You discovered that these Top 10 BEST Foods can work some serious nutritional magic when it comes to improving your health and well-being while shrinking your belly fat (if you haven’t yet, check it out here).
Now the bad news. While those foods are nature’s perfectly crafted keys that unlock your body’s abilities to optimally function, self-heal and burn fat, these foods below are the wads of sticky chewed-up gum that nastily clog up these precious keyholes and prevents you from experiencing sustained weight loss, good health, high energy and vitality.
The tragic irony is that, very often, it’s these non-nutritional foods that seem to call to us the most persistently. The inner imbalances that they stir within us lead to addiction and bad habit loops that keep us eating them again and again, blinding us to the terrible things they do to our bodies and minds in the long run.
That’s why it’s important to focus all of your meals around the foods that optimize your well-being in your day to day life. At the same time, it’s vital that you steer away from the foods that ultimately sabotage you, even though they may feel right in the moment.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, family physician and nutrition researcher, breaks it down into a list of the 10 worst foods for your weight, health and longevity.
Top 10 WORST Foods for Your Health & Weight Loss
1. Smoked Meat & Conventionally-Raised Red Meat
The smoking process and high-heat cooking produces cancer-causing compounds in red meat, including heterocyclic amines, poly aromatic hydrocarbons, and advanced glycation end products. This prompted the World Health Organization to classify smoked meats as a carcinogen, and the WHO encourages the public to reduce their consumption of red meat in general.
2. Commercial Baked Goods
Frequent consumption of baked goods that contain refined flours, sugars and oils are linked to high blood sugar, high insulin levels, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, as well as neurological issues like depression and dementia. Margarines and shortenings, commonly used in commercial baked goods, often contain trans fats linked to heart disease and obesity.
3. Stick Margarine
Trans fat is created when hydrogen atoms are added to vegetable oils to make them more solid and to lengthen their shelf life before spoilage. Trans fats have been shown to increase bad cholesterol while decreasing good cholesterol, even more drastically then saturated fats do. Trans fats can also lead to blood clots in the arteries and significantly increase the chances of heart attack and stroke.
Generally, the more solid a margarine is at room temperature, the more trans fats it contains. Stick margarines almost always contain trans fatty acids, and margarines with trans fats are most often the types used in commercial baked goods.
4. Pancakes & Donuts
More often than not, store-bought or restaurant-prepared pancakes and donuts are made with refined white flour, sugar, other dangerous sweeteners and oils that pack on the pounds and increase risks of weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. These foods are also fried, which further increases risks of heart disease and cancer.
5. Fried Foods
High consumption of fried foods like fried chicken, meats, French fries, etc., are linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. When frying, these foods form dangerous inflammatory compounds as they cook, such as acrylamides and other chemicals known to damage DNA, cause gene mutations and cause cancer.
Soda is extremely high in sugar, linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and neurological problems and disorders. Even sugar-free sodas, which contain artificial sweeteners, have been linked to weight gain and behavioural problems, as artificial sweeteners disrupt the brain’s ability to control appetite.
7. Highly Salted Foods
Excess sodium is linked to high blood pressure, strokes, heart enlargement, heart attacks, kidney disease, autoimmune disease and stomach cancer. Highly salted foods also tend to be highly processed and to contain a lot of sugar, unhealthy oils and other unhealthy ingredients that lead to weight gain and health problems.
These meats are chock full of artificial colorants, chemicals, sodium and other preservatives. Eating these has been linked to obesity and early death, and can contribute to childhood cancer when consumed during childhood or when women eat them during pregnancy.
9. Refined Sugars and Sweeteners
Refined, processed sweeteners of all types have effects that promote weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Even natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, are calorie-dense sweeteners that should be eaten in strict moderation.
10. Sweetened Dairy Products
Foods like ice cream, frozen yogurt, whip cream, etc., are high in both dairy protein and concentrated sweeteners. This dangerous combination has been shown to jack up levels of growth hormone and to increase risks of certain cancers.