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Saturday, May 17, 2014
THE 5 WORST FOODS TO CONSUME
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By Dr. Mercola
There are no "bad" foods,
right? Only food you should eat in moderation? Well, not really. The
following foods are so bad for your body that I cannot see any reason
to eat them. Not only do they have zero nutritional value, but they
also give your body an unhealthy dose of toxins, which should make
the idea of eating them really hard to swallow.
Doughnuts are fried, full of sugar and
white flour, and most all varieties contain trans fat. Store-bought
doughnuts are made up of about 35 percent to 40 percent trans fat,
and an average doughnut contains about 200 to 300 calories, mostly
from sugar, and few other nutrients.
Trans fats, found largely in
commercially prepared baked and fried foods, have become notorious in
recent years because they not only raise "bad" LDL
cholesterol, but also lower levels of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol.
High trans-fat intake has been linked to coronary heart disease, in
which fatty plaques build up in the heart arteries, sometimes leading
to a heart attack.
Furthermore, when foods are cooked at
high temperatures, carcinogenic substances like acrylamide can form.
It's too bad that Americans view
doughnuts as a breakfast food as, nutritionally speaking, eating a
doughnut is one of the worst ways to start off your day. It will
throw off your blood sugar and doesn’t provide any real nutrients,
which means you'll soon be hungry again. You are better off eating no
breakfast at all, or better yet grabbing a quick glass of whey
One can of soda has about 10 teaspoons
of sugar (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup), 150
calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food
colors and sulphites. I can't think of any good reason to ever drink
it. The diet varieties are even worse, as they are filled with
harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame and/or sucralose.
Studies have linked soda to
osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay, and heart disease, yet the
average American drinks an estimated 50 gallons of soft drinks each
year. Plus, drinking all that sugar will likely suppress your
appetite for healthy foods, which pave the way for nutrient
A 20-ounce glass of cola contains the
equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn
syrup (HFCS). This is nearly three times the maximum daily sugar
intake recommended by the American Heart Association. HFCS typically
contains a mixture of 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose
(although recent investigations have found that many brand-name sodas
actually contain 65 percent fructose!). Once ingested, your pancreas
rapidly begins to create insulin in response to the sugar. The rise
in blood sugar is quite rapid.
Here’s a play-by-play of what happens
in your body upon drinking a can of soda:
Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar
spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by
turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.
Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption
is complete; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your
liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. As you could see in
this report above, Yunji DeNies’ blood glucose level was 79 at the
outset of the experiment, and after 40 minutes it had risen to 111!
Around 45 minutes, your body increases
dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your
brain – a physically identical response to that of heroin, by the
After 60 minutes, you’ll start to
have a blood sugar crash, and you may be tempted to reach for another
sweet snack or beverage.
Chronically elevated insulin levels
(which you would definitely have if you regularly drink soda) and the
subsequent insulin resistance is a foundational factor of most
chronic disease, from diabetes to cancer.
Lately, the media has finally begun
reporting on the science of fructose, which clearly shows it is far
worse than other sugars. Fructose is processed in your liver, and
unlike other sugars, most of it gets shuttled into fat storage. This
is why fructose is a primary culprit behind obesity—far more so
than other sugars. According to the news report above, drinking two
bottles of soda per day can make you gain a pound of fat per week! If
you routinely drink soda--regular or diet--eliminating it from your
diet is one of the simplest and most profound health improvements you
French Fries (and Nearly All
Commercially Fried Foods)
Potatoes are bad enough when consumed
in their raw state, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to
glucose that raises insulin levels and can devastate your health. But
when they are cooked in trans fat at high temperatures, all sorts of
interesting and very unpleasant things occur.
Anything that is fried, even
vegetables, has the issue of trans fat and the potent cancer-causing
substance acrylamide. Animal studies have shown that exposure to
acrylamide increases the risk of several types of cancer, and the
International Agency for Research on Cancer considers acrylamide a
"probable human carcinogen." It has also been linked to
nerve damage and other neurotoxic effects, including neurological
problems in workers handling the substance. While this chemical can
be formed in many foods when they're heated to a temperature above
120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit), French fries and potato
chips are the biggest offenders.
Foods that are fried in vegetable oils
like canola, soybean, safflower, corn, and other seed and nut oils
are particularly problematic. These polyunsaturated fats easily
become rancid when exposed to oxygen and produce large amounts of
damaging free radicals in the body. They are also very susceptible to
heat-induced damage from cooking. What is not commonly known is that
these oils can actually cause aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer,
and weight gain.
Furthermore, in the US, canola,
soybean, and corn oils are made primarily from genetically engineered
crops, which come with their own set of health risks.
It is theoretically possible to create
a more "healthy" French fry if you cook it in a healthy fat
like virgin coconut oil. Due to its high saturated fat content,
coconut oil is extremely stable and is not damaged by the high
temperatures of cooking. This is why coconut oil should be the only
oil you use to cook with.
I am fond of telling patients that one
French fry is worse for your health than one cigarette, so you may
want to consider this before you order your next "Biggie."
Most commercial chips, and this
includes corn chips, potato chips, tortilla chips, you name it, are
high in trans fat. Many also contain genetically engineered
ingredients. Fortunately, some companies have caught on to the recent
media blitz about the dangers of trans fat and have started to
produce chips without trans fat. However, the high temperatures used
to cook them can still cause the formation of carcinogenic substances
like acrylamide, and this risk remains even if the trans fat is
“Natural” chips are increasingly
popular, but it’s important to realize that this means very little
in terms of its health impact. A fried, genetically engineered corn
chip is still going to wreak havoc in your body—even if it’s low
in trans fat.
Fried Non-Fish Seafood
This category represents the
culmination of non-healthy aspects of food. Fried shrimp, clams,
oysters, lobsters, and so on have all the issues of trans fat and
acrylamide mentioned above, plus an added risk of mercury.
Seafood is loaded with toxic mercury
and shellfish like shrimp and lobsters can be contaminated with
parasites and resistant viruses that may not even be killed with high
heat. These creatures, considered scavenger animals, consume foods
that may be harmful for you. Farmed seafood may be even worse than
wild-caught, as they’re fed concoctions of antibiotics and other
Eating these foods gives you a
quadruple dose of toxins--trans fat, acrylamide, mercury, and
possibly parasites or viruses--with every bite. The only fish I now
eat is wild red Alaskan salmon that has been proven through
independent lab testing to be virtually free of harmful levels of
mercury and other contaminants.