Worst Processed Foods That Are Ruining Our Health

Who knew these pantry staples were so bad for you?

Processed foods are popular because they’re convenient, even though we all know junk food is bad for us. Families with children are particularly susceptible to the lure of processed foods because they are so pressed for time. But while they’re fine on occasion, the easy, cheap calories in processed foods are damaging our health and it’s best to avoid them whenever possible. Here’s a look at the very worst offenders.

— brooklynsupper, Babble

 

Soda
Image: SMC

Regular sodas are loaded with sugar and, with little to no nutritional value, should only be consumed very infrequently. But what's surprising is that diet soda drinkers are actually more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and in some studies appear more likely to gain weight. While the causes aren't clear, one thing we know for certain is that there's nothing wrong with an old-fashioned glass of water, which keeps the body hydrated, and promotes better digestion, and protects tissue and organs.

Does diet soda cause weight gain?
 

Margarine
Image: Helge Höpfner

Think of stick margarine as a big block of trans fat — hydrogenated oil helps liquid oils to be solid at room temperature, and is a key ingredient in margarine. Trans fat adversely affects both good and bad cholesterol, not to mention increasing triglycerides, lipoprotein, and inflammation. For buttery goodness, go with the real thing, or opt for a flavorful olive oil.

Boost flavor with herbed compound butter.

 

Potato Chips
Image: Evan-Amos

Nobody thinks potato chips are good for you, but according to a very broad study of obesity published in the New England Journal of Medicine, no single food contributed more to obesity than potato chips. It may seem strange that a food that's not a sweet would top the list, but potato chips are a food that people just naturally overeat.

Top 5 foods for weight gain
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 French Fries

A small serving of french fries has about 275 calories and nearly 15 grams of fat, but the real issue is the nearly 4 grams of trans fat in a single serving. For a healthier option, try simple roast potatoes or homemade oven fries.

Make healthier oven fries.

 

Blended Coffee Drinks
Image: Kcdtsg

A grande vanilla frappuccino from Starbucks without whipped cream has 300 calories. The same amount of black coffee has five calories. Better to get your caffeine fix without getting your sweets fix. But if you must feed your sweet tooth, you would actually get less calories from drinking a cup of coffee and eating some fudge.

The 10 most expensive ways to enjoy coffee.

Click here for more Processed Foods That Are Ruining Our Health.

 

More From Babble:

• The 5 worst foods for weight loss

• Purple ketchup...and 7 more failed food products we'll never eat again

• 20 gross, disturbing food facts you'll wish you didn't know

• The 8 most obese cities in America...and what they LOVE to eat

• 9 surprising reasons why coffee is good for you

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