According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, an estimated 75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure. This means approximately one out of every three people living in the United States have this serious medical condition. The CDC also reports that more than 102 million Americans over the age of 20 have cholesterol levels above the healthy limit. According to the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans were living with diabetes in 2015. A poor diet can either cause, or exacerbate, all three of these conditions. To safeguard your health, consider avoiding the following absolute worst foods at the grocery store as much as possible.
For some people, a trip to the supermarket wouldn’t be complete without tossing a box of stick margarine into their shopping carts. This versatile product can be spread on a morning piece of toast, utilized when scrambling an egg, or added to cake batter. Unfortunately, it’s extremely high in heart damaging saturated fat and trans fat.
According to WebMD, a tablespoon of margarine contains two grams of saturated fat and one and a half to two and a half grams of trans fat. However, due to pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, many brands of margarine are being reformulated to remove the trans fat in them.
Because the firm texture of stick margarine makes it difficult to spread lightly on foods, you can easily consume more of it than you think. Healthy oils such as olive and walnut are better options than stick margarine because they contain heart beneficial polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Consisting of little, to no, nutritional value, potato chips are definitely one of the unhealthiest, but popular, products lining supermarket shelves. The oil potato chips are deep fried in contains mind-boggling amounts of saturated fat. To attempt to alert parents of the pitfalls of feeding their kids potato chips, the British Heart Foundation created a campaign with the disturbing image of a young girl drinking cooking oil directly from a huge bottle.
Besides saturated fat, potato chips are loaded with high blood pressure inducing sodium. According to SFGate, an ounce of potato chips typically consists of 120 to 180 milligrams of sodium.
Due to their addictive nature, and absence of filling fiber, many people consume more than an ounce of this snack at the time. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend you consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. When you’re in the mood for a crunchy snack, opt for carrot sticks, celery sticks, or unsalted nuts instead of potato chips.
For those worrying about the state of their waistlines or high cholesterol levels, the fat-free snacks section of the grocery store might be appealing. Unfortunately, processed foods devoid of fat generally don’t taste good. Because food manufacturers are aware of this reality, they add sugar, artificial sweeteners, salt, and other unhealthy ingredients to their fat-free products to make them palatable. When you’re hankering for a healthy fat-free snack, opt for an apple, strawberries, or grapes.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH, a 24 ounce energy drink can contain as much as 500 milligrams of caffeine. You would have to drink four or five cups of coffee to consume this amount of caffeine. Even more troubling, energy drinks contain guarana, another source of caffeine often referred to as Brazilian cocoa.
Consuming large amounts of caffeine may lead to serious heart and blood vessel problems including elevations in blood pressure and heart rate and heart rhythm disturbances. The use of caffeine may also cause insomnia, anxiety, and dehydration. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of energy drink related visits to emergency rooms doubled. For those aged 40 and older, a 279 percent increase was noted.
Processed meats such as bologna, ham, hot dogs, and sausage are typically packed with sodium, saturated fat, and preservatives like nitrates. Consuming these convenient meats is linked to an increased risk for developing colon cancer. Strive to fill your sandwiches with freshly sliced roasted turkey or chicken rather than salty processed meats.
If compromising your health isn’t on your to-do list, steer clear of the aforementioned foods at the grocery store. When you visit the supermarket, strive to purchase most of your items from the peripheral sections. These spaces are where healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein are usually displayed.
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