Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Top Five Worst Foods

  1. French Fries / Chips
French Fries and Potato chips offer no health benefits. Not only are they void of any nutritional value they contain high levels of acrylamide which is a carcinogen. Acrylamide is formed when white potatoes are heated at high temperatures. Acrylamide is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. Potato chips and French Fries are also loaded with saturated fat that raises cholesterol level and increases the risk of heart disease. Fries and Chips are loaded with calories. They are very unhealthy. They will make you fat and sick. So why do we eat them? Because they taste good….Not a good choice.

You can avoid the saturated fat, sodium, and carcinogens by baking or roasting red potatoes. This will maintain some of the nutritional value of the potato.

  1. Processed Meat / Bacon and other fat Meat
You may ask, what is processed meat? Well, it is any meat or combination of animal parts that are preserved with chemicals. (Example: deli cold cuts, hot dogs, bologna, and ham) These chemical substances may change into cancer-causing compounds in the body. Processed meat is always loaded with salt and fat.  Sodium nitrite can be found in many processed meats. This carcinogen has been linked to leukemia in children and brain tumors in infants. Other studies show that sodium nitrate also promotes colorectal and pancreatic cancer.
Bacon is not much more than salt and fat. Bacon can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It has also been linked to damaged lung function and an increased risk of lung disease. In general, any meat is unhealthy if it is loaded with saturated fat.

Substitute leaner and lower-sodium meats such as fish, roasted skinless poultry, pork tenderloin (all fat trimmed), and round steak.

  1. Soda
I’ll have to say this one is hardest for me to avoid. You’d think knowing one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 (or more) mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial ingredients would make a person take notice. Soda is nothing but artificial flavors, sugar and water. It has no nutritional value.
Drinking too much soda can cause tooth decay and lead to things far worse including obesity and diabetes. Soda is also very acidic and can lead to kidney problems.
On the other hand, Diet Soda can potentially lead to more problems than the sugared soda. Since Diet Sodas contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame they have been linked to many diseases to numerous to list.

The best option is always Water. Fruit juices in moderation. Unsweetened Green Tea.

  1. Processed Desserts
Processed Desserts are very anemic in nutritional value and are extremely high in calories. Most processed desserts are made up of sugar, refined flour and partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats). As mentioned, Trans Fats have been linked to artery disease as well as cancer.

Fruit, Fruit, Fruit

  1. Butter, Margarine
Simply put, fat is the problem here. Margarine has hydrogenated oil, a fat which can potentially cause cancer and other diseases. Butter has a high amount of saturated fat which is linked to heart disease. (As a side note: processed peanut butter is also loaded with trans fats. Natural peanut butter is always a better choice.)

Use olive oil when possible because these fats are rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fat.

Notice there is a common theme here. All of these foods have very little nutritional value. They all have trans fats or saturated fat (except soda). Most of them are loaded with (empty) calories. Many of them have unsafe additives and chemicals. All of these foods are linked with disease.
Stating the obvious, it would probably be a good idea to limit intake of these foods by using natural non-processed alternatives.

Keith Payne
Certified Sports Nutritionist

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