The importance of a healthy diet cannot be understated. The obesity epidemic, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses can be linked to a poor diet rich in unhealthy fats and sugars. Fast-food restaurants around the nation are still peddling some of the worst offenders, and consumers continue to buy them at the risk of their well-being. Find out what the top terrible foods are so you can steer clear.
Lunch meats, smoked meats, bacon, sausage and other processed meats are top of the list for foods you should avoid at all costs. According to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, eating processed meats results in a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
Foods With Trans Fats
Commercial baked goods, fried foods and stick margarines are foods most likely to contain trans fats, also called hydrogenated oils. These man-made fats are used to enhance the taste and texture of foods, but they are deleterious to your health, raising your unhealthy cholesterol and lowering your good cholesterol. They also damage blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Foods With Refined Flour and Sugar
Refined flour, found in cakes, cookies and snack foods, has had most of its nutrients and fiber removed during milling. It is digested and metabolized very quickly by your body, causing you to feel hungry soon after eating, and may contribute to dips in energy levels and fatigue. Many products containing white flour -- as well candy and sugary sodas -- also contain refined white sugar, which is linked to dental caries and when consumed in excess may contribute to obesity, which can increase your risk for other chronic diseases.
- Harvard School of Public Health: Eating Processed Meats, but Not Unprocessed Red Meats, May Raise Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Heart Disease Facts
- Joy Bauer: 8 Foods to Avoid at All Costs
- American Heart Association: Trans Fats
- The New York Times: Is Sugar Toxic?
- Joy Bauer: Refined Grains: How Food Affects Health