Do you know that the food you eat every day could be slowly killing you? It may sound like a sensationalized claim, but it’s true. Many of the foods we take for granted as being healthy are actually quite bad for us.
By learning about these foods and cutting them out of your diet, you can invest in your health and improve your quality of life. Some of these products are clearly harmful, but others seem like healthy foods, only to be proven unhealthy when it’s too late. So, let’s get started, at this time you’ll be aware of the products you should’ve avoid!
Manufacturer: Conagra, Agrofusion, and more
Est. Price: $1.89 per pound*
Tomatoes may be one of the most popular vegetables around, but they can also be one of the most dangerous. Pesticides can often be found on tomatoes, and their skin is so thin that sometimes washing and peeling them may not be enough to get rid of the chemicals. So if you have a choice, it is always better to buy organic tomatoes.
But pesticides are not the only problem. Tomatoes can also be harmful to people who have digestive system problems, as they contain large amounts of organic acids. If you’re prone to heartburn, you probably can’t eat these fruits.
Manufacturer: Land O’Lakes, Imperial, Fleischmann’s, Country Crock, and more
Est. Price: $2-$4 per case*
Margarine is one of the most controversial food items on the market. It is made from vegetable oils, which leads to an alarming amount of trans fat. This can lead to a number of serious conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Some brands have even completely eliminated any animal-based ingredients from their recipe, making it a vegan-friendly option. However, this does not make margarine a healthy food by any means. It is still high in calories and low in nutritional value. If you are looking for a healthier alternative to butter, margarine is not the answer.
Manufacturer: Planters, Nut Harvest, Terrasoul Superfoods, etc.
Est. Price: $12.99 per pound*
Did you know that raw cashews are actually poisonous? That’s right – if you eat them straight from the tree, they can make you very sick. The reason is that they contain a substance called urushiol, which is very toxic.
Urushiol can cause a severe dermatological problem called urushiol dermatitis, which can cause inflammation and suppuration. In large quantities, it can even be lethal. But don’t worry – most of the cashews you find in stores have been roasted and are safe to eat. So go ahead and enjoy your favorite nutty treat – just be sure to buy the roasted kind!
Manufacturer: Rudolph Foods, Utz, Benestar, and more
Est. Price: $4-$6 per bag*
Pork rinds are a popular snack food, especially among those following a ketogenic diet. But are they really as healthy as they’re made out to be? Technically, pork rinds are keto-friendly. However, that doesn’t mean that you should eat them in large quantities.
Pork rinds are high in saturated fat, sodium, and calories, which can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and weight gain. Additionally, pork rinds are not a good source of protein – only 9 grams per serving. So while they may be technically keto-friendly, they’re not exactly a “healthy” snack option.
Manufacturer: Cracker Jack, Fisher’s, Pop Secret, and more
Est. Price: $3-$5 per bag*
Caramel popcorn is a delicious snack that many people enjoy. However, what many people don’t realize is that caramel popcorn is actually quite unhealthy. This product is high in calories, sugars, fats, and sodium – all of which should be consumed in moderation.
If you’re not careful, you could easily overeat this sugary snack and end up doing more harm than good. worst of all, the high sugar content can make caramel popcorn quite addictive. Sugar affects our brain in the same way that addictive drugs like cocaine do.
Manufacturer: Lays, Tostitos, Utz, and more
Est. Price: $2-$5 per bag*
Did you know that your favorite potato chips are loaded with unhealthy ingredients? The majority of chips on the market contain petroleum-based colorings, starches, preservatives, and saturated fat. A single serving of potato chips (0.11 pounds) can provide up to 32% of your recommended daily value for sodium.
French fries, which are similar to potato chips, also contain monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is a compound that enhances flavor but can also lead to overeating. So next time you’re reaching for a bag of chips, think twice about the potential health consequences.
Est. Price: $3.64 per box*
Do you love Froot Loops? If so, you’re not alone – millions of people enjoy this tasty breakfast cereal every day. But what many people don’t realize is that Froot Loops are actually very unhealthy.
Despite the name, there is no fruit in Froot Loops. In fact, the cereal is made mostly of sugar and artificial ingredients. This can lead to problems like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. So if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast option, Froot Loops are not the way to go. Try something with more protein and fiber instead.
Manufacturer: Nestle, TruMoo, Fairlife, and more
Est. Price: $3.69 per gallon*
Chocolate milk is often seen as a healthy drink, especially for kids. It contains calcium, Vitamin D, and protein, which are all essential nutrients. However, chocolate milk is also high in sugar, and consuming too much of it can lead to weight gain and various chronic diseases.
One cup of chocolate milk contains 25 grams of sugar, which is almost as much as a cup of soda. This means that chocolate milk is quite high in calories. Given that one-third of American children are overweight or obese, it’s important to be mindful of how much chocolate milk you’re consuming.
Est. Price: $1.19 per can*
Pepsi is a soft drink that, like its competition Coca-Cola, can cause a wide variety of health problems. Diabetes and obesity are some diseases associated with this soda because of its high sugar content, but there are many others.
From kidney stones and anemia to depression and Alzheimer’s, the health risks that come with consuming this soda have positioned it as one of the least healthy options for sugary drinks. Healthline said “sugary soda” like Pepsi is simply “bad for your health.” If you’re looking to improve your health or lose weight, cutting out sugary sodas like Pepsi is a great place to start.
Cadbury Creme Eggs
Est. Price: $3.98 per 5-pack*
Looking for a delicious way to get your sugar fix this spring? Cadbury Crème Eggs are the perfect treat! These chocolate eggs are filled with a sweet, creamy filling and are perfect for Easter or any other spring holiday. But be warned – these eggs are packing a lot of sugar.
In fact, each egg contains 26.5 grams of sugar. That’s almost your entire daily value in just one egg! So enjoy these sweet treats in moderation, and make sure to brush your teeth afterward.
Manufacturer: Krispy Kreme, Hostess, Dunkin’ Donuts, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 per donut*
Are donuts really as bad for you as people say? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value of donuts and see if they’re really worth avoiding. One medium-sized donut has about 200 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar.
Most of the fat in a donut is saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. The trans fats in fried foods like donuts can also contribute to heart disease. So, yes, donuts are not exactly health food. But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid them altogether.
Est. Price: $2.79*
As popular as Takis Fuego chips are, their nutritional value leaves a lot to be desired. These snacks are high in sodium, calories, saturated fat, and trans fat, all of which can have some nasty effects on your health. This means that the Takis Fuego can contribute to high blood pressure and the development of cardiovascular diseases.
As if that were not enough, these hot chips also contain red dye, which has been associated with the appearance of tumors. So before you reach for another bag of Takis Fuego, think about the potential consequences to your health. It might just be enough to make you change your mind.
Manufacturer: Mount Pleasant, Omaha Steaks, White Castle, and more
Est. Price: $5-$10 per bag*
Have you ever wondered what’s really in your pre-packaged burger? If you’re like most people, you probably assume that the meat is the main ingredient. However, you may be surprised to learn that this isn’t always the case.
In fact, many prepackaged burgers contain only a small amount of actual meat. The rest may be made up of soy, animal hide, or other fillers. This means that you could be eating mostly filler when you thought you were eating a juicy burger. So, next time you’re at the store, take a closer look at those labels.
Manufacturer: Baker’s Corner, Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 per canister*
When it comes to dessert, we all know that frosting is definitely on the list of “what not to eat.” Just looking at the ingredients list for frosting, it’s pretty clear why this food is a no-no. Though you might think that it’s just a small amount on a cake or cupcake, even that small amount has a ton of sugar.
For example, let’s take a look at the nutrition label of a very popular canned frosting, Betty Crocker Vanilla Rich & Creamy Frosting. One serving is two tablespoons, and just in those two tablespoons, there are 140 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, and a whopping 19 grams of sugar.
Manufacturer: Stores like Giant Eagle, Publix, Whole Foods, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$6 per container*
Watermelon is a delicious summer fruit that can be enjoyed by the whole family. However, there are some risks associated with consuming watermelon that everyone should be aware of.
It was previously thought that watermelon could cause diseases such as yellow fever or typhus. Although this is not a proven fact, it is true that there are conditions related to its consumption. Mainly, these conditions occur when watermelon is bought already cut in the supermarket. The problem with consuming previously cut watermelon is that the fruit could be contaminated with bacteria that can end up causing salmonellosis.
Manufacturer: Fresh Idaho, Lamb Weston, and more
Est. Price: $1.50-$2.50 per pound*
If you’ve ever found a green potato in your kitchen, you may have wondered if it’s safe to eat. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Green potatoes contain high levels of glycoalkaloids, which can cause food poisoning. Symptoms of glycoalkaloid poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can also lead to paralysis and death.
So how can you tell if a potato has gone bad? If it has started to turn green, that’s a sure sign that it’s not safe to eat. You should also avoid potatoes that taste bitter. If you’re unsure whether a potato is safe to eat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
Manufacturer: Essentia, Flow, Bai, Core Hydration, and more
Est. Price: $1.99 per gallon*
If you’re looking for a way to improve your health, alkaline water may be the answer. Alkaline water is said to have many benefits, including boosting your metabolism, improving digestion, and helping to fight chronic diseases. Additionally, alkaline water is claimed to help you lose weight, increase energy levels, and even slow the aging process.
However, before you start drinking alkaline water, it’s important to consult with your doctor if you have any chronic health conditions or take medication that could interact with it.
Manufacturer: Wholesome, Kirkland Signature, Market Pantry, and more
Est. Price: $5-$10 per bottle*
s agave nectar really a healthy alternative to sugar or other sweeteners? The truth is that agave nectar has the same sugar content as many other sweeteners. In some cases, it might have even more. A tablespoon of refined sugar has 40 calories, while the same amount of agave nectar has 60.
In addition to that, agave is very high in fructose, which facilitates the accumulation of fat in the liver and increases bad cholesterol. So, if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to sugar, agave nectar is not it. There are other options out there that are better for your health.
Manufacturer: Jimmy Dean, Aidells, Hillshire Farm, and more
Est. Price: $3-$6 per 4- or 6-pack*
Sausages are often thought of as hearty, flavorful food that can be enjoyed in many different ways. However, sausages are not a great option for those who want to eat a healthy diet. Their high saturated fat content is the main problem, but all sausages also have alarming amounts of sodium and nitrates.
These chemicals can be carcinogenic, and eating too much sausage can contribute to obesity, heart attacks, and strokes. So if you’re looking for a healthy option, sausage is not the way to go.
Est. Price: $1.25 per pound*
If you thought onions were nothing but a healthy vegetable, think again! While onions do have some benefits, they can also be bad for you – especially if you have certain conditions.
For example, did you know that onions are very acidic? This can cause problems for people with heartburn or gout, as the acidity can aggravate these conditions and cause serious pain. Other conditions that make onions a no-no include colitis, acid reflux ulcers, intestinal inflammation, and rosacea. So, before you chow down on a big plate of onion-heavy food, make sure it won’t leave you in pain later.
Manufacturer: McDonald’s, Burger King, White Castle, and other fast-food restaurants
Est. Price: $1-$5 per burger*
If you’re a fan of fast food burgers, then you might want to think twice before your next visit to the drive-thru. While it’s no secret that burgers can contribute to weight gain, the health dangers that come with eating burgers go far beyond the extra pounds.
Hamburgers at fast-food restaurants are often made with large amounts of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium. This can end up affecting your circulatory, nervous, and digestive systems. In addition, the ingredients used in its preparation add many calories but provide very few nutrients.
Manufacturer: Tostitos, Layz, Utz, and more
Est. Price: $3.98 per bag*
If you love tortilla chips, we have some bad news for you. Despite their delicious flavor, tortilla chips are not the healthiest snack out there.
Tortilla chips are made from fried corn dough, which makes them high in calories, cholesterol, and sodium. For that reason, it is not highly recommended that people with hypertension, obesity or heart problems consume them frequently. So, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to tortilla chips, we suggest checking out some other options.
Manufacturer: Dona Maria, La Costena, and more
Est. Price: $8-$10 per jar*
Looking for a sauce that will spice up your next party or celebration? Then look no further than mole sauce! This iconic dish from Mexico is made with chili peppers, spices, butter, dark chocolate, almonds, and thickeners like corn dough, bread, or tortilla. Mole sauce is perfect for livening up any event.
But be warned – the chili peppers in this sauce can cause stomach irritation and discomfort. So if you’re looking for a healthy option, this isn’t it.
Manufacturer: All Dean Foods, Danone, Lactaid, Hiland, Prairie Farms, etc.
Est. Price: $3.71 per gallon*
Have you ever thought about the oddities of drinking milk? For starters, humans are the only species that consume milk even after we’ve stopped growing. On top of that, we’re also the only ones who drink the milk of other animals.
And if that weren’t strange enough, some of the hormones found in milk have been linked to the development of breast and prostate cancer. Of course, milk is also high in protein and calcium, which are good for the bones. Just be sure to choose organic milk to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.
Manufacturer: Monster, Red Bull, and more
Est. Price: $2-$4 per can*
Energy drinks might give you a boost of energy, but they can also do some serious damage to your body. These drinks often contain caffeine, taurine, and sugars – all of which are stimulants.
This can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea. And if you consume too much of these ingredients, you could experience alterations in your heart rate and blood pressure. Not to mention, energy drinks can worsen anxiety and even lead to addiction.
Manufacturer: Bare, Market Pantry, Rind, etc.
Est. Price: $5-$15 per bag*
When it comes to dried fruit, it’s easy to be misled. Yes, it does contain nutrients similar to those found in fresh fruit. However, the dehydration process can kill some of these nutritional benefits. For example, vitamin C is very sensitive to heat and oxidation and is often lost during dehydration. In addition, dehydration reduces the weight and size of fruits, making it easy to overeat if you’re not careful.
