Foods that hurt your health

The foods that hurt our health may not necessarily hurt if taken once in a while but if we eat them daily, they are definitely detrimental to our health. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

What you need to know:

  • Alcohol. There is no safe amount of alcohol for your health. Alcohol and wines are very likely to cause you a beer belly. Not even a small amount is good for health; you will develop other complications like damaged nerves, liver, kidney, heart and pancreas. If you really need to drink, water is the healthiest option because it contains no calories and it cleanses your body by flushing out toxins.

We always have an option to eat the right foods that protect our health but we choose the wrong ones because of influence, limited time to prepare our own meals or even cravings. 

What the body craves for might make it sick and here are the different foods that are likely to wreak havoc.

Margarines and oily foods

Dietary fats are essential because they support cell growth, protect organs, help in the absorption of some nutrients and produce hormones necessary for different activities in the body but when you eat a lot of fatty foods; you are likely to gain more weight because you will have excess fat beyond what the body requires. 

However, the processing of oils involves very strong heating which makes them oxidised and lose their nutritional value. This makes them trans-fats that are known to cause inflammation in the body. 

Therefore, you need to check out the type of oil you are using and avoid oily and junk foods such as potato fries, burgers and many others which contain a lot of oil. Any excess oils in the body are usually deposited around the waistline causing belly fat. 

According to Lydia Aisu Pedun, a dietitian, before you purchase the margarine; check out the amount of trans-fat on the nutrient content list. Margarines that contain trans-fats are not a good option because they increase the bad cholesterol levels in your body. 

Parents should be careful not to over feed their already overweight babies on margarine because it can make them obese. 

She warns, “Increased consumption of margarine and other oils with little or no exercise at all is very unhealthy and very detrimental to your health. It is better to eat them in moderation.” 

 Artificial sugars

According to Amanda Twebaze, a nutritionist large amounts of artificial sweeteners such as table sugar, corn syrup are added to most juices and sweetened beverages on the market today. Drinking fruit juices, carbonated drinks and beverages is consuming a lot of blood sugar in one go, which leads to accumulation of unnecessary calories. 

The brain takes long to realise that you have taken in more calories than what you need if you are drinking these sweet beverages. This is the reason you will always take in more and more without getting satisfied. Even the beverages that claim to have no zero sugar often have added sugars as well. 

Sugars are very detrimental to our health because not only do they increase the risk of tooth decay, they also damage the liver and increase the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.

Refined foods

When foods undergo the refining process, they are stripped of minerals, vitamins and fibre. The fibre is very essential to our health in such a way that they control one’s appetite since they make one feel satisfied for a longer time. 

“With no fibre, digestion happens so quickly, Twebaze says, thus the desire to eat more often leading to weight gain in the long run.”

Too much salt

Many of us are eating almost twice the amount of salt (sodium) that we need for good health, largely because it is hidden in many of the foods we eat. The biggest amount of such salt comes from processed foods.

Aisu says, “If you take a lot of salt in a single meal, you will feel thirsty and get the urge to drink as much water as the body responds to the change in the sodium to water ratio in the body.”                                           Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which puts us at risk of stroke, heart disease and chronic kidney disease. Try these simple tips and cut down your intake.