12 Not So Healthy Foods You Might Be Eating (and what to eat instead)

12 Not So Healthy Foods You Might Be Eating (and what to eat instead)

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Are you on the right path with diet and fitness? What if some of the foods you’ve always believed in may not be so healthy for you? It’s confusing to know what to eat and avoid as the dieting market once said eggs were so bad due to high cholesterol.

Now, they’re considered one of the best breakfast foods for their protein content. Low carb dieters praise eggs. It gives hope to the potato, which is currently being shunned for its high levels of starch. Yes, if you want to eat the right foods, even something nature provides is not always the best choice.

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12 Foods That May Be Not So Healthy

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Is it possible that you’ve been going about your healthy eating all wrong? Could you be eating foods or portions that are packing on the pounds rather than shedding them? Thankfully, some foods can improve your health and boost immunity, but you need to learn the facts. Here are 12 food items that you should avoid in your diet.

1. Soy Products

For years, soybeans have been the darling of American agriculture. An article published by the Union of Concerned Scientists states that the United States is the top producer of soybeans globally. No wonder you find it in many “health” food aisles as soy milk and soy protein is used for meat replacement.

This not so healthy food is also the main ingredient in many baby formulas on the market? Well, isn’t soy packed with protein and is good for you? The answer, says research published by Environ Health Project, is highly debatable.

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One of the most significant concerns is the isoflavones that are present in soybeans. The study explains that these are plant hormones similar to human estrogen and may cause imbalances in the endocrine system. Plus, some people are allergic to soy products, which can cause major issues with their digestive health.

2. Margarine

Before you spread some margarine on your morning toast, you may consider that it’s not the healthiest butter alternative. While it doesn’t have saturated fats like dairy butter, many are loaded with trans fats. The American Heart Association claims that trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) are linked to heart disease, stroke, an increase in bad cholesterol, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Instead, why not enjoy the real thing in moderation. Another report from the American Heart Association recommends that you consume no more than eight percent of your calories from saturated fats like butter. They also suggest that you try unsaturated fats like avocado and olive oil.

3. Fruit Juice

According to the USDA recommended guidelines, you should enjoy 1-2 servings of fruit each day, depending on your activity level. Each serving equals 8 ounces of fresh fruit, pureed, or in the form of fruit juice. At a closer glance, the juice option may not be healthy.

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The concern for drinking fruit juice is getting too much fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit. A report published by the American College of Cardiology claims that fructose-sweetened foods can be detrimental to your health. The research found that it’s mostly metabolized in the liver and can contribute to cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

4. Microwave Popcorn

What would movie night be without a tempting bowl of buttery popcorn? Traditionally prepared popcorn is a healthy snack that you can feel good about eating. How it’s prepared and how you season it makes the difference if it’s good for you or not.

For centuries, people heated popcorn kernels over the fire or in hot oil to make them pop. The modern hot air popcorn machine made popcorn a little quicker and without the fattening oil. In the name of convenience, microwavable popcorn came on the scene, and experts warn that it’s not so healthy for you.

It’s not the popcorn itself, but rather the microwavable bag. These seemingly innocent bags are lined with a PFOA chemical, which is used to make non-stick coatings. It’s among the several chemicals that can be a health hazard.

Your best bet is to prepare your popcorn in a little oil or use a hot air popper and take it easy on the salt.

5. Shrimp

If you are a seafood fan, shrimp may be your go-to shellfish. These meaty crustaceans are a must for stellar seafood dishes from around the world. Think about shrimp scampi, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, and butterfly style fresh from the barbeque.

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Once you learn a little more about these plump shellfish, you may discover that they’re not so healthy to consume. According to an article published by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, shrimp are bottom-dwelling scavengers that feed on dead things and parasites. Plus, some of them from overseas are treated with dangerous hormones and antibiotics.

6. Table Salt

For thousands of years, salt has been admired for its curative and culinary properties. Some of the earliest human records of salt mining are from central China c. 1,000 BCE. Today, it remains an integral part of human health and culture.

However, not all salts are created equal. The saltshaker that you keep on your table maybe not be so healthy for you. Regular table salt goes through a bleaching process that may minimize its valuable mineral content, states an article published by the American Heart Association. Instead, consider using kosher or sea salt.

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7. Industrial Farmed Meat

Did you grow up on the classic dinners of meat and potatoes? Animal meat and plant sources provide essential protein that your body needs to be healthy. Do you know where your meat products come from and what the animals consumed?

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A startling report from The Pew Charitable Trust Foundation says that approximately 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics were sold for food animal production in 2011. The same report also found that approximately 2 million people are infected by resistant bacteria each year.

It’s a better idea to eat meat that is locally sourced, and you know how the animals are treated and what they eat.

8. Artificial Sweeteners

It stands to reason that eating so-called sugar-free food would be a healthier option than the foods laden with sugar. You can find artificial sweeteners in just about any “healthy” foods you see. Replacing natural sugar with chemical sweeteners may not be so healthy.

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