Dried fruit can be a great snack, but you should be aware of its nutritional value and check the label for added sugars. Even “unsweetened” bags of dried fruit can still have a lot of sugar.
Manufacturer: Planters, Market Pantry, etc.
Est. Price: $4.99 per pound*
If you’re looking for a nutritious snack that will give you sustained energy throughout the day, look no further than nuts! Both roasted and raw nuts offer a host of benefits, including being high in healthy fats, proteins, and fiber.
When it comes to calories, carbs, protein, and fat content, there is little difference between roasted and raw nuts. However, many people prefer the taste of roasted nuts because they tend to be more flavorful. Unfortunately, the roasting process can damage the healthy fats in nuts, which reduces their nutritional value. Additionally, acrylamide – a harmful substance that forms during high-temperature cooking – can be present in roasted nuts.
Manufacturer: Barefoot, Kim Crawford, Bota Box, La Crema, and more
Est. Price: $10-$15 per bottle*
Are you someone who enjoys a glass of white wine every day? If so, you may want to reconsider your drinking habits. While white wine can be a refreshing and enjoyable drink, consuming it on a daily basis can have some serious consequences.
For one, drinking wine regularly can lead to addiction and increased tolerance to alcohol. This means that you’ll need to drink more and more wine in order to feel the same effects. Additionally, white wine can also raise your blood pressure.
Manufacturer: Morton, Saxa, Tata, and more
Est. Price: $0.40 per 26 oz. container*
Too much salt is bad for your health for many reasons. The first reason is that it causes you to retain fluids, which puts more pressure on your heart and blood vessels. Salt raises blood pressure, which can lead to severe problems like heart attacks, strokes, and heart and kidney failure. In addition, salt is dangerous because it generates a craving response in our body, which makes it highly addictive.
Salt can also cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and bloating. It is important to limit your salt intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day – that’s about one teaspoon of salt.
Manufacturer: Embasa Jalapenos, La Costena, La Victoria, etc.
Est. Price: $1 per pound*
If you enjoy eating spicy food, you may want to reconsider your dietary habits. Studies have shown that consuming excessive amounts of chili peppers, jalapeños, or hot sauces can lead to a number of digestive problems, including gastritis, heartburn, and hemorrhoids.
In addition, research has shown that people who eat approximately three jalapeños per day are at an increased risk of developing stomach cancer. So if you do enjoy spicy food, be sure to consume it in moderation to avoid any potential health risks.
Manufacturer: Crockett, Wholesome Organic, Honest, Market Pantry, and more
Est. Price: $5-$6 per pound*
Looking for a more natural sugar alternative? Honey might be your answer. This sweetener has been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved heart health and increased blood antioxidant levels. Plus, honey can also help with wound healing. While honey is a healthier option than white sugar, it’s still high in calories and sugar.
So, use it sparingly – no more than one spoonful per day. That’s the recommendation for healthy adults without any medical conditions. Children and pregnant women should consume even less honey due to the risk of botulism. When it comes to sweeteners, moderation is key – no matter which one you choose.
Manufacturer: Tropicana, Ocean Spray, Bolthouse Farms, Sunsweet, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$5 per container*
Some people just can’t imagine starting their day without a tall glass of orange juice. However, what many don’t realize is that drinking fruit juice is actually not as healthy as it seems.
Fruit juice has concentrated sugar and calories, which can lead to weight gain if consumed in large quantities. In fact, fruit juice can even cause blood sugar spikes if you drink it on a daily basis. This is because fructose, the natural sugar found in all fruit and fruit juice, can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. While small amounts of fructose are not necessarily dangerous, over-consumption can lead to serious health problems.
Manufacturer: USA Pears, California Pears, etc.
Est. Price: $0.61 per pear*
Are you a fan of pears? If so, you might want to think twice before eating them. Pears are one of the 12 most pesticide-contaminated fruits, according to a list compiled by the US Environmental Working Group. This means that they can be full of harmful chemicals that can cause serious health problems.
One of these pesticides is known as EDC. Exposure to EDC has been linked to sleep disorders, appetite changes, and negative impacts on reproductive processes. In other words, eating pears could potentially make it difficult for you to get a good night’s rest, throw off your hunger cues, and even impact your ability to have children.
Manufacturer: Barilla, Mueller’s, Ronzoni, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 per box*
If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s time to ditch the white carbs. Simple carbs, also known as “white carbs,” have been refined during processing, stripping away the germ and bran.
This leaves them lacking in nutrients and can cause your blood sugar to spike, leading to hunger later on and potential overeating. Stick to complex carbs like whole grains, which take longer to break down and won’t cause those unwanted blood sugar spikes.
Manufacturer: Kraft, Igourmet, Mama Francesca, and more
Est. Price: $11 per pound*
If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, then you’re probably no stranger to the delicious taste of Parmesan cheese. This cheese is a staple in many popular dishes, including pasta, lasagna, and salads. And while it’s certainly easy to overeat this tasty cheese, it’s important to consume it in moderation. That’s because Parmesan cheese is very high in sodium.
Just one-quarter cup of Parmesan cheese contains nearly half of the recommended daily intake for sodium. That means that if you’re sprinkling this cheese on your food on a regular basis, you could be putting yourself at risk for high blood pressure and other health problems associated with excess sodium consumption.
Est. Price: $2.72 per bag*
Doritos are one of those snacks that are loaded with calories and ingredients but don’t offer any nutritional benefits. In fact, they can be quite harmful to your health. A single bag of Doritos contains 150 calories and is high in sodium and saturated fat.
The wide variety of seasonings, flours, sugars, and colorings can also negatively affect your digestive and circulatory systems. So, if you’re looking to maintain a healthy diet, Doritos are definitely not the snack for you.
Manufacturer: Papa John’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, frozen food brands, etc.
Est. Price: $7.25-$15 per pizza*
Pizza is one of the most popular fast foods in the world. It’s easy to see why – it’s quick, tasty, and convenient. But while pizza can be an occasional treat, it’s important to remember that it’s not exactly healthy.
Pizza is made with a lot of unhealthy ingredients, like cheese (high in saturated fat), cold cuts (high in sodium), and bread and sauce (made with a lot of sugar). Plus, it often contains preservatives and artificial colorings. So while pizza may be delicious, it’s not exactly good for you. So next time you’re craving a slice, remember to moderation!
Manufacturer: McDonald’s, Burger King, Raising Cane’s, other fast-food restaurants, and frozen food brands
Est. Price: $1.39 per bag* (McDonald’s)
If you love French fries, you may want to reconsider your favorite side dish. A recent study found that eating fries two to three times a week doubles the risk of premature death. The risk is, in part, due to a substance called acrylamide, a carcinogenic chemical that is formed when food is heated above a certain temperature.
This substance is often found in french fries because of the heat required to make them. As if that were not enough, this fried food usually has high amounts of flour, salt, and oil. It is certainly a better idea to opt for another side dish, if possible. So enjoy your fries in moderation – or not at all!
Atkins Low-Carb Bars
Est. Price: $6-$9 per box*
There are a lot of people out there who are trying to eliminate or cut carbohydrates from their diet. And one of the go-to snacks for those people is an Atkins low-carb bar. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that these bars are not necessarily healthy. In fact, there are some ingredients in them that can be quite damaging to your health.
For starters, many Atkins bars contain canola or soybean oil. Both of these oils can have a negative impact on your metabolic and heart health, according to Time. Additionally, there is a hefty dose of sugar alcohol, and artificial sweeteners in the bars. These can cause gas and digestive problems.
Manufacturer: Ghirardelli, Lindt, Hershey, Nestle, and more
Est. Price: $2-$4 per bar*
Many people say that white chocolate is not “really” chocolate. The main reason for this is that white chocolate does not contain cocoa solids. Instead, it is made from the butter obtained from cocoa seeds. This butter is then mixed with milk and sugar to create a sweet, creamy treat.
While white chocolate may not have the same nutritional value as traditional dark or milk chocolate, it is still high in calories. Therefore, it is not recommended for people who are trying to lose weight or those who have diabetes or high cholesterol.
Est. Price: $1.19 per can*
Diet Coke is often seen as a healthier alternative to regular Coca-Cola, since it is sugar-free and has no calories. However, new studies are showing that Diet Coke may not be as “diet” as we thought.
The artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke can lead to chronic kidney disease, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and depression. So if you’re drinking more than one can a day, you may want to reconsider your beverage choice.
Manufacturer: Oscar Mayer, Sabrett, Hebrew National, and more
Est. Price: $2.50-$6 per 12-pack*
Hot dogs are one of the most processed foods out there. They contain all sorts of ingredients, many of which are not even meat. One of those ingredients is maltodextrin, which can cause damage to your intestines and stomach if you consume too much of it.
A single serving of hot dogs also contains 33% of your recommended daily sodium intake. And on top of all that, most hot dogs list “poultry meat” among their ingredients. This ambiguous term makes it hard to know exactly what kind of meat is in your hot dog.
Manufacturer: Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Horton’s, and more
Est. Price: $3-$5 per sandwich*
If you’re like most people, you probably start your day with a breakfast sandwich from a fast-food restaurant. And there’s no denying that these sandwiches are delicious. However, you could be doing your body a real disservice by eating one every day.
Though once in a while isn’t a problem, breakfast sandwiches are high in cholesterol. According to The Nutrition Twins, eating a fast-food breakfast sandwich three times a week can make you gain eight pounds a year, thanks to the three-hundred extra calories from the sandwich that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
American Cheese Slices
Manufacturer: Sandwich Mate, Kraft, Whitehall, and more
Est. Price: $3.99 per jar*
What’s in your cheese? If you’re eating American cheese, the answer may surprise you. These products, instead of being made with ingredients like milk fat the way normal cheese is, have vegetable oils, trans fats, flavorings, and preservatives.
All of these ingredients make imitation cheeses much less healthy than real cheeses. You can identify imitation cheeses among other things because they are considerably less expensive than real cheese.
Commercial Salad Dressings
Manufacturer: Newman’s Own, Hidden Valley, Wishbone, Kraft, and more
Est. Price: $2-$4 per bottle*
Salads are super healthy, but the problem is that a lot of vegetables don’t exactly taste great on their own. You can make a super-deluxe salad, but it’ll be a little boring unless you add dressing. And that’s fine, but you might want to stay away from commercial salad dressings. Many of them are loaded with vegetable oils, sugar, and trans fats, all of which are unhealthy.
They also tend to contain artificial chemicals. These unhealthy ingredients take away from the benefits of the salad. Instead, try making your own salad dressing from olive oil, vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper. This way, you’ll get all the benefits of eating vegetables without any of the unhealthy additives.
Est. Price: $2.99 per box*
If you’re a fan of Hostess Cupcakes, you might want to think twice before indulging. These sugar-packed treats are loaded with empty calories and unhealthy ingredients. Each package of Hostess Cupcakes contains almost three times the recommended daily value of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar!
And it’s not just regular sugar, either. One of the key ingredients in Hostess Cupcakes is high fructose corn syrup, which can contribute to the development of high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome. Excessive consumption of this product can also cause obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver, among other gnarly diseases.
Est. Price: $4.99 per pound*
A single bag of Gummy Bears contains an astonishing 12 teaspoons of sugar. That’s between two and three times the recommended daily intake for a child.
In addition to the risks that come with excessive sugar intake, Gummy Bears also contain artificial ingredients like petroleum-based dyes. These dyes have been linked to the development of problems like attention deficit or hyperactivity.
Manufacturer: Maruchan Soup
Est. Price: $0.13 per packet*
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that’s also affordable, Maruchan Soup is a great option. Just thirteen cents a packet makes it a budget-friendly choice. Plus, it’s simple to prepare – just add water and heat.
However, Maruchan Soup is not a very nutritious option. It’s low in fiber, so it’s not filling. And it’s high in sodium, with each container providing half the recommended daily value. If you eat this soup regularly, you may be at risk for problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So while it’s a convenient option, it’s not the best choice for your health.
Manufacturer: Flower Foods
Est. Price: $0.88 per loaf*
Wonder Bread is a staple for making practical lunches to take to school and the office. It’s also super cheap, costing less than $1 per loaf. But one of the reasons why this product is consumed so frequently is that it can become addictive.
This is because Wonder Bread contains sugar, which helps in the fermentation process of bread. In addition, Wonder Bread has fat and salt that, in excess, can harm your health. Also, the bread does not have much fiber, so it will hardly make you full.
Manufacturer: Hungry Jack, Whole Foods, Mrs. Butterworth, and more
Est. Price: $2-$4 per box*
Even though pancakes are delicious, they, unfortunately, are not very healthy. They often contain high levels of salt and preservatives, which can be detrimental to a balanced diet.
Additionally, many pancakes contain trans fats, which have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Some types of pancakes also contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil – another unhealthy fat. So, while pancakes may be a tasty treat, it’s important to be aware of their downfalls in terms of health.
Manufacturer: Vita Coco, O.N.E., Zola, and more
Est. Price: $20 per 12-pack*
Coconut water is often hailed as a healthy alternative to sugary sports drinks. And while it does have some health benefits, there are also a few things you should be aware of before guzzling down too much of this tropical beverage.
For one, coconut water contains 45-60 calories per eight-ounce serving. So if you’re watching your weight, you’ll want to limit how much you drink. Coconut water can also be high in sugar, depending on how it’s flavored. Another thing to be aware of is that coconut water can cause your potassium levels to become too high if you drink too much of it. This can lead to stomach upset and other problems.
Manufacturer: Trident, Dentyne, Wrigley, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 per pack*
Chewing gum can be a delicious and refreshing treat. However, there are several potential drawbacks to consider before popping a piece in your mouth. Some types of gum can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and jaw pain.
In addition, chewing gum can be a choking hazard for small children. Some brands of gum also contain high levels of sugar, which can contribute to tooth decay. When choosing gum, be sure to read the label carefully and select a product that is low in sugar and free of artificial sweeteners.
