Increased use of technology has definitely made it easier for us to satisfy our taste buds and cravings in this busy lifestyle by going online. Now, it is easy to get the food delivered whenever and wherever you want by using various food apps. But this convenience and comfort comes with its own set of problems, especially in the form of increased health issues. One of the reasons behind this is eating or ordering unhealthy food items without knowing or caring about the harm they can do to our body.
While we have stepped in a new year with some new resolutions and commitments to meet, a little watch on what we eat can make us lead a healthier year. In the year 2021, let’s get rid of 21 unhealthy food items and move towards mindful eating.
1. Pizza - No doubt, pizza is very delicious and satisfies our taste buds, it is loaded with unhealthy calories. The presence of cheese and white flour makes it difficult to digest and the high fat content can reverse all your weight loss efforts.
2. Burger - Burger is another widely famous unhealthy junk food, which is loaded with crazy combinations of carbs, calories, fats, additives, flavors, preservatives, etc. contributing not only to weight gain but also leading to lot of serious health issues.
3. Cake/Pastries - Nowadays, cakes or pastries are not limited to the trend of cutting and celebrating special occasions, but has become one of the demanding food items as desert. They are harmful for our body as they are mostly made of refined flour, refined sugar, and saturated fat. You can replace market’s unhealthy cake with homemade semolina or wheat flour cake, as ingredients used to prepare a cake plays an important role in its effects on your health.
4. High-fat dairy food - Nutritional guidelines suggest individuals to take a low-fat diet for a healthy heart and weight. High-fat dairy foods contain high saturated fat which can increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and can make it difficult to maintain your heart’s health.
5. Processed fruit juices - Packed and processed fruit juices available in market are definitely not safe and a bad choice when it comes to your health, as they are prepared with added sugar, flavors, color, and preservatives. Yes, 100% fresh homemade fruit juices without any additives are safe to consume. However, they also lack the nutritional values of fiber and pulp present in a whole fruit. Having fruit juice sometimes in a restricted amount is fine, but as per various studies and experts, eating whole fruit is always healthier than having fruit juices.
6. Potato fries - Frying potato in the form of potato chips, nuggets, French Fries, cutlets, etc. turns it into a source of excess calories and trans-fat, raising the level of cholesterol in blood which may lead to serious health issues like type2 diabetes, strokes, various heart problems, obesity, etc.
7. Ice-cream - Didn’t expect this on the list, right? But, consuming delicious and tasty ice-cream made with additives can be dangerous, as it contains high amount of sugar, calories, and fats which can disturb the normal range of blood sugar leading to diabetes or other serious health problems. They are also not safe for people suffering from cold allergies.
8. Unhealthy drinks - Soda, carbonated or sugary drinks contain more chemicals, artificial sugar, and colors which are well known to be dangerous for our body. They are directly linked to weight gain and have negative effects on our kidney, liver, brain, teeth, and heart health.
9. Candies - Chocolate, candies, and even bars are loaded with refined sugar, preservatives, and trans-fat which only give instant energy and satisfaction to your tongue with zero nutrients. Sometimes little piece of dark chocolate is good to consume to suppress our craving.
10. Sugary biscuits/cookies - Biscuits and cookies are made with refined flour, sugar, and unhealthy fat which increase the risks of high cholesterol, severe constipation, high blood pressure, and obesity, if consumed regularly. Wheat flour, oats, semolina biscuit or cookies can be healthy substitutes, if taken in limited amounts.
11. Cheese popcorn - Cheese popcorns contain a high amount of saturated fat, sodium, and unhealthy calories which can lead to the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular, and kidney diseases. Plain, un-salted pop corns are good to go for snacking.
12. Salty nuts and seeds - Plain nuts and seeds are healthy and nutritious but if you turn them into salty form with visible fat and consume regularly, they tend to increase your blood sodium level and can lead to high blood pressure, edema, stiff blood vessels, weak bones, and kidney diseases.
13. Fried /Trans-fat foods - Frying food is one of the most common and unhealthy cooking methods. This process forms many harmful chemical elements under high heat. Consuming fried foods regularly such as pakora, samosa, kachori, poori, and so on, can cause obesity and decrease the level of good cholesterol. Roasting and shallow frying can be the substitutes.
14. Processed foods - Processed or packed foods are mostly added with extra salt, sugar, and preservatives which should be avoided as they can damage our organs and can lead to many health problems in the long run.
15. Noodles/Maggie - Noodles or Maggie is often consumed to satisfy short cravings. Since they are made of refined flour, saturated fat, and processed spices containing excess sodium and simple carbohydrate, consuming them on a routine basis can lead to digestive problems, weight gain, diabetes, and hypertension.
16. Readymade breakfast cereals - These are very famous among children and adults due to their easy method of preparation. But they are highly added with sugar, salt, and fat which can lead to diabetes, heart diseases, and other chronic illnesses.
17. Alcohol - Drinking alcohol in excess over a longer period can definitely attack your liver, heart, kidney, brain, and the immune system. This will make your body weak while increasing the risk of getting infections and diseases.
18. Fried fish/ chicken - Fried fish or chicken seems mouthwatering to many, but eating them regularly can reduce the absorption of good fat leading to a risk of obesity and heart diseases. Steamed, roasted, and baked versions of these items are safe to use.
19. Mayonnaise - Nowadays almost every fast food is served with mayonnaise to enhance the taste of the food items, but mayonnaise actually contains high saturated fat which is difficult to burn. The accumulation over a period of time leads to weight gain and risk of heart diseases.
20. Doughnuts or Donuts - Doughnuts are made with refined flour, sugar, salt, and trans or saturated fat which contains high calories, sodium, and simple carbohydrate. Regular consumption of such items leads to significant weight gain and heart problems.
21. Desserts - India is a country of festivals and for every festival Indians have a huge range of sweets. A few of these sweets are unhealthy in all possible ways no matter they are homemade or market made, because all of them contain sugar and fat which does not provide any vitamin and minerals. They only contain empty calories which increases the risk of developing life-threatening diseases. Consuming them occasionally is good, but having them every day as a dessert can bring you closer to diabetes and weight gain.
There are a number of food items which are rich in nutrition and easy to digest. You can have them in your diet and enjoy your meals and snacks without leaving any ill effect on your body. For a better diet plan, specific to your body requirements, you can get recommendations from your dietician.