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Top 10 unhealthy foods that are more harmful than you think!

Whatever tastes good doesn't mean it is healthy, as well. Here's a list of 10 unhealthy foods which are more harmful than you think.
Unhealthy foods have little or no nutritional value. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Manoj Kishor Chhotray Updated: 6 Feb 2024, 03:42 pm IST

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It’s safe to say that the biggest distraction to us maintaining a healthy diet, it the temptation of junk food. Unhealthy food seems to have the best taste, right?However, controlling your cravings and keeping the consumption of these food items to a minimum is in your best interest. Not only do most of these foods have little to no nutritional value, but they can also create a toxic build-up that adversely affects your overall health.

Here are top 10 unhealthy foods that extremely harmful for your health:

1. Sugar

How many times have you been advised to cut down on sugar? Have you ever thought of it as just an overreaction? Well, it’s not. Sugar is one of the biggest causes of diabetes and obesity worldwide. It also puts a lot of stress on your liver, pancreas, and digestive system. It puts you at greater risk of getting the flu, a cold, a hormonal imbalance, or even depression. It’s important to remember that not all sugar is bad, but you should always consume it in moderation.

Excess sugar is not good for health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Soft drinks

Carbonated soft drinks are one of the biggest sources of added sugar and caffeine in the diet. Regular consumption of this ultra-processed food item can lead to several health conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory diseases. It is highly advisable to replace these drinks with healthier alternatives like herbal tea and lemon water.

3. Refined carbohydrates

While carbohydrates are a vital part of any well-balanced diet, one should try consuming whole foods and avoid refined grains. Refined carbs, which are commonly found in processed foods like pasta, white bread, and muffins, are quickly broken down by your body, resulting in rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, thus making these one of the most unhealthiest food in the world. This can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Try adding healthy carbs to your diet like barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, and oatmeal. This will automatically cut down your craving for unhealthy foods.

4. Alcohol

Everyone knows alcohol is bad for health. Too much alcohol can cause several long-term health issues, including liver cirrhosis and liver failure. Moreover, it can irritate tissues and make them susceptible to damage caused by carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Other problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption include dehydration, headache, and irritability.

Consuming alcohol can negatively impact your body’s metabolism. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Potato crisps

Foods fried at a high temperature can form acrylamide, a known carcinogen. Moreover, potato crisps are not only high in fat but also coated with too much salt, which makes them high in sodium, and probable one of worst foods to eat. This can lead to blood pressure and cholesterol issues, increasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

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6. Margarine

Margarine is a popular spread used for baking, cooking, and flavouring worldwide. While it is widely loved, it has unhealthy trans-fats. These fats cannot be processed by your body and are extremely harmful. They increase inflammation, raise the level of bad cholesterol, and damage the walls of your blood vessels.

7. Canned soups

Many consider canned soup a healthy go-to snack to curb a hunger pang. However, contrary to popular belief, these soups are packed with salt. While essential in small quantities, salt is a major source of sodium, and excess consumption can increase the risk of hypertension and heart attacks.

8. Doughnuts

Made from refined carbs and white sugar, doughnuts are extremely bad for both your waistline and overall health. They are not just deep-fried but also loaded with trans-fats, which spike cholesterol levels and damage the heart vessels.

Unhealthy eating habits can take a toll on your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

9. Processed meat

Processed meats are high in sodium and nitrates, both of which are quite harmful to your health. Research indicates that consuming these meats is linked to an increased susceptibility to colon cancer. Moreover, nitrates convert into nitrites when digested, which can further form nitrosamine, an immensely harmful cancer-causing chemical.

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10. Instant noodles

One of the best wellness tips you can follow is to avoid any food that starts with “instant.” Junk food such as instant noodles, soups are unhealthy foods. Just like canned soups, the amount of sodium in instant noodles is immensely high. Moreover, it contains high amounts of monosodium glutamate (MSG), which acts as a toxin for the nerves and the reproductive system.

What is the most unhealthy food in the world?

According to the American Heart Association, the most unhealthy food includes highly processed foods, just as processed snacks or junk food. These are replete with empty calories and low in nutrition. The refined flours, sodium and sugar in these foods make them the most unhealthy food in the world.

So, to lead a healthy life and achieve complete well-being, don’t give in to your cravings for these unhealthy foods mentioned above.

Dr Manoj Kishor Chhotray

Dr Manoj Kishor Chhotray, General Physician, Apollo 24/7 ...Read More

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