This post is also available in: French
Foods labels are often misleading, and foods that you assume to be good for you are quite the opposite. There are also lots of times when the foods we eat are masked with harmful ingredients. The items on the unhealthy foods list below are prime examples of one or both of these cases. Some of them are likely to surprise you!
So What if They’re Unhealthy Foods?
Over time, regularly consuming some foods that you mistakenly think are good for you can lead to many health conditions, including poor gut health, obesity, which can spiral into diabetes, and more. So it’s important to know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
If you suffer from a condition such as IBS and IBD, a Low FODMAP diet is a consideration. The harmful ingredients in these foods are also the main cause of many digestive health issues and poor gut health. We require foods that feed good bacteria to our gut, but the foods listed below build up bad bacteria in our gut instead.
Foods that are Shockingly Bad for You
Let’s take a look at this unhealthy foods list. If you’re like most people you’ve been misled to believe that we ought to consume them regularly, thinking that they have many health-related benefits:
1. Margarine and Spreads
Margarine and spreads began as a cheap alternative to butter. This product is another product with misleading labels; many of them claim to be healthy and free of artificial sweeteners. However, these products are made from refined vegetable oils.
In fact, the ingredients used in these kinds of margarine and spreads are so harmful that they can lead to major cardiovascular diseases. So, if you need butter, choose grass-fed butter. It is a non-processed product, and it is a healthier option.
2. Many Breakfast Cereals are Unhealthy Foods Too
Breakfast cereals are one of the most misleading products out there. Most people assume breakfast cereals are full of fiber. Surprisingly, many of them are on the unhealthy foods list here. When it comes to breakfast cereals, especially kids’ cereals, several of them are processed and stripped of fiber.
These cereals also typically have high amounts of:
Pesticides are also in some breakfast cereals. That all can lead to other major health issues. But not all cereals are bad for you. Here’s the main takeaway:
When shopping for cereals, choose organic options.
3. Low Fat and Flavored Yogurts
While yogurt is a healthy option, be careful about which type you purchase. Just like diet sodas, flavored yogurts are also full of artificial sweeteners or sugar. Some yogurts are also pasteurized and loaded with additives. So the next time you buy yogurt, choose plain ones and ones that contain no additives. You can also sweeten it yourself to make it yummy by adding some fresh fruit or a few pinches of cinnamon.
4. Unhealthy Foods List: Flavored Soy Milk
Plain soy milk is a good source of potassium and protein. However, flavored soy milk such as chocolate soy milk and vanilla are ones for the unhealthy food list. These milks are full of sugar. And they’re high in calories too so they can lead to weight gain. If you’re avoiding dairy and want alternatives, choose plain soy milk, hemp milk, and even almond milk over chocolate or vanilla soy milk.
5. Fruit Juices
Many of us are under the impression that fruit juices are a healthier alternative to fizzy sodas. However, fruit juices are just as unhealthy as those sodas. In some juice products, there is no actual fruit in them. They are made with chemicals and other ingredients that taste just like fruit.
6. Whole Wheat Bread
The exception here is 100% whole wheat. Unfortunately, some bread comes in deceiving packages that say they’re whole wheat but are made with enriched flour and the nutrients are often stripped away from them. They can also lead to weight gain. When it comes to choosing your bread, stick with ones that have words you recognize on the ingredients list.
7. Salad Dressings
Most brand name salad dressings contain unhealthy ingredients, such as:
- Vegetable oils
- Unhealthy fats
- Other artificial ingredients
So, even though you are consuming healthy vegetables in your salad, these commercial salad dressings make your salads into unhealthy foods. If you need to have a dressing in your salad, make your own. Search for some healthy salad dressings recipes online and try them out!
8. Diet Sodas
Think diet sodas are better than normal ones? Think again. Both diet and sugar-free cool drinks are full of artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners are in reality worse than sugar. As a recent study found, the people who consumed artificial sweeteners were more likely to suffer from obesity, weight gain, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Although pretzels are less fattening than potato chips, they contain no nutritional value. Pretzels don’t fill you up either, which causes you to eat more of them than an alternative. They are also made of white flavor, which increases the blood sugar levels. All of these details mount up to pretzels being a surprising addition to this unhealthy foods list.
10. Sports Drinks
Many people assume that sports drinks are just flavored water. However, sports drinks are full of electrolytes and sugar. So, if you’re training to lose weight, you’ll end up putting more calories on than burning it off with sports drinks as your beverage of choice.
11. Dried Fruit
Does it surprise you that dried fruit makes the healthy foods list? Many people assume that dried fruits are good for us because they have lots of fiber. However, dried fruits are preserved and also have plenty of sugar and sulfur. They are packed with calories too. So if you want to lose weight and stay healthy, stay clear of dried fruits. A better option is fresh fruit for weight loss.
12. Protein Bars
Protein bars are a prime example of a product with a healthy reputation that in actual fact is full of sugar. They have artificial ingredients. Don’t even start me talking about the amount of sugar in a lot of them either! These protein bars are often no better than eating a candy bar. Of course, there are exceptions; I’m just pointing out some of them are this way.
13. Tea Drinks
There’s no doubt that tea is healthy and has many wonderful health benefits. However, when it comes in a bottle or can, it’s probably not healthy. These bottled and canned teas typically contain artificial sweeteners or sugar and sodium. If you’re a tea lover, then make your own tea. Brew your tea at home and avoid these bottled and canned teas. Put it in a to-go thermos, and you’re on the way to work or an errand with a healthy drink.
14. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is another tricky product to buy and depending on what you choose it might be one of the unhealthy foods in your kitchen. When shopping, look for natural peanut butter. While peanut butter is full of monounsaturated fats, which are the good fats, the problem comes when you look ones with the reduced fat label. They are likely full of salt and sugar. Avoid any product with this label and opt for natural peanut butter instead.
In conclusion, eating well can be confusing with the number of misleading products out there. But hopefully by this unhealthy foods list can be useful when it’s time for your next grocery shop. In general, choose natural and fresh foods that are better for you.
Did it surprise you that anything on the unhealthy foods list above? What are some other foods to add here?
This post is also available in: French