Staying away from certain foods might be hard, especially when they are specifically created to taste good. But here is the catch: many of the foods we are told we should not eat might not actually be too bad for us. In fact, what is deemed “unhealthy” for you may be entirely different than what is considered “unhealthy” for someone else.
For example, you may have the idea that things such as gluten or dairy aren’t good for you because you develop an upset stomach or get a headache after consuming them. “It is important to understand that foods such as wheat and dairy are common allergens, and some individuals don’t react to them very well,” says Julie Andrews, Wisconsin-based nutrition and dietitian consultant. “But that does not mean they’re bad for everyone.”
But while every individual has a unique body and foods they could negatively react to, there are some foods that still may worth avoiding. We are talking about the ones that either do not offer a lot of nutritional value for your body or the ones that pose a health risk to you. Here is what you should know about which foods you may want to stay away from.
1 — Canned fruit in syrup
The reason canned fruit is so tasty? It has loads of sugar. “When a fruit is canned in ‘heavy syrup’ or ‘light syrup,’ that means that the fruit has added sugars in it,” says Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the NY City area. “Fruit is sweet enough on its own, so you do not need any extra sugar with it.”
With that being said, if you like the ease of canned fruit, here is some good news: Some canned fruits are not housed in that syrup mixture. “Just make sure you read the ingredient label to make certain a product is canned either in water or 100% juice,” says Gorin. “Neither of these have added sugars.”
2 — Vegetable shortening
For bakers, that shortening can be causing your cakes and pastries a lot more harm than good. That is because vegetable shortening is composed of hydrogenated oils, which are artificial fats created by adding a hydrogen molecule to the vegetable oils to make it become solid at room temp, says Andrews.
Yet, while hydrogenated oils are beneficial for manufacturers because they raise a product’s shelf life, they are not quite so healthy for you. “Consuming hydrogenated oils on a routine basis can raise LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and reduce HDL ‘good’ cholesterol, and can raise your chances of heart disease,” says Andrews. “You are actually better off putting in real butter in small amounts while baking rather than using shortening,” she adds.
3 — Diet soft drinks
Diet soda is loaded with artificial sugars, which are the primary culprit behind why you shouldn’t drink diet soda often. “artificial sweeteners can even be more unhealthy than actual sugar,” says Shonali Soans. Artificial sweeteners have been connected to both gastrointestinal and cancer issues, and aspartame which is a key ingredient in diet beverages specifically which has also been connected to diabetes, says Soans.
Author: Scott Dowdy