You are what you eat. That’s why we’re taking a look at some foods that are typically seen as bad for your health and that are best enjoyed in moderation.
Before we begin discussing the foods that are generally considered bad for your health, we need to take a look at what would constitute a food being “bad.” Human health is a very diverse subject with many nuances. What would be bad for one person’s health may indeed benefit another’s.
Take blood pressure as an example. Someone with high blood pressure should limit their intake of salt as it can cause their blood pressure to spike. However, someone with low blood pressure would benefit from a healthy intake of salt (although they should still be within the guidelines for blood pressure health).
Essentially, while some foods are generally not healthy for you to eat excessively, each person’s body is different, and you should listen to both your body and your physician to know exactly which foods to avoid to maintain your health. There are many resources on eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining your health with diverse nutrition.
Now let’s dig into a more detailed explanation of specific areas of health that can be affected by a variety of foods.
Your heart is the powerhouse of your body – one of the major ones, at least. Make sure you power your heart with foods that are good for it.
Saturated fat should be consumed in moderation since excessive amounts can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Trans fat can similarly increase blood cholesterol levels.
The healthier option is unsaturated fats, which can be either monounsaturated (such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, unsalted cashews, and avocado) or polyunsaturated (such as sunflower oil and vegetable oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish).
Eating too much salt can make you more likely to develop high blood pressure and increase already high blood pressure, as discussed above, which puts a strain on your cardiovascular system and therefore on your heart.
Although most meals can be eaten in moderation without affecting your overall digestive health, some are less suited than others.
Bloating, heartburn, and diarrhea are digestive issues that tend to be worsened by certain foods and beverages. The foundation of a healthy body is a healthy gut, and various digestive health problems can result from an unhealthy gastrointestinal system. Limiting your intake of the following foods can help your gut health:
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
- High levels of soy
- Red meat
- Farmed fish
- Artificial sweeteners
The intricacies of having a healthy gut – from the differences in each person’s gut microbiome and how this affects which foods exactly are bad for them to other lifestyle choices – are not to be understated. You can go for gut microbiome testing and adjust your diet according to your results, to be more specific. Regardless, we recommend including a range of gut-healthy foods in your diet.
We’ve all been told sugar is bad for our teeth. But did you know that it’s not the sugar itself that harms your oral health – it’s the acid-producing bacteria that thrive off of that sugar. Try to eat sticky candies and sweets in moderation as they contain refined sugar, and starchy foods can become caught in your mouth or in the spaces between your teeth – and become a breeding ground for bacteria. If you are going to consume a large serving of something sugary, be sure to drink plenty of water.
Most carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids, which erode tooth enamel. They also contain a lot of sugar. Food or drinks that dry out your mouth, such as alcohol, should also be minimized.
Skin health is majorly impacted by what you consume, and a good rule of thumb is to always drink enough water for your height and weight. Some foods to avoid (or at least eat in moderation) to promote skin health are:
- Foods with a high glycemic index, such as those high in sugar or refined carbs
- Processed meats, such as hotdogs
- Dairy products
- Alcohol and other diuretic substances
- Soy products
GENERAL HONOURABLE MENTIONS
All-in-all there are a few things that should be eaten in limited amounts for optimum health, such as those high in saturated or trans fats, refined sugar and refined carbs, and processed foods.
Just remember: everything in moderation, and each person should follow their body and their physician’s guidance for their own health requirements. Don’t forget that nutrition and exercise play a role in good health (among other factors), so don’t forget to join us at Buzzfit to keep up with the latter aspect of your wellness journey.