Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan
New Delhi: We often tend to consume certain foods without thinking whether they are good for our health or not.
Especially in present times, when adulteration is at an all-time high, it becomes important to know what is hazardous to consume and what isn't.
Packaged food sometimes gives us the advantage of providing information on the ingredients that have been used to produce the edible goods, however, there are a few big food manufacturers who are also introducing new hazards in our food supply.
Unfortunately, there are certain food stuffs that contain harmful compounds and ingredients, which actually act as poison for the body and can have a bad effect in the long term.
These are the ones that need an immediate ouster from your everyday diet, irrespective of whether you're following a strict regime or not.
You'll be surprised to learn, when you do, about the following ten food items. Have a look!
Similar to butter, many people choose margarine over the former. The truth, however, is slowly beginning to reveal itself. Now, most people have readily begun to swap their margarine with butter, since margarine is full of cholesterol increasing compounds like trans-fats, artificial flavors, artificial colors and most importantly, calories, which makes it more dangerous than butter and you prone to many health-related issues.
2. Artificial sweeteners:
Artificial sweeteners undoubtedly provide you with the satisfaction of consuming less calories, but is it really safe? Saccharine as a low-calorie substitute for sugar surely gives consumers a ray of hope where weight loss is concerned, which now has been introduced as a part of many foods and beverages and advertised as 'diet' food. However, the fact is that these sweeteners actually promote and encourage weight gain and not the reverse. There’s also the issue of the potential damage they can do to your health, such as increasing the risk of diabetes or damage to the kidneys.
3. Tomato sauce:
We can literally sense the shock with this. Unfortunately, it's true. Your good old tomato sauce can also be harmful, unless you have purchased organic tomato sauce or one made of 'real' tomatoes or made it at home. The store-bought tomato sauce that we normally consume on a daily basis with eggs or sandwiches or fast food, etc., contains all sorts of additives like artificial colour, refined sugar, corn syrup, sodium, et al, which promote health issues like hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity and also increase risk of heart disease.
Your love of cakes and pastries could be making you lose out on your health, specially because of the frosting. Of course, it has sugar, which means calories, which means weight gain – it's a never-ending cycle. But were you aware that frosting, especially the canned ones use ingredients sugar, trans-fats, corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial flavors and preservatives? In fact, some of the food coloring used in these products is actually banned in other countries!
No, this is not a mistake. It's terrifying, actually, how something that's naturally grown could be harmful. Don't get us wrong, though. We're talking only about non-organic strawberries. Those that are produced by big agricultural businesses are most likely contaminated with pesticides. As per thinkingabouthealth.com, a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that some strawberries contained residue from as many as 13 different pesticides. Buying certified organic strawberries or growing your own is the only way to avoid those potentially dangerous pesticides.
Another healthy food item makes the list. Of course, many dieticians swear by them and a research has also stated that it helps wash out toxins from the body. However, that is not the case with commercially-produced sprouts, which are very prone to contamination by germs and bacteria. The best option is to grow your own at home, which is probably easier than you think.
7. Packaged cookies:
They're delicious, they make your mouth water, they're melt-in-your-mouth yummy and they're also loaded with hydrogenated oils, which are one of the worst things you can eat if you value your health. Of course, butter and sugar are evident ingredients, but they also contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives and bleached white flour. We suggest baking your own cookies at home. They'll be much healthier even if you burn them.
8. Frozen pizza:
Don't we all just love pizza? Be it a party or a I'm-home-alone movie marathon, pizza has always saved the day. But, if we talk about frozen pizza, which makes life simpler by a huge margin, is it safe? Well, going by the high levels of sugar, salt, MSG and nitrates, we don't think so. Oh and we can't overlook the calories, can we? Say hello to kilos!
Whether it's diet soda or the normal soda, both are equally harmful. Why? They're basically liquid sugar. You'll only be piling on the kilos, not to forget making yourself prone to many diseases in the future. Many soda brands contain sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame as a substitute for sugar. It also contains phosphoric acid, which inhibits your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
10. Fast food:
You were wondering when this would come, weren't you? This addition is pretty obvious for various reasons, which we're sure you're already aware of. They may taste amazingly good, however, they have the opposite effect on our health. Including high levels of sodium, MSG, sugar, and trans-fats, fast food does nothing to improve one's health and also contains all sorts of food colorings, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, which are an invitation to long term diseases and conditions.