List of 21 Unhealthy Foods And Find Their Healthy Alternatives

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Modern lifestyle brings more comfort, but at the cost of our health. With a spike in lifestyle diseases, there is always confusion between healthy and unhealthy foods that we consume. Most of the food we eat today has empty calories; they pile up on some kilos and have no nutritional value.

Unhealthy foods do taste great, but is that the reason we should play with our health?

Here is a list of 21 Unhealthy Foods you should refrain from adding in your diet if you want to stay healthy.

List Of Some Unhealthy Foods

Sweet Bubbly Beverage

1 can of coke (335ml) = 140 calories

Our modern diet is full of added sugars. Soda and other sugary drinks are the worst. Can you imagine how this bubbly drink can ruin your weight plans?

Alternatives: Drink water (plain or sparkling), light coffee or tea (herbal or green teas are healthier), or honey water with lemon juice.

Top Unhealthy Foods

Juicing Diet

While fruits are healthy juicing them can be of no benefit. Whole fruit contains fructose (a type of sugar) and fiber; once squeezed the fiber is gone.

Alternatives: Eating the whole fruit is healthier than drinking fruit juice.

Margarine Mistaken As Healthy Alternative To Butter

People have now realized that margarine is a highly processed pseudo-food loaded with the artificial ingredients list. It has higher trans fat content than the regular butter. This leads to an increase of saturated fats in the body thereby increases the risk of heart diseases.

Check your labels: Products with < 0.5g trans fat per servings can only be labeled as “no trans fat.”

Industrial Omega-6 Vegetable Oils

Oils like corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil, etc. are ultra-processed varieties we find in every junk food sold along the street. These are incredibly high in omega-6 fatty acids and are harmful to human health

Caution:

Cooking vegetable oils at high flame can lead to oxidation which is unhealthy for your heart.

Alternatives: Avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and butter.

Desi Cooking With Ghee

All Indian recipes are tempered with ghee to add flavor to your curries. We have stated the health benefits of using ghee in other article but only if you consume it in small amounts. Bear in mind ghee is high in saturated fats and leads to increased cholesterol levels.

Alternatives: Roast your veggies in olive oil instead of ghee.

The Delicious Spread – Mayonnaise

Planning to lose weight? Cut out on unhealthy foods like mayo. All fast foods are loaded with this delicious but unhealthy spread. We don’t even realize we’re packing our tummies with calories.

Quarter cup mayo = 360 calories and 40 g of fat

Alternatives: Switch to low-calorie condiments – salsa, taco sauce, mustard, or BBQ sauce.

Triangular Bites – Pizzas

Something that would top the unhealthy foods chart is ‘Pizza.’ It does taste incredible, but it contains refined wheat flour and a host of processed toppings. Healthy eating should omit pizzas from your diet.

Alternatives: Replace refined flour with unprocessed multigrain flour. Make homemade pizzas with wholesome ingredients. Use little cheese and add more veggies.

pizza unhealthy foods

Fake Coffee Creamers

Do you enjoy your desserts with whipped cream or a cup of creamy coffee after dinner?

It’s fine to have them in moderation but make sure they are dairy-made. Most cafes substitute real cream with synthetic substitutes. These fake creamers contain lots of trans fat, added sugars, artificial flavors, and colors.

Crunchy Potato Snack

French Fries! Potato Crisps! Yummy aren’t they?

But, healthy?

Undoubtedly these are one of the most loved and irresistible snacks we end up overeating. Finding any positive points on the modern diet is hard. Potato fries and chips are the high carbs and dense fat foods, high in sodium, and artificial flavoring.

Alternatives: Eat potatoes that are boiled or baked. If you need some crunch to your palate, snack on few nuts and dried fruits.

Favorite Childhood Sugary Treats

Grocery stores are flooded with colorful candies and sweets. These little treats are ever appealing to young and old. They are one of the common unhealthy foods amongst children. Childhood obesity has become a growing issue because of the omnipresence of these treats in their diet.

Stay Away from Sweets!

Alternatives: Take a piece of dark chocolate or fruit instead.

Sweets unhealthy foods

Hot Dogs And Burgers

Fast foods have become part and parcel of our modern life. Consumption of processed meats and cheese in these delicacies result in heart disease and cancer. Junk this junk food with healthier lean meat or turkey sausages.

Look at few unhealthy foods offered at McDonald’s:

  • Big Breakfast With Hotcakes (1,150 calories)
  • McFlurry With M&M’s (930 calories)
  • Cheeseburger Happy Meal (840 calories)
  • Frappe Mocha, Large (680 calories)
  • McWrap, Crispy Chicken and Bacon (620 calories)

Rice Crackers

So light! So airy! These small packets are known to be the ultimate health food cliché. But these surprisingly fall into the group of unhealthy foods. They are high in sodium, lack fiber, and carb-dense foods.

