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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Blended Coffee Drinks
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.
Click here for more Processed Foods That Are Ruining Our Health.
More From Babble: