7 Most Unhealthy Processed Foods You Need To Avoid

Soda in Glass
Soda Pop – There is nothing nutritional about sodas; they are empty calories. Moreover, they contain substances that can hurt you. As if sugar wasn’t bad enough, almost all sodas today use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a sweetener and this is even worse than sugar. HFCS has been shown to be damaging to the liver as well as causing blood glucose spikes even worse than normal table sugar would. Soda pop is a primary contributor to the obesity problem in the United States.

Soda pop is also one of the most powerful acid producing substances we can put into our bodies. As such, they cause our naturally alkaline body pH to become acidic. Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment and can’t survive in an alkaline environment. An acidic body is also much more susceptible to viral and bacterial attacks since it weakens the natural defenses of the body’s immune system.

Hotdogs & Other Processed Meats – Hot dogs have been a staple of the American diet for decades. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council reports that Americans eat about twenty billion hot dogs a year. They also report that ninety-five percent of all American homes serve hot dogs. Of course, lunch meats like bologna also have similar ingredients.

The vast majority of hot dogs and other highly processed meats on the market contain loads of salt, MSG, sodium nitrate and other preservatives, artificial flavors, cheap unhealthy fillers, and mechanically separated meat and poultry. Most people don’t realize that mechanically separated meat has been so highly processed under extreme heat and pressure that whatever nutritional value it had to begin with is lost in the processing. For example, proteins become denatured under these extreme industrial conditions. If you have an absolute craving for a hot dog, look for nitrate free organic hot dogs with no preservations, artificial flavors, or meat byproducts.

Store Bought Cookies, Cake, Muffins, and Crackers – For the purpose of this article, cookies, cake, muffins, and crackers have all been lumped into a single category because the health issues associated with them are similar. Beyond the obvious high levels of sugar and salt, most of these products also contain trans fat. Trans fat is added in part because it is much cheaper than healthy fats and this makes them more profitable. However, trans fat is also added to prolong shelf life and to improve the texture. In fact, there are whole “food science” labs devoted to figuring out how to use trans fats and other industrial foods to achieve the perfect texture in these types of products.

To determine if a product contains trans fat, you should not go by what it states on the front of the label. The USFDA actually allows manufacturers to label their products with “zero trans fat” if each individual serving contains less than 0.05 grams of trans fat. Many manufacturers simply reduced the size of a serving to reach this magic number. So, instead of a serving size being three cookies, they might say it is one cookie so they could put a “zero trans fat” on the label. To know for sure if a product actually contains trans fat, you need to look at the ingredient list and look for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.” If these words appear, then the product contains trans fat.