Est. Price: $3.98 per box*
If you’re a parent, you’ve probably been bombarded with ads for Cocoa Krispies. They’re marketed as a great breakfast option for kids, but what’s not advertised is that they’re actually one of the most harmful cereals on the market. A single serving of this cereal provides between 55 and 73% of the total sugar recommended for children in a day.
In addition, Cocoa Krispies also have colorants associated with the development of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders. So if you’re looking for a healthy cereal option for your kids, Cocoa Krispies are definitely not it.
Manufacturer: Valentina Mexican, Cholula, Frank’s Red Hot, Tabasco, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 per bottle*
Hot sauce is delicious. No doubt about that. But did you know that it can also be dangerous? Yes, that’s right – this popular condiment can actually damage your stomach lining and cause gastritis. So, before you go ahead and douse your next meal in hot sauce, make sure you’re aware of the potential risks.
Now, we’re not saying you should avoid hot sauce altogether. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of spice in their life? Just be sensible with your consumption and take into account the negative effects it can have on your health. moderation is key!
Manufacturer: Starbucks, Folger’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Market Pantry, and more
Est. Price: $2.99 per cup*
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, enjoyed by millions of people every day. While a cup of coffee can help you start your day, too much coffee can actually be detrimental to your health.
Excessive coffee consumption can lead to sleep disorders, headaches, anxiety, and even cardiovascular problems in the long term. So next time you reach for another cup of joe, think about how it might be affecting your health.
Manufacturer: Tyson Foods, JBS USA, Cargill, and more
Est. Price: $4-$10 per pound*
Have you ever stopped to think about what’s actually in your meat? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably no. We all know that meat is an important part of a healthy diet, but we often don’t stop to think about where it comes from or what may be lurking inside. Unfortunately, the majority of meat on the market today is chock-full of harmful chemicals and pollutants. Pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics are just a few of the potentially dangerous substances that can be found in our meat supply.
And these problems are only compounded by the fact that much of our meat comes from factory farms, where animals are given massive doses of growth-promoting hormones and kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions.
Manufacturer: The Popcorn Factory, Market Pantry, Popcorn Shed, Orville’s, and more
Est. Price: $3-$5 per bag*
If you’re a fan of popcorn, then you know that it can be a great snack. Low in calories and packed with flavor, popcorn is a popular choice for those looking for a healthy snack option. Unfortunately, store-bought popcorn is often loaded with sugar and fat, making it a less than ideal choice for those watching their waistlines.
Caramel popcorn is a prime example of this problem. Oftentimes, caramel popcorn can be incredibly high in sugar and fat, with one small bag containing up to 12.8 tablespoons of sugar and 564 calories. This makes homemade popcorn a much better option for those looking to stay healthy. Not to mention, it’s often cheaper and more delicious!
Manufacturer: Easy Cheese
Est. Price: $3.93 per can*
If you thought regular cheese wasn’t that healthy for you, then spray cheese is definitely going to be bad news. Also known as “Easy Cheese” and “Cheez Whiz,” this stuff is basically whipped cheese.
Though it doesn’t need a skull and crossbones on the label, it’s not exactly good for you. Spray cheese has more chemicals and processed ingredients than regular cheese. It’s also loaded with salt, containing twice the normal amount that regular cheese has. As The Daily Meal put it, the chemicals in spray cheese should not be eaten “by any living person.”
Manufacturer: Procter & Gamble
Est. Price: $3-$5 per liter*
You might think SunnyD is delicious, but you should really consider giving it up. It’s loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other unhealthy ingredients, and there’s virtually no nutritional value.
In fact, the manufacturer has actually admitted that the drink can turn a child yellow after a pediatrician in Wales called out the drink for turning one of his four-year-old patients a “yellowy color.” The child had been drinking 1.5 liters of SunnyD per day, and it turned his skin an unnatural shade. While that’s an extreme example, it just goes to show how unhealthy this drink really is.
Est. Price: $6.58 per box*
Gogurt is a quick, cheap snack that has become a staple in many kids’ lunchboxes. Though it is high in sugar and calories, Gogurt is also a good source of vitamins and minerals. However, some health experts warn that the high sugar content in Gogurt can lead to health problems down the road.
In the other hand, the fermentation process makes yogurt more nutritious than milk. Yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and other nutrients. It also contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that are good for gut health.
Est. Price: $3.19 per box*
If you’re a fan of Oreo cookies, you might want to think twice before indulging. These beloved cookies are packed with sugar and fat, and contain an ingredient that can be harmful to your health: diacetylene.
Diacetylene is a chemical used to flavor Oreos. Surprisingly, it can also cause long-term respiratory problems if consumed in excess. The sugar and fat content makes them addictive, so it’s impossible to eat just one.
Manufacturer: Snapple, Arizona, Honest, Pure Leaf, Tazo, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$4 per container*
Iced tea is often seen as a healthy alternative to sugary soft drinks. But in reality, iced tea can be just as harmful to your health. A single bottle of iced tea can contain up to fifteen tablespoons of sugar – that’s more than two cups!
When you drink iced tea, your body has to process all that sugar very quickly. This can cause insulin spikes in your blood, which over time can lead to diabetes.
Manufacturer: Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill, Tate & Lyle, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 per bottle*
You can buy corn syrup at the store, and some recipes do call for it. For example, if you’re making baked goods, frostings, jams, jellies, and other sweet treats, you might be asked to splash in this popular sweetener. But beware!
Compared to regular sugar, corn syrup is sweeter and cheaper – but those benefits are outweighed by its toxicity of it. Eating too much corn syrup can cause insulin resistance, high blood pressure, obesity, Type II diabetes, and more.
Regular Coca Cola
Manufacturer: Coca Cola
Est. Price: $1.19 per can*
Did you know that Coca-Cola can be seriously harmful to your health? Each $1.19 can of regular Coca-Cola contains 7.4 tablespoons of sugar, which represents more than 100% of the recommended daily value.
This soda also has ingredients that can be harmful to bones, such as phosphoric acid. Finally, the dye used in its preparation contains ammonium and sulfides, which have cancer-related risks attached to them.
Est. Price: $10 per box*
Are century eggs really as bad for you as they look? Many people think so, but the truth is that they actually have some health benefits. The proteins in century eggs are easier to absorb than those in regular eggs, making them a good source of nutrition.
However, compared to fresh eggs, century eggs are not as healthy for you. So while they won’t do you any harm, they aren’t as good for you as fresh eggs from the farm. That being said, many people think they taste delicious!
Instant Mac & Cheese
Est. Price: $0.98 per box of Kraft*
Instant mac ‘n cheese may be a lifesaver for broke college students and picky toddlers, but be careful how much you eat. The microwavable delicacy has harmful chemicals in it, including phthalates, a toxic industrial chemical.
Kraft products appear to be the biggest offenders, as eight out of nine of their familiar blue and orange boxes contain these harmful chemicals, thanks to their plastic packaging.
Protein Drinks And Bars
Manufacturer: Cliff, KIND, and more
Est. Price: $10-$20*
Protein bars and powders might seem like the best option when you’re looking for a quick snack. But beware – many of these products are loaded with sugar, which can lead to weight gain.
A single scoop of protein powder can contain up to 23 grams of sugar, according to Harvard Health. That means a glass of milk made with protein powder can have over 1,200 calories. Protein bars can be just as bad, often containing high levels of sugar. So before you reach for that protein bar or powder, be sure to check the label for added sugars. A few seconds of reading could save you from unwanted weight gain.
Manufacturer: Barilla, Ronzoni, Tinkyada, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$5 per box*
If you’re like most people, you probably think that going gluten-free means eating healthy. After all, gluten is a protein found in wheat, and we all know that too much wheat can be bad for us. So it stands to reason that eliminating gluten from our diets would be a good thing, right?
Wrong. Just because a food is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, many gluten-free foods are actually high in fat, sodium, sugar, and calories – which can lead to weight gain if you’re not careful.
Manufacturer: Oscar Meyer, Margherita, etc.
Est. Price: $4.48 for an 8oz. package of Oscar Meyer salami*
If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy a good slice of salami from time to time. But did you know that this delicious treat can actually be quite bad for your health? That’s right – salami is chock-full of sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure if consumed in excess. So if you have a family history of hypertension, it’s best to avoid this meat altogether.
Not to worry, though – there are plenty of other healthy and delicious meats to choose from. Just be sure to limit your intake to no more than 300-600 grams per week, and you’ll be just fine!
Flavored Soy & Almond Milk
Manufacturer: Silk, Great Value, Almond Breeze, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$6 per half-gallon*
Do you love vanilla, chocolate, or other flavored soy or almond milk? If so, you might want to think twice before drinking it. Though it tastes delicious, this type of milk can be packed with sugar. For example, in one serving of Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk, there are thirteen grams of sugar.
That means that, with just one glass of milk, you can drink a good majority of your recommended daily value of sugar. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to flavored soy or almond milk, choose the unsweetened, flavorless kind instead. It may not taste as good initially, but you’ll be doing your body a favor in the long run
Manufacturer: Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Trader Joe’s, and more
Est. Price: $3-$11*
If you’re someone who likes to bake, you may be tempted to shortcut the process by using premade pastry dough. After all, it’s convenient and easy to use. But what you may not realize is that this premade dough can actually be bad for your heart health.
That’s because premade dough often contains trans fats, which are known to raise your “bad” cholesterol while lowering your “good” cholesterol. In fact, a recent study found that people who ate a lot of trans fats had a significantly increased risk of developing heart disease.
Est. Price: $1.19 for a 24oz. bottle*
Gatorade. The drink of champions. Whether you’re working up a sweat on the field or just working hard at the office, this popular beverage can help you stay hydrated and refreshed. But did you know that regular Gatorade can also have some serious downsides?
Yes, it’s true. The high sugar content in Gatorade can actually cause you to gain weight, even if you’re exercising. And for children, the sugary taste can lead to tooth decay. So if you’re going to drink Gatorade, be sure to stick to the low-sugar or sugar-free varieties. And even then, drink in moderation.
Manufacturer: Splenda, Sweet ‘n Low, Stevia, and more
Est. Price: $3-$6 per box*
Artificial sweeteners might be sugar-free, but that doesn’t make them healthy for you. The AHA and ADA have stated that artificial sweeteners can help people lower their calories, but, according to Harvard Health, you might consume unhealthier, less nutritionally-valuable food as a result.
You might have had a diet soda, but that doesn’t mean you should have a piece of cake to reward yourself. Also, critics of artificial sweeteners say that they can actually cause weight gain, not weight loss. So if you’re trying to cut down on sugar, it might be better to stick with the real stuff.
Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
Manufacturer: Jif, Market Pantry, Skippy, etc.
Est. Price: $4-$7*
When you’re trying to eat healthy, it can be hard to know which foods are really going to help you reach your goals. For example, you might think that reduced-fat peanut butter is a good choice because it’s lower in fat than regular peanut butter.
But did you know that reduced-fat peanut butter actually has more sugar than regular peanut butter? And that’s not the only reason you might want to rethink eating reduced-fat peanut butter.
Manufacturer: Kemps, Froyo, and more
Est. Price: $5-$10*
Despite being marketed as a healthier alternative to ice cream, frozen yogurt can actually be just as bad for you – if not worse. A half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt contains seventeen grams of sugar, according to the USDA. A regular bowl of frozen yogurt can easily contain four times that amount. Ironically, a half-cup of vanilla ice cream contains, on average, fourteen grams of sugar.
So why the nutritional difference? It all has to do with the manufacturing process. Ice cream is made with cream and milk, which are then churned and frozen. This process results in a product that is naturally high in fat and calories.
Manufacturer: Brachs, Sour Patch Kids, Jell-O, and more
Est. Price: $2.42 for a box of Jell-O*
If you’re looking for a way to improve your health, you may want to consider gelatin. This protein-rich substance has a range of benefits, from reducing joint pain to increasing brain function.
However, it’s important not to overdo it. WebMD recommends limiting yourself to 10 grams of gelatin per day. consuming more than that could lead to digestive problems like bloating, gas, and heartburn. It might also cause allergic reactions. Prepackaged gelatin is less healthy than natural gelatin, as it often contains sugar.
Est. Price: $1-$3 per box*
If you’re a fan of rice, you may want to think twice before indulging. A new study has found that brown rice contains 50% more arsenic than white rice.
Arsenic is a poisonous element that can cause chronic exposure and lead to premature death. The study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, says that prolonged consumption of rice can be dangerous. So far, there is no evidence that microwavable rice is deadly, but it’s still best to limit your intake.
Manufacturer: Boca, MorningStar Farms, and more
Est. Price: $3.63 average price per patty*
When you think of veggie burgers, you might automatically assume that they’re healthier for you than regular beef burgers. And while it’s true that veggie burgers do have less cholesterol and more fiber than their meaty counterparts, they also tend to be much higher in sodium.
The average veggie burger contains 398 milligrams of sodium, while the average beef patty has just 74 milligrams. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, so if you’re planning on eating a veggie burger, make sure the rest of your meals that day are low in salt. Otherwise, you might be doing more harm than good!
Low-Fat Ice Cream
Manufacturer: Breyers, Wink, Yasso, and more
Est. Price: $5-$10*
You might think that low-fat ice cream is a healthier option than regular ice cream, but you would be wrong. Low-fat ice cream can actually be high in sugar and carbohydrates, causing spikes in your blood sugar that leave you craving more.
Even low-calorie and sugar-free ice cream has its downsides, as these ice creams can be highly processed, even more so than regular ice cream. Also, low-fat ice cream may lead people to overeat, as they assume they can eat more of it because it’s “healthier” than the full-fat dessert. So next time you’re at the store, reach for the full-fat ice cream – your body will thank you for it!
Manufacturer: Post, General Mills, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$6*
If you’re like most people, the cereal aisle is one of the first places you head to when you go grocery shopping. And with so many options available, it can be hard to resist the temptation to buy based on looks alone. But beware – many of these seemingly innocent-looking cereals can actually be quite unhealthy for you.
