When it comes to the evolution of food, there have been a lot of changes within the past few decades. Instead of sourcing local, fresh foods, we now often consume foods that are produced in a factory. With the rise of processed foods, we are now facing a wide range of health consequences, including increased rates of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. If you are aiming to live a healthier, more balanced life, start by eliminating the following 7 foods.
We all know that soda is empty calories, but it also may be doing more than expanding your waistline. When consuming even one to two sodas a day, that's a lot of extra sugar! Type II diabetes is on the rise, based on lifestyle choices, mainly fluctuating blood glucose levels.
Don't assume that diet is any better, however, as it contains artificial sweeteners which have been linked to cancer, brain tumors, and seizures. When you're thirsty and you reach for a soda, you're not actually hydrating your body. Instead, drink water - focus on consuming half of your weight in ounces daily.
What was once believed to be the 'heart-healthy' choice, is now known to be extremely harmful to your health. Made from hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine is packed with artificial colors and synthetic vitamins. During the manufacturing of margarine, vegetable oils are exposed to chemicals, bleach, hydrogenation, additives, and emulsifiers.
This process produces trans-fats, which have been linked to heart disease, decreased fertility, lowered immune function, and more. Raw, organic butter actually offers nutrients, especially when sourced from pasture-raised cows. When consumed in moderation, it is superior in comparison to any margarine or hydrogenated vegetable oil.
That unhealthy oil in which we just discussed, it essentially what fried foods cook in, soaking up all that unhealthy fat. In turn, you place a strain on your heart, as plaque begins to build in your arteries.
When you fry foods, they also lose their nutritional value - sorry, fish and chips do not count as a healthy serving of fish. If you suffer from a health or kidney condition, it is especially important to eliminate fried foods from your diet.
Processed Deli Meats
From bologna to hot dogs, bacon to deli ham, these processed meats have been the focus behind plenty of recent research. These 'meats' are produced with a known carcinogenic, known as sodium nitrite. After reviewing hundreds of studies, researchers have concluded that processed meats are carcinogenic to humans, increasing the risk of prostate, bowel, pancreatic, and other forms of cancer.
It has been reported that with every 50-gram portion of processed meat you eat daily, you increase your risk of bowel cancer by 18 percent. Although more research continues to progress, it's recommended that you swap these meat items for fresher, more nutritionally dense choices. For example, freshly cooked chicken or roasted vegetables are perfect for sandwiches.
You may like to sit down, watch a movie and eat microwaved popcorn, but that's not all you're eating. The lining of these bags often contain toxic materials, which have been linked to cancer.
Also, the corn that's sourced for these products is generally from GMO corn farms. It's believed that our increased consumption of GMO foods is contributing to issues with digestion. If you love popcorn, no need to give it up, just make it the old fashion way. All you need is a bit of olive or coconut oil and organic popcorn kernels.
There's no doubt that fish is a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals, however, farmed fish does not appear to be as beneficial. Farmed salmon, for instance, is often fed grain and soy, resulting in approximately 50 percent less omega-3 fatty acids.
If you're someone who sources plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, you should know that farmed fish generally contains high concentrations of pesticides and antibiotics. The most commonly farmed fish include cod, salmon, catfish, tilapia, and sea bass. Source fish that has been sustainably caught in the wild.
Unfortunately, many food companies have taken advantage of the millions of people, who are desperate to lose weight. These foods are often packed with hidden additives, as well as plenty of sugar and salt. Just because something has 'zero' fat, does not mean that it's healthy.
These foods also give consumers the wrong idea, making them believe that fat is the enemy, when in reality, it's the type of fat you choose that makes all the difference. Your best bet is to consume whole foods that provide you with nutrients, not manufactured 'diet' foods.