Everyone from dietitians to health food fanatics to school children can tell you that sugary sodas, diet or regular, are not a wise decision from a nutrition standpoint. The war on the carbonated concoctions has successfully sounded its message across America, and to prove their point, health experts point to the chemicals you find on the back of the bottle. But the soda industry isn’t the only one to blame for loading products full of sugar and chemicals: A lot of processed (and some unprocessed) foods pose health concerns on par with the fizzing beverages.
One surefire way to get rid of chemicals is to give up processed foods entirely. Unprocessed October was started four years ago, when food blogger Andrew Wilder decided to go an entire month without eating processed foods. It was an experiment Wilder embarked on to remove unnecessary sugars, fats, and preservatives from his diet. Check out the following seven chemically charged offenders to see what unwanted additives might be lurking in your diet.
1. Processed Meats: Chicken Nuggets
The outrage of non-chicken chicken McNuggets is as ubiquitous as the dangers of soda, but if you think avoiding McDonald’s has you off the hook, think again. A study conducted by the National Journal of Medicine concluded that randomly sampled chicken from two national chains was mostly composed of chicken fat, along with “epithelium, bone, nerve, and connective tissue.” Even worse, that chicken can now be processed in China, without Food and Drug Administration regulation of the processing plant. In August, Congress ended the Bush-era ban keeping processed chickens from flying the Chinese coop to the U.S. market. Even if you manage to avoid that, Dana Angelo White, a registered dietitian, says that even whole breast-meat options contain oils and preservatives.