For instance, did you know that a single cup of Lucky Charms contains 10 grams of sugar? That means that if you or your child eats just one cup per day, you could be consuming 30-40 grams of sugar at breakfast alone.
Manufacturer: McDonald’s, Pure Leaf, Snapple, and more
Est. Price: $1.39 for a large sweet tea at McDonald’s*
If you’re a sweet tea drinker, you might want to think twice before sipping on your favorite beverage. Sweet tea may be delicious, but it’s packed with sugar – and that’s not good for your health.
In one bottle of Pure Leaf Sweet Tea, there are fifty-nine grams of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar! Drinking just one glass of sweet tea per day can increase your risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes. And if you have high triglycerides, drinking sweet tea can also raise your stroke risk.
Manufacturer: Dole, Del Monte, Chiquita, and more
Est. Price: $2-$4 per can*
Canned fruit is often packed with a lot of added sugar, as the fruit is canned with a heavy coating of syrup. For example, one half-cup of canned pears, when packed in syrup, has nineteen grams of sugar. A half-cup of pears that has been canned in its own juices has twelve grams.
While this might not seem like much of a difference, it can add up over time – and it’s not just pears. Canned peaches, apricots, and pineapple are also often packed in sugary syrup.
Manufacturer: Sensible Portions, Terra, EatSmart, and more
Est. Price: $3-$6 per pack*
So, you’re at the store, standing in front of the chips aisle. You’re trying to be good, so you reach for the bag of veggie chips instead of your usual go-to, Lay’s Classic Potato Chips. But are you really doing yourself any favors?
According to Cooking Light, veggie chips are not necessarily healthier than potato chips. Sure, the word “veggie” might sound better than “potato,” but that doesn’t make them the smarter choice. In fact, veggie chips are often just as processed and full of salt as regular potato chips. They’re also fried in oil, which makes them prone to all the unhealthy effects that regular potato chips have.
Pre-Made Pie Crusts
Manufacturer: Pillsbury, Trader Joe’s, Betty Crocker, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$11*
While the premade pie crust isn’t the worst thing you could eat, it’s not healthy for you. There are no sugars or trans fats, but there tends to be a lot of sodium. One entire Pillsbury premade pie crust, for example, contains 1,040 grams of sodium—that’s 130 grams per one-eighth of the pie.
Even just one-eighth of the pie is six percent of your daily value. Also, what tends to go into the pie crust is also not exactly a health food. Pretty much every pie you can think of is packed with heaps of sugar.
Manufacturer: Oscar Meyer, butchers
Est. Price: %6-$8 per package*
Looking to cut down on calories and fat? Turkey bacon might be the answer – it has fewer of both than pork bacon. But don’t think of it as a healthy food: turkey bacon is still processed meat, which comes with all the toxic chemicals that come with that process. Plus, it has more added sugar and less protein than pork bacon.
It still contains four grams of saturated fat, a problematic substance that can increase your risk for cardiovascular issues like heart disease. So while turkey bacon might be a “healthier” option in some respects, it’s still not good for you.
Manufacturer: Impossible Foods, Inc.
Est. Price: $5.49 per package of patties*
The Impossible Burger has gotten a lot of attention recently, as it tastes nearly identical to beef patties, but is completely plant-based. Though veggie burgers are not a new concept, the Impossible Burger tastes so close to meat that it has even swayed carnivores over to its side.
Though the Impossible Burger is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and protein, it is high in saturated fat. It has eight grams, making it comparable to a regular burger. Also, the Impossible Burger is heavily-processed, with far more sodium (370 milligrams) than a regular beef or turkey patty.
Manufacturer: Quaker and more
Est. Price: $3 per pack of Quaker rice cakes*
If you’re looking for a “healthy” snack, you might want to think twice before reaching for a rice cake. Though they’re often marketed as a nutritious alternative to other snacks, rice cakes are actually not all that good for you.
For starters, they’re not very nutrient-dense. This means that they don’t pack a lot of nutritional punch. In fact, many brands of rice cakes are loaded with added salt – something that’s not good for people who are at risk for cardiovascular problems or who have been told to limit their sodium intake.
Manufacturer: Restaurants, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc.
Est. Price: $7-$15*
Acai berries have been all the rage in recent years – and for good reason! These berries are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats that contribute to heart, brain, and overall health. Acai bowls have become a popular breakfast choice, as they combine yogurt with a generous serving of the superfood fruit.
However, it’s important to be careful with acai bowls, especially those that are commercially prepared. They often contain high levels of sugar and calories, which can offset the benefits of the antioxidants.
Manufacturer: Aunt Jemima, Great Value, Market Pantry, and more
Est. Price: $7-$9 per bottle*
If you love pancakes, waffles, or French toast, you probably love maple syrup. It’s a delicious way to sweeten your breakfast. But did you know that maple syrup is actually really bad for you?
Each tablespoon of maple syrup contains fourteen grams of sugar. That’s an extremely high sugar content for such a low amount. And because maple syrup has no fiber content, it can cause blood sugar and insulin volatility – which is especially dangerous for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.
Manufacturer: Busch, Heineken, Miller, local producers
Est. Price: $20-$25 per 24-pack*
Drinking beer can be bad for your health in a number of ways. For one, it can lead to weight gain and obesity. Beer is full of empty calories, and drinking too much of it can add extra pounds to your waistline.
Additionally, heavy alcohol consumption can put strain on your liver and other organs, and can even lead to addiction. So next time you reach for a cold one, remember that moderation is key!
Manufacturer: Auntie Anne’s, Rold Gold, Nabisco, Federal Pretzel Baking Company
Est. Price: $3-$6 per bag*
Pretzels might be a go-to snack for anyone who wants something quick and carb-filled, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good choice. Though pretzels have very little fat, they’re made of refined carbs, which means they offer little to no nutritional value. And on top of that, pretzels are extremely salty.
Just ten of them can give you more than half the sodium you need each day. Too much sodium can cause water retention and bloating, and in extreme cases, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Manufacturer: Naked, Evolution, Suja, Splendid Spoon
Est. Price: $3-$5 per bottle*
Despite their reputation, smoothies are not always as healthy as you might think. One of the biggest problems with these drinks is their sugar content. Whether they are bottled or made at home, smoothies often contain high levels of refined sugar. For example, a bottle of Naked’s Green Machine juice contains 53 grams of sugar and 63 grams of carbohydrates.
While you may get some nutrients like calcium, potassium, and fiber from the fruit used in smoothies, you are also consuming a large amount of sugar. This can be detrimental to your health, especially if you consume smoothies on a regular basis.
Pepperidge Farm Cookies
Manufacturer: Pepperidge Farm
Est. Price: $3.18 per 6oz. bag of Milano cookies*
The Double Chocolate Milano cookie from Pepperidge Farm is one of the most popular cookies out there. And for good reason – they’re baked with real, kitchen pantry ingredients and are absolutely delicious. However, as with any snack food, these cookies should be consumed in moderation.
One bag of Milano Milk Chocolate Cookies has fifty-five grams of sugar. Though there are sugar-free versions of Pepperidge Farm cookies, they still are high in carbohydrates and white flour.
Manufacturer: Bunge Limited, DuPont, LDC, Wilmar
Est. Price: $8.70 per ton*
If you’re like most Americans, soybean oil is a staple in your diet. But did you know that this seemingly innocuous ingredient can actually have some serious consequences for your health?
According to Science Daily, soybean oil can lead to obesity, diabetes, and even neurological conditions like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism. That’s because soybean oil is packed with unhealthy fats and chemicals that can wreak havoc on your body.
Manufacturer: Jimmy Deans, Pillsbury, Starbucks
Est. Price: $4-$6 per pack*
Croissants are often thought of as gourmet food, but in reality, they’re nothing more than empty calories. While they may be delicious, croissants are packed full of saturated fat and calories, making them a less-than-healthy choice.
A single croissant can contain upwards of 40% of the recommended daily limit for saturated fat. And when it comes to calories, croissants have even more than white bread. Not to mention, they lack the fiber content that makes other breads a healthier option.
Manufacturer: Applegate, Boar’s Head, Hillshire Farm
Est. Price: $5-$10 per pound*
When it comes to eating healthy, one food group that you should always avoid is processed meat. Processed meat has been modified in order to extend its shelf life and/or improve its taste. There are a variety of methods used to process meat, including salting, fermentation, curing, smoking, and more.
Deli meats are a classic example of processed meat, as they have been modified to have a longer shelf life than regular meat. Deli meats tend to be high in saturated fat and sodium – both of which have been linked to heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
Manufacturer: Eggo, Kashi, Nature’s Path, 365
Est. Price: $4-$8 per box*
Though waffles are delicious, they should not be your go-to breakfast food every day. While it’s true that more and more waffles are being made with whole grains, they still can be high in sugar and white flour, neither of which are healthy for you.
If you’re ordering a waffle at a restaurant, you run the risk of consuming a ton of sugar. For example, the Belgian Waffle from IHOP has nearly 600 calories, seventeen grams of sugar, and twenty-nine grams of fat. The high sugar content means that you’ll be hungry a short time after eating and may end up eating more throughout the day.
McDonald’s Apple Pie
Est. Price: $0.99*
McDonald’s is known for their delicious fast food, but did you know that their desserts are just as tempting? The McDonald’s apple pie is a popular choice among customers, but many people assume that it is healthy because it doesn’t have as many calories as other desserts on the menu.
However, what they don’t realize is that the pie contains six grams of saturated fat and 240 empty calories. The sugar content isn’t much better either, with sixteen grams of sugar per pie. While this may not seem like a lot in comparison to a small chocolate shake (which has 74 grams of sugar), it’s still enough to spike your blood sugar levels.
Manufacturer: Ritz, Club, Town House, Cheez-It, Nabisco
Est. Price: $3-$6 per box*
You might think that crackers are a harmless snack, but you would be wrong. These little squares of processed carbs are actually some of the worst things you can eat when you’re feeling hungry.
Crackers are low in fiber and protein, and they won’t give you an energy boost like some other snacks will. They’re also high in sodium, which means they can make you feel bloated after you eat them.
Manufacturer: Smuckers, Polaner, Briermere Farms, Market Pantry
Est. Price: $2-$7 per jar*
Jams and jellies are some of the most beloved condiments out there. And it’s no wonder why! They add a delicious sweetness to any dish, whether it’s a bagel or piece of toast. According to Statista, strawberry jam is America’s favorite, with nearly 164 million Americans consuming it every year.
While homemade jams are often healthier for you than store-bought brands (since they don’t contain preservatives), they can still be quite high in sugar and trans fats. This can lead to inflammation, weight gain, cavities, and heart problems. In fact, eating jam every morning for breakfast can actually increase your risk for diabetes!
Manufacturer: Progresso, Campbell’s, Trader Joe’s, Wolfgang Puck, Amy’s Organic
Est. Price: $1-$5 per can*
If you’re watching your sodium intake, canned soup is probably not your best friend. A single can of soup can contain as much as 1,000 milligrams of sodium, which is more than half the recommended daily intake.
Too much sodium can cause fluid retention and high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for stroke, heart failure, and heart attack. So next time you’re feeling hungry, reach for something else instead of a can of soup.
Manufacturer: Little Bites, Krusteaz, Otis Spunkmeyer
Est. Price: $2.50 per box of Little Bites*
If you’re like most people, you probably think of muffins as a healthy breakfast food. After all, they pair perfectly with a cup of coffee and can be a great way to start your day. However, you might want to think twice before making them a part of your daily routine.
Muffins are often high in calories, refined flour, and added sugar. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in an occasional treat, eating muffins on a regular basis can have some serious health consequences. Store-bought muffins are particularly dangerous, as many of them contain more than 400 calories per muffin.
Manufacturer: Sweet Baby Ray’s, Kraft, Jones, Stubb’s, King’s
Est. Price: $4-$10 per bottle*
Did you know that your favorite barbecue sauce could be hiding a not-so-sweet secret? Many popular brands of BBQ sauce are loaded with sugar, and some even have more than 15 grams of added sugar per serving. While the smoky, sweet taste of BBQ sauce may be perfect for chicken and beef, it’s important to be aware of how much you’re eating.
Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Luckily, there are now more and more brands of barbecue sauce that are made with less sugar or no sugar at all.
Manufacturer: Various restaurants, especially fast food joints
Est. Price: $10-$20 per meal*
When it comes to deep-fried foods, the way they are prepared is what makes them so bad for you. These foods are cooked in super-high temperatures using vegetable oil. Vegetable oil has a lot of trans fats to begin with and, when it is heated, it only increases those toxins.
Trans-fat is the worst kind of fat you can eat, and deep-fried foods are some of the biggest carriers of trans fats. Trans fats raise your bad cholesterol while lowering your good cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease—American adults’ number-one killer.
Manufacturer: Smithfield, Jimmy Dean’s, North Country, Hatfield
Est. Price: $4-$7 per pack*
Did you know that in America, people believe that everything is better with bacon? While bacon isn’t the horrifically unhealthy food that it has been portrayed as it’s certainly not a health food. There are high levels of sodium, saturated fat, and preservatives in bacon, which makes it a food you should eat in strict moderation. Foods with these toxins can cause high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.
The typical serving size of bacon is small, but people often eat way more than they should. The serving size is usually one or two pieces, but it’s not unheard of for people to double, triple, or even quadruple their intake!
Manufacturer: Krispy Kreme, Entenmann’s, Dunkin’ Donuts
Est. Price: $0.99-$3 per doughnut*
If you’re like many Americans, starting your day with a donut from Dunkin’ Donuts is a delicious way to begin your morning. However, these fried pastries can cost you anywhere from 250 to 550 calories – and that’s not even counting the sugar content.
While donuts may be delicious, their high sugar content can cause some serious problems for your body. Sugar leads to insulin spikes, which in turn can cause blood sugar crashes later in the day. Not to mention, too much sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues.
