which may increase your risk of high cholesterol and cardiovascular conditions like heart disease.
The best solution is to carry your own air-popped popcorn or any other snack of your choice.
While some foods can provide healing and restoration to your body, some may cause disease or increase your risk of developing certain conditions, especially chronic ones. These are the kinds you should avoid. They include hydrogenated vegetable oils, dairy and dairy products, processed meat, movie theatre popcorn, processed vegetable oils, and soft drinks.
Other Related Articles
- Gluten-Free Vegan Shopping List
- Vegan Pantry Staples
- What Is The Best Vegan Milk?
- Start A Vegan Diet
- Best Fiber Foods For Constipation
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Certain dairy products have always disagreed with my system. I can eat sour cream and soft cheeses in moderation, and I use powdered milk for cooking since neither my husband or I like the taste. Can you give some insight as to why we can eat ice cream and orange cheese (cheddar/colby) in abundance, but have to limit white cheeses Swiss or Monterey Jack?
Please get a food intolerance test done as soon as possible.
You mentioned agave nectar instead of white breads in your final thoughts, please clarify. Thanks.
I had agave in the original article but need to do more research so I took it out last minute.
Thank you, Michelle, for the great article. Is the word “shop” supposed to be “snack” (end of #1 OILS section, and line or two before #2).
Thank you Susan, it was meant to be ‘shop for healthy snacks’.