If only buying them occasionally, there’s usually no harm done. But frequent consumption may result in problems with obesity or other serious diseases. Here are 10 foods that should be avoided. Luckily, there are simple and healthy alternatives.
Food is not simply a tool for staving off hunger, nor simply a means to satisfy our gourmet cravings. Food’s role is fundamental in a well-functioning body.
If we consume unsuitable, poor quality or directly harmful food for a long time, we can expect negative effects to start showing.
Imagine how long a car would last if we put poor quality petrol in it. It is the same with our bodies.
1. Spreadable cheeses
In the ads they look like the pinnacle of health food, but they contain emulsifying salts, which can cause a lack of calcium in bones, digestive problems and hyperacidity.
Alternative: A healthier variant would certainly be fresh cream cheese, cottage cheese or hard cheeses.
2. Bouillon, spice mixes, and instant soups
These foods contain glutamates and high amounts of table salt. Glutamates have toxic effects, contributing to the development of cancer, nerve and heart trouble, increased blood pressure and obesity.
Alternative: The best is to make homemade broth, or find bouillon which contains no glutamates. Suitable replacements are also fresh, dried or frozen herbs, single spices, or spice mixes without glutamates or table salt.
3. Canned fish in oil or tomato sauce
Disregarding the quality of the fish itself, canning fish in oil adds many more calories to the body than we would get from fresh fish.
Alternative: Fresh (refrigerated or frozen) fish or fish packed in their own juices.
4. Drinks or food with artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharine, cyclamates, etc.) sneak their way into drinks and foods under tricky labeling. They’re commonly found in “light” (no added sugar) drinks, but also in chewing gums, flavoured mineral waters with zero percent sugar or “sweet” yogurts without sugar. Some of these have carcinogenic or neurotoxic effects leading to the development of diabetes, contributing to a feeling of hunger and supporting obesity.
Alternative: If possible, buy unflavoured drinks, or choose those which are flavoured with the herb stevia. Instead of artificial sweeteners, it is always better to use a small amount of natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, cereal malts or unrefined cane sugar).
5. Foods containing artificial colouring
Some fruit yogurts, drinks or sweets contain artificial colouring. In addition to the negative effects on the body, artificial colouring can increase hyperactivity in children, or trigger asthma and allergies.
Alternative: Give preference to non-coloured foods or foods with natural colouring, such as curcumin, chlorophylls, beta-carotenes and extracts from beetroot, tomatoes or peppers.
6. Crunchy baked muesli
Crunchy baked muesli has a high glycaemia index, which means it contains a high amount of “fast sugars”.
Alternative: Instead, choose rolled oats mixed with nuts or other seeds.
7. Dried fruit and fruit compote
These processed fruits also contain high amounts of “fast sugars” which again contribute to the development of obesity.
Alternative: Eat fresh seasonal fruits, or frozen non-sweetened fruits.
8. Rice cakes with icing
Advertised healthy treats – rice cakes with icing – contain high amounts of “fast sugars”, and the icing often contains saturated fats.
Alternative: Unsweetened muesli or fruit bars without icing.
9. Soy milk
Soy milk is very difficult for the body to process and can trigger allergies.
Alternative: Much better are almond, rice, oat, goat and cow’s milks (if these do not cause problems for individuals who are allergic, for example).
10. Fruit juices
Watch out: 1 cup of 100-percent juice contains the equivalent of 6.5 sugar cubes! While fruit juices are not unhealthy, frequent consumption is not recommended. One-hundred-percent juices also deplete the body of water because the body requires lots of water to process them.
Alternative: Water-diluted fresh fruit juice or vegetable juice in a proportion of 1:2, or water with lemon.
If sweet or flavoured drinks are too hard to give up, a much better, healthier, and more refreshing variant is water (or lightly carbonated water), into which fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or seasonal fruits can be added. Try combining them with freshly picked mint or sweet balm for a sweet smelling and equally tasty drink.