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The worst processed foods for you.

Updated on June 30, 2013


Its common knowledge that most processed foods are very unhealthy infact most of them have little or no nutrients they also tend to be very high in calories. Although cutting all processed foods out of your diet can be quite hard, you can try to improve your diet and wellbeing by cutting out these foods which I have highlighted as the of all the worst processed foods..

Chicken nuggets

Found at the top of the processed food pyramid these little balls of deep fried gunk are exceedingly bad for your health. Although people are lead to believe that chicken nuggets are mostly protein, they are wrong in reality chicken nuggets ( well at least processed ones, this might not be the case for home made ones) re at least 50 percent fat and contain way more carbohydrates than proteins. Bear in mind the carbs found in nuggets aren't the good types either - they are bad ones found in the deep fried bread coating or found in the rusk the filler that makes up most of your nugget. Most nuggets are deep fried in fatty oil that contains trans fat. These trans fats are extremely bad for you and can even lead to serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes as they can cause cell membrane deformities.

If your kids are constantly pestering you for chicken nuggets you are in fact able to make a relatively healthy home made alternative. Simply buy some chicken breast fillets, and normal bread. Then slice your fillets into chunks before covering in your homemade breadcrumbs using milk to make it all stick. Then either cook them in your oven or in healthy vegetable oil.

Chicken nuggets ingredient list

Fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks are of absolutely no benefit to you, they have no nutritional value all they are is empty calories. There is also a startling amount of sugar found in soda also used as a sweetener is high fructose corn syrup now found in most soda this is extremely bad for us. In recent studies high fructose.. has been linked to long term liver damage and also high blood glucose spikes.

Soda is also a very powerful acid producing substance one of the most powerful we put into our bodies ( Just look at the ability coke has to clean a dirty penny). Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment just like the one we are susceptible to if we drink lots of soda.

With the advent of new ridiculous serving measures such as the big gulp introduced at 7-11 soda is one of the leading reasons for the obesity epidemic in America.

How big is too big?


For many years hot-dogs have been a staple of the American diet statistics show that Americans consume about twenty billion of them each year yet the gross processed versions now filling the shelves of supermarkets are threatening to ruin the image of this classic for even the most wholesome versions found in traditional restaurants.

The vast majority of these frozen dogs contain dangerously high levels of sodium and other harmful chemicals such as MSG. If you have an unquenchable thirst for a hot dog search for one that comes nitrate free and with no other additives. The best dogs have a meat content of at least 85 percent.

Cookies, cakes, muffins etc..

For the purpose of this article I have placed all these products under the one heading as they can be found in relative close proximity to each other in supermarkets and also contain basically the same harmful ingredients. Overlooking the glaringly obvious high levels of salt and sugar you also find high trans fat in these products.Trans fats are added to products to give them a longer shelf life and also to improve the texture of the cake/cookie.

To figure out if a particular product contains trans fats look at the label on the back and if you see "Hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" then you know it contains trans fat and you should try to avoid them.

Short video on trans fats

Breakfast cereals

Although shrouded behind commercials of happy kids and labels branded "Fortified with vitamins and iron" breakfast cereals are in fact very bad for you, most breakfast cereals contain very high levels of sugar or worse high fructose corn syrup. If these cereals contain corn (as most of them do) you can be 99.999 percent certain that its genetically modified corn as this is cheaper to produce and yields higher quantities which in turn means greater profit for the company selling the cereal. But it is very harmful to our bodies in a recent laboratory investigation conducted in Europe GM corn was found to cause malignant tumors in rodents.

Deep investigation into the affects of GM corn has been limited as the companies using it know the detrimental effects found by the studies could have a very negative effect on their business. So they threaten laboratories with lawsuits if they try to investigate their patented seed.

Cereal (Granola) bars

Many people may be shocked to see granola bars on this list as they always thought they were a healthy alternative to chocolate bars or other candy. This is largely due to the very deceptive advertising campaigns led by large companies such as Quaker that portray these bars as a healthy, convenient, tasty option, when in reality they are quite the opposite.

Despite what it says on packaging or in fancy commercials nearly all granola bars contain high fructose corn syrup. If you are doubtful of that fact next time your in the supermarket look for a book of granola bars that doesn't list it as an ingredient. I guarantee you will struggle to find even one brand that doesnt have that ingredient. Its sometimes disguised as honey or maple syrup but what really happens is that the HFCS is the sugary base and just a minimal amount of the say honey is added for a bit of flavour.

The next time your looking for a healthy snack overlook these granola bars and instead go for something like unsalted popcorn.

Will you still eat these processed foods

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    • Aidan Mc Donnell profile image

      Aidan Mc Donnell 4 years ago from Ireland

      Sounds like a really good alternative, thanks for sharing !

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      It seems the applesauce or yogurt (I use a combo of both) give the baked goods the moisture they need without butter. If the recipe calls for 1 cups of butter, I use 1/2 C applesauce and 1/2 yogurt. If you use all applesauce it could add a tangy taste you don't want, but usually if there is sugar and other ingredients, you can't taste it. It just lowers the fat with two healthier items.

    • Aidan Mc Donnell profile image

      Aidan Mc Donnell 4 years ago from Ireland

      I agree Jean I think that one if the most crucial parts of dieting is not to starve yourself but rather try and find healthy alternatives to what you used to eat. Just wondering how does the apple sauce thing work ? And congratulations on your weight loss!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Very timely and interesting. About 5 yrs. ago I lost 50 lbs., and changed my diet a lot. I bake my own stuff, substituting unsweetened yogurt and applesauce for butter (experiment, but it works in most recipes) and I drink water or plain soda water or seltzer when thirsty. I think it is important to find healthy alternatives, and it helps to not keep tempting but calorie and chemical laden foods in the house.

    • Aidan Mc Donnell profile image

      Aidan Mc Donnell 4 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for the feedback chitrangada

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful information provided by you in this hub. Processed food is indeed bad for health and there is a great tendency among today's generation to consume this.

      Well done and an eye opener!

      Thanks for sharing!