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We're all aware that certain foods are bad for us and that we should avoid them if we want to stay healthy and keep the pounds from creeping on. After all, we don't expect to enjoy 2000-calorie milkshake, as creamy and delicious as it may be, without suffering the consequences. But are there any foods we should 100% avoid if we want to stay healthy? Take a look below for our suggestions.
Fried chicken, chips and doughnuts are the worst culprits. Fried foods are a source of trans fats and contain acrylamide, a carcinogenetic substance formed in foods that are heated to over 120 degrees Celsius. Fried foods are high in fat, rich in calories and very low in nutritional value.
Wholegrain bread may be a good source of carbohydrates and fibre, but white bread made with refined flour has been stripped of many of its nutrients. White bread is also high on the glycemic index, increasing blood sugar levels considerably after consumption. High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of diabetes, this can cause weight gain and lead to other health conditions.
Ready meals straight from the pack might be convenient but they can also increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, especially if eaten on a regular basis, according to a recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Ready meals tend to be high in saturated fats, sugar, salt and filled with additives and preservatives.
HFCS is found in a range of foods and drinks, particularly those originating from the USA, namely soft drinks, breakfast cereals, cakes, condiments, cookies, crackers and even salad dressings. It is commonly used instead of sugar in processed foods, as it is sweeter and cheaper. Some health experts advise avoiding HFCS wherever possible, as it has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
It's usually referred to as a 'cholesterol-free' alternative to butter but margarine is high in trans fats that can actually elevate cholesterol and damage blood vessel walls. This increases the risk of heart attacks and trans fats have been shown to decrease the insulin response, increasing the risk of diabetes. It also has a negative impact on and can decrease the immune response. If you want to use a spread, butter has recently been reinstated as the healthier option.
Hot dogs, salami and bacon are all examples of processed meats, which are high in salt, fat and cholesterol while being low in fibre and nutrients. These types of processed meats are preserved through smoking, curing or salting and contain many chemical preservatives. Eating processed meats is associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer and there are many studies that support the link between meat consumption and mortality.