Whether you’re running a major corporation, or you’re a teen on summer vacay, eating right for your body can be a confusing process. There are plenty of nutrient-rich foods to eat, but sometimes its easier to start a meal plan by process of elimination. Here are five things you should definitely avoid.
1. American cheese
Now that grilling season is in full swing, you may want to find an alternative to American cheese on your burgers. The cheese slices you grew up on, aren’t even real cheese. Some brands use up to 14 preservatives and additives, including sodium citrate. Real cheddar cheese only consists of pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, and enzymes. Products must have 51% of real cheese to be approved by the FDA as actual cheese. American cheese fails to meet this standard, thus it is classified as a “cheese product” or “cheese snack.”
The idea of cutting down on soda may not be news, but is it really that bad? The high calories in soda all come from sugar, and offer no quality vitamins or nutrients. Regular consumption has been associated with weight gain, diabetes, tooth decay, and brittle bones. Diet soda isn’t any better. In fact, sugar-free colas have been linked to heart disease and depression.
Excess sugar is also a major problem with most dry cereals. Your favorite breakfast food can spike your blood and insulin levels, and lead to overeating later in the day. Just because they’re labeled as “low fat” or “whole grain,” doesn’t mean they aren’t full of processed grains and preservatives, that give them an unnatural shelf life. If you want to start the morning with something hearty, you’re better off with oats or yogurt. Veestro’s Oatmeal Breakfast Pie has a bonus assortment of sweet potatoes and apples for the sugary taste you’re used to, without the guilt.
4. Red 3 dye
“Red 3” dye may not be a food per say, but it’s found in maraschino cherries, a variety of candies, baked goods, and sausage casings. Also known as Erythrosine, this synthetic coloring comes from coal tar, flourone, and cochineal beetles. The FDA banned its use in cosmetics and topical drugs 27 years ago, but the food industry has found a way to keep it on the market. It’s been directly linked to hyperactivity in children, thyroid tumors, liver damage, and breast cancer.
5. Microwave popcorn
Microwave popcorn is an easy pick when it takes virtually no time to make, and you can munch through an entire movie. But with so many artificial flavors made up of added trans fats, MSG, and synthetic ingredients, the risk may not be worth the extra “butter.” The real danger comes from the bag, which is lined with a toxic chemical called perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). PFOS has been linked to infertility, cancer, and kidney damage.