1. Soft drinks
Soda is a source of empty calories and loaded with sugar which can be very harmful to your health.
In addition to being linked to weight gain, inflammation and insulin resistance, this sweet, caffeinated beverage can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease.
This condition causes stomach acid to leak into the esophagus, resulting in pain and a burning sensation (ouch!).
The American Journal of Nutrition also found in a recent study that soda drinkers actually have a higher risk of stroke than non-soda drinkers.
On top of that, soda pop contains a plethora of artificial colors and chemicals (of which there are too many to list here). It is therefore not surprising that the consumption of carbonated drinks can lead to a higher risk of cancer.
2. Potato crisps
Who doesn’t love the taste of a salty and crunchy chip? While they can be satisfying to eat, their negative effects on your body can be difficult to digest.
Potato chips are dense in calories and high in fat, both of which contribute to unintentional weight gain. Not to mention that many popular brands are high in trans fat and sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure.
Remember, most crisps in the grocery store contain artificial preservatives and colors that are fried over high heat. This process creates what is called acrylamide.
Acrylamide is a known carcinogen found in cigarettes.
Although they are delicious, potato chips can have very unwanted effects on your daily diet.
3. Processed meats
Processed meats, including hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and most breakfast meats, can be harmful to your health.
These meats contain chemicals and excessive amounts of salt which are used in the manufacturing process. A recent study by researchers was published in the journal BMC Medicine.
In this study, people who ate more than 160 grams of processed meat increased their risk of death by up to 44% in 12 years. The study itself was carried out over 13 years and in 10 countries.
The chemicals and preservatives (including sodium nitrates) in processed meats are used to improve their appearance on store shelves. However, these same chemicals are known carcinogens.
4. Canned tomatoes
Tomatoes, normally a staple in many healthy diets, can be made unsafe when canned. The box liner is usually made with a chemical called bisphenol-a, more commonly known as BPA.
The FDA is extremely concerned about BPA because it has been shown to alter brain chemistry in research done on rats. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration has made efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate BPA from canned food products, not just tomatoes.
The reason why canned tomatoes are so dangerous in particular is that they are very sour. Acidic foods can cause the BPA to leech faster from the can liner into the food.
The BPA content in canned tomatoes can be so high that some brands warn parents not to feed them to their children.
5. Popcorn in the microwave
What is a movie without popcorn? This convenient and relatively healthy snack is apparently harmless. The culprit here is not the popcorn itself, but the bag it was microwaved in.
Typically, microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA). A good bite, right? This toxin is best known to exist in Teflon.
A shocking study from the University of California found that this toxin may be linked to infertility in women.
Additionally, PFOA has been shown to significantly increase the risk of liver, bladder, kidney and testicular cancer in men in several other studies.
In some bags of popcorn, even the popcorn itself has been contaminated with high-fat soybean oil as well as a chemical called diacetyl. This chemical was so harmful that some companies banned it from their factories because of workers developing lung diseases after working with it.
6. Hydrogenated oils
These types of oils are notoriously linked to heart disease, a weakened immune system, and, of course, cancer.
A great way to replace hydrogenated oils in your diet is to use olive, coconut, or grape seed oil.
For cooking, grape seed oil is a fantastic option as it has a higher “smoke point” (the point at which heated oil begins to produce carcinogens) compared to other oils.
These little fried potato sticks are salty, delicious and satisfying.
However, overall, most inexpensive French fries are made with hydrogenated vegetable oil and topped with a mountain of sodium.
Trans fats and salt (as noted earlier) can increase your risk for high blood pressure, obesity, and many other illnesses.
On top of that, French fries usually contain a chemical known as acrylamide. Any food fried at high temperatures has a chance of containing it.
Acrylamide is also found in cigarette smoke and even in building insulation.
It’s even worse: This compound has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
8. Farmed fish
Fish, generally a very healthy meat rich in protein, good fats and fatty acids, can also have a dark side.
Farmed fish (salmon, cod, tilapia) were found to be full of antibiotics, pesticides, (crazy!) Flame retardants and pesticides in a recent study at the University of Albany.
If that’s not convincing, I don’t know what it is.
Each of these ingredients alone has been linked to cancer and combined, they form a particularly deadly cocktail.
For 14 years, a study of American women looked at their diet and lifestyle.
Of the 200,000 participating postmenopausal women, those who consumed at least one alcoholic beverage per day showed an almost 30% increase in breast cancer rates compared to those who did not drink.
Not convinced? Alcohol is the second leading cause of cancer after smoking.
In addition to this alcohol consumption can be associated with the following: heart failure, stroke and sudden death.
However, there is a bit of a silver lining. Moderate consumption can actually be healthy and lower the risk of heart disease.
10. Artificial sweetener
A lot of people have made the mistake of assuming that artificial sugar substitutes are actually better for you than real sugar.
They are not just wrong, they are completely wrong.
Besides causing more weight gain than regular sugar, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame make it extremely difficult to control blood sugar.
This poses a huge problem for diabetics who are trying to manage insulin levels.
While the research is not yet complete, there is evidence that many artificial sweeteners end up breaking down in your body into a substance called DKP.
DKP is a deadly toxin that can produce chemicals linked to brain tumors.