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Eating is usually fun, but you have to do it carefully. As you’ve probably been told ever since you were a little kid who had your first bite of candy, just because food tastes good doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Some of the very best-tasting things you can eat can actually be terrible for you – and that doesn’t mean just junk food. Below, find out whether these common foods are bad for you.
To get the obvious one out of the way first, junk food has earned its title for a reason. Junk food has been correlated with obesity, diabetes, and even issues with learning and memory. So yes, junk food is bad for you. That said, it tastes so good that it’s often hard to resist, so if you’re going to eat it, just do so extremely sparingly. In other words, don’t eat the whole pint of ice cream in one sitting.
Most Americans have likely eaten canned tuna at some point in their lives. After all, it’s easy to enjoy straight from the can, and it’s packed with protein. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. Canned tuna can contain dangerously high amounts of mercury, a toxic element that the human body has extreme difficulty excreting. Long-term mercury buildup has been correlated with declines in memory, motor skills, and focus as well as increases in anxiety, depression, and heart disease.
Bread gets a bad rap, one that’s only partially justified. Whole wheat bread can be good for you, fighting obesity and boasting several other health benefits. It’s white bread that poses the problem. This bread gets its color from industrial processes that strip whole grains of their nutrients to extend the bread’s shelf life. Not only is this bread lacking fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in whole wheat bread, but it’s also stuffed with simple carbs, which are known to be bad for you when consumed more than sparingly.
Chocolate is a common ingredient in candies, cakes, cookies, and desserts, so it tends to be seen as junk food. In many cases, this description is accurate: Milk chocolate doesn’t offer much nutritional value, and it’s packed with simple carbs and unhealthy fats. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, has been shown to offer plenty of health benefits if eaten sparingly. It contains heart-healthy antioxidants and has been correlated with decreased risk of stroke and heart attack, but only when eaten in small amounts. In other words, don’t eat the whole dark chocolate bar at once – have a square or two as a snack every few days.
Orange juice is made from fruit, so it must be healthy, right? Well, yes and no. Orange juice is well-known for its copious amounts of vitamin C, a vital immune system booster that can also be good for your vision. However, it also contains high amounts of sugar, just as fruits do. Sure, this sugar is a complex carb, meaning it isn’t as bad for you, but as with anything, too much of it is bad for you. So keep enjoying your orange juice, but drink smaller glasses!
What are your favorite all-around healthy foods? Share your nutritious alternatives in the comments!