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- 1Fat is supposed to be more healthy the more liquid it is, therefore it’s commonly believed that all vegetable oils are healthy. And hey, they’re from plants, too! But ordinary butter can be liquid too, if it’s just heated a little. The “oil” used for frying in fast food restaurants, is most commonly palm oil, an almost purely saturated (unhealthy) oil. What you're really looking for are the unsaturated ("good") fats and oils found in foods like avocados and olive oil.
- 2Although there are near infinite variations, and therefore several healthy variations of this food as well, the typical pasta you get when you buy your spaghetti, macaroni, or other noodles, at least in the Western World, is made with plain white flour, mixed with water and eggs. No vitamins, no minerals, and barely any fiber. Nothing, except for empty carbs, shaped as pasta. To make things worse, “fast food pasta,” like take-away Chinese food for instance, often contain loads of salt, mixed with unhealthy fat.
Soup mixYou didn’t think that goofy green powder you mix into water could be good for you, did you? Well, it isn’t. When you eat soup, you consume the water, milk, butter, or whatever else you mixed that powder into, along with a mixture of tasty salt and preservatives. A lot of salt, in fact. Salt is often overlooked as a risk-factor in food, but salt is actually a major contributor to heart disease.
- 4This is pasta, but shaped like bread. You probably already knew this, but there are still people left in the world who think that all kinds of bread are good for them. White bread is not, opt for a whole grain bread instead.
- 5Don’t let the fact that ketchup was almost got accepted as a vegetable in the United States fool you. Despite containing the antioxidant lycopene (antioxidants greatly reduce the risks of mutations in your body, and the risk of developing diseases like cancer), ketchup contains loads of sugar, often high fructose corn syrup, and also a lot of salt. Most of the ketchup we eat is processed and non-organic, so the lycopene levels are much lower than they could be.
Processed cheeseIt’s probably common knowledge that cheese isn’t too good for you, but processed cheese (and most processed foods in general) is actually really bad for you
- 7Unlike many other soy products, soy sauce does not contain certain antioxidants known as isoflavones, but the level of antioxidants in soy sauce is still so high that it’s often viewed, as healthy. On the negative side, soy sauce contains very high amounts of salt. There have also been several studies showing that there are often chemicals known to increase the risks of certain types of cancer, found in soy sauce. Luckily, after much stricter regulations on these chemicals and the knowledge of the dangers associated with high amounts of salt, many kinds of low-sodium soy sauces are now available, free of dangerous chemicals.
Diet SodaYou probably knew that soda would never be healthy, diet or not. Some scientists even say Diet Coke is worse than regular. Some studies have shown that diet soda may not be too bad for you by it self, but it still gave the test group a considerable weight gain. A theory was that diet soda actually stimulated the appetite, so that you “ate back” more than the calories you saved by drinking a diet soda instead of a sugary version. Several animal studies have suggested that the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda can cause weight gain, just like ordinary sugars. Also, some of these sweeteners, like Aspartame, are believed to increase the risk of certain kinds of cancer.
- 9Nuts are generally healthy. Most varieties come packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and lots of other goodies your body needs. Peanuts are not a horrible exception, but they just aren't as good as other kinds of nuts. The majority of peanuts sold as snacks come packed with salt, and they are often roasted and come coated in unhealthy fats. But the nuts themselves are healthy, you say? Of course they have the benefit of containing a lot of vitamins and minerals, but they contain A LOT of the kind of unsaturated fatty acids known as omega-6 fatty acids, and having an unbalanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids increases the risk for many common diseases, like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Peanuts might not be the worst for you, but they should be consumed in a limited quantity, and they should be eaten as nature made them – raw and without added salt.
- 10Many people believe fruit juice is so healthy that they substitute it for all whole fruit in their diet. It is true that fruit juice contains a lot of vitamins, but it is at great cost. Most fruit juice is pumped up with extra sugar and aside from a few varieties, has its pulp removed. The pulp in fruit provides essential fiber which can be considered a good counterbalance to all the natural sugar contained in the fruit. Fruit juice might be better than soda, but remember to include whole fruits in your diet as well.