Processed Foods Can Destroy Your Health; Here’s Why

There’s a lot of evidence surrounding the damage processed food does to the body. According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, about one-fifth of foods are ultra-processed.

These types of foods have been linked to certain health risks, such as diabetes and heart disease. Continue reading to learn about the harmful substances in processed foods and which to avoid.

Processed Meats Won’t Do You Any Good

bacon grilling in a pan

Processed meats such as bacon or sausage are made with some of the worst things for your health. These are high in saturated fats and contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

When these chemicals are being processed in the body, it can lead to severe health risks.

Breakfast Cereals Are Packed With Sugar

colorful cereal in a bowl

While having a bowl of cereal may feel nostalgic, it might be time to step away from this sugar explosion.

Eating sugary cereal can lead to serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Also, some cereals contain a higher sugar content than a donut, so be careful before consuming and read the labels.

Put Down The Soda

diet coke, sprite, and coca-cola on display

Sodas may seem like a refreshing beverage, but they have many known risk factors. Even diet soda, which is loaded with artificial sweeteners, can raise glucose levels.

When this happens, it can lead to liver problems and weight gain. Instead, replace this carbonated beverage with some water or herbal tea.

Fruit Juice Is Loaded With High-Fructose Corn Syrup

strawberry fruit juices in two glasses

While juice may seem like a natural beverage because of the fruit inside, there are a ton of additives that can make people sick.

Many processed fruit drinks, such as Sunny D and Welch’s Grape Juice, have high levels of high-fructose corn syrup. That’s about as much sugar as four Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.

Frozen Meals Have Lots Of Sodium

Healthy Choice frozen meals are pictured in a grocery store

Frozen meals are some of the most common things people purchase at the grocery store, but they are certainly not the healthiest.

While these meals are easy to make when people are short on time, they are loaded with sodium and other preservatives. The preservatives make the food last longer but have many harmful chemicals that can damage the body.

This Ingredient May Be In Brown Rice

chef cooking brown rice on a wok burner

Brown rice may seem like the most health-conscious choice when it comes to grains, but there is one ingredient that is causing some concern.

The Food and Drug Administration recently found that arsenic is showing up at alarming rates in brown rice. Arsenic is a carcinogen that is known to cause various cancers.

How Margarine Gets Its Taste

sticks of margarine

Margarine is one of the most common replacements for butter, but some may wonder how it gets its creamy taste.

This cooking substance usually contains palm oil and other vegetable oils. Palm oil is high in saturated fat, which can cause inflammation and other health issues. Those looking to replace margarine can try olive oil instead.

Try To Avoid Meatloaf

meatloaf with mashed potatoes

Meatloaf was one of the most common dinners people would make during the mid-20th century, but this food is highly processed.

Fans of this meaty dish should know that it has a lot of extra fat and sodium, especially if it is made with a ketchup sauce. Those who still want a taste should get a vegetarian version.

Get Rid Of Canned Soup

Cans of Campbell's tomato soup are displayed on a shelf

Soup can be a great meal when someone is sick or need something to eat on a cold day, but it’s important to look at the ingredients.

Canned soup is one of the most processed foods available with high levels of salt. For example, a can of Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle has over one thousand milligrams of sodium.

Stay Away From Boxed Mac & Cheese

Heinz Kraft Co. Kraft brand Macaroni & Cheese

Many children grew up on boxed macaroni and cheese. While this nostalgic meal can be tasty, it might upset some to know that it is actually really unhealthy.

Many boxed macaroni and cheese brands add a lot of sodium for flavor and to help it last longer on the shelves.

Why You Might Want To Stop Eating Hot Dogs

hot dogs with different condiments

Hot dogs are usually thought of as a classic summer meal that can always be found at an outdoor barbecue.

While some can’t get enough of them, it’s crucial to not how bad hot dogs are for your health. They contain toxic ingredients, including sodium phosphate, corn syrup, sodium, and sodium nitrate.

Watch Out For Deli Meat

Processed meats are displayed in a grocery store

Deli meat such as bologna and ham is a staple in American lunches, but these are some of the most highly processed foods available.

Many deli meat brands found at grocery stores contain high amounts of sodium, which can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart disease, and more.

Instant Oatmeal Isn’t Worth It

bowl of oatmeal

Instant oatmeal can be an easy breakfast option with many flavors to choose from, but it is actually not that nutritious.

For example, a Quaker Peaches & Cream instant oatmeal packet contains hydrogenated soybean oil, corn syrup, and artificial peach flavor. All of these additives can clog arteries and lead to other health concerns.

How Dried Fruit Stays Fresh

dried fruit with kiwi, bananas, cranberries, and apricots

There’s a reason why dried fruit tastes so sweet. There is simply a ton of sugar inside. In order for this snack to stay fresh, it is made with sulfites.

People, especially those with asthma, should be cautious when it comes to sulfites because they can cause anaphylaxis, swelling of the throat, hives, and migraines.

Why American Cheese Stands Out

american cheese slices in the package

If you ever noticed why American cheese seems a little different than the other cheeses in the dairy section, here’s what you should know.

American cheese is loaded with additives such as sodium citrate and phosphate. These can cause muscle spasms, kidney problems, bone demineralization, and osteoporosis. Also, there are orange dyes included to give it a darker look.

