In this article, as we look at which foods are generally unhealthy, you should be aware that foods in themselves are good but the preparation method and the types of ingredients the food contains can be what makes it unhealthy.
If you have been the kind of person who eats everything or anything I urge you to read the whole of this article to understand which foods are generally unhealthy for you so that you can begin to make the right choices in choosing your food.
You can dig into my previous article to learn a few steps you can take to eat well and still save money as well as how you can preserve your food because I believe those steps can help you live healthier and happy.
Sodium, sugar and fat (saturated fat and trans-fat) are key ingredients one should always monitor when eating out and shopping at the grocery store. The American Heart Association recommends keeping the consumption of saturated fat to less than 7 per cent and the consumption of trans-fat to less than 1 per cent of an individual’s daily calories.
Why Does Sat-Fat And Trans-Fat Make Foods Generally Unhealthy:
Saturated Fat (Sat-Fat):
Saturated fat according to MedlinePlus.gov is a type of dietary fat. It is one of the unhealthy fats, along with trans fat. From a chemical standpoint, saturated fats are simply fat molecules that have no double bonds between carbon molecules because they are saturated with hydrogen molecules. Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature.
What Foods Contain Sat-Fat?
Examples of foods with saturated fat are:
- fatty beef,
- poultry with skin,
- beef fat (tallow),
- lard and cream,
- cheese and
- other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 per cent) milk.
Most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature.
Trans fat is so bad for you that the Doctors worry because it increases the risk for heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Trans fat also has an unhealthy effect on your cholesterol levels.
There are two main types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein. LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.
- High-density lipoprotein. HDL, or “good,” cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
Foods With Trans-Fat:
Trans Fat may be found in a variety of food products, including:
- Baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies
- Microwave popcorn
- Frozen pizza
- Refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls
- Fried foods, including French fries, doughnuts and fried chicken
- Non-dairy coffee creamer
- Stick margarine
Some foods are never what they seem to be, more-so is the processed foods we get from fast-food joints… a lot of people have been lured by the fanciful packaged foods into unhealthy eating leading to ailments and diseases.
Let’s begin here by asking and answering these questions:
Which Foods Are Generally Unhealthy?
Dried fruits are great sources of concentrated vitamins, minerals, and fibre, but — and it’s a big but to avoid — you have to limit your intake because you’re also getting very concentrated calories and sugar.
Consider prunes, which are dried plums: Just one cup of prunes contains more than 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar while one cup of fresh plum has just 76 calories and 16 sugar grams. Plus, when you eat fresh fruit you get the added water content that can help you feel full.
Beware Of Some Margarine:
Margarine can be a better choice than butter, particularly for people who are concerned about their heart health. But not all margarine is created equal: Many stick forms contain hidden trans fat, which can be even worse for your heart than the saturated fat in butter.
When choosing a stick, go for the brand with the lowest levels of fat and cholesterol. If you’re at risk for heart disease, choose a brand that has been fortified with plant stanols and sterols, which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels.
A drink that’s 100 per cent fruit juice sounds like a healthy way to check off your daily fruit needs. The problem is, even if you’re drinking unadulterated juice (not a juice drink; a diet trap with tons of added sugar and sometimes barely 10 per cent real juice), you’re missing out on the fibre and the nutrients available only in the whole food, especially fruits with edible peels.
In general, experts advise that only a third of the 2.5 cups of fruit you need each day should come from the juice. And moderation matters for you.
Serving sizes for store-bought juice in bottles and at juice bars and cafés are out of control, and if you’re not careful, you can add hundreds of calories to your daily diet through juice.
Oats themselves are very nutritious for most diets, with some surprising health benefits. As one study in the Journal of Food Science and Technology notes, whole-grain oats contain beneficial fibres and protein, as well as some vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
A study in the journal Nutrients notes that eating whole-grain oats can help control blood sugar, lower the amounts of fat in the blood, and even promote weight loss. It may also help a person feel fuller and more satisfied with their meal. However, these results are from consuming whole-grain oats, not instant oats.
Similar to many other grains, the manufacturers of instant oatmeal tend to remove the fibre from the oat to give their meal a better texture and help it cook faster. This might reduce some benefits of the healthful fibres in oats.
A 2016 study that appeared in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compares whole oatmeal and instant oat cereal. The results revealed that whole oatmeal made people feel fuller and had a reducing effect on how many calories they ate throughout the day, in comparison with the instant oatmeal.
It is also important to pay attention to additional ingredients in instant oatmeal. Many companies use fillers such as flour or add sugar or sugary dried fruits to their oats. This may make the oatmeal taste better, but it does not make it healthful.
For a more healthful option, people may choose to skip the instant oatmeal powders and instead opt for whole-grain oats, adding some fresh fruit or milk for sweetness.
Bread Too, (But Not All Bread)
Natural 100 per cent whole-grain bread is a very nutritious addition to many diets. Bread comprising natural whole wheat still contains the bran and germ of the kernel, which contain much of the nutrients and fibre.
A good deal of processed bread strips the bran and germ from the kernel to give the bread a smooth texture. However, this also affects the bread’s glycaemic load, as the fibre in whole-grain bread helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and sugars.
The glycaemic index (GI) measures to what extent high-carbohydrate foods raise blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association report that white bread is a very high-GI food with a score of 70 or more. However, 100 per cent stone-ground, whole-wheat bread is a low-GI food with a score of 55 or less.
There may also be concerns about ingredients such as phytic acid in unsprouted grains. As a 2015 study in the Journal of Food Science and Technology points out, phytic acid binds to micronutrients in other foods a person eats and makes them impossible for the body to absorb.
People incorporating bread in their diet may consider picking 100 per cent whole-grain bread. Also, anyone with concerns regarding phytic acid in their loaves of bread may want to pick bread containing only sprouted grains, which reduces the phytic acid content.
Although you might love doughnuts, in the long term, your heart won’t. Doughnuts are fried, so you consume high amounts of saturated and trans fats when you eat it
Doughnuts also class as empty calories, as the snack itself is high in calories and sugar (a chocolate iced doughnut contains 350 calories) but low in nutritional value.
Generally, keeping an eye out for additional ingredients, such as sugars or processed grains, can help a person make better nutritional decisions.
One option may be to take a few more minutes to prepare food and avoid store-bought alternatives.
It is also important to note that many foods will have different effects on different people. Anyone uncertain about what foods they should avoid due to an underlying condition or allergy should consider talking to their doctor or nutritionist. You can dig deep more here at Medical News Today to understand which foods are generally unhealthy for you.
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