Vegetable fats and oilsLike some of us learned in Chemistry class, fat 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! So this sounds about right. It is actually a general rule that the fat is more healthy the more liquid it is, since the “healthy” double bonds in the unsaturated (or good, if you will) kind of fat will decrease the melting point. However, what most people forget, is that 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. It’s semi-solid at room temperature, but is of course liquid when heated and used for frying, and it’s certainly not healthy. If another more healthy oil had been chosen for frying, those tasty fries wouldn’t have been bad for you. Not at all, as long as the potatoes are of good quality. “Then why don’t the fast food restaurants use the healthy kind of oil then?” you might ask yourself. The unhealthy stuff is cheap, and the fast food companies tend to care more about their money than your health.
- 9Although there are near infinite variations, and therefore several healthy variations of this food swell, the typical pasta you get when you buy your spaghetti, macaroni or noodles, at least in the Western World, is just plain white flour, mixed with water and eggs (although the small percentage of egg included don’t contribute much to the nutritional value of pasta). No vitamins, no minerals, and barely any fiber. Nothing, except empty carbs, shaped as pasta. And just to make things worse, “fast food pasta,” take-away Chinese food for instance, often contain loads of salt, mixed with unhealthy fat.
White breadThis is pasta, but shaped like bread. You probably already knew this, but there are still people left in the world that think that all kinds of bread are good for them. White bread is not, trust me!
Soup mixI mean come on, you 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 eat/drink the water, milk, butter, or whatever else you had that powder mixed into, along with a mixture of tasty salt and preservatives. A lot of salt, in fact. Salt is sadly often overlooked as a risk-factor in food. Salt is actually a major contributor to heart disease. It has to be excreted from the body. The kidneys do this job, and without going too deep on the physiology, the blood pressure increases the more salt you consume, in order to excrete it. And high blood pressure is not good for you, which you probably already know.
- 6Don’t let the fact that it 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 (as high as 26% carbohydrates, according to Wikipedia), 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 what it could be from the amount of tomatoes used.
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