Most of us want to try to stay reasonably fit, thin and healthy, or at least, we’d LIKE to if it weren’t so darned difficult! It really can be hard to eat healthily in America because there are so many bad foods out there. Also, we are frequently bombarded with advertisements for foods we should not eat, on TV, radio, Internet and magazines. All of these bad foods really take their toll on body weights in the U.S. A recent report states that as many as 42% of Americans could be categorized as obese by 2030. This is a big problem because carrying too much weight causes major health problems that include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and sleep apnea.
All of the foods listed below either should not be eaten at all, or in a great deal of moderation. Some of the absolute worst foods for us are listed below.
1. Processed Meats
What could be more American than a hot dog? Not much, if ‘American’ to you is eating cured meats that are full of sodium and chemical preservatives that cause colon cancer. Hot dogs, bacon and sausage also has a lot of salt, fat, and cholesterol, and very few nutrients that do your body any good at all. Sure, it’s fine to have a hot dog at a ball game once in a while, but eating this stuff regularly is the wrong way to go. Hot dogs are often overeaten by children because they are so easy to prepare – you just stick them in a microwave and you’re ready to eat. But that convenience has a heavy price.
2. Frozen Dinners
Many frozen dinners don’t look that big, but they are often crammed full of calories, fat and salt. For example, one of the popular types of chicken pot pie in your frozen section a the supermarket has 65 grams of fat and 1020 calories. And do not be fooled by the ‘diet’ versions of frozen dinners. They probably do not have as much fat, but they have tons of sodium and chemicals.
As much as it pains us to write it, doughnuts….tasty, delicious doughnuts….are simply dreadful for you. Really, what could be worse than a handful of fried bread, doused in sugary frosting? Not much. Every doughnut out there is full of trans fat, sugar and highly refined white flour with every nutrient gleaned out of it. Most doughnuts have 20 grams of fat and as much as 300 calories. Each. For some reason, many Americans seem to associate doughnuts as a breakfast food. There are many more healthy things that you can be eating for breakfast, such as eggs. Eggs have an undeserved reputation as an unhealthy food. It is doughnuts that should be avoided the most, not eggs.
4. Potato Chips
Generally speaking, most simple carbohydrate snack foods that are a staple of the American diet are bad for us. Potato chips are no exception. Not only are these little things full of fat, empty calories and salt, they contain acrylamide, which is a carcinogen. Many researchers are convinced that this deadly ingredient causes thousands of cancers each year in the US. So the next time you are in a grocery store, you should just avoid the aisle with potato chips. There rarely is anything in that aisle that you should be eating, anyways.
5. Low Fat Foods in General
In the 1990s, many food makers went crazy on the low fat thing. They came out with low fat cookies, salad dressings, yogurts and so forth. We were taught that as long as there is no fat, it’s ‘healthy.’ Not so. These low fat foods often are filled with salt, sugar and other nasty things to replace the flavor that is lost when fat is removed. Just because a food does not have any fat, does not make it healthy. In fact, since the low fat craze started 20 years ago, Americans are fatter than ever. What does that tell you? Never think that eating a ‘low-fat’ food is healthy.
Americans were sold a bill of good for a generation on margarine. It does not have cholesterol, true, but otherwise, this spread is bad for you. It has a lot of trans fats in it, and this actually causes cholesterol to rise and also can damage your arteries. Dump margarine and use olive oil.
There are few ways to pack on extra pounds than to drink regular soda. Each soda can have as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar and has about 175 calories. Worse, drinking two sodas a week can boost your chance of getting pancreatic cancer, AND, drinking 2-3 per day boosts your chances of getting heart disease and diabetes. Other than that, sodas are great for you! If you want to drop five pounds in a month, many people could start by just not drinking regular sodas anymore. They are the ultimate in empty calories.
You can buy these sugar and fat-stuffed nightmares at Starbucks, Seattle’s Best and a few other places. One of these will usually have about 500 calories, 20 grams of fat and 60 grams of sugar. They are delicious but they are full of everything that is bad for you and makes you fat. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
This is another one that pains us to write….Cinnabons smell so great in the mall, but oh man they are death on a plate! How bad? One of these will give you about 1/2 of the calories and ALL of the fat you should eat in a day. You should never eat any of these things, ever.
10. Pasta and White Bread
We decided to combine these two together. Really, we think that a lot of the reason why Americans are overweight is due to these two foods. Most types of Western pasta is white flour, water and eggs. It has no fiber and little real nutritional value. There is little in white pasta that is good for you, and white bread is just a bread-shaped white pasta. Full of empty calories that make you fat. Avoid!