1. Hot Dog
Hot dog, the most dangerous food on this list is also one of the most consumed ones. The sausages were culturally imported from Germany and popularized in the United States, where they were a working class street food sold at hot dog stands that came to be associated with baseball and America. Now lets focus on its ingredients:
Meat trimmings and fat – Pretty much self-explanatory
Flavorings – Just let your imaginations run wild with this one
Preservatives – This item needs further analysis
Preservatives are typically sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite. We already talked about nitrates and various preservatives in our analysis of hamburgers, but this substance is so toxic that it deserves another run. Here’s a fun fact: a 65 kg person would have to consume at least 4.615 g of sodium nitrite to result in death of that individual.
An American Institute for Cancer Research report found that consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat, that’s about one hot dog every day, increases risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent.
Just by looking at this picture of this delicious hamburger, you can spot several items of this list: bacon, mayonnaise and bagel A combination of duck feathers and human hair through Cysteine makes your burger buns so tasty, and this is only the beginning. Sand is used when making ground meat so that the meat does not clump up during production. Another interesting fact about the beef patty is the fact that just one patty can contain meat from over one hundred cows! One hundred cows in just one burger, yummy. Also, cows in the United States are given a highly carcinogenic genetically engineered hormone called BGH in order to increase their milk production. In addition to this, processed meats contain preservatives known as nitrates that, when absorbed by the human body, convert into nitrosamine, a chemical compound that could cause cancer.
Remember, if you can moderate your intake of any of the foods on this list, you can eat it. It’s not that much recommended, but it’s not like you’re gonna croak if you eat ten strips of bacon. The most important thing in this whole thing are your eating habits, especially when you extrapolate them over time. Impulsive decisions combined with enticing packaging and advertising (not to mention the taste and smell) usually lead to some bad eating habits, but we will talk about this more in the conclusion. Bacon has a large amount of sodium, and the consumption of a large amount of sodium can put you at risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. Four pieces of bacon can contain up to 800 mg of sodium which is truly a staggering figure. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Zurich found a connection between eating processed meat and the risk of dying from heart disease or cancer. Diabetes is also around the corner, but more importantly obesity is right in front of us. Obesity not only affects our physical appearance but it also prevents the body from functioning normally and can cause all sorts of health problems. A second study by researchers at Columbia University found that the consumption of cured meats such as bacon increase a person’s chances of developing chronic pulmonary disease.
Mayonnaise, often abbreviated as mayo, is a Spanish sauce containing stable emulsion of oil, egg yolks and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. You’re probably familiar with a fact that you can make your own mayonnaise at home, using ingredients that can be bought in any supermarket. If you eat homemade mayonnaise you’re practically in the clear, if you don’t eat too much of it that is. The mayo I wanna talk about is commercial mayonnaise that contains almost all of the harmful ingredients that we talked about earlier. The list is pretty lengthy: sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, thickeners, emulsifiers, EDTA, flavor enhancers. EDTA, what’s that paps? Behind that cryptic acronym hides an even more cryptic name: Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. Try to pronounce it just once. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid exhibits low acute toxicity (I guess this can be classified as a good thing, especially when compared to what follows) but It has been also found to be both cytotoxic and weakly genotoxic in laboratory animals. Oral exposures have been noted to cause reproductive and developmental effects, of course, with much, much higher amounts of EDTA compared to amounts found in mayonnaise, but still…
5. Jelly Beans
The Turkish Delight, a Middle Eastern sweet made of soft jelly, covered in confectioner’s powder provided the basis for jelly beans and we can trace them back to Boston confectioner William Schrafft, who urged people to send his jelly beans to soldiers during the American Civil War.
However, it was not until July 5, 1905 that jelly beans were mentioned in the Chicago Daily News and since then, well, you already know what happened. The basic ingredients of jelly beans include sugar, corn syrup, and pectin or starch.
Ingredients: lecithin, anti-foaming agents, beeswax, salt and confectioner’s glaze.
Not that sugar and corn syrup are healthy, as you’re about to read. Lets take corn syrup, a substitute for sugar, for an example, and study it further.
First of all, in the United States sugar prices are two to three times higher than in the rest of the world, which makes HFCS significantly cheaper, so that it is the principal sweetener used in processed foods and beverages.
Notice the word cheaper in there.
Studies have shown that HFCS affects the liver functions, childhood obesity and early death, but that’s not all! A recent study done on Princeton showed that high fructose corn syrup actually does make you gain more weight than the same caloric amount of table sugar.
