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Less-fat, low-calorie, zero sugar are among the most attractive food labels you can see nowadays. But behind these promises are tradeoffs. It is time to review your menu and your grocery list from here forward because these foods are still hurting your health:

Flavored Cereals

It is common knowledge that too much sugar is bad for the body, flavored cereals are no exception. Despite its promise of being “fortified with vitamin and minerals”, most flavored cereals are made with refined flour, refined sugar, and refined grains. There have been studies proving that cereals actually contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered corn to be precise. Dr. Regina Druz, chief of cardiology at St. John Episcopal Hospital in NYC, recommends serving fruit with eggs, wheat toast or even an avocado for breakfast instead of cereal. 

These Foods are Still Hurting Your Health capn crunch reeses puffs
Photo by Gades photography

Likewise, the fun shapes of breakfast cereals targeted for children were produced through the process of extrusion. This exposes the ingredients to high heat, molding, and spraying of oil and sugar to make it crunchy.

The process destroys the nutritional benefits of the ingredients making it just a mere puff fortified with vitamins, minerals and loaded with sugar. A 100g service of a fruit-flavored cereal contains 10 grams of sugar or 50% of the RDA for adults.


Margarine is considered to be the healthy alternative for butter. With this, what used to be a tub of margarine was transformed into a stick to look better like butter. But as this evolution came to be, the composition of margarine changed as well.

Margarine is made from vegetable oils and has lower saturated fat than butter but most people tend to overlook the dangers of trans fats in it. Stick margarine definitely has more trans fats than the spread and tube versions. This is one reason why these foods are still hurting your health.

You can confirm these foods are still hurting your health by always checking the label and comparing before you purchase. Just one tablespoon of margarine contains two grams of trans fats or the limit of trans fats daily for a 2,000-calorie intake for adults.

Artificial Sweeteners

Since sugar has negative effects on the body, we are all in search of the perfect alternative to keep our desserts and drinks sweet less the calories and effects on our insulin levels. The most common artificial sweeteners are aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.

These sweeteners are all between 200-700 times sweeter than sugar. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, you should avoid foods ending in “ose.”  With that said, you should know these foods are still hurting your health. 

But there are studies linking artificial sweeteners to obesity to an increase in appetite and food intake on 50% of the subjects. There was also a study conducted in mice where they were fed excessively high amounts of saccharin and cyclamate and it increased their risk of bladder cancer.

Bottled Fruit Juices

When it comes to fruit juices, the claims to be “all-natural” may not be reliable. In reality, these foods are still hurting your health. The juice extraction processes a masse could potentially reduce all the nutritional values you can get. Likewise, prolonged storage in the juice factories will make the juice lose all its natural taste, so how come these fruit juices remain so good?These Foods are Still Hurting Your Health Bottled Fruit Juices photo by Toa Heftiba

Check the label for “Carbohydrates” with loads of “Sugar” under it. A 12-ounce bottle of a peach fruit juice brand contains 30 grams of sugar or more than the RDA. Too much juice can also result in sleep deprivation. Advertisers won’t tell you this is how these foods are still hurting your health.  

Premix Pastries

Yes, it is easy as 1-2-3. Just add water, two medium eggs and voila! You can bake cookies and brownies ala top pastry chef. But healthy is never easy. The contents may be shown in the box but you can never be sure of the portions, especially of sugar. These foods are still hurting your health. 

Baking from scratch lets you be in control of the ingredients to use and the healthier alternatives. The ease will never compensate for the healthier option. A bar of brownie from a brownie mix has 18 grams of sugar in it while homemade brownies have 5 grams per bar.

Processed Meat

If you are not a cereal person, then you are probably a big breakfast person who enjoys bacon, sausages, and ham. But these foods are still hurting your health. Processed meats are just as bad as cereals are for the body. Cardiologist Dr. Kevin R. Campbell, says, “It is important to be aware of foods that are more likely to affect our blood pressure in a negative way. Diet can play a major role in the development of high blood pressure. Diets high in fat and calories can result in obesity.”

These Foods are Still Hurting Your Health bacon photo by Margo Brodowicz
Photo by Margo Brodowicz

If cereals are packed with sugar, these breakfast favorites are packed with sodium and preservatives. The RDA for sodium should not be more than 1500mg daily, 2 strips of bacon has 286mg and a sausage has 380mg with a cholesterol of 20-56mg. Dr. Omid Javadi, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon says he “would not eat bacon, because it is full of fat and cholesterol, and the nutritional value is very minimal… it’s one of the worst foods on the planet.” 

Anything Low-fat and Fat-free

Low-fat and fat-free products are not expected to be as tasty as the regular ones but why are they still close to the real thing? The supposed “less” needs to be compensated with additives, to make the taste closer to the one will fat in it.

Additives include sugar, sodium, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other extenders. Do not get rid of fat, but be conscious of choosing good fats. Unsaturated fats like polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids can help lower the bad cholesterol levels in the body as long as eaten in moderation.


We must eat healthy to remain healthy, but replacing all-natural fruits and vegetables with easy-to-prepare ones claiming to below-zero fat can have its tradeoffs as well. Familiarize yourself with the recommended daily allowances of various nutrients.

It’s also a good idea to read the label, and only keep the good stuff in your fridge and pantry. Remember which of these foods are still hurting your health and stay away from them. What you buy, what you put in the pantry and fridge are the foods you will likely eat.

Guest Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Zensleep.com and co-founder of UsmanDigitalMedia.com. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.

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