Foods Doctors Swear They Never Eat (and You Shouldn’t Either)

Sometimes, the tastiest foods can actually be the worst for you. It’s hard to deny the salty, delicious flavor of bacon or a bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese. However, some of your favorite foods might be killing you, according to experts. Here are 15 foods and drinks to avoid if you want to live a long, healthy life.

Ice cream

Ice Cream Sundae

Steer clear of this treat. | iStock.com/bentaboe

Ice cream has always been a cheat-day meal, and you definitely don’t want to make a habit of eating it too often. It contains tons of calories, saturated fats, and sugars, which all affect your body in a different way — and not for the better. Each of these can lead to weight gain and potential heart problems down the road. If you’re craving ice cream, try eating a scoop of low-fat vanilla instead of something piled high with toppings.

Next: You’ll be surprised to know not all of these are healthy. 

Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables in the fridge

Your favorite fresh foods could be contaminated. | Barbara Helgason/Getty Images

Of course, doctors love fruits and vegetables. However, there are certain fruits and veggies that, when purchased inorganically, might lead to you consuming way more pesticides than you’d like. Certain foods can’t ward off pesticides, like strawberries, spinach, and grapes. If you’re looking to purchase inorganic to save on costs, stick with these foods instead.

Next: Avoid this sugary drink at all costs. 

Soda

soda bottles

This should be a no-brainer. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Soda has an extremely high sugar content. Research has shown that sugar can translate into fat buildup in the body even more quickly than fat can. That extra weight can lead to health problems down the road. Plus, soda is not light on calories. Doctors suggest that consuming one can of Coca Cola daily can add up to 14.5 extra pounds per year from the calories alone. Choose flavored sparkling water instead of soda to still get that sweet carbonation you crave.

Next: These drinks are even worse than soda. 

Energy drinks

energy drinks

The side effects of these can be horrible for your health. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Although caffeine is fine for the body, consuming too much of it can lead to problems. In addition to their caffeine content, energy drinks also include tons of sugar. Experts suggest no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine be consumed per day. That’s equivalent to about four cups of coffee. However, drinking more than that can increase blood pressure and heart rate. If too much caffeine is consumed, it can have potentially deadly side effects.

Next: That cereal you love could lead to health problems. 

Artificially-colored foods

Artificial colored candy and jelly

Food coloring can be dangerous. | kiko_jimenez/Getty Images

Foods made with artificial colors, such as some cereals and candy, should be avoided. Certain food dyes have shown to cause hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children, allergic reactions, and even an increased risk of tumor growth (cancer). Specifically, blue 2, green 3, and red 3 have all been linked to various cancers. Legislation has been proposed to ban certain dyes in the United States, but nothing has been enforced.

Next: This type of meat is classified as a carcinogen. 

Cold cuts

deli meat turkey sandwich

You might want to re-think your favorite lunch. | Rez-art/iStock/Getty Image

Doctors warn against cold cuts because of their high sodium content. Consuming too much sodium can lead to serious health problems down the road, such as high blood pressure or heart attack. Some types of deli meat can have up to 500 milligrams of sodium in just one slice. Cold cuts have also been linked to cancer; the World Health Organization has classified them as carcinogenic to humans.

Next: These meats should also be avoided. 

Processed meats

Processed meats are displayed in a grocery store

Processed meats usually contain carcinogens. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Deli meats are the not the only processed meats that should be avoided. Other processed meats, such as bacon and hot dogs, also fall into the World Health Organization’s category of carcinogens. According to Time Magazine, 80% of experts do not recommend eating hot dogs. Processed meats are also associated with a higher risk of diabetes.

Next: Choose wild-caught over this. 

