At times distinguishing the unhealthy food could be a difficult task. However, in preparing any diet plan the indispensable task is deciding on the foods that are unhealthy. Foods identified as unhealthy should be excluded from the menu and substituted by healthy foods.
Common Unhealthy Food
Definition of unhealthy food can vary with each diner. This is so because every anatomy is unique. But some common foods should be excluded from the diet at any cost. Some of such foods are the following.
- Highly processed foods like chips, cakes, sugar cereals, and cakes.
- Foods with low nutritional values and lacking an adequate amount of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
- High-calorie foods containing refined flour and sugar and sodium contents are beyond the healthy limits.
Unhealthy Food Features
Before designing a diet plan without unhealthy food it is necessary to know the features of such foods.
- Ingredients used and methods of preparation adopted can make a food unhealthy.
- Key ingredients of unhealthy food are sugar, saturated and the trans-fats, and sodium.
Recommendations of American Heart Association
The American Heart Association recommends that any food component having more than 7% of saturated fats and 1% trans-fat is bad for health. In its guidelines of 2013 that are also periodically updated, the Association pointed out the requirement of avoiding food with added sugar and sodium.
Avoid Unhealthy Food for Heart Health
The American Heart Association also advises saying from the unhealthy food like –
- Foods high in sodium and sugar;
- Foods containing over 1,500 mg of sodium;
- Those foods having more than 100 calories of sugar; and
- 5 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Study Report on Food Consumption by Americans
A recent study report of scientists revealed that most Americans consume unhealthy food daily. It was found that most men and women consume on average 3,600 mg of sodium and 22 teaspoons of sugar. Such habits are exposing these consumers to various complex health issues including cardiac ailments.
Steps to Avoid Unhealthy Food
Following a few steps can help the consumer to avoid unhealthy food.
- Make a careful selection of processed foods.
- Dispense with the use of common salty foods like bread rolls, cold as well as cured meat, sandwiches, burritos, pizza, and tacos.
- Read food labels carefully and do not buy those with added sugar, fats, and a large quantity of sodium.
- Use whole and fresh foods made at home as healthy snacks and meals at home.
- Only lean meat should be used as healthy food.
- Never skip the regular meals.
You can use the following publication for help. Unhealthy Foods | American Heart Association
Unhealthy Food You Must Avoid
Experts in food and nutrients have recommended the following foods you must avoid.
- Drinks with high sugar components.
They are liquid calories but not recognized by your brain as foods. Their use can increase insulin resistance in the body and result in non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases.
Pizza is very popular but is also unhealthy food. It is junk food prepared using high levels of harmful highly processed components. Pizza is also a calorie-rich food.
- White Bread
White bread is tasty but is also highly processed food rich in calories. They can easily spike blood sugar levels, lack fiber, and nutrients and are harmful to health.
- Fruit Juices
Many people carry the misconception that fruit juices are healthy. On the contrary, they are unhealthy because they contain a large amount of liquid sugar.
- Sweet Cereals
Breakfast for most Americans contains sweet cereals. They could be wheat, rice, oats, and corns among others. Children just love them at their food table. However, if there is any unhealthy food around the sweet cereals is a top contender in the field.
- Fried Foods
Fried foods are the common component for American diners. They taste delicious but are unhealthy because of their high sugar and carbohydrate components. Due to the way these foods are prepared, they become calorie-dense and unhealthy. Also, as high heat is used to cook them they develop unhealthy chemical characteristics.
- Pastries, Cakes, and Cookies
Dieticians recommend not consuming cakes, cookies, and pastries as they come in the category of unhealthy food. They contain refined sugar as well as flour and are rich in fat contents. Moreover; these products do not give any health benefits as they lack healthy nutrients.
- French fries and potato chips
Boiled whole white potatoes are very healthy. But when the potatoes are used to make chips or added as French fries they become unhealthy food. You must avoid them as they are high in calories, saturated fats, and sugar contents. Potatoes prepared to make these tasty foods lose their healthy features altogether. They also defeat the purpose of healthy weight loss and are always excluded from the weight loss diet plans.
- Avoidable Gluten-free junk foods
In America, many people aim to have a gluten-free diet. The trend is accepted by at least one-third of all Americans. But their aims are defeated when they replace healthy gluten-free foods with processed junk foods because they are supposed to be gluten-free. Gluten-free junk foods contain high sugar levels coupled with refined grains. Thus the prepared dish contains unhealthy food instead of healthy ones. They are not naturally gluten-free and are unhealthy.
- Low-carb junk foods
Low-carb diets are considered to be healthy and are very popular. However, many people lose the good effects of such diets as they replace natural ingredients with processed replacements. Such replacement components are usually loaded with additives including sugar, sodium, and fats; they become unhealthy. An example is the low-carb candy bars that are more harmful to health.
Consumption of unhealthy food can cause more harm to health. People make mistakes in the selection of healthy food and discarding of the worst foods. More often than not the choice of ingredients turns good and healthy foods into unhealthy. Thus the most important part is selecting the healthiest foods in the diet and avoiding their unhealthy counterparts.