Times you should never eat carbohydrate-rich food:

  • Late-night snacking
  • Pre- and Post-workout meals
  • First thing in the morning
  • When you’re short of sleep

Favorite Munchies In Theatre – Popcorn

The popcorn kernels are popped in large quantities of industrial vegetable oils, which contain 90% saturated fats. Refrain from the habit of munching these pops.

A medium-size packet of popcorn counts to 1200 calories with 60g saturated fat = 3 large-sized fast food burgers = A full stick of butter

Alternatives: Eat homemade, low-cal, air-fried popcorns. These contain only 30 calories per cup of serving.

popcorn

Wheat Flour – The Refined Carbohydrate

Wheat flour is refined carbs that are harmful to one and all. It causes large spikes in blood sugar levels. Avoid foods like bread, bagels, cakes, cookies, noodles, and pasta for weight loss and long-term health.

Surprisingly, wheat flour has a higher glycemic index than Coke!!

Can you believe it?

Alternatives: Eat tubers and legumes for dense carb meals.

Processed Meat

Processed meats like bacon, pepperoni, and sausages are loaded with salts and unhealthy fats. You may add small portions of this meat to your roasted veggies but don’t overdo. Having unprocessed meat can be made healthier, but this is not true with processed meat.

Processed Cheese

We get artificially engineered cheese in the market which is unhealthy. Try getting your hands on regular cheese. Make sure you read labels before buying any products.

Delicious Confectionaries – Pastries To Doughnuts To Cookies

All kinds of sweet baked goods are generally prepared using refined added sugar and trans fats. Pastries, doughnuts, cookies, and cakes are tasty treats with no essential nutrients. We suggest you should eat homemade cakes and cookies using brown sugar (demerara sugar) as a healthy alternative.

Agave Nectar – Sweeteners

This is an artificial sweeter with very high amounts of fructose. Added sugars can be disastrous to health.

Table sugar contains 50% fructose; corn syrup contains 55% fructose; agave nectar is 85% fructose

Alternatives: List of healthy and natural sweeteners:

    • Honey
    • Jaggery
    • Brown sugar
    • Maple syrup
    • Stevia

The Ultimate Frozen Delight – Ice Cream

Who doesn’t like eating ice creams? But, can you eat just a single serving of this frozen delight? Never. Ice cream is very high in calories, and you can easily overeat. Taking it in the form of dessert is even worse as you’ll be adding to your total calories.

ice-cream fattening foodAlcoholic Beverages – Unhealthy Foods

We all know exposure to alcohol is harmful to health. Excessive exposure to such beverages causes the death of liver and brain cells.

1 glass wine = 170 calories

1-pint beer = 150 calories

1 glass wine = 144 calories

1.5 ounce shot of rum, vodka, whiskey or gin = 105 calories

Alternatives: Drink water with a dash of honey and lemon, or pipe some hot green tea. If you like cold treats go for homemade ice tea or coffee without creamers.

Organic, Paleo and Gluten-Free Junk Food

Marketing for these diets can be persuasive, making processed foods look healthy. Just because some foods are low-carb or low-fat, they need not be right for you. The low-fat version of dairy products is inferior to a whole food, and full-fat versions.

Gluten-free’ and ‘Organic’ label claims are just health-washing! After all, they are ultra-processed unhealthy food Excessive Raw Cruciferous Vegetables

Aren’t vegetables labeled as HEALTHY FOODS?

Why then eating raw broccoli, cabbage, and kale in large amounts lead to potential health problems?

The reason is their goitrogenic properties (suppression of production of thyroid hormones) when consumed raw. They affect the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Say no to juicing! Cruciferous vegetables are one of the foods to curtail in their raw state.

broccoli

Do you eat healthy?

Stop indulging in unhealthy foods! Stop following the fads!

Try consuming homemade, healthy, nutrient-dense foods to restore your long-term health.

Put simply; real foods don’t need an ingredients list, because real food is the sole ingredient.

Share with us your favorite unhealthy foods and how you try to control its portion in your diet below.

FAQs

What are the bad carbs?

Carbohydrates used in the refined form are termed as bad carbs. These so-called bad carbs quickly boost your blood sugar levels and increase the risk for diseases.

Is it bad to eat ice creams every night?

Eating ice cream at night is not advised. Your body cannot process high calories while it is resting. It is a delicacy loaded with sugars and unhealthy fats. Whether you eat them in day or night, you should restrict portion size to stay healthy.

What is the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet emulates the foods that were available to humans of the Paleolithic era (by hunting and gathering). Foods like lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are a part of the Paleo diet.