Most of us don’t realise that some foods just shouldn’t be eaten, despite what the advertising tells us. There are foods that have the potential to be so bad for us nutritionally that they are best avoided altogether.
Nutritionist Susie Burrell shares her thoughts and the scientific reasons why they are best eliminated from your diet completely.
Spreads are a controversial food topic among nutrition professionals as the recommended switch from butter to margarine originally came from evidence that plant-based oils were better for the heart than animal-based fat.
While this is true, nutrition professionals will generally recommend foods that are as natural as possible and when it comes to margarine it is an added fat that we do not “need” in our diet, especially fat that comes from heavily processed, refined vegetable oil.
A high intake of processed vegetable oils is linked to increased inflammation long-term, which is extremely damaging to the body’s cells over time.
It is the high nitrate and salt content of canned and cured meats that has resulted in processed meats being classified as a Group 1 carcinogen. This can increase the risk of developing both bowel and stomach cancer.
In Australia, we consume a lot of processed meats via our bacon, snags, salami and beef jerky which can increase the risk of developing bowel cancer.
Soft drinks are one of the most concentrated sources of added sugars. A 600ml bottle gives you 13 teaspoons of refined sugar. The drinks are also highly acidic which is not good for dental health.
Diet soft drinks contain no sugar, but they contain a range of sweeteners. There is growing evidence building to link the consumption of diet soft drink to increased blood glucose levels, greater appetite and cravings for sweet foods and obesity.
These include the rings, tubes, strings and puffs of processed corn, rice or wheat that are heavily flavoured with cheese or chicken and cooked with processed vegetable oils.
Not only are these snacks high in fat and specifically saturated fats, it is the combination of processed carbs and fats that makes these foods both appealing but also so bad for us nutritionally.
Neurological studies have shown that the more concentrated the mix of carbs and fat within a food, the increased risk of overeating. This may explain why we can finish an entire packet of high-fat snacks without even noticing.