As a nation we are all bombarded daily with diet advice and guidance; which foods you should eat to
slim down, which foods you should eat to build muscle and which foods are best during pregnancy.
However we are not so well informed about the foods that we should avoid. Everyone knows that
fast food, chocolate and chips are not great if consumed too often, but what about the other foods?
The ones that feature in our daily diet, masquerading as healthy foodstuffs? Below are the surprising
top foods that you should avoid.
1. Concentrated fruit juices. During the concentration process, nutrients, vitamins and fibre
are stripped from the juice, leaving essentially a mixture of sugar and water that has very
little nutritional benefit.
2. Margarine. One of the more surprising foods, margarine is consumed by hundreds of
thousands of people on a daily basis on toast for breakfast, sandwiches at lunchtime and as
a spread on snacks throughout the day. It’s often touted as butter’s healthier sister, but
actually the reverse is true. Margarine is full of trans fats which block the arteries and that
the body can’t get rid of. Conversely, butter does have fat in it but it has good fats which the
body can burn off and do not act to fur up the arteries. Blocked arteries can lead to all sorts
of further health problems, including heart failure.
3. Carbohydrates. These are not a bad food as such, but if the wrong sort is eaten, or too
many, then these can cause weight gain. This is because the carbs create a spike in blood
sugar which puts the body into fat storing mode. This means that any foods consumed are
taken and stored as fat, rather than the body burning them off.
4. Bacon is another food which is not good for you. As well as being a processed meat (see
more about processed meats below) it is very high in sodium, or salt.
5. Fizzy drinks. These are notorious for being bad for you. It’s mainly the very high sugar
content which induces weight gain and destroys the enamel on teeth.
6. Anything with a long shelf life. Things that are designed to last for a very long time have had
all the fibre, nutrients and good fats stripped out. This means that there is little of nutritional
value in them. Fresh foods should be chosen above these foods.
7. Some fish. Again, surprisingly, fish is something which we are all told to eat regularly. From
cod to mackerel to haddock to tuna to prawns; seafood is often seen as a healthy option.
However some fish should be avoided. These include swordfish, marlin, king mackerel and
shark, the reason being that these fish are high in mercury, which is a neurotoxin. Too much
of this and it’s bad news.
8. Processed meat. This isn’t a new one but it doesn’t seem to be catching on. Processed meat
includes things like bacon, ham, hot dogs and sausages. If consumed in large quantities,
there is evidence to suggest that they result in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
and certain cancers.
9. Bagels. Again, not covered in oil or deep fried or filled with cheese, you could be forgiven for
thinking that bagels are healthy. But on the contrary, bagels are made with refined white
flour which has had all the good ingredients stripped out. Excessive bagel consumption has
been linked to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.