Manufacturer: Philadelphia, The Laughing Cow, Dutch Farms, Prairie Farms
Est. Price: $3.98 per 16oz. pack of Philadelphia*
If you’re looking for a delicious and versatile topping, look no further than cream cheese. Whether you’re spreading it on a bagel or using it to frost a cake, cream cheese is sure to please. But what exactly is this tasty treat?
Cream cheese is actually a type of fresh cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a smooth, creamy texture and mild flavor that makes it perfect for cooking and baking. While cheese is high in Vitamin A, it’s important to remember that it’s not particularly healthy food. This is because it’s low in protein and usually high in calories and fat.
Manufacturer: Lean Cuisine, Amy’s, Michelina’s, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones, Bob Evans
Est. Price: $5-$15 per entree*
When it comes to frozen meals, you might think that you’re making a healthy choice. After all, they’re quick and easy, and you can find them in the health food section of your grocery store. But the truth is, frozen meals can be bad for you.
They’re often high in saturated fat and sodium, and some of the worst ones have as much as 7000 grams of sodium and four or five grams of saturated fat. That’s more than half of the recommended daily intake of sodium! And saturated fat is bad for your heart.
Manufacturer: Various restaurants and fast food joints
Est. Price: $15-$30 per meal*
Charred meat may be a huge hit with some people, but it is also loaded with toxins. According to Cooking Light, recent government reports and studies have found that meats charred over a live fire can contain harmful carcinogens (a cancer-causing agent).
Science Focus found that charred foods can also develop polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines. But, the most concerning carcinogen is acrylamide, which is a compound that has been linked to nerve damage and cancer.
Drive-Thru Fast Foods
Manufacturer: McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell, In-N-Out, and more
Est. Price: $5-$15 per meal*
We all know that fast food is bad for us. It’s loaded with unhealthy ingredients like saturated and trans fats, high sugar and salt content, and a ton of processed ingredients and preservatives. And because it’s so high in calories, eating fast food can lead to weight gain. But did you know that there are other, more serious health problems associated with eating fast food?
For example, did you know that eating fast food can increase your risk of heart disease? That’s because fast food is high in unhealthy fats and cholesterol, which can clog your arteries and lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Manufacturer: Bear Naked, Nature Valley, Quaker, Cascadian Farms, Kellogg’s, Heartland
Est. Price: $4-$10 per bag*
Looking for a nutritious and filling snack? Look no further than granola! This tasty treat is packed with nutrients like whole grains and fiber, making it a great choice when you need a little something to tide you over.
However, not all granolas are created equal. Some varieties can be high in sugar and calories, so it’s important to read the labels carefully before you buy. Look for granolas with whole ingredients like nuts, seeds, and raisins, which are high in fiber and protein. And don’t be fooled by “low-fat” labels – sometimes these products can be just as high in sugar as their full-fat counterparts.
Manufacturer: Cinnabon, Pillsbury, Meijer, Annie’s Organic, Rhodes
Est. Price: $12.99 for four rolls from Cinnabon*
Love the smell of cinnamon rolls wafting through the mall? While these sweet treats may be tempting, they’re best reserved for an occasional indulgence. A typical cinnamon roll contains a whopping 17 grams of sugar and 32 carbs (not to mention the sugary icing).
There are also 16 grams of fat in a cinnamon roll, 8 of which are saturated and 0.1 of which is trans. Vitamin-wise, cinnamon rolls are pretty dismal, with only a tiny bit of iron, calcium, and magnesium to their name.
Manufacturer: Sonic, Whataburger, Culver’s, Dairy Queen Grill, Carl’s Jr., A&W
Est. Price: $2-$4 per side*
If you’re trying to be healthier by avoiding French fries, you might want to think twice before reaching for the onion rings. These fried onions are almost identical in nutritional value to French fries, containing four-hundred calories, eight grams of saturated fat, twenty-two grams of fat, and a whopping 726 milligrams of sodium.
Stack even went so far as to deem onion rings even “worst than French fries.” Consider substituting a side of vegetables instead.
Fruit Jelly Cups
Manufacturer: Trenton Trending, others
Est. Price: $9.99*
If you’re someone who loves jelly cups, we have some bad news for you. These delicious treats are actually quite unhealthy, and in some countries, they’re even banned. Jelly cups are loaded with sugar, and they often contain artificial flavorings and colorants that aren’t good for you. But that’s not even the worst part.
Jelly cups can be a choking hazard because of their shape and size. They’re particularly dangerous for younger children, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Manufacturer: Great Value, others
Est. Price: $0.88*
Are you looking for a quick and easy snack that is high in protein and full of healthy omega-3s? If so, canned sardines may be the perfect choice for you. Although they are generally considered to be a healthy food option, there are some potential disadvantages of eating canned sardines that you should be aware of.
One of the main concerns with canned sardines is the fact that many companies use materials containing BPA in the canning process. BPA is a toxic substance that has been linked to cancer, diabetes, and infertility.
Manufacturer: McCormick, Great Value, others
Est. Price: $1.98*
Turmeric is often heralded as a wonder spice, and for good reason. It’s packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can do everything from boosting brain function to easing joint pain. But like anything else, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing – and that’s definitely true when it comes to turmeric.
Eating large amounts of turmeric can lead to some unpleasant side effects, including bloating, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea. And while it’s generally considered safe when used in moderation, there have been some reports of liver damage in people who have consumed large amounts of the spice.
Est. Price: $1.02*
Did you know that sweet potatoes can actually be dangerous? That’s right – these seemingly innocuous vegetables can cause some serious health problems if you’re not careful.
For starters, sweet potatoes can provoke allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms include headaches, itchiness, and nausea. If you eat too many sweet potatoes, you can also spike your blood sugar levels. So, what’s the bottom line? Sweet potatoes are healthy root vegetables, but you should eat them as part of a varied diet and not as your primary source of nutrients.
Soy Sauce Marinated Eggs
Manufacturer: Great Value, Kikkoman, others
Est. Price: $6*
Soy sauce marinated eggs are all the rage these days. And for good reason – they are a key component of ramen, which has become one of the most popular dishes among foodies worldwide. But what about their nutritional content? Are these eggs as healthy as they are delicious?
Excessive consumption of eggs has been linked to increased cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition to that, eating many eggs has also been associated with higher risks of prostate cancer. So if you cook eggs, marinate them in soy sauce, throw them in a bowl of ramen and eat it, you’ll probably be consuming a very unhealthy meal.
Est. Price: $2.08 to $4.98*
Would you believe that even leafy greens can pose a risk to your health? It’s true! While spinach, kale, chard, and arugula are some of the healthiest foods out there, they can be damaging to your health if you’re not careful.
The main problem is not the leaves themselves but what sticks to them. These leafy greens are often full of pesticides, bacteria, and dirt. Luckily, you can solve this problem by washing the leaves carefully and disinfecting them. If you make sure the leaves are nice and clean, you can enjoy them without worry.
Manufacturer: Nutiva, 365, NOW Foods, Trader Joe’s, and more
Est. Price: $7-$15*
Coconut oil has often made headlines as the must-have health food. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? The Mayo Clinic warns that coconut oil can actually elevate your cholesterol levels, both good and bad. Coconut oil has more than fourteen grams of saturated fat per serving, making it easy to overdo it.
Like anything with saturated fat, you should make sure that you consume it in moderation and in small doses. Too-high cholesterol can lead to stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart disease. It can also increase your risk for heart issues.
Manufacturer: Synergy, G&T, Suja, Holy, Better Booch, and more
Est. Price: $4 per 16oz. bottle*
Kombucha has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to its purported health benefits. But before you start guzzling this fermented tea, it’s important to know how much is too much.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends capping your kombucha consumption at four to 12 ounces per day. Drinking too much of this tea can lead to side effects like stomachache, nausea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal problems. WebMD says that kombucha is “possibly safe” for most adults. However, the added sugar and calories in kombucha can offset its health benefits if you overdo it.
Est. Price: $5.24*
Pop-Tarts are one of America’s “15 unhealthiest junk foods,” according to Healthline. These convenient breakfast pastries are full of sugar, unhealthy oils and refined flour. They have little to no protein or fiber, which means you’re likely to be hungry shortly after eating them.
Pop Tarts’ sweet taste comes from high fructose corn syrup, which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and add a ton of calories to your diet. The pastries are purposely made to be super-palatable so that you crave more after you eat them.
Manufacturer: Bernard Matthews Foods Limited
Est. Price: $2 per pack*
If you’re a fan of Bernard Matthews’ Turkey Dinosaurs, then we have some bad news for you. These childhood favorites are actually not that good for you. Each dinosaur contains 151 calories, and they’re loaded with salt, sugar, and fat. That’s because Bernard Matthews adds these ingredients to enhance the texture, flavor, and shelf life of their products.
So, if you’re planning on eating a few of these dinosaurs, you could easily consume hundreds of calories in one sitting. And that’s not even counting the other unhealthy ingredients that they contain.
Manufacturer: MALK, Elmhurst, Planet Oak, Silk, and more
Est. Price: $3-$6 per carton*
There’s no denying that oat milk is one of the most popular plant-based milks on the market. Though it’s high in protein and nutrients, there are a few things you should know about this dairy alternative before you add it to your diet.
For starters, oat milk is not suitable for people who are gluten sensitive. Even if you don’t have Celiac’s disease, you may still experience gastrointestinal issues after drinking oat milk. Additionally, unflavored oat milk has the highest calorie and carbohydrate count of all plant-based milks.
Est. Price: $1.09 for a 20oz. bottle*
Men’s Health has accused Vitamin Water of being one of the unhealthiest drinks on the market, due to its high sugar content. The popular beverage company prides itself on adding extra nutrients to its flavored waters, but what it doesn’t mention is all the sugar that’s also added in.
Despite its claims of being a healthy drink option, Vitamin Water can actually do more harm than good. That’s because consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems. Plus, most people don’t need the extra vitamins and minerals that Vitamin Water provides, since they likely already get enough from their diet.
Manufacturer: JIFF, Skippy’s, 365, Market Pantry, and more
Est. Price: $2-$5 per jar*
Did you know that peanut butter is actually quite healthy for you? It’s true! Peanut butter is packed with protein and healthy fats, which makes it a great snack for people who are trying to avoid carbs.
However, it’s important to remember that peanuts do contain some saturated fat. While saturated fat isn’t necessarily bad for you, too much of it can lead to heart problems over time. So, while peanut butter is definitely good for you, it’s important to eat it in moderation. Binge eating peanut butter every day can easily lead to weight gain and high cholesterol. So, as they say, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Est. Price: $5-$8 for a footlong*
Are you trying to lose weight? You might want to think twice before following in the footsteps of Subway’s now-disgraced spokesperson, Jared Fogle. Subway sandwiches may be delicious, but they’re not exactly diet food. A foot-long sub can contain up to 1,020 calories – and that’s without any extras like chips or a cookie.
One-third of those calories come from carbohydrates, and the rest come from fat. So if you’re looking to shed some pounds, eating Subway every day is probably not the best idea. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to swear off Subway forever. Just enjoy it in moderation – and maybe stick to the six-inch subs instead of the foot-longs.
Manufacturer: San Marcos, Ortega, La Costena, and more
Est. Price: $10.90 per pound*
If you’ve ever eaten a jalapeno pepper, then you know why they’re bad for you – they’re spicy. WebMD warns that the capsaicin in the peppers can cause severe heartburn and problems for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If you have any type of digestive condition, it’s best to avoid these peppers altogether. Even people without preexisting conditions may not tolerate the capsaicin well. It’s best to start out by eating just one or two jalapenos at a time to see how your system handles them.
Manufacturer: StarKist, Safe Catch, 365, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$6 per can*
Canned seafood may not be the freshest option at the grocery store, but it is still packed with nutrients and can be a healthy addition to your diet. Nutritionists have noted that while some canned fish brands have higher levels of sodium and mercury than others, overall, canned fish is still quite as rich in omega-3s and proteins as fresh fish.
So, if you’re looking for an easy, healthy way to add more seafood to your diet, don’t hesitate to reach for a can (or two)! Just be sure to check the sodium content before you buy, and opt for brands with lower levels of mercury whenever possible.
Est. Price: N/A
Acrylamide is a compound that forms in starchy foods when they are baked or fried at high temperatures. Though it is not clear how harmful acrylamide is to humans, animal studies have shown that it can increase the risk of cancer.
To avoid exposing yourself to this potential danger, be careful not to burn your toast. If you do accidentally crisp it, just scrape off the burnt pieces before eating. Better safe than sorry!
Manufacturer: Viva Naturals, Healthworks, Better Body Foods, etc.
Est. Price: $8 per pound*
If you thought that chia seeds were the latest and greatest health food on the market, you may want to think again. While these seeds do have some health benefits, they can also cause harm to your body if consumed in excess.
One of the dangers of eating too many chia seeds is that they can expand in your stomach and cause gastrointestinal problems. This is because when chia seeds are exposed to liquid, they absorb it and expand to up to ten times their original size.
Manufacturer: Starbucks, Pure, Tazo, Encha, and more
Est. Price: $4.65 for a Grande Matcha Tea Latte at Starbucks*
If you’re a fan of matcha, you might want to think twice before your next purchase. A new study has found that matcha contains high levels of caffeine, which can lead to jitteriness and heart palpitations.
The study, published in the journal Food & Chemical Toxicology, analyzed the caffeine content of several popular matcha products. They found that a single serving of matcha can contain up to 34mg of caffeine – that’s more than a cup of coffee!
Manufacturer: SunChips, Brad’s, Tostitos, and more
Est. Price: $2–$5 per bag*
Are veggie chips really healthier than regular potato chips? The answer, according to Cooking Light, is a resounding no. In fact, veggie chips are often just as unhealthy as their fried potato counterparts.
