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17 Foods That Can Kill You

Updated June 14, 2019 37.5k votes 4.7k voters 348.3k views17 items

List RulesVote up the foods you are most surprised to learn can be fatal.

Some of the most ordinary foods you eat every day can kill you. Sure, eating too much sugar or fat isn't good for you and can contribute to illnesses over a long period of time, but what about natural foods that are supposed to be healthy for us, like apples?

The foods on this list will give you more than just an upset stomach if you're not careful about how you eat them. From processed and packaged foods to all natural and organic, this is a list of foods that could poison you. But don't worry – we'll also tell you how to avoid inadvertently making any of these foods your last meal.

 
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  • Lima Beans
    Photo: artizone / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Lima beans contain cyanide as a natural defense. Thankfully, the U.S. restricts commercial lima bean growth to only those beans with low cyanide levels. Just to be safe, boil your lima beans for ten minutes. (source)
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  • Raw, red kidney beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin. This toxin won't kill you, but it will cause serious vomiting and nausea. To kill the toxin, boil the beans for ten minutes. (source)

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  • The cherry itself is safe and delicious, but don't eat the pits. Cherry seeds are located inside the pit, and the seeds contain enough cyanide to kill a 150-pound person. (source)
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  • Rice
    Photo: Ruocaled / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    Every serving of rice (about 1/4 cup) contains a few micrograms of arsenic. Honestly, death by rice is, at best, a theoretical concept, as it would take about 1,800 cups to kill you. You'd probably develop a stomach ache long before you'd get that far. (source)
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