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Top 10 Most Harmful Foods We Eat (and Why You Shouldn't)

diets and nutrition plans

Navigating the world of healthy eating and dieting can be a confusing process. With controversial advertisements, millions of products, and ever-changing health trends, and a lack of time or knowledge, it can be very difficult to stick to a healthy diet.

Top 10 Most Harmful Foods We Eat

Canned soup or instant soups

A seemingly harmless addition to this list, canned soups aren't as bad for your health as some of the other foods featured in this top 10, but they do contain large amounts of salt. Prepared properly, soup can be a nutritious and healthy food full of vitamins and other useful substances. It is best to prepare it yourself so that you know exactly what is in it as products and spices. This way you know exactly what you're eating and you won't fall into the high-salt trap of canned soups.

White bread

Many people like to have breakfast or lunch a sandwich made with white bread. This soft fluffy bread, wrapped around melted cheese, some meat and smeared with cream cheese sounds so appetizing. Unfortunately, as with the other members of this list, the negative health consequences of white bread make it a food that should be limited. 

The problems with white bread are focused around the production process. To create this mild taste of white bread, bran and germs are separated and discarded, leaving only the soft, bleached endosperm. Then it is processed into the fluffy white bread that we love so much. But what makes whole-grain bread incredibly healthy is the fiber it contains. When bran and germ are removed, bread is almost immediately deprived of important nutrients that the body needs. 

Also, white bread, although delicious, quickly turns into sugar. This extra sugar can cause negative side effects for health after consumption. 1

Canned tuna

Canned tuna is often found in recipes for healthy eating in combination with green salad or iceberg lettuce. Unfortunately, tuna's longstanding good reputation for healthy eating has been changed because of mercury. Mercury levels in the oceans are rising steadily due to environmental pollution. Oceans have suffered due to industrial production and mercury is just one of the negative effects of this, and is also transferred to people who consume marine fish.

Potato chips

Potato chips are one of the fatiest, saltiest and least nutritious foods a person can consume. A high-fat diet has long been considered one of the least healthy foods. In this regard, the term "couch potato" in English was created in reference to both the lack of nutrients that potatoes present in the modern diet and the lazy lifestyle that includes consuming potato chips. 

Despite the convenience of a pack with ready to eat potato chip, this is very dangerous, taking into account health deficits. The addictive nature of potato chip makes it dangerous to health, especially since it provides you with a lot of carbohydrates and fats against no vitamins and minerals. 

Dietary soda

It is well known that most classic brands of carbonated drinks are high in sugar. Sweet liquid, in principle, is a desire innate not only in human nature, but also in much of the animal kingdom. Although many struggle hard to stay away from it, the sugar in soda is addictive. 2

As we began to become highly informed about the effects of food and drink on the body over the past 100 years, a lot of peop;e are looking for products with reduced sugar content or without any sugar. Thus, the most popular brands of carbonated drinks manufacturers understood that they should look for alternative sweeteners. This led to the use of aspartame or splenda (more sucralose), which, however, is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and others. For them, we know that their consumption leads to increased levels of depression and anxiety, vision problems and more. 3


Regardless of the brand of margarine, these products usually contain trans fats and are absolutely harmful to a person. These artificial trans fats are known to contribute to some of the worst types of heart disease in humans. This has been proven through numerous studies comparing the benefits and disadvantages of butter and margarine as two types of fat on the menu. Olive oil and butter, such as cow or coconut, offer cleaner alternatives to fat and are recommended for a healthy effect.

Energy drinks

As many may suggest, the power that stems from energy drinks is derived from caffeine. Although this is a normal compound that appears in fizzy drinks and coffee, the levels at which energy drinks include caffeine mean that they can have up to 5 times the levels of caffeine compared to a regular serving of soda. An energy drink would not cause long-term damage, but continuous, i.e. regular consumption can cause unwanted side effects. Typically, such drinks also have sugar or artificial sweeteners with a dubious effect on glucose levels, so we do not recommend them. 

Fruit juice

A glass of orange juice is one of the most frequently ordered things for breakfast in restaurants and is preached as healthy. Unfortunately, fruit juices are one of the most harmful things that can be inserted into the body. 

How can fruits be unhealthy? The process that turns fruit, a food with a lot of sugar, into juice, practically ruins all the useful nutritional qualities. Fiber is one of the best qualities of fruit, and the process of squeezing fruit juice often involves completely removing the pulp — except for some orange juices and more expensive juice variants.  

What remains is an extremely sweet juice, which is often mixed with additional sugars and preservatives. After all, many juices are no better than a can of carbonated drink, so it is recommended to consume whole fruits, and not just their juice.  

Processed meats

Processed meats have been modified to contain nitrates and other chemical additives to help preserve meat for longer and improve color. Some processed meats, such as sausages, are also composed of residues, useless parts of animals mixed with large amounts of salt and fat. Eating processed meat can also cause health risks, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and some forms of cancer

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

The big winner among all harmful foods is high-fructose corn syrup. The amount of refined sugar we consume has decreased over the past 40 years, but we consume almost 20 times more HFCS. According to researchers at Tufts University, Americans consume more calories from HFCS than from any other source. 

It is found in virtually all the foods we eat. This syrup, although inexpensive to use, increases triglycerides, strengthens fat storage hormones and causes people to overeat and gain weight. Therefore, everything that is in a package should be reviewed and judged whether it should be bought, looking for products without high-fructose corn syrup.  4

  1. Top 10 Most Harmful Foods We Eat
    • Canned soup or instant soups
    • White bread
    • Canned tuna
    • Potato chips
    • Dietary soda
    • Margarine
    • Energy drinks
    • Fruit juice
    • Processed meats
    • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)


Why do we crave creamy, crunchy, fried or fatty dishes that fill us with energy and a huge amount of calories? Because they have good taste, of course! However, the facts show that such foods cause high BMI, higher cholesterol and raised blood pressure, which in turn are prerequisites for more serious health problems. 

When calories don't come from nutritious, low-calorie, high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables or whole grains, or from healthy proteins like lean meat and low-fat dairy foods, then weight problems begin. That is why limiting all of the above foods and beverages is an excellent prevention of future problems with weight, blood pressure, hormones and more. 4

The author

Bettina Tzvetkova has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship, a fan of healthy eating, power sports and cycling. Author of over 1500 scientifically based articles, product texts and advertising materials on health topics for Bulgarian and foreign websites. 


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