Farmed fish

fish on display with a fresh covering of snow and ice in the background

Where did your fish come from? | iStock.com/JohnDWilliams

If you’re craving fish, always opt for “wild caught” rather than farmed. Farmed fish are produced in very tight quarters, which can spread disease quickly and force farmers to give the fish heavy doses of antibiotics. Plus, the nutritional value of wild-caught fish is far better than farmed. Farmed fish contain three times’ the amount of saturated fat and 46% more calories than wild-caught fish.

Next: These manmade fats can slowly kill you. 

Trans fats

Big Mac

This buzz word is a big one. | AzriSuratmin/istock/Getty Images

Trans fats, or manmade fats, are big contributors to heart disease. They clog your arteries by raising your cholesterol, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Studies showed that women who consumed higher amounts of trans fats in their typical diets had a 50% greater risk of having a heart attack than those who consumed minimal trans fats. Studies also indicate that trans fats can raise the risk of diabetes.

Next: This type of sugar can pack on the pounds. 

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

Candy Corn

Your favorite Halloween treat is full of the stuff. | Amazon

This type of sugar is far different than the glucose that’s found in fruits and vegetables. Fructose is not meant to be broken down by the body in such high quantities, yet Americans consume so much of it. It can easily be converted into fat, which ups your risk of obesity and other health problems down the road. Plus, too much of it can lead to insulin resistance, putting you at serious risk for diabetes.

Next: Always opt for the whole wheat version of this. 

White flour

Flour

Stick to whole wheat when baking. | Coprid/Getty Images

White flour is made up of simple carbohydrates and has been stripped of most of the healthy parts of the wheat kernel that help it digest slowly in our bodies. We’re left with refined kernels that process quickly, creating a spike in blood sugar. The increased spike in blood sugar can lead to problems like weight gain and diabetes. Choosing whole wheat flour over white flour means choosing whole grains over refined. This is best because whole grains digest slowly in the body, eliminating that blood sugar spike.

Next: This beverage is illegal in many states for a reason. 

Unpasteurized or ‘raw’ milk

Raw Milk

Be careful what type of milk you consume. | Dash_med/iStock/Getty Images

During pasteurization, harmful bacteria are killed, making milk safe for us to drink. But drinking unpasteurized milk, known as raw milk, means subjecting your body to potentially harmful bacteria, such as salmonella. Children and people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of danger by consuming raw milk. By pasteurizing the milk, you eliminate your chance of diseases like typhoid and tuberculosis.

Next: Those boxed dinners are hiding some seriously unhealthy ingredients. 

Processed foods

food-processing plant of American multinational confectionery

They make look delicious, but are they worth the risk? | JEAN-PIERRE MULLER/AFP/Getty Images

Any foods that sit on the shelf in a box are not very healthy. While it can be difficult to avoid all foods like this, specific foods, like boxed dinners (think macaroni and cheese, instant ramen, etc.) tend to be full of preservatives such as sodium. Plus, they usually come with a high fat and sugar content, which can lead to long-term health issues. Cooking dinner yourself allows you to know exactly what goes into it to help avoid unnecessary fats, salt, and sugar.

Next: These stored foods contain a dangerous chemical. 

Canned foods

customer taking canned food from the shelf in the store

Yes, even canned fruits and veggies can be bad for you. | iStock.com/DragonImages

With canned foods, it’s not so much their contents as it is their chemicals. While canned foods do tend to be preserved with a lot of sodium, it’s actually their high Bisphenol A (BPA) content that makes them dangerous. BPA has been linked to negative effects on the brain, behavior issues, and problems with the prostate gland. It’s also been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Buying fresh veggies instead of canned is one easy way to cut back on BPA intake.

Next: This is only safe in moderation. 

Alcohol

That drink may hit you harder than you think.

Cut down on your drinking while you’re working to be healthier. | Bogdanhoda/Getty images

Consuming alcohol in moderation can have some positive effects, like red wine’s heart benefits. But too much of a good thing can quickly turn bad. In the long term, too much alcohol can lead to liver disease, high blood pressure, and emotional issues like increased family problems and difficulty keeping up relationships.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!