1. Microwave Popcorn
Workers in microwave popcorn factories have actually developed an extremely rare form of lung cancer from inhaling fumes. If that isn’t enough of a reason to avoid the stuff, here’s another: the lining of the bags contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a substance that has been linked to several other forms of cancer and infertility. Plus, so many microwave popcorns are loaded with bad fats and sodium. Homemade air-popped popcorn can actually be a health food, believe it or not, so stick to that for your next movie night.
Several studies have directly linked soda consumption to higher instances of cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, obesity — you name it. Diet soda isn’t off the hook, either.
Many brands of chips contain unimaginable amounts of sodium and fat — one bag can often be more than a day’s worth. But it’s not just the nutritional concerns to think about here — chips also contain acrylamide, a chemical that comes with an increased risk of several forms of cancer and infertility. You can also find the scary stuff in french fries.
4. Canned Tomatoes
Aside from being far less delicious than the real, fresh, thing, canned tomatoes have the added “perk” of bisphenol-A (BPA) on their cans’ lining. This is the stuff nightmares are made of: BPA has been linked to fetal abnormalities, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, thyroid issues, and even cancer. It’s been banned for use in baby bottles, and overall bans are being considered nationwide. You can get up to 50 mcg of the stuff from canned tomatoes; the acidity makes them more difficult to package than most products, so a safe alternative has been difficult to find. Your best bet, though, is to avoid them all together. Stick to fresh tomatoes or, if need be, tomatoes packaged in glass jars.
5. Processed Meat
The American Institute for Cancer Research says meats preserved by smoking, curing, or salting, or that contain chemical preservatives, are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. These products also tend to have lots of salt, fat, and cholesterol, and very few nutrients, like fiber.
6. Frozen Meals
They may look tiny, but frozen dinners can be loaded with calories. One popular national brand of chicken pot pie was found contains 64 grams of fat and 1,020 calories per serving. And while the diet versions of these frozen foods may be low in fat, they are heavily processed and are often high in sodium.
7. Low-Fat Foods
Don’t be fooled by the “Low-Fat” label. Makers of cookies, salad dressings, yogurt, and other foods labeled low-fat often substitute sugar, salt, and unhealthy fillers to add flavor and texture to otherwise bland processed products.
If margarine didn’t have any food dye in it, it’d be a delightful shade of gray. Though it’s billed as a cholesterol-free, healthy alternative to butter, margarine is the ultimate source of trans fats, which actually elevate cholesterol and damage blood vessel wall.
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