Bad News Foods: 10 Foods You Should NEVER Eat

Restricting foods from your diet sucks big time. Sure, everyone deserves the occasional indulgence, but some foods have damaging effects on your health, body, skin, and waistline. Here, 10 foods that you should push off your plate for good — some might even surprise you.

Yellow, green and red apples isolated on white

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1. Conventional apples: Apples are doused in pesticides. They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. Therefore, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. While the industry maintains that these residues are not harmful, it’s common sense that pesticides can damage the brain and nervous system, lead to cancer, disrupt your hormones, and lead to skin, eye, and lung irritation.

The solution: Buy organic apples.

salmon

2. Farmed salmon: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. Studies have linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

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3. Corn-fed beef: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. This means cattle farmers make more money (and lower prices at the grocery store), but a lot less nutrition for us.

The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease.

Related: What Your Food Cravings Are Trying To Tell You

Sweet candies

4. “Sugar-free” candies: Sweets that are specifically advertised as “sugar-free” tend to contain artificial sweeteners. While not all artificial sweeteners are bad, most have a more intense flavor than plain old sugar. The digestive system doesn’t break down sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols properly, and if you overdo do it, it can cause some serious stomach pains.

The solution: Opt for candies made with natural sweeteners such as stevia, Xylitol (sourced from birch trees), and agave.

Related: How To Detox From Sugar

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5. Microwave popcorn: The major problem? Chemicals. Microwave popcorn bags, in particular, are often lined with a chemical called perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), which has been shown to affect fertility, cancer risk, and kidney functioning in animal and some human studies. Because microwave popcorn bags aren’t labeled “toxic,” it’s best to avoid them altogether. In addition, some brands of microwave popcorn add unhealthy trans fats to their products, and vaguely list “artificial flavors” or “natural flavors” on their labels. Some microwave popcorn brands also contain MSG, which can cause headaches or nausea, or diacetyl butter flavoring, which may cause respiratory damage when inhaled.

The solution: Eat air popped popcorn. There also air popper machines you can purchase so that you can make your own air popped popcorn.

raw potatoes on white background

6. Non-organic potatoes: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides from the soil. Potatoes are treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

Milk in Two Containers

7. Milk produced with artificial hormones: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. (Almond milk, anyone?)

The solution: Buy organic. Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones.

Related: 6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drink Milk

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8. Store-bought frosting: That store-bought frosting from a tub might taste great on cakes and cookies, but it’s packed with problems. It contains high levels of trans fats, which are terrible for your health and waistline. Trans fat raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, and cause inflammation, which can lead to belly fat and diseases ranging from heart disease to diabetes. On top of that, tub frosting is loaded with sugar, and high-sugar diets contribute to premature wrinkles.

The solution: While all types of frosting are loaded with saturated fat and sugar, you’re better off making it yourself. You can also make your own sugar free versions using sugar substitutes like stevia and agave nectar.

Pouring of cola in the glass with ice

9. Soda: It’s not secret that soda should be nixed from your diet completely. One can of soda contains 10 packets of sugar in it. “The recommended amount of daily sugar for a woman is about six teaspoons or 24 grams, and soda has way more than that. This includes diet soda, too. The artificial sweeteners (see #4 above) have been linked to depression, tooth decay, heightened risk of strokes and heart attacks, pancreatic cancer, and premature birth.

The solution: Drink good ol’ H20. As simple as that.

Related: 6 Foods That Make You In A Bad Mood

Butter

10. Margarine: Margarine is hight in trans fat. Health effects include increased risk of coronary heart disease; increased levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowered levels of HDL (good cholesterol); decreased fertility; decreased immune response; and, increased blood insulin levels and greater risk for diabetes.

The solution: Olive oil or real butter.

Related: 12 Healing Foods Found In Your Kitchen

Photos: iStock

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