Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Home » Diet

22 Not So Healthy Foods to Avoid if your Goal is to Be Healthy and Look Good

By jbehar at Dec. 18, 2015, 3:58 p.m., 25186 hits

1. Soda. Soda is not only the primary culprit in the obesity epidemic, it is also linked to a million kinds of cancer not to mention memory loss, nerve disorders, and premature aging. There are a number of studies that also point out that diet soda can be equally as hard on your health. Considerable research has found consuming these “diet” drinks results in weight gain over the long run as well.A research team led by Texas Christian University psychologist Sarah Hill finds drinking these non-sugar beverages can “influence psychological processes in ways that—over time—may increase calorie intake

2. Processed meat. Processed meats include, hot dogs, bologna, ham, sausages, luncheon meats. Processed meat is high in calories, fat and sodium. The more bologna, ham, and sausage that you stuff inside your sub roll or pita will add up to more calories, more fat and more sodium. Too much salt in your body leads to water retention and bloating. Regularly intake of processed meats will eventually lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Plus with all the calories they will make it very hard to lose weight. Swedish researchers have discovered a higher risk of stomach cancer among those who eat processed meats. A study from Hawaii that followed participants for seven years, revealed that those who ate the most processed meats showed a 67 percent greater risk of pancreatic cancer over those who did not eat the meats or ate the meats infrequently. General advice is to eat no more than one serving of processed meats a week.

3. Bacon. America has an undeniable love affair with bacon. On average, Americans each eat about 18 pounds of bacon a year. And considering the number of people who don't eat pork or any meat at all, some of them are scarfing down a disproportionate number of the approximately 5,760,000,000 pounds of pig strips consumed across the country each year. Sixty-eight percent of bacon's calories are fat, with half of that fat being saturated. Research has shown that eating foods with high levels of saturated fat can lead to a higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke. A study done by researchers at the University of Zurich found an association between processed meat and higher risks of dying from heart disease or cancer. Processed meat contains nitrates, preservatives that, when absorbed by the human body, convert into N-nitroso, a compound that could cause cancer. Also, a study conducted by Columbia University found a direct link between consuming cured meats and developing chronic pulmonary disease.

4. Hydrogenated Oils. Hydrogenated oils are oils that are often healthy in their natural state, but are quickly turned into poisons through the manufacturing and processing they undergo. They take these naturally healthy oils such as palm, kernel, soybean, corn oil or coconut oil and they heat it anywhere from five hundred to one thousand degrees under several atmospheres of pressure.They then inject a catalyst into the oil for several hours. The catalyst is typically a metal such a nickel, platinum or even aluminum. As this bubbles up into the oil the molecular structure changes and increases in density and rearranges it's molecules so that instead of a liquid at room temperature we now have either semi-solid or solid oil. This creates either partially hydrogenated or fully hydrogenated oils that are now hazardous because they change the structure of cell membranes in the body, continued consumption, you got it: causes cancer. In some studies it has been shown that such oils contributes to high cholesterol because it actually scars the internal walls of the arteries. This is due to the nickel that is often used in the hydrogenation process. Hydrogenated oils can slow the micro circulation of blood through the brain further causing various emotional and physical ailments such an Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ADHD and muddled thinking. One of the metals sometimes used in the hydrogenation process is aluminum which has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer's disease in a number of studies.
They make you fat. Note: Processed foods rely on hydrogenated oils so they can be preserved for really long times. If un-hydrogenated oils put into foods they would go bad very fast. This would increase the cost to the manufacturer. That's because natural oils have enzymatic activity occurring in them which is what causes them and all foods to rot at room temperature. Any food that does not rot at room temperature is considered a “dead” food and should not be consumed.

5. High-Calorie Pastries. The decadent pastries we sinfully sink our teeth into may be nice & tasty but the calories and fat in these foods are not only going to expand your waistline, it’s also going to lead you closer to heart disease.

6. Canned Fruit. Some fruits are canned in heavy or light syrup, which adds lots of empty sugar calories. Choose canned fruit packed in its own juice or in water instead.

7. Farmed Salmon. Studies show that farmed salmon can be loaded with carcinogenic chemicals, flame retardants, antibiotics and pesticides. These things are little cancer fillets. The Norwegian Health Department has issued new official recommendations to women of childbearing age or who are pregnant, suggesting they limit farmed salmon to a maximum of two meals per week due to potential toxicity. To add insult to injury, Omega-3 Levels in Farmed Salmon Is Nearly Half of That in Wild Salmon.

8. Microwaveable Popcorn. A report from the FDA indicates that a chemical coating used in microwave popcorn bags breaks down when heated into a substance called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA). The Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFOA as a “likely carcinogen.” Another study has found an acid that can be extracted from the chemical causes cancer in animals and is “likely to cause cancer in humans.”. A second potential danger in microwave popcorn is diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical found in the fake butter flavoring. There’s even a debilitating respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung,” (the medical name of the condition is bronchiolitis obliterans) suffered by microwave popcorn factory workers caused by extended inhalation of the chemical’s fumes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH) concluded that diacetyl needs further study so that workers in the flavorings and snack industry are no longer at risk. Microwave popcorn is also filled with chemicals and flavoring agents that pose health risks, including respiratory risks and is linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and certain cancers.

