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20 Common Everyday Foods That Are Bad For Your Health

Most of us like to think of food as healthy and organic. We look for labels that tell us our food is natural, or grown organically, or has no preservatives. Unfortunately, many foods are labeled with buzzwords like “natural” based on their production methods, not the ingredients they contain. This is where you have to be careful.

Throughout history, many foods have been genetically modified, or altered in some other way to improve their flavor or shelf life. These changes are not always positive though when it comes to your health and the environment.

Here are 20 foods you will never buy again after knowing how they are made.

1. Hot dogs

Hot Dogs, Sausages, Corned Beef, Lunch Meat

Hot dogs are not just frankfurters and water like many people think. The truth is hot dogs include a lot of meat by-products and other unsavory items you would never dream of putting in your mouth. If you buy hot dogs, make sure they say “all beef” or at least have some real meat listed as an ingredient.

2. Cereal

Cereal

Although not as bad as hot dogs, most cereals are chock full of refined sugar and processed grains that will wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, not to mention your digestive system after all that grain passes through it. Find a cereal with little or no sugar that is made from whole grains like oats or wheat.

3. Chewing gum

Chewing gum

Chewing gum is tough to avoid, but its ingredients are questionable at best. Believe it or not, chewing gum can contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame or high fructose corn syrup. It also contains synthetic rubber and other chemicals for texture and flavor. Make chewing gum a sometimes food if you can’t give it up completely.

4. Frozen pizza

Pizza

Frozen pizzas are usually loaded with preservatives, artificial ingredients, and cheap fats. The cheese is also loaded with chemicals to make sure it melts properly. Your best bet for a frozen pizza is one that uses organic whole-wheat crusts and organic cheeses. Use sparingly if you must have this convenience food.

5. Salad dressings

Salad dressings are usually full of sugars, unhealthy oils, and chemicals you wouldn’t want to ingest. The best bet is to whip up your own dressing with olive oil, vinegar, and a few natural sweeteners like stevia or erythritol. Olive oil has been shown to be one of the healthiest oils for your heart.

6. Pasta

Pasta

You would think a simple bowl of noodles is a light and healthy meal, but in most cases, it is far from it. Most pasta has been refined to the point where it doesn’t resemble whole wheat at all anymore. Instead, you are getting empty carbohydrates with little nutritional value that spike your blood sugar levels. If you must have pasta, try whole wheat or quinoa pasta to get some extra nutrients in your diet.

7. Canned soups

The convenience of canned soups is unbeatable, but they are also packed with salt and other chemicals for flavor. Many organic brands make decent soups though that taste great and are good for you. Try making your own soup at home so you know what is in it.

8. Ketchup

foods

Although this seems like a harmless condiment, the truth is most brands of ketchup contain high fructose corn syrup and other additives to make them taste better and last longer on the shelf. If you buy ketchup make sure it is made with real sugar or honey.

9. Candy

Most candy is made with cheap ingredients like sugar, corn syrup and soy. It also contains artificial flavors and coloring to make it more visually appealing. Try making your own healthier version of candy at home using dates or other dried fruits that are naturally sweet.

10. Bottled water

Although bottled water seems like a good idea because you can take it anywhere and it is convenient, the truth is most bottled water comes in plastic bottles that are harmful to the environment and to your health. Even worse, some companies bottle tap water that has been filtered and then sold back to you at a premium price! You are better off buying a quality glass or stainless steel container and using that for your water needs instead of buying bottled water.

11. Energy drinks

Sugar-Sweetened Drinks

Energy drinks are full of cheap caffeine and high fructose corn syrup. They also contain chemicals like taurine that have been shown to be harmful to your health in the long run. If you feel the need for an energy boost, stick with green tea or black coffee instead. A small amount of caffeine is a much healthier way to give you a short burst of energy.

12. Presliced fruit

Fruit that has been pre-sliced and put in plastic containers is coated with a wax called polyethylene to make it look shiny and last longer on the shelves. Unfortunately, this wax is indigestible and just passes through your digestive system. Make sure to buy whole fruit and slice it yourself for the best results.

13. Deli meat

Deli meats are not only full of nitrates but are also processed at extremely high temperatures to make them last longer on the shelves. These kinds of processing methods can create harmful chemicals called heterocyclic amines that have been linked to cancer. Instead, choose organic deli meats or make your own at home so you know what’s in them.

14. Butter

Butter and Margarine

While butter is nutritious, most brands of butter are loaded with chemicals like artificial colors and flavors to make it look better and taste like real butter. If you can find organic butter that is made from grass-fed cows it is better to use. If you are worried about the saturated fat content then try using coconut oil because it has many benefits for your health.

15. Breakfast cereal

Breakfast cereals are packed with sugar, artificial colors, and flavors to make them appealing to kids. Instead, opt for protein shakes or healthy homemade smoothies that you can customize to your liking.

16. Pasta sauce

Pasta sauces are full of all kinds of additives, artificial flavors, and even sugar or high fructose corn syrup. This is an easy thing to make at home so you know what’s in it and how it has been prepared.

17. Flavored yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics when it is made with whole milk. Unfortunately, many brands contain skim milk and lots of sugar so they taste better. Try making your own yogurt at home using full-fat coconut or almond milk instead.

18. Hamburger helper

This mix of ingredients does not look as appetizing as the picture on the box. Hamburger helper is full of processed foods and preservatives to make it last, taste better and be more visually appealing to kids. Instead make a healthier version at home with whole grains, organic ground beef, and real vegetables.

19. Pre-shredded cheese

Cheese is a healthy source of calcium, protein, and fat when eaten in moderation. Unfortunately, most brands of pre-shredded cheese contain non-food chemicals like cellulose to prevent it from clumping together. These non-food chemicals can make you feel bloated or constipated so stick with buying full-fat block cheese and shredding it yourself for the best results.

20. Bottled orange juice

Bottled orange juice

Did you know that many brands of orange juice are actually just water, lots of sugar, and added colors to make them look orange? Instead, opt for fresh-squeezed orange juice or just squeeze the oranges yourself at home.