Wheat Bread Isn’t Actually That Healthy

A loaf of sliced wheat bread

When purchasing wheat bread at the supermarket, make sure to look for a label that mentions that it is 100 percent whole wheat.

If it is not completely whole wheat, it likely has a lot of sugar and refined wheat flour. The high levels of sugar are added, so consumers can still have the sweet flavor in their bread.

Beware Of Discolored Pickles

pickles being poured out of a machine

If you’ve ever noticed yellow or other colors of pickles at the grocery store, there may be a reason for it.

Some brands add colored dyes to their pickles to make them look less green. Other chemicals, such as polysorbate 80 and sodium benzoate, are sometimes included as well. These have been linked to cancer and cell damage.

Spit Out The Chewing Gum

Packages of Wrigley's-brand chewing gum are displayed in a grocery store

While most don’t actually swallow chewing gum, it’s still possible to ingest some of its ingredients.

The sugar and artificial sweeteners used in many chewing gum brands have been linked to bloating and other gastrointestinal problems. When the body has undigested sugar, it can increase the amount of bacteria in the small intestine.

Think Twice Before Eating A Donut

woman holding a donut

While donuts are a sweet treat loved by many, it might be time to put them on hold.

Donuts are packed with calories and sugar, and too much of these things can lead to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, insulin resistance, and other metabolic issues. This can also raise blood pressure and trigger inflammation.

The Truth About Candy Isn’t So Sweet

sour gummy worms in bright colors

It’s likely that a child’s eyes will go wide at the sight of candy, but this sugary snack is one of the worst things for your health.

For example, researchers recently found that the yellow dye found in M&Ms can promote Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in children. Now, many countries are banning the use of artificial dyes in foods and drinks.

How Peanut Butter Stays So Sweet

peanut butter spread on a plate

Peanut butter can sometimes be a good source of protein and fiber, but other ingredients are usually added that strip it of its nutritional value.

The excess amounts of sugar and salt in most processed peanut butters are there for taste but cause adverse health effects. Instead, try purchasing an all-natural peanut butter.

Flavored Yogurt Isn’t A Health Food

strawberry yogurt with pieces of ripe banana on top

While there are some yogurts that help with digestion and provide tons of probiotics, others should be avoided at all costs.

Flavored yogurts usually contain artificial sweeteners and tons of sugar. Also, the bright colors in these kinds of yogurt come from harmful additives linked to inflammation and gastrointestinal issues.

Granola Bars Are Absolute Garbage

guy eating a granola bar

Granola bars are usually associated with healthy living because they are a compact food that can be taken before or after a workout. However, it’s important to check the label.

Many granola bars are highly processed with loads of corn syrup, sugar, and fat. Many of these ingredients lead to weight gain. It’s best to find bars with mixed nuts, flaxseed, and other omega-3s.

Salad Dressing Won’t Make The Meal More Nutritious

Close-up view of salad dressing getting poured onto a salad

While salads are considered to be one of the healthiest meals, there are things that probably shouldn’t be added.

Many salad dressings have sugar and high fructose corn syrup to give them a sweeter flavor, but just a couple of tablespoons can have more sugar than a donut. It’s best to make your own with ingredients, including olive oil, lemon, and balsamic vinegar.

Hands Off The Refried Beans

refried beans in a bowl

Beans do provide a good source of fiber, but not all beans are nutritious. One of the worst types of beans to have is refried beans.

Many of them are highly processed with lard and saturated fat, which can cause a myriad of health problems. When looking for beans, try finding a low-sodium and vegetarian version.

The Problem With Coffee Creamer

Containers of Nestle Coffee Mate coffee creamer are displayed on the shelf

Something to notice with coffee creamer, especially Nestle’s Coffee-Mate, is that there is actually no cream. The first three ingredients are water, sugar, and soybean/canola oil.

Many coffee creamers have synthetic additives, which don’t belong in the body at all. Those who want a creamy taste in their coffee should stick with milk.

Don’t Eat Anything Deep Fried

A bucket of KFC Extra Crispy fried chicken

Almost anything can be deep fried, whether it be chicken, calamari, or potatoes. While fried foods are eaten by millions every year, they are very damaging to your overall health.

Fried foods contain high amounts of fat, calories, and Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). Having too much can lead to inflammation and other diseases.

Wipe Off The Frosting

cupcakes with vanilla frosting and colored sprinkles

Frosting can really dress up a cake or donut, but it’s also one of the unhealthiest foods available.

It’s almost all sugar with other harmful ingredients, such as titanium dioxide, artificial colors, and hydrogenated soybean oil. Having too much frosting can cause kidney issues, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other dire health problems.

Maple Syrup Is Not Worth The Flavor

woman pouring syrup onto a stack of pancakes

Drowning your pancakes in rich, thick maple syrup may taste wonderful, but it certainly doesn’t do your body any good.

Many brands of maple syrup contain high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors that can damage the liver and other parts of the body. Instead, replace the syrup with fresh fruit.

Frozen Pizza Is Not A Better Option

frozen pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, and salami

Those who are short on time and don’t want to spend the money ordering in may opt for a frozen pizza. While these can be made quickly, they are certainly not a health food.

Frozen pizza has a really high sodium content and tons of food additives that are not safe for the body.

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