Bagels look innocent enough, especially if they have cumin or sesame all over them, indication that they are healthy and wholesome meal, but the truth is different. The rule of thumb when it comes to food is the following: the better looking and tasting food is, it’s more likely to be unhealthy for you. We are talking mostly about empty calories that you’re ingesting and replacing other, healthier alternatives. Created in Poland in the 16th century, it quickly spread across the world and today, with urban lifestyle they have gained popularity once again. According American Institute of Baking (yes, such an institution exists and they’re quite professional) the sales reached US$626.9 million fresh bagel US supermarket sales (excluding Wal-Mart) in just 52 weeks. A typical bagel has 260-350 calories, but with various dressings that value increases and leads to the conclusion that exactly four bagels should cover your food intake for that day! Sodium, our old friend is again present in extremely high values: 330-660 milligrams per bagel, leading us to another conclusion: if we want to be safe we should eat only two bagels a day. That’s the entire amount of calories and sodium that our body needs in just two bagels…Bagels also contain 50-60g of carbohydrates – equal in carbohydrates to three or four slices of bread. Without fiber and nutrients, they are the definition of empty calories.
Although they extremely refreshing and more importantly cheap, they are also not so healthy.
They were created innocently enough, in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson of Oakland, California, who left a glass of soda water powder and water outside in his back porch with a wooden mixing stick in it. They’ve nested in our culture and eating habits in the early twenties and since then have rarely been questioned.
Try to remember the last time you saw some news article or a discussion about them and you will soon realize that popsicles have avoided scrutiny of the science for almost a century.
Don’t get me wrong, they are not all that bad, but the problem that we are trying to address is that they are open for manipulation by manufacturers who are always trying to lower costs of production.
Filled with artificial sweeteners and all kinds of dyes, they have one dangerous characteristic that makes them even more dangerous: they look like frozen soda. They are just water, sugar or high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and dyes, but besides water each of these ingredients is unhealthy, especially in large amounts.
Just try to imagine how they look and taste without that artificial color and taste and I think that you will think twice next time you’re looking for refreshment.
8. Whipped Cream
As with noodles, canned whipped cream provides instant satisfaction and it’s relatively cheap compared to other sweets, but the conspiracy goes much deeper. In our evolutionary brain, whipped cream fires two triggers, and manufacturing companies are providing the bullets. The first trigger is the intake of calories, and if our brain likes it’s calories, because for him, nothing has changed for thousands of years now. We are still trying to survive and foods rich in calories trigger good sensations, so you just keep eating them, packing fat for the uncertain future in our caves. The only problem is that now we have a steady supply of food and do not need reserves. The second trigger is that sugar overdose that we all know too well and can lead to addiction that can lead to obesity and you know where it leads… Here’s a quick list of ingredients in canned whipped cream and the accompanying problems:
Skim milk and light cream – Strong link with cancer
Xantham - Diarrhea
Sorbitan monostearate - Synthetic wax
Natural and artificial flavor – we just do not know what it contains
9. Instant noodles
Instant noodles are exactly that and the reason why are they so popular is basically again in their name.
With our free time slowly dwindling to almost nothing, we want something that’s relatively easy to prepare and packs a punch, calorie-wise that is. And instant noodles pack such a punch that they just might knock you out in one blow, but lets start at the beginning of the story and that beginning is much more closer than you think. The instant noodle was invented by Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods in Japan and were launched in 1958 under the brand name Chikin Ramen.
The product proved to be quite profitable, but in 1971, Nissin introduced Cup Noodles, a dried noodle block in a polystyrene cup and this changed everything.
A single serving of instant noodles is high in carbohydrates and fat, but low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Another concern is the level of sodium in noodles.
Typical cup-type instant noodles contain 2700 mg of sodium, and remember allowed amounts are 2300 for adults and 1300-1500 for kids and elderly.
You just need to know how Margarine was created to never eat it again. Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (nephew and heir of Napoleon I) or simply Emperor Napoleon III of France offered a prize to anyone who could make a satisfactory alternative for butter, suitable for use by the armed forces and the lower classes.
The goal was to manufacture something that’s practically unspoilelable and suitable for long military campaigns. However, margarine originated with the discovery by French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul in 1813 of margaric acid. French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès later invented a substance he called oleomargarine, which achieved little commercial success.
In 1871, he sold the patent to the Dutch company Jurgens, now part of Unilever and the rest is history. As you probably figured out, margarine is no different than plastic or any other product invented by humans in a laboratory, but with it also contains a lot of things that can harm your health:
Trans fat - coronary heart disease, leads to unbalanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats – more susceptible to cancer,chemicals and Additives in Vegetable Oils and Fats
Baloney sandwich, cornerstone of every childhood actually contains so many harmful ingredients that even one slice of it is not recommended by nutritionists. Baloney can be made from several different types of meat: chicken, turkey, beef, pork, venison or soy protein.
That’s great, right? Wrong, manufacturers use the “worst” parts of animals in order to cut costs, not to mention the fact that the animals are often mistreated and fed hormones and other chemical concoctions in order to provide the manufacturers with the largest amount of usable parts.
You end up eating grounded up bones, tails, nails all mixed with chemicals to provide the proper color and taste. Mmmmm, yummy.
Another problem is the amount of sodium, with one slice of baloney containing 300 mg of it. Recommended daily intake of sodium should not exceed 2300 mg and with older people, that number drops to 1500 mg.
And take a second to think about the proverb ‘you are what you eat’. Do you really feel like a set of chicken nails, eyes, left over feathers and who knows what else.
Respect your body, it’s you temple, after all.