The Worst Foods For Your Diet
In a world of fad-diets and health crazes, it can be hard to determine what is actually good for you. The number of products claiming to be healthy, well-balanced or wholesome increases each and every day. It's important to stay informed to ensure you're making the right decision next time you're questioning a supermarket selection.
Here are six unhealthy foods masquerading as diet-friendly options:
- Sugar-Free Products
Although artificial sweeteners are often lower in calories than sugar, there isn't sufficient evidence to draw a connection between them and long-term weight-loss. In fact, according to CNN "observational studies found people who used artificial sweeteners over time gained weight and had a larger waist circumference, as well as a higher incidence of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events."
- Microwave Popcorn
Commonly marketed as a low-calorie snack, microwave popcorn is chock-full of chemicals with well-known negative effects. Chemicals such as perfluoroalkyls, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are known to cause cancer, thyroid issues and more. At the end of the day, you're better off making your own chemical-free popcorn at home.
- Agave Nectar
Although this sweet amber-colored syrup is touted as a healthier alternative to honey, it contains a high concentration of fructose. When chemically extracted and concentrated, fructose has been linked to insulin resistance, increased fat around the middle, heart disease, Metabolic Syndrome and non-alcoholic, fatty liver disease. Ultimately this sweetener is no better for you than high-fructose corn syrup.
- Canned Soups
A long-time quick-and-easy lunchtime solution, canned soups are notoriously high in sodium and often contain unnecessary chemicals and preservatives. When packaged in a can, many companies rely on plastic linings to preserve flavor. This often introduces Bisphenol A (BPA) to the soup. As a healthier alternative, consider meal-prepping a large batch of homemade soup to freeze and reheat throughout the week for on-the-go lunches.
- Coconut Oil
Many dieticians are perplexed about coconut oil's popularity as a health food. The popular oil is known to increase LDL cholesterol, which is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association itself advises against the use of coconut oil.
- Prepackaged Salad Kits
When trying to make a quick and healthy meal decision, you might gravitate to the convenience of prepackaged salad kits. Here's why you should think twice. These salads are often filled with copious toppings including processed meats, candied fruits and nuts that are high in sugar, as well as high-fat dressings. These can quickly add up to a 700- to 1,000-calorie meal disguising itself as a healthy alternative.
Looking for more tips? Check out these five food myths you need to forget.