Veggie chips are typically deep-fried in order to achieve that crunchy, airy texture. This means that they are only slightly better for you than regular potato chips. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to veggie chips, try fresh vegetables with hummus or lightly-salted nuts. Or, better yet, make your own homemade vegetable chips. That way you’ll get the salt and crunch without all the processed junk.
Manufacturer: Bakeries, Tara’s, Sanders, and more
Est. Price: $10-$20*
Did you know that salted caramel is physically addictive? That’s right – studies from the University of Florida have found that when you eat something sweet, fatty, or salty (like salted caramel), your brain releases endogenous opioids. In other words, salted caramel is basically the heroin of sweets.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy this delicious treat. But it does mean that you should be careful not to overdo it. Caramel has no nutrients – it’s full of sugar and salt, but there’s no potassium or calcium to be found.
Manufacturer: SeaPak, Great Value, and more
Est. Price: $6-$12 per pound*
Are you a fan of fried calamari? If so, you’re in good company. This popular dish is enjoyed by people all over the world. There are many different ways to cook and prepare squid, but fried calamari is a common sight on many seafood restaurants’ menus. Once the squid is fried, that leads to a high total fat content.
If squid is not fried, it is actually relatively healthy. Though calamari, even when fried, has minerals and vitamins, you will still want to eat it rarely because of the high cholesterol, sodium, and fat. It does make a delicious appetizer, though.
Est. Price: $4.98 per 12-pack of cans*
Looking for a way to enjoy Coca-Cola without the calories and sugar? Coke Zero might be your answer. This popular drink has a lower aspartame content than Diet Coke, but it still contains artificial sweeteners.
If you’re concerned about the potential health risks of artificial sweeteners, you may want to avoid Coke Zero. Some studies have linked artificial sweeteners to heart disease, according to Healthline. However, there is conflicting research on the safety of these sweeteners. So, if you’re looking to cut back on sugar and calories, you may want to steer clear of Coke Zero.
Manufacturer: Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Folgers, Market Pantry, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 for a small cup*
Though it is disputed by the National Coffee Association, some research has suggested that the process of decaffeinating coffee can actually increase the levels of fatty acids in the drink.
These fatty acids have been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and can also affect your metabolism. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you should be aware that even decaffeinated coffee may contain small amounts of stimulant. Caffeine can cause insomnia, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, restlessness, and anxiety in people who are sensitive to it.
Raw Cake Batter
Est. Price: N/A
Did you know that raw cake batter can make you sick? It’s true! The CDC has been warning us about the dangers of consuming raw batter or dough for years, but unfortunately, many people continue to ignore these warnings.
In 2021, there was a major E. coli outbreak linked to raw cake batter, which resulted in several hospitalizations. This should be a clear wake-up call for everyone that raw batter is not safe to consume! Raw eggs and flour can both contain harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, which can cause serious illness.
Est. Price: $1.39 for a 23.7oz. bottle*
Did you know that Smart Water has electrolytes? That’s right – and that has been a huge part of its marketing since the brand’s inception. Though drinking Smart Water can help you replenish loss of electrolytes, there can be some real consequences if you are replacing the electrolytes faster than you’re losing them.
If you have too many electrolytes, you can wind up with too much sodium in your body. Called hypernatremia, this condition can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and dizziness. If you have too much potassium, this can lead to nausea, heart arrhythmia, and pulse irregularity.
Manufacturer: Ragu, Prego, Rao’s, 365, and more
Est. Price: $1-$3 per jar*
If you’re looking for a healthy pasta sauce, you might want to think twice before reaching for that jar of pre-made sauce at the grocery store. According to Good Housekeeping, many store-bought sauces are packed full of sugar, salt, and fat. And because they lack fiber, they don’t offer the same nutrition as homemade sauces.
But there are some healthy options out there. Brands like Kevin’s Natural Foods, Chosen Foods, and Saffron Road make sauces that are lower in sugar and salt and higher in fiber.
Manufacturer: Jelly Belly, Lifesavers, Trader Joe’s, Brach’s, Starburst, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$4 per pack*
Jelly beans might be small, but they pack a big sugar punch. On average, each small jelly bean has eight grams of sugar. And who eats just ten jelly beans? Most people will easily eat three or four times that in one sitting. That’s a lot of sugar!
To make matters worse, jelly beans have no nutrients, fiber, or protein in them. They are also often full of artificial colorings and dyes. So not only are they high in sugar, they are also not good for you in other ways.
Manufacturer: Bare, Gerbs, Market Pantry, 365, and more
Est. Price: $2-$7 per pack*
Banana chips are often thought of as a healthy snack option. After all, they are made with fruit. However, banana chips are loaded with saturated fat, calories, and added sugar.
If you want to avoid the unhealthy additives in banana chips, look for dehydrated and non-fried chips without any added sugar. Better yet, just eat an actual banana. For every ounce of deep-fried banana chips, there are ten grams of sugar and ten grams of fat. While there is some fiber and protein, these quantities are minimal at best.
Manufacturer: Altoids, Tic Tac, Lifesavers, etc.
Est. Price: $1-$5 per pack*
Do you love breath mints? Do you pop them like candy and always have a tin or packet on hand? While these little mints may freshen your breath, did you know that they can actually be harmful to your teeth?
That’s right – breath mints, especially those made with sugar, can lead to tooth damage and decay. The hard candy can also cause chips and cracks in your teeth. And if you’re constantly relying on breath mints to mask bad breath, you could be missing out on treating the underlying cause of the problem.
Manufacturer: Market Pantry, Kirkland Signature, Great Value
Est. Price: $5-$10*
If you’re like most people, when you think of trail mix, you probably think of healthy snacks for hikers and campers. But what you may not realize is that some trail mix can be loaded with sugar, negating any health benefits.
It all depends on what ingredients are in the mix. Nuts, dried fruit, and bran are examples of healthy trail mix ingredients, while chocolate chips, M&Ms, and other sugary additions can quickly turn trail mix into a sugar bomb.
Manufacturer: Justin’s, Maranatha, Barney
Est. Price: $7-$10*
Almond butter is a great way to get your daily dose of healthy fats. The monounsaturated fats in almond butter can help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
The omega-3 fatty acids are also great for your heart. Almond butter is high in calories, so it’s important to purchase organic almond butter with no additives or added sugar. Otherwise, you might find that the health benefits are outweighed by the negatives.
Manufacturer: Bob’s Red Mill, Alpen Cereal, Three Sisters, and more
Est. Price: $6-$15*
If you’re looking for a nutritious breakfast that will give you sustained energy throughout the day, look no further than muesli. This dish is made from rolled oats, seeds, nuts, and dried or fresh fruits, and is traditionally served with cream and citrus juice. While muesli is high in fiber, it can also be high in sugar, so be sure to read the labels before you buy.
According to the American Heart Association, women and men are not supposed to exceed 24 and 36 grams of sugar per day, respectively. In one cup of pre-made, packaged muesli, there can be as many as 26 grams of sugar – that’s more than the recommended daily value!
Manufacturer: India, Thailand, China, Indonesia
Est. Price: $1.32*
Are you a fan of mangos? You’re not alone – this delicious fruit is enjoyed by people all over the world. However, it’s important to remember that mangos are also one of the fruits that contain the most sugar. In fact, just one mango can have up to 46 grams of sugar. That’s well over the recommended daily value for both men and women.
If you’re trying to watch your sugar intake or lose weight, then you might want to limit your mango consumption. When eating mango, it’s best to keep the serving size small – around half a cup. This way you can enjoy the sweet taste without overindulging. Mangos make a great dessert after dinner!
Baked Potato Chips
Manufacturer: Lay’s, Ruffles, Tostitos, etc.
Est. Price: $4-$7*
Are you a fan of chips? Do you love the crunchy, salty goodness that they provide? If so, you’re not alone. Chips are one of the most popular snacks in the world. And while they may be delicious, it’s important to remember that they’re not exactly healthy. In fact, chips are one of the unhealthiest snacks that you can eat.
Most chips are fried in oil, which is terrible for your health. Fried foods are loaded with unhealthy fats and calories, and they can increase your risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Manufacturer: Restaurants, Philadelphia Dips, T.G.I Friday’s, Stonemill Kitchens, etc.
Est. Price: $8-$15*
Looking to indulge in some appetizers before your main meal? You may want to think twice before ordering spinach artichoke dip at a restaurant. This creamy dish is unfortunately one of the worst appetizers you can get, according to WebMD. The saturated fat content is through the roof, and just one serving clocks in at 1,600 calories.
If you’re determined to enjoy spinach artichoke dip regardless, there are some healthier recipe alternatives out there that use nonfat Greek yogurt as a base. But let’s be real – most restaurants aren’t going to make this switch.
Manufacturer: Kraft, Hidden Valley, Walden Farms, and more
Est. Price: $5-$10*
If you love coleslaw, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that this dish can actually be pretty healthy. It’s full of shredded vegetables, which means it’s packed with fiber. The main issue with this side dish’s healthiness is the dressing in which it is made.
A lot of creamy coleslaw dressing has high fat and added sugar content. Mayonnaise is a common dressing, and it often has a lot of saturated fat. The calorie-dense dressing, according to The Daily Meal, can “break” your heart (literally) if you eat a lot of it over time.
Manufacturer: Vitafusion, Nature Made, SmartyPants, etc.
Est. Price: $10-$20*
Gummy vitamins are a delicious way to get your daily dose of essential nutrients. But did you know that they can also add a lot of sugar to your diet?
A single serving of gummy vitamins can contain up to eight grams of sugar, and if you take two servings per day, that’s an extra 16 grams of sugar! That’s why it’s important to choose the least-sugary option when selecting a gummy vitamin.
Manufacturer: Terrasoul, Mariani, Dole, etc.
Est. Price: $8-$15*
Dates are a type of fresh stone fruit that is often eaten dried. They are a rich source of phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that have many health benefits, including stimulating the immune system, reducing inflammation, and helping hormone regulation.
Dates also have a high sugar content – one pitted, dried Medjool date has sixteen grams of sugar – so they should be consumed in moderation.
Manufacturer: Egg Beaters, Just Egg, Bob’s Red Mill, and more
Est. Price: $5-$20*
Egg substitutes are a popular choice for those who are trying to cut down on their cholesterol intake. However, did you know that these substitutes are often lacking in important minerals and vitamins?
A regular egg contains thirteen essential minerals and vitamins, while most egg substitutes only contain a fraction of these nutrients. This means that if you’re relying on egg substitutes to get your daily dose of nutrients, you might not be getting all the nutrition you need.
Manufacturer: Mott’s, Musselman’s, Dole, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$10*
Applesauce is a popular snack choice for many people, but you may be wondering if it’s actually healthy for you. Both apples and applesauce are high in sugar, though they tend to have fiber that can mitigate these natural sugars.
That said, be very cautious of eating sweetened applesauce. One cup of sweetened applesauce has thirty-six grams of sugar, which is far over the R.D.V. There are only three grams of fiber, too. Applesauce that is unsweetened does a little bit better, as far as its nutritional profile.
Manufacturer: Nishiki, Annie Chun’s, Lundberg, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$8*
When it comes to rice, there is a big debate between white and brown. While both have their pros and cons, many health communities believe that brown rice is the way to go. Here’s why:
White rice has long been considered an empty carb, as it loses nutrients when its germ and bran have been removed. Sometimes, companies will enrich white rice with B vitamins and iron. Still, health communities are not a big fan. Brown rice only has its hull removed—it keeps the other healthy stuff. White rice’s glycemic index is higher than that of brown rice.
Manufacturer: Trader Joe’s, Green Giant, restaurants, etc.
Est. Price: $10-$20*
If you’re trying to eat healthy, you might think that ordering a veggie pizza is the way to go. After all, vegetables are some of the healthiest things you can put on your pizza. But even though a veggie pizza is better for you than one with pepperoni or sausage, it’s still not exactly a health food.
Pizza is high in sodium, fat, and carbohydrates, so it’s not something you should be eating every day. And because it’s full of processed cheese and other unhealthy ingredients, a veggie pizza can actually make you crave foods that are bad for you. So if you’re trying to eat healthy, don’t make veggie pizza your go-to meal.
Manufacturer: Daiya, Chao, Treeline, Miyokos, and more
Est. Price: $5-$15*
Looking for a dairy-free alternative to cheese? Vegan cheese is a great option! But not all vegan cheeses are created equal. Some are highly processed and don’t have much nutritional value. Others, like Treeline and Miyokos, are brands that are some of the healthier vegan cheeses on the market.
Vegan cheese has a reputation for tasting like plastic, so there’s a good chance that you’ll have to try more than one brand to find the one that works for you. Make sure you read the ingredients to ensure that you’re picking a non-processed vegan cheese with as many whole ingredients as possible.
Manufacturer: Naked and more
Est. Price: $2-$6*
Green juice is actually a Japanese veggie drink called aojiru. This drink is made from young barley grass and kale, and it is very healthy for you. The taste, unfortunately, is famously unpleasant, so much so that Japanese game shows often use drinking a glass of aojiru as a punishment.
To try to mitigate this taste, juice manufacturers often add extras, such as added sugar. This results in a not-so-healthy drink. For example, Naked’s Green Machine has fifty-three grams of sugar. Though Green Juice can be very healthy, the added sugar in a lot of variations cancels out those
Whole Wheat Bread
Manufacturer: Nature’s Own, Rudi’s, Sara Lee, Stroehmann, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$6*
Whole wheat bread is often seen as the healthier option to white bread. And while whole wheat bread does have more nutrients, such as fiber, it’s not always the best choice when it comes to your health.
Whole wheat bread can often have just as many sugars and fillers as white bread. And if the bread is not completely whole wheat, it likely has enriched flour, which can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash.
