5 foods you should avoid ASAP
Getting healthy eating habits started in your life usually means cutting down on some foods and replacing them with healthier choices. A few foods, though, are so unhealthy that you’re better off cutting them out of your diet completely. You’re better off avoiding them as much as possible as soon as possible.
1. Immortal foods
Ever wonder why some foods can stay on a gas station shelf for what seems like years? Preservatives and other chemicals. Whether it’s the apple pie pockets, donuts, or other chemically complex confections, the only way for them to stay profitable enough is by keeping them “fresh” long enough for some wayward soul to show up at 4 in the morning with a powerful hunger and meager budget.
Eating these highly processed foods means you are consuming a lot of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, an avalanche of calories and other problematic ingredients, leading to weight gain, decreased insulin efficiency, heart disease and lots more.
2. Processed meats
While bacon is enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity as of late, it is, unfortunately, quite an unhealthy part of breakfast. Meats that undergo processing, like bacon, sausages, salami, pepperoni and hot dogs, contain chemicals that the World Health Organization lists as known carcinogens, i.e., they cause cancer.
In fact, the report, which examined the results of 800 other studies to reach its conclusions, found that a 50-gram serving of processed meat daily caused the risk of colon cancer to rise by 18%. For reference, a single cooked slice of bacon is about 15 grams.
3. Frozen foods
TV dinners, frozen pizzas and ready-made doughs all count as frozen foods here (frozen fruit can actually be quite good for you). When foods need to last a long time, most products are loaded with sugar in the form of, you guessed it, high fructose corn syrup. While sugar is problematic by itself, fructose has its own set of serious issues. One of the recurring themes you might have noticed here is that eating fresh foods is pretty much always healthier.
4. Foods with “low” or “reduced” fat
When you take fat out of something, there are potentially some beneficial side effects. (Although a moderate amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy diet.) Unfortunately, if you ever ate a food with all the fat taken from it, it would probably taste pretty bad. Fat contributes a lot of flavor to food, so removing it means you have to add flavor back in with something else. That something else that gets added is generally sugar, and primarily fructose.
5. Artificial sweeteners
While excessive sugar is certainly unhealthy, it’s often overlooked that sugar substitutes, i.e., artificial sweeteners, have their own set of problems. Whether it’s sucralose, aspartame, or something else, artificial sweeteners have been connected to weight gain and other problems.
The Next Step: Cheating
Telling someone to completely cut certain foods from their diet is often not a successful dietary tactic. Basically, it’s unlikely anyone will be able to avoid the temptation of the forbidden bacon indefinitely. With that in mind, Olumia Life has a Cheat Half-Day.
The Cheat Half-Day is exactly what it sounds like: for half a day each week, you are allowed to indulge in the foods you wouldn’t normally allow yourself to eat. This could mean having a hot dog instead of chicken breast for dinner, etc. Knowing that you’ll have a chance later to enjoy some of the “banned” foods in your diet will help you fight temptation more easily the rest of the week.
Originally published at olumialife.com on September 1, 2016.