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The worst food and drink for your body

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It’s winter; it’s cold and dark outside and our bodies seem to be craving those leftover selection boxes as well as other yummy comfort foods. Deep down we know that indulging in some of these on a regular basis is bad for our health but sticking to a healthy balanced diet is something we’d rather wait until closer to our summer holidays to do. After all, a cosy jumper and a pair of jeans can easily conceal an expanding waistline, so why should we forsake all those goodies just now when we can resolve to hit the gym and clean up our diet in preparation for donning that bikini on the beach? Have a look at the effects some of these foods and drinks can have and ask that again.

Alcopops

We’re not suggesting you cut alcohol out completely (unless you really want to) but brightly coloured sweet alcopops should definitely be avoided. As well as being full of sugar and high in calories these drinks tend to be packed with artificial colours and flavourings.

Fizzy juice

Linked to obesity, certain cancers, premature aging and tooth decay, fizzy drinks may be refreshing but they certainly aren’t good for you. One can of cola contains around 33g of sugar – that is over eight teaspoons of sugar just from one can of juice! And diet drinks don’t fair much better on the health front. Although they contain less sugar and fewer calories, they do fill you with caffeine, chemicals and artificial sweeteners, which have their own health issues.

Artificial sweeteners

Many of us use artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar and while they do have fewer calories, they have been linked to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown that sugar substitutes can actually increase appetite, which is exactly the opposite effect than what most people opting for them will be looking for.

Processed meat

The term ‘processed meat’ includes ham and luncheon meats as well as things like hot dogs, bacon and some sausages and burgers. The reason these are so bad for you is largely due to their sodium content but also down to the fact that these meats tend to be higher in calories and fat than organic meats. Combined, these elements can lead to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.

Deep-fried foods

No matter what type of food you are cooking, the frying process will add a heap of calories onto it. And that’s before we even get onto the subject of fat. While our bodies need good fats, others aren’t so healthy and honestly, who cooks their chips in olive oil? As well as contributing to the risk of heart disease and helping us pile on the pounds, deep-frying also draws all the goodness out of food so even deep-fried veggies provide very little in terms of nutrition.

Doughnuts

food and drink thats bad for youUnfortunately these little rings of loveliness do fall into the ‘bad for you’ category. The combination of refined flour, refined sugar, deep fat frying, jam or custard fillings and covering them in sugar glazes means they are terrible for our blood sugar balance as well as our waistlines. They are, however, too tasty to give up completely but you might want to buy just a single doughnut rather than a box of 12.

Whole dairy products

Dairy is an important part of our diet but whole milk is packed with saturated (bad) fat, which means it contains tons of calories as well as doing horrible things to our cholesterol levels. Switching to skimmed or semi-skimmed milk will allow you to get all the fab nutrients without the huge amount of fat.

Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing yourself a treat now and again but it might be best to try to limit your intake of ‘junk’ food for the sake of your general health, if not your figure.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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