We often like to classify healthy foods, super foods, not-so-healthy foods, and unhealthy foods, but in today’s health-obsessed culture, it can all get a little confusing. Today, we’re going straight for the jugular.
What are the seven worst things you can swallow down your gullet, as far as your health is concerned? We’re not saying don’t ever eat them—just be aware of the potential damage. Here are seven baddies best left off your grocery list from now on.
1. Processed Meat: Meats preserved by smoking, curing, or salting, or that contain chemical preservatives, are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. Most are manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite, used to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. A 2005 study from the University of Hawaii found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Hot dogs, in particular, are made up of meat scraps, including organs, nerve tissue, bone pieces, and other unsavory animal parts. Animals that donate them are likely to have been fed grains laced with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and fecal matter. After a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) declared that consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives. These include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami, and virtually all red meat used in frozen and prepared meals.
2. Soda: It’s loaded with calories, sugar, and artificial ingredients, and has no nutritional benefit. One can of soda contains the equivalent of ten packets of sugar. According to studies, most popular diet and sugared sodas are nearly as corrosive to dental enamel as battery acid, leading to an increase in tooth sensitivity and cavities despite good dental hygiene. A study from the University of Minnesota found that people who drank as little as two soft drinks a week faced almost double the risk of pancreatic cancer. Dark-colored sodas contain a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a byproduct of chemical processing used to create the artificial dye that gives these sodas their color. Animal studies have linked 4-MI to cancer. Pepsi and Coca-Cola recently announced they would modify the coloring to avoid a cancer-warning label newly required by California law. A UCLA study also directly linked soda with obesity.
3. Regular Potato Chips
4 Microwave Popcorn
5. Farmed Salmon
6. Conventional Apples
7. Canned Tomatoes: