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Junk the Junk: Throw Out These 9 Unhealthy Foods Before It's Too Late
Diet is a major – if not the most important – factor in staying healthy and disease-free. In my opinion, if you want to be optimally healthy, you should spend your food budget on nourishing organic foods. The closer your foods are to their natural state, the better they are for your wellbeing.
Sadly, many Americans are doing the exact opposite. They spend most of their money on “time-saving” but unhealthy foods, while ignoring wholesome organic fares that are teeming with the nutrients they need.
This desire for convenience has its consequences: many people are now suffering from chronic illnesses, including obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.
In fact, a health report card published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health in September 2012 predicted that if the current eating trend does not stop, HALF of all Americans will be obese by 2030!
The Pitfalls of Eating Processed Foods
I truly believe that the unhealthy processed food diet that many people are accustomed today is the reason why a significant portion of the population is growing sicker and fatter. You may be thinking, “How does eating unhealthy processed food truly impact my health?” Well, wonder no more – here are the reasons why:
- They are high in sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, which programs your body to consume more calories and store fat.
- You tend to overeat when you eat processed foods. Junk foods “override” your body’s natural intrinsic regulator, and as a result, can stimulate a strong rewards response in your brain that causes you to overeat.
- They are loaded with artificial ingredients. The artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and texturants in these unhealthy foods are touted to be “safe,” but can actually lead to many health problems, according to numerous studies
- Processed foods are typically high in refined carbohydrates that break down to sugar in your body, and are low in nutrients including fiber.
- Processed foods are often high in trans fats and processed vegetable oils. These are known to promote inflammation, which is a hallmark of most chronic and/or serious diseases.
- You digest processed foods with less energy and time. Not only can you eat processed foods faster (think of the difference between chewing a piece of broccoli and munching on a potato chip), but your body also digests them quicker.
- These unhealthy foods are ADDICTING. Processed foods stimulate dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good even though the food lacks fiber and nutrients. This can lead to excessive food cravings and, ultimately, food addiction.
These reasons should be more than enough to convince you to stop gorging on unhealthy junk foods – instead, I recommend swapping them for real whole foods that can do wonders for your health.
Guidelines for Choosing Healthy Foods
When you are out shopping for wholesome foods, I recommend keeping these guidelines in mind to help you determine truly healthful and high-quality fares:
- It’s grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides
- It’s fresh (However, if you need to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, I advise choosing the latter as freshness is important for optimal nutrient content)
- It’s not genetically engineered
- It has no antibiotics, hormones, and other drugs
- It did not come from a factory farm
- It’s grown with the laws of nature in mind
- It’s grown sustainably
But beware, because there are some unhealthy foods that are masquerading as wholesome, nutritious choices that can actually damage your health.
Check Out This List of Unhealthy Foods You Must Avoid at All Costs
In my infographic “9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid,” I’ve compiled a list of staple foods that I believe should NOT be a part of your diet. These foods seem to be harmless, even healthy, but will negatively impact your health – especially if you continue consuming them on a daily basis. In this infographic, you will learn:
- The single most damaging canned food you should stop buying
- The barbecue favorite that significantly raises your risk of various cancers
- Why margarine CANNOT be considered a substitute for wholesome raw butter
- The difference between processed table salt and unrefined, all-natural sea salt
Plus, discover why aspartame is the worst type of sweetener you can consume – and why you should avoid it like the plague.
I invite you to read this infographic now so you can find out if any of these items are lurking in your kitchen cabinet. Share this with your friends and family as well, so they too can avoid these high-risk, unhealthy foods.