Manufacturer: Quaker Oats, Better Oats, and more
Est. Price: $4-$8*
If you’re a fan of oatmeal, you might want to think twice before reaching for the flavored packets at your local grocery store. While oatmeal is generally considered to be healthy food, the flavored versions of instant oatmeal are often loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
For example, Quaker Instant Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar has twelve grams of sugar (all added) per pack. If you’re a woman, that is one-half of your R.D.V. for sugar. If you’re a man, it’s one-third. In addition to the high sugar content, many flavored oatmeals also contain large amounts of salt. This can be detrimental to your health, as a high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems.
Spicy Tuna Roll
Est. Price: $6.99*
You love sushi. And who can blame you? Those little rolls of deliciousness are the perfect bite-sized treat. But there’s one kind of sushi that you should be very wary of: the spicy tuna roll.
Yes, those tasty little rolls packed with fiery tuna and creamy mayonnaise are tempting. But they come with a big downside. First, according to WebMD, tuna can have a high mercury content. That means eating too many spicy tuna rolls could put you at risk for poisoning.
Manufacturer: Great Value, Kroger, Fairlife, Horizon, etc.
Est. Price: $3.52 per gallon*
Don’t give your toddlers and babies skim milk! They need the fat in whole milk for healthy brain development, according to Kids’ Health. The NHS actually advises giving kids whole milk until they are at least five, if not longer.
Save skim and similar “diet” milks for adults, not kids. Really, almost all “diet” foods should be avoided when feeding young children. Give them the real thing – whole milk – and let them enjoy the taste and nutrition of real food!
Manufacturer: Maxine’s Heavenly, Krusteaz, Great Value, and more
Est. Price: $3-$8*
Banana bread might be delicious, but it’s also high in refined carbs, calories, and added sugar. That means it’s not something you should be eating every day. If you’re going to make banana bread, there are a lot of recipes that allow you to substitute unhealthy ingredients for better ones.
Homemade banana bread, as opposed to slices ordered from coffee shops and packaged in grocery store bakeries, allows you to control what goes into your food. So if you’re looking to make a healthier version of banana bread, here are some tips. First, use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Jarred Tomato Sauce
Manufacturer: Hunt’s, Ragu, Barilla, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$5*
If you’re like most people, you probably keep a few jars of tomato sauce in your pantry at all times. After all, they’re convenient and require little to no work to make. But what you may not know is that store-bought, jarred tomato and marinara sauces often have added sodium and sugar.
Though these additives help with the flavor profile, they don’t exactly bode well for nutrition. For example, in one-quarter cup of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce, there are 410 mg of sodium and two grams of sugar. In an entire jar, there are 2,870 mg of sodium and fourteen grams of sugar.
Manufacturer: Mariani, Sun Maid, etc.
Est. Price: $4*
If you’re looking for a tasty snack that’s not too bad for you, yogurt raisins might be a good option. They offer some fiber and nutrients from the raisins, but you’ll want to watch your portion size.
Yogurt-covered raisins can be addictive, and before you know it, you could end up eating several sugary handfuls. In one box of Sun Maid Vanilla Yogurt Raisins, there are seventeen grams of sugar. Nine of those grams are added. There is also less than one gram of fiber and under a gram of protein.
Manufacturer: Simply Naked, Stacy’s, Kellogg’s, and more
Est. Price: $3-$8*
Pita chips have been called a “so-called health food” by the Washington Post, and for good reason. They tend to be made from white flour, salt, oil, and several other not-so-nutritious ingredients. In fact, they’re no better than potato chips, and may even be worse.
Potato chips at least contain a vegetable, but pita chips are just empty calories. Eating them by the handful is not a good idea, as they can increase your risk for weight gain, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So next time you’re reaching for a snack, skip the pita chips and go for something healthier instead.
Cranberry Juice Cocktail
Manufacturer: Simply, Ocean Spray, Welch’s, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$4*
The Cranberry juice cocktail is loaded with sugar, far more than its pure cranberry juice counterpart. In just eight ounces, there are twenty-five grams of sugar – and almost all of it is added sugar. That’s nearly six teaspoons of sugar in a single serving!
This sugary drink is also an enemy of nutritionists because it contains high fructose corn syrup. This type of sugar is especially harmful to your health, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. If you’re craving a sweetened cranberry beverage, stick to the pure juice instead. It may not be as sweet, but it’s much better for you in the long run.
Manufacturer: Kramer Farms and more
Est. Price: $3-$10*
Deviled eggs have long been a popular appetizer. But what many people don’t realize is that the main problem with these eggs isn’t the egg itself. Eggs are actually low in carbs and high in protein. The real issue lies with the ingredients used to make them “deviled.”
According to SF Gate, mayonnaise alone can add three milligrams of cholesterol to an egg. And if you’re indulging in deviled eggs on a regular basis, you’re also consuming 120 milligrams of sodium per serving. Though these appetizers would be suitable if you’re trying the “keto” diet, the sodium content makes them a snack you should not indulge in every day.
Manufacturer: Growers in the U.S. and China, among others
Est. Price: $2.88 per pound*
Did you know that regular, non-organic kale is one of the “Dirty Dozen” foods with high pesticide levels? That’s why it’s important to buy organic whenever possible.
Organic kale has 30% less residue of pesticides than regular kale, so you can be sure you’re not ingesting any nasty chemicals. Even though organic kale may cost a bit more, the peace of mind is worth it.
Vegan Deli Meat
Manufacturer: Tofurky, Unreal, Lightlife, etc.
Est. Price: $4-$6*
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to traditional deli meat, you might want to steer clear of vegan options. Though they don’t contain any real meat, most vegan deli products are still high in sodium.
In some cases, they are also high in sugar. This makes them surprisingly unhealthy – even more so than their non-vegan counterparts. So if you’re trying to make healthier choices, it’s best to avoid vegan deli meats altogether.
Manufacturer: Rhythm Superfoods, Heaven & Earth, Terrasoul, and more
Est. Price: $4-$8*
You know what’s better than a regular old Lay’s potato chip? A baked, organic beet chip! That’s right, these little guys are not only healthier for you, but they also pack a serious nutritional punch.
Beets are loaded with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, folates, and fiber. They’re also low in calories, making them a great choice if you’re watching your weight. Plus, studies have shown that beets can help keep your blood pressure in check.
Manufacturer: Sun-Maid, Great Value, Made In Nature, Trader Joe’s, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$8*
Though dried fruit is often seen as a healthy snack, be wary of eating too many of them. Just one cup of dried apricot halves has sixty-nine grams of sugar. That’s more than a can of regular Coca-Cola!
Though this cup of dried apricot halves has nine grams of fiber, that’s not necessarily enough to offset the massive sugar content. Eat dried fruit, including apricots, sparingly, as it’s easy to over-ingest sugar under the guise of a healthy snack.
Manufacturer: Simply, Turkey Hill, Minute Maid, Turner’s, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$5*
A cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day is one of life’s simple pleasures. But did you know that just one cup of this refreshing drink contains a whopping 25 grams of sugar?
Lemonade is made from lemon juice, water, and simple syrup or cane sugar, which explains its high sugar content. And while it might be tempting to guzzle down this sweet-and-sour beverage, people watching their sugar intake should beware.
Manufacturer: Schweppes, Great Value, Canada Dry, etc.
Est. Price: $1-$3*
Did you know that tonic water was once used as a way to prevent malaria? That’s right – the original recipe for this popular drink actually contained a lot of quinine, which is known for its ability to ward off the disease.
Nowadays, of course, the amount of quinine in tonic water has been significantly reduced. But even so, it remains a popular choice for many classic cocktails, thanks to its unique bitter flavor. Of course, not everyone enjoys the taste of bitter drinks. So these days, you can often find tonic water that has been sweetened with various sugar-based additives.
Manufacturer: Jack Link’s, Old Trapper, People’s Choice, Tillamook, and more
Est. Price: $4-$10*
Sure, beef jerky is a low-carb snack. But, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. While it won’t kill you to reach for a stick or two every once in a while, you probably won’t want to make jerky part of your everyday diet.
This meat is highly-processed and packed full of sodium. It has the same health risks (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) that you find with other processed meats. One twenty-gram piece of beef jerky has 416 milligrams of sodium. If you eat five pieces, you’ve already consumed your daily value of sodium in one sitting.
Non-Organic Bell Peppers
Manufacturer: Growers in Asia, China, Mexico, Indonesia, and other countries
Est. Price: $2.32 per pound*
If you’re looking for a veggie that’s loaded with pesticides, bell peppers are a great choice. The Environmental Watch Group has been listing the most pesticide-filled fruits and vegetables for years, and bell peppers are a common addition to the “Dirty Dozen” list. Non-organic bell peppers had 115 different pesticides on them, according to a test the E.W.G. conducted.
Nearly 70% of non-organic products in America contain residues from these toxic chemicals, and over 90% of samples the E.W.G. tested (apples, leafy greens, strawberries, peppers, etc.) were positive for at least two different types of pesticides.
Manufacturer: Heinz, Hunt’s, Del Monte, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$4*
Ketchup is one of America’s favorite condiments – and for good reason! Not only does it taste great, but it’s also low in calories and fat. However, there are some downsides to ketchup that you may not be aware of.
For one, ketchup is high in sugar. One tablespoon of ketchup contains 7% of your Recommended Daily Value (R.D.V.) of sugar. That means if you’re a ketchup lover, it can be easy to consume more than one-third of your daily sugar intake from this condiment alone!
Manufacturer: Coffee-Mate, International Delight, Chobani, and more
Est. Price: $4-$8*
Coffee-Mate, a popular coffee creamer brand, is the defendant in a lawsuit that alleges that the trans fats in their products causes a variety of health consequences. The consequences listed in this class-action lawsuit include cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, memory damage, and cognitive decline, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
So, what is in Coffee-Mat and other creamers? According to Byrdie, there are often saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, and high amounts of sugar. If you use these creamers every single day in your coffee, especially if you drink multiple cups, that can add up to some serious health risks over time.
Manufacturer: Bush’s, Heinz, Van Camp’s, Amy’s Organic, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$4*
If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious addition to your meals, look no further than baked beans. These little powerhouse legumes are packed with fiber, protein, and plant compounds that offer numerous health benefits.
While canned baked beans are extremely convenient, they often contain high levels of additives, salt, and added sugar. In fact, a 16-ounce can of Bush’s Baked Beans contains 2,030 milligrams of sodium and 42 grams of sugar (almost all of which are added).
Tofu Cream Cheese
Manufacturer: Tofutti, Miyoko’s, Russ & Daughters, etc.
Est. Price: $4-$8*
Tofu cream cheese is a delicious vegan alternative to traditional cream cheese. Made with tofu, coconut oil and flavorings, it has a taste similar to the real thing – but without the dairy!
However, like many other foods, tofu does have some downsides. Healthline says that it has “weak hormonal effects,” so some doctors tell women with estrogen-related breast tumors to keep their soy intake to a medium. Good Housekeeping agreed, saying that tofu and, therefore, tofu cream cheese and related products “contain compounds that can act like estrogen in the body.”
Manufacturer: Red Baron, Digiorno, Tony’s, Tombstone, Freschetta
Est. Price: $6-$11*
When it comes to frozen pizza, there is a common misconception that it is not as bad for you as one that you get from an actual restaurant. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Frozen pizza, though more convenient and usually cheaper, is actually very unhealthy.
It is chock-full of salt, calories, fat, and refined carbohydrates. There are some frozen pizza options that aren’t that bad, as they contain thin crust and vegetables instead of refined, thick, grainy crust and processed meat. However, you don’t want to make frozen pizza a frequent meal at your house because it is nothing but empty carbs.
Sweet Potato Fries
Manufacturer: Alexia, Ore-Ida, Spudsy, Strong Roots, etc.
Est. Price: $5-$10*
When it comes to French fries, there’s really no difference between regular potato fries and sweet potato fries. They’re both fried, and they have similar nutrient profiles. So when you’re choosing between the two, there’s no real benefit to opting for sweet potato fries over regular ones.
Of course, neither type of fry is particularly healthy – especially when they’re deep-fried. And most restaurants serve them in massively over-sized portions. So if you’re looking for a healthy side dish, French fries are probably not the best choice.
Manufacturer: Sweet Earth, All Vegetarian, Upton’s Naturals, etc.
Est. Price: $5-$15*
If you’re a vegan, you probably already know that vegan bacon is healthy for you. But what if you’re not a vegan? Is vegan bacon really any healthier than regular bacon?
The answer, according to Good Housekeeping, is maybe. Though regular processed meat has long been a villain to nutritionists, vegan bacon isn’t necessarily a healthy alternative. Though Good Housekeeping notes that there is often less sodium than vegan bacon’s meaty counterpart, you’re still “likely” to eat the same amount of calories and fat as you would regular bacon. And, though there is less sodium, meat-free bacon can still contain over a third of your daily value of salt.
Manufacturer: Optimum, Orgain, Dymatize, Body Fortress, Elevation, and more
Est. Price: $10-$20*
If you’re a fitness enthusiast, chances are you’ve considered using protein powder to help build muscle. After all, protein is an essential nutrient for muscle growth. But before you start scooping protein powder into your shaker bottle, you should know that there may be some hidden dangers.
Protein powders can be loaded with sugar and sodium, which can lead to digestive side effects like bloating, gas, and stomach upset. Additionally, over-consuming protein powder can cause kidney damage and other health problems.
Manufacturer: Good & Gather, Sam’s Choice, Artisana, Once Again, etc.
Est. Price: $4-$9*
Cashew butter is an up-and-coming alternative to peanut and almond butter, but it has some hidden dangers. Each tablespoon of cashew butter contains 1.6 grams of saturated fat – that’s around eight percent of your R.D.V. If you make a sandwich with it, you could easily consume half your daily value of saturated fat.
The American Heart Association recommends that consumers limit their saturated fat intake, as this dietary fat is considered unhealthy and often solidifies at room temperature. Butter, coconut oil, cheese, red meat, and similar foods are all high in saturated fat – so be careful when reaching for the cashew butter!
