#1- Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is packed with transfats, which are bad for your heart! On top of that, when they come with butter flavor, that flavoring usually includes Diacetyl, a chemical that can break down the layer of cells that protects out brains!
The good news is that you don’t have to give up popcorn completely. Make it at home on the stove top with olive oil, or popped in an air popper– you can add your own toppings for flavor while knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your body!
#2- Chicken Nuggets
Even those made with organic or hormone-free chicken aren’t free from dangerous ingredients. Diglycerides, Carrageenan, and the colorant red #40 are all common ingredients in chicken nuggets, even those that you buy from the deli counter at your supermarket! They help to preserve the nuggets and to give them the right color. Not good.
Instead, try making your own chicken nuggets at home! Use organic chicken breast dipped in egg and flour with seasonings. Bake them in the oven and you’re done! It’s an easy meal to make in batches (you can freeze them!) so consider prepping several servings ahead of time to make it easier to eat this healthy version!
Specifically we’re talking about the sugar-packed cereals that so many of us adored as kids. Besides just the refined carbs and huge amounts of unhealthy sugar present in these cereals, many of the biggest and most popular brands contain even more dangerout ingredients: BHT and BHA, which are illegal in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and most of Europe.
Make sure you’re checking the labels of any cereal you buy carefully, or alternatively, give up cereal altogether for more healthy options like oatmeal!
#4- Processed Meats
Ham, lunch meat, processed bacon, hotdogs– These are common food items in most families, but they probably shouldn’t be. Many processed meats contain nitrates, which block the body’s ability to process sugar properly (which is a risk factor for diabetes). Most processed meats are also extremely high in sodium, which is an area that most of us already need to make some cuts.
When shopping for meat items, especially lunch meats, look for items that are nitrate-free or low sodium. Additionally, try buying larger cuts of meat that can be prepped in a slow cooker for use in the place of sandwich or breakfast meats.
#5- Energy Drinks
These guys pack huge doses of caffeine, and are also notorious for containing large amounts of sucrose and glucose. These drinks have been proven to be 11% more corrosive to your teeth than a regular soda! Some energy drinks are even packaged to be healthy, but it’s important to note that they’re often even worse in sugar and chemical content than most sodas.
Opt for an organic juice, tea, or coffee if you’ve got a craving for a perky drink!
#6- Farmed Salmon
You know that salmon is a superfood that brings tons of health benefits to the table, but it’s a very specific kind of salmon that you want to eat– farmed salmon is NOT the one you’re looking for. Farmed salmon comes from the Atlantic (there are no wild salmon in the atlantic so don’t let labels fool you!) and is packed full of Omega 6s, which cause inflammation. Farmed salmon are usually dyed pink and can also contain large amounts of cancer-causing PCBs, and they’re low in vitamin D, compared to their wild-caught cousins.
#7- Canned Soup
While soup can seem innocent enough, and appeal to anyone on a budget, canned soups often contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), which increases your appetite while you eat and also can cause migraines! On top of that, most canned soups are actually sodium bombs, which is something we all need to avoid.
Try making a big batch of soup and freezing it into small portions. Do this with a few types of soup that you like and soon enough you’ll be able to go to the freezer for a single serving of whatever soup you like without all of the prep work!
#8- Macaroni and Cheese
In theory, eating pasta with cheese is fine, but you need to make it yourself. The color of the cheese mix in the boxed mac and cheese from the supermarket aren’t naturally ocurring colors– they’re from yellow 5 and 6 dyes! These dyes are suspected of causing attention deficit issues in children (the biggest fans ever of mac and cheese, right?), and they’ve been found to cause cancer in animals. Many of those dyes are used for heavy industrial purposes too, such as coating floors or in lice-killing shampoo. Not something we want to consume, right?
Instead, buy an organic brand that doesn’t includ any colorants, or make it yourself from your own pasta and cheese at home!
#9- Soy Veggie Burgers
You might think you’re being healthy by skipping the meat and eating a soy product, but NOPE. Most soy burgers are made of genetically modified soy produced in China, and they’re treated with an explosive chemical called hexane. No thanks.
Instead, try making your own burgers out of quinoa, black beans, or other grains or veggies. There are tons of options out there to suit whatever ingredient calls your name.
While plenty of chips qualify for this list, cheetos are a special type of villain in the chip world. Besides containt artificial coloring and MSG, they are literally engineered to make you overeat! The satisfying crunch they produce while being eaten has been proven to have a psychological effect on our brains that causes us to find them more delicious than they actually are. The texture they have that tends to melt in your mouth also plays a trick on our brains– it makes us think we haven’t eaten as much as we really have. Cheetos are a recipe for diet disaster and should be avoided.
Instead, have some cheese with crackers– you’ll get the cheese flavor AND a satisfying crunch, if those are the things you’re craving!
Are any of these unhealthy foods on your shopping list?
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