5 Healthy Foods You Should Not Eat Too Much Of

Sometimes, you can get too much of a good thing. That’s true even when it comes to nutritious foods. Some healthy foods can cause unpleasant side effects when consumed in large quantities. Problems may be particularly likely to arise if you’re focusing too much on one particular ingredient and ignoring other options.

“Our bodies are made for variety,” Angela Lemond, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Men’s Fitness. “That is the fallacy of fad diets. There is a tendency to overdo one food or completely eliminate an entire food group.”

Here are five foods that that you should be careful not to eat too much of.

1. Carrots

Don't eat too many of these healthy foods

Have a carrot every here and there. | iStock.com

It may sound like an urban myth, but you can actually turn orange or yellow if you eat too many carrots. The condition is known as carotenemia, and it’s caused by eating large quantities of foods that are packed with vitamin A, like carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, as well as vitamin A supplements.

The condition can sometimes be a sign of an underlying eating disorder, and it’s more common in vegetarians than meat-eaters. Though carotenemia is harmless, it’s not a look that many people aim for. Fortunately, it’s easy to treat. Dial back your orange-veggie consumption, and your skin should eventually return to normal.

2. Tuna

sandwich, tuna salad

Hold off on that third tuna sandwich for the week. | iStock.com

You may already know that women who are pregnant or hope to have kids soon should cut back their tuna consumption, but men may also want to watch how many cans of this fishy protein they eat. The problem lies not with the fish itself, but with the high mercury levels in some sea creatures like tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel.

Most men would have to eat a lot of tuna to get mercury poisoning (symptoms include loss of balance and tingling sensations, says Men’s Health). Still, if you’re a fish fanatic, you might want to watch your consumption, especially of canned albacore, tuna sushi, and tuna steaks, which have more mercury than the chunk light variety. If you weigh 150 pounds or more, one can of albacore tuna about every nine days is safe, says the National Resources Defense Council.

3. Spinach

frittata, chicken, spinach

Maybe Popeye didn’t quite have the right idea. | iStock.com

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. A cup of the green stuff contains healthy doses of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as folic acid, magnesium, manganese, and iron. But spinach is also a high-oxalate food (along with rhubarb, beets, French fries and potato chips, and nut butters). Eat too many high-oxylate foods, and you could find yourself with an extremely painful kidney stone.

4. Oatmeal


Have a variety when it comes to breakfast. | iStock.com

Most Americans don’t get nearly enough fiber in their diet, even though it can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help you lose weight. But if you’re among the rare few who can’t get enough of healthy whole grains like oatmeal, you could end up paying for it.

“There are lots of benefits [to eating fiber]. But an excessive amount of fibrous foods can also cause bloating, gas, constipation — and even excessive binding of minerals so they are unable to be absorbed,” Lemond told Men’s Fitness. “We generally recommend an intake of 25 to 35 grams of total fiber per day. And drink your fluids along with that.”

5. Soy

Baked tofu with spices

A diet high in soy might make it hard to conceive. | iStock.com

Soy has gotten a bad rap over the years, even though it’s an important part of many people’s diets, a good source of fiber and vegetarian protein, and is generally safe to eat. Men in particular might worry about the phytoestrogens in soy, fearing they’ll have a “feminizing effect.” The concerns are largely misplaced. Drinking soy milk probably won’t make you grow man boobs unless you’re downing gallons of the stuff.

Yet it does seem that soy might have a negative effect on at least one area of your health: your reproductive system. A 2008 study published in the journal Human Reproduction found a relationship between eating a lot of soy-rich foods and lower sperm count.

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