Light Salad Dressing
Manufacturer: Hidden Valley, Primal Kitchen, Olive Garden, and more
Est. Price: $3-$6*
You might think that choosing a “light” salad dressing is a healthier option. After all, it’s usually labeled as such because it is fat-free. But according to Fooducate, this is actually a poor nutritional decision.
Many of the vitamins found in salads are fat-soluble, which means that fat will help your body absorb the salad’s nutritional goodness. Without fat, you may not be getting all the benefits from your salad that you could be.
Manufacturer: Starbucks, Stonyfield, YoCrunch, Marketside, etc.
Est. Price: $4-$8*
Yogurt parfaits might seem like a healthy snack option because they contain yogurt, fruit, and granola. However, many of these treats can have as much sugar as ice cream. For example, the yogurt parfait from Starbucks has thirty-one grams of sugar, which make up over half of the treat’s carbohydrate value.
Yogurt parfaits often contain sugars that enhance flavor, but they don’t need to have them. You can make your own parfaits with Greek yogurt, fruit, peanut butter, and oats. You can even add a tiny bit of honey for sweetness. This homemade option is far healthier than any premade or store-bought options.
Manufacturer: Baron’s, Bob’s Red Mill, Near East, RiceSelect, and more
Est. Price: $5-$8*
When it comes to grains, couscous is often thought of as a healthier option than rice. But is it really? Let’s take a closer look at the two popular grains to see which one comes out on top.
When it comes to calories, couscous has fewer than brown rice. In fact, one cup of couscous has about 176 calories, while one cup of brown rice has about 216 calories. Couscous is also higher in protein than brown rice, with six grams per cup compared to brown rice’s five grams.
Manufacturer: Tache, Elmhurst
Est. Price: $5-$8*
If you’re looking for an alternative to dairy milk, pistachio milk is a great option. This type of milk is packed with heart-healthy fats, phytosterols, antioxidants, and potassium. Pistachio milk also has a high calcium content, which makes it a good choice for those who are looking to increase their intake of this important mineral.
However, when compared to other nut milks, pistachio milk doesn’t always stack up. Oat milk, for example, has more calories, fiber, and carbs. Pistachio milk also has less protein than other nut milks. When compared to cow’s milk, pistachio milk falls far short in its calcium content.
Manufacturer: SO, Cocoyo, Chobani, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$8*
Despite being a popular alternative to dairy yogurt, coconut yogurt is far from perfect. It has less protein than dairy yogurt, and it has far more fat and saturated fat as well. Not exactly amazing news. As with all yogurts, you should be wary of the sugar content as well.
Sugar is, technically, vegan, so brands can put as much as they want of it into coconut yogurt without having to label it a dairy product. A high-sugar coconut yogurt might be vegan, but that doesn’t make it healthy. So if you’re looking for a healthy vegan yogurt alternative, you might want to keep searching.
Est. Price: $2-$4*
Did you know that yellow mustard is one of the most common types of this tangy condiment? French’s Yellow Mustard is easily the most popular brand. In one teaspoon of French’s, there is 57 milligrams of sodium, which is two percent of your daily value.
Yellow mustard also isn’t very nutritious, as it lacks pretty much every major vitamin. If you’re looking for a nutrient-dense condiment, yellow mustard isn’t it.
Manufacturer: Sun-Maid, Made in Nature, Sunny Fruit, Fruit Bliss, and more
Est. Price: $4-$20*
Looking to add some sweetness to your diet while packing in some extra calories? Then dried figs are the fruit for you! These fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also high in calories, making them perfect for those looking to gain weight.
However, if you’re not trying to bulk up, then you should moderate your intake of dried figs, as they can quickly add up in terms of calories consumed.
Vegan Chicken Nuggets
Manufacturer: Morningstar, SIMULATE, Gardein, Quorn, and more
Est. Price: $4-$6*
Vegan chicken nuggets are all the rage these days. But what are they made of? Seitan, a dough made from wheat gluten. When seitan is cooked, it closely resembles the texture and taste of meat. Seitan is easy to make homemade, but many people choose to buy vegan chicken nuggets and other products made from this gluten-rich ingredient at health food stores and supermarkets.
Be wary of vegan chicken nuggets, particularly as many brands contain a lot of sodium. For example, MorningStar Farms Chik’N Nuggets are meat-free, yet they contain three-hundred milligrams of sodium in just four nuggets.
Manufacturer: Altoids, Lipton, Hershey, and more
Est. Price: $3-$5*
Do you love peppermint but suffer from acid reflux? If so, you’re not alone. Many people with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) find that peppermint can trigger heartburn and other unpleasant symptoms.
Peppermint relaxes the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus. This can cause gastroesophageal reflux, which is when stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus. Peppermint can also make reflux symptoms worse in people who have hiatal hernias.
Manufacturer: Local butchers
Est. Price: $6 per pound*
Organ meats are often touted for their nutritional benefits, but there is one type of meat that you should avoid if you have gout. Kidney meat is rich in purines, which can raise your uric acid levels and trigger a gout attack.
Gout is a painful disease caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. When uric acid levels get too high, it can lead to the formation of crystals in the joints, which causes inflammation and severe pain.
Manufacturer: Everclear and more
Est. Price: $20 per 750ml bottle*
No human being should be drinking grain alcohol in the first place. Grain alcohol has an extremely high alcohol content, and consuming more than a tiny amount can lead to rapid, deadly intoxication.
You can even contract brain damage, as this beverage depresses your central nervous system. Basically, grain alcohol gets you intoxicated very quickly, and you can risk death and severe injury from consuming it. Stick to something safer and more mainstream, if you’re going to drink.
Manufacturer: Local butchers
Est. Price: $1-$2 per pound*
Looking for a heart-healthy and protein-rich meat option? Look no further than deer meat! This type of meat is popular in rural areas across America, and many people believe that it tastes even better than filet mignon steak.
When preparing deer meat, it’s important to exercise caution. The meat can contain bacteria and parasites that can cause illness if not cooked properly. Even an animal that appears healthy can carry these harmful germs. To ensure safety, cook the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Manufacturer: Red Star, Fleischmann’s, etc.
Est. Price: $3-$7*
If you have gout, you know that diet is important. You have to avoid foods that are high in purines, which can lead to a build-up of uric acid and a painful gout attack. Yeast is one type of food that you need to be careful with. Certain types of yeast extract and yeast itself can contain high levels of purines, which can trigger an attack.
That’s why people with gout are often advised to avoid beer, as it contains both alcohol and brewer’s yeast. Dietary supplements can also be a problem for gout sufferers. If they contain yeast or yeast extract, they should be avoided.
Manufacturer: Sysco, Green Giant, HelloFresh, and more
Est. Price: $1.24 per pound*
According to Vanguard Gastroenterology, those who have acid reflux should cut out raw onions from their diet. There is a “clear link” between these tangy vegetables and GERD. Onions, whether raw or cooked, stimulate gastric acid because they prolong the amount of time that your food sits in the stomach.
This exacerbates both heartburn and gas. Though some websites say that cooking onions can help reduce their acid content, if you have a legitimate reason to avoid them (such as GERD and similar diseases), you will have to remove these completely from your diet, lest you get a nasty bout of heartburn or indigestion.
Manufacturer: Local butchers
Est. Price: $1-$5 per pound*
If you’re looking for an alternative to red meat, wild game is a great option. Not only is it lower in saturated fat, but it’s also leaner because the animals – such as antelope and elk – are more active and have a natural diet.
However, it’s important to cook wild game meat thoroughly to avoid ingesting bacteria that could lead to an emergency room visit. Additionally, you should never eat wild game organs – they have high levels of metals and chemicals, far higher than in the meat itself.
Manufacturer: Restaurants, Eggo, Murry’s, etc.
Est. Price: $5-$10*
French toast is a breakfast that many people around the world love. It is sweet and delicious and can be easy to overeat. French toast is often high in saturated fat because of the milk and eggs it is made with.
Additionally, powdered sugar, syrup, and other sweet toppings can make French toast packed with sugar. Though this sugary breakfast will give you a boost of energy, you may be tired and hungry later when your insulin levels plummet.
Manufacturer: Arrowhead, Driscoll, High Country, and more
Est. Price: $1-$2 per pound*
Russet potatoes are large, oblong, and easy to spot. They have brown skin and beige-white flesh. Russets are often used for rustic dishes, such as skin-on fries. Though Russet potatoes have a high fiber and iron content, they are not necessarily the healthiest side dish you can have.
Potatoes didn’t make the “Healthy Eating Plate” from Harvard because they are a carb that your body digests rapidly. This causes your blood sugar to surge and drop. In scientific terms, Russet potatoes have a high glycemic index. Eat them in moderation, and pay attention to how your body responds after eating them.
Manufacturer: Local butchers
Est. Price: $1 per pound*
Liver is a popular dish for those who enjoy organ meats. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming too much liver.
Eating large quantities of liver can lead to vitamin A toxicity, as your body cannot process the vitamin A from the liver quickly enough. This can result in hypervitaminosis A, which can be dangerous. Therefore, it is important to moderation when consuming liver dishes.
Manufacturer: China, India, America
Est. Price: $2 per pound*
Garlic is a healthy food with many nutritional benefits. However, some people are sensitive to it and can experience side effects if they eat too much. The most common side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, diarrhea and stomach pain.
In rare cases, garlic can cause bleeding. If you experience any of these side effects after eating garlic, it is best to avoid it or eat it in moderation.
Manufacturer: Little Debbie, Grandma’s, Archway, Pepperidge Farms, and more
Est. Price: $3-$6*
Oatmeal cookies are often touted as a healthier alternative to other types of cookies. After all, they contain oatmeal, which is packed with fiber and nutrients. However, just because oatmeal cookies have the word “oatmeal” in them does not make them nutritious. In fact, most commercially prepared oatmeal cookies are loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats.
A single oatmeal cookie can contain up to ten grams of sugar. That’s more than your recommended daily value! And, since oatmeal cookies are often consumed in multiples, it’s easy to quickly consume too much sugar. Not to mention, the unhealthy fats in oatmeal cookies can offset any health benefits that the oats may provide.
Manufacturer: U.S., Mexico, Argentina, European Union
Est. Price: $1.99 per pound*
Lemon juice has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Some people believe that it can help with digestive issues, although there is not much scientific evidence to support this claim. Lemon juice is also acidic, so it should be avoided by people who have acid reflux.
Some experts say that a small amount of lemon juice can neutralize the acid in your stomach, but most medical professionals caution against drinking this acidic citrus fruit. Concentrated lemon juice is especially dangerous for people with GERD and should be avoided. If you are considering drinking lemon juice for health reasons, speak to your doctor first to see if it is safe for you.
Manufacturer: Wholesome Organic, Domino’s, Good & Gather, etc.
Est. Price: $2-$5*
Powdered sugar is often misunderstood as a healthier sugar alternative. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Powdered sugar is made from granulated sugar that has been pulverized into a fine powder.
This process does not change the nutritional content of the sugar – it simply changes the texture. When considering the impact that sugar has on your diet, powdered sugar should be treated just like regular sugar.
Manufacturer: Morton, Diamond, Haddar, and more
Est. Price: $3-$7*
Did you know that kosher salt is actually a great option for cooking and curing meat? That’s because the crystals in kosher salt are the perfect size for drawing out moisture from meat. This makes it ideal for recipes that call for dry-curing or brining meat.
Plus, the fact that there are no trace minerals, anti-caking or anti-clumping agents, or iodine in kosher salt means that it can help keep your food more flavorful. So next time you’re looking for a salt to use in your cooking, reach for the kosher variety!
Too Much Water
Est. Price: N/A
Water intoxication is a very real and dangerous condition that can occur when someone drinks too much water. While it may seem like something that could never happen to you, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with overconsumption of this life-sustaining substance.
Water intoxication occurs when the sodium levels in your blood become dangerously low. This can happen if you drink too much water too quickly, and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and confusion. In severe cases, water intoxication can lead to coma, seizures, and even death.
Manufacturer: Canada Dry, Schweppes, Fever-Tree, etc.
Est. Price: $1-$3*
Ginger ale is a popular carbonated soft drink enjoyed by people all over the world. It’s often consumed when someone is feeling sick, as many believe it can help to ease nausea and stomach discomfort.
While ginger ale is generally considered safe to drink in moderation, it’s important to be aware that it contains a significant amount of sugar. A single 12-ounce can or bottle of ginger ale contains 30 grams of sugar – that’s a lot of sugar in just one small beverage!
Est. Price: $18 per pound*
Haggis is the national dish of Scotland and it’s definitely a unique food item. It’s made with sheep’s pluck, onion, suet, oatmeal, spices, salt, and stock. The dish is usually cooked in the animal’s stomach, but an artificial casing is often used instead.
Unfortunately, haggis is illegal to import into the United States because of a 1971 ban on food containing sheep’s lungs. However, if you’re brave enough to try this Scottish specialty, you should know that 100 grams of haggis contains 191 milligrams of cholesterol and 191 milligrams of sodium.
Manufacturer: South America, Nigeria, Thailand, Indonesia
Est. Price: $5-$10*
Have you ever tried cassava? This starchy, nutty-flavored root vegetable is native in South America, as well as Nigeria, Thailand, and Indonesia. It’s a huge source of carbs and calories for people around the world.
But beware: if not properly detoxified, cassava can cause cyanide poisoning. In 2019, the CDC announced that there had been an outbreak of cyanide poisoning due to ill-prepared cassava. So make sure you know how to prepare this dish before you eat it!
While some of these foods may be hard to give up, it’s important to know the truth about the dangers they pose to your health. By making small changes in your diet and avoiding these harmful foods, you can improve your overall health and well-being. Do you have a favorite unhealthy food that’s on this list? Are there any other surprising foods that you didn’t know were bad for you? By avoiding these foods, you can improve your overall health and well-being. Stay healthy!