9. Swordfish. Grilled swordfish is high in mercury, harmful to brain development, especially with young children. Other high-mercury fish include albacore tuna, king mackerel, marlin, and different kinds of shark. In other news: shark taste lousy.food8

10. Fried Foods. When you fry foods at high temperatures, they form toxic chemical compounds that you then ingest. They lead to higher risk of breast, head, neck, esophageal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Still, whatever that huge fried thing is looks AWESOME.

11. Genetically-Modified Foods (GMO). Foods that have been genetically-modified lead to higher incidences of rapid tumor growth.

12. “Dirty” Produce. Certain fruits and vegetables such as: Apples, Celery, Cherry tomatoes, Cucumbers, Grapes, Hot peppers, Nectarines (imported), Peaches, Potatoes, Spinach, Strawberries and Sweet bell peppers are likely to contain the highest amounts of pesticide residue making them are extremely hazardous to your health because the seep into the inner layers of the fruit itself, exposing you to highly toxic chemicals. Unless these foods are grown organically and not treated with pesticides, they can increase your cancer risk.

13. Artificial Sweeteners. While a lot of artificial sweeteners are zero-calorie substitutes for sugar, studies have shown that they are linked to health issues like Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

14. Condiments that Require No Refrigeration. Condiments that remain stable at room temperature are typically saturated with food coloring, sweeteners, chemicals, salt and other preservatives that will keep them “fresh.” Unfortunately, this leads to premature heart disease.

15. Refined white flours and sugars. Refined flours and sugars are the main ingredients of most breads and pastries.Refined white flour and sugars are harmful because they lead to increased blood sugar levels and can feed certain cancer cells. Avoid processed foods, which often contain white flour, refined sugars or both, to help yourself achieve a healthier weight and prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

16. Milk. You may get calcium from dairy products but at the same time, you are also ingesting saturated fats which are linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, migraines and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, a study by Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett from Harvard, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found no data to support the claim that the consumption of dairy leads to better bones, weight loss, or improved health. They also found some serious risks tied to dairy consumption, including weight gain, increased cancer risk, and increased fracture risk. They also found that dairy may cause other problems like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, gas, diarrhea, allergies, eczema, and acne.

17. Junk Food. This term encompasses foodstuffs like chips, gum, candy and the like which have high fat, sugar, salt and calorie content. They are linked to obesity, diabetes, depression and nutritional deficiencies.

18. Regular Potato Chips. This junk food dis full of preservatives, trans fats, sodium, and artificial flavors which can increase the risk of weight gain, obesity and heart disease. In addition, the high temperatures at which it is subjected for cooking brings forth the development of cancer-causing substances like acrylamide which is also found in cigarettes.

19. Canned Foods. Bisphenol-A or BPA is found in the lining of canned foods. BPA is a chemical that is linked to intestinal damage, heart disease and other ailments. Canned tomatoes are vulnerable to BPA leaching because they are highly acidic.

20. Frozen Dinners. Aside form the fact that they are stuffed with calories which can lead to weight gain, they are also highly-processed and contain excessive amounts of sodium that can lead to heart conditions.

21. Donuts. Trans fats, sugar and refined flour are the main staples of all doughnuts. Routine consumption can lead to weight gain, obesity and heart disease. I

22. “Low Fat” Foods. "Low-fat” foods often substitute one rotten ingredient for another and contain chemicals that are not great for your health. To make low fat foods manufacturers typically alter fats to hydrogenated fats which increases levels of dangerous trans-fats which are both bad for the heart and our cholesterol. Low fat food manufacturers will also increase the amount of sugar in their products so we continued to enjoy their taste and texture. All of this meant that the typical low-fat product tended to be high in carbs, might contain trans-fats and at the end of the day had a very similar calorie count to the original product. Eating foods high in carbs especially white refined ones, can lead to blood sugar swings and cravings making it more difficult to control our overall calorie intake. A diet too high in these refined carbs and sugars can increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and causes high cholesterol levels.

For more articles like this check out and htttp://

About the Author Jeff Behar

Jeff Behar, MS, MBA, is a well-known author, champion natural bodybuilder, and a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert with over 30 years of experience in the health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, and anti-aging fields. As a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, Jeff Behar has been featured on several radio shows, TV, and in several popular bodybuilding publications such as Flex, Ironman and in several highly regarded peer reviewed scientific journals. Jeff Behar is also the CEO and founder and, a staff writer at and the current Medical Commentator on Exercise for the The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), the world's largest medical anti-aging organization comprised of 26,000-plus member physicians, health practitioners, scientists, governmental officials, and members of the general public, representing over 120 nations.

Jeff Behar's Social Media Contacts


Instagram: Instagram:

Jeff Behar's Facebook Contacts

No Reply