Think of the word diet, and it may immediately trigger negative views on body image.
But diet does not have to be a bad word.
A good and healthy diet is a fundamental part of a healthy lifestyle. Why certain foods don’t belong in your diet may not necessarily have to do with maintaining your waistline. Decreasing or completely eliminating certain foods will improve your overall health, including how you feel, your mental clarity, and even how you breathe.
Understanding why certain foods don’t belong in your diet will go a long way in helping you to avoid it.
Here are 5 foods you need to say goodbye to for good health.
- Hydrogenated fats. Margarine and other types of vegetable oils that have been artificially hydrogenated are toxic to the body. It increases bad cholesterol, while lowering good cholesterol. These artificial trans fats have been pumped full of hydrogen in order to be solid at room temperature and increase shelf life. Studies have shown that while it’s bad for the cholesterol in the body, it also increases the risk for heart disease, metabolic syndrome, as well as degenerative diseases like arthritis. Furthermore, studies have found that inflammation in the body increases when consuming artificial trans fats, and inflammation in the body linked to cancer. The link with diabetes is more inconsistent, as a larger study found that women who ate trans fats had a higher risk of developing diabetes, while other studies found no significant link at all. Several diabetes risk factors that could cause variances in studies, like insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, will need to be controlled in future studies in order to determine a clear link.
- Soda pop. Drinking soda pop sends your body’s insulin into overdrive. The spike in high-fructose corn syrup is what is largely fueling the obesity epidemic. All the empty calories in soda pop is sugar, and there is virtually no other nutrient value. It does nothing to quench thirst because it actually makes you thirstier. Drinking soda pop damages teeth, promoting cavities and other dental issues, and some studies have shown that cola could weaken bones. Diet soda pop isn’t any better as artificial sweeteners have been shown to be toxic to your body, and although it doesn’t pack the same caloric punch, it still triggers a spike in insulin. Some studies have shown that regular consumption diet soda actually increases weight gain. The reasons are two fold, and have to do with how artificial sweeteners confuse the body’s insulin system, as well as how you think you are drinking a healthier drink. Diet soda drinkers tend to consume more diet soda because they think it is healthier, and artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter than actual sugar, that it dulls your sweet receptors overtime.
- Processed deli meat. About 80% of the calories in hotdogs come from unhealthy saturated fat. Processed meats type are usually high in salt and other additives. Regular consumption of processed meats increases your risk for heart disease, stomach cancer, and colon cancer.
- Table salt. Table salt is processed and stripped of any trace minerals and vitamins that are present when it is mined. It has undergone everything from extreme heating, bleaching, and enhancement with potentially high levels of iodine. High levels of table salt consumption is directly linked to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. This increases the stress on the heart overtime, and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Hypertension can be dangerous for pregnant women, and cause premature delivery.
- Microwave popcorn. The bags that house microwaveable popcorn is coated to with PFOA to keep it from sticking. This chemical is a carcinogen, and has been linked to cancer. It is popped in artificial trans fat that lowers good cholesterol while raising bad cholesterol. The fake butter flavoring contains a compound called diacetyl that can cause a disease called popcorn lung that is generally associated with workers in a microwavable popcorn manufacturing facility, however, it has also been observed in people who consume high quantities as well.
A lot of the above contains chemicals or constituents that are bad for your healthy lifestyle, and should be completely eliminated, or at least greatly reduced. When you’ve got a craving for an unhealthy food, pop into a FRESH restaurant and satisfy your taste buds with one of our delicious wraps, smoothies, or protein bowls that are not just good for your diet, but your overall health and well being too. Find a location near you now.