The world of food can be a dangerous place. We are constantly bombarded with messages of what is healthy and what is not. Food marketers are always looking for ways to get us to eat packaged food. A recent trend has been labeling food “natural” or “low fat” and “low sugar”. You can commonly see this with foods such as candy. A high sugar product is marketed as low in fat to trick consumers into thinking it is a healthier food.
Sometimes the worst foods for us are the most delicious. The key to eating healthy is having these treats in moderation. If you totally restrict foods, you may find you crave it even more.
Here are the 10 worst foods that you may want to consider never eating again. These are very unhealthy products that won’t help with nutrition. Check out these unhealthy foods and read our recommendations on what foods to enjoy instead.
1. Theater Popcorn
One of the worst products you can buy at the theater is the popcorn. Unfortunately it is also delicious and addictive. It seems like you can go through a whole large bag of it before the previews are even over. A medium bag of popcorn, with butter topping, has more than 50% of your daily recommended calories. Popcorn can be an amazing snack, if you cook it right. Use an air popper and don’t add any buttery toppings. This treat will be low in calories and much cheaper than buying it at the theater.
2. Fried Chicken
Many people say that fried chicken doesn’t absorb the oils it’s cooked in. It is true that cooking in very hot oil can prevent the chicken meat from getting greasy. Unfortunately the breading on the chicken will be full of fat and calories. Restaurant and store bought fried chicken is even worse, because it can contain saturated and trans fats. Instead of frying the chicken, try baking it instead. You will still get a crisp coating but you can cut the calories in half.
3. Fettuccine Alfredo
This classic Italian American restaurant dish is packed full of calories and extra fat. The original dish is just Parmesan mixed with butter, but modern versions are filled with heavy cream too. Pasta doesn’t have to be an unhealthy meal. Opt for tomato based sauces to cut calories and get more vegetables in your diet. Whole grain pasta will fill you up faster and keep you full for longer. Add in cut up vegetables like peppers and mushrooms to make your meal more filling.
4. Fancy Coffee
Many people enjoy their morning coffees, but you could be packing on the pounds with this seemingly innocent drink. Black coffee has 0-5 calories per glass, making it a smart choice. As soon as you start adding in cream and sugar, the calories go up. Fancy cafe coffees are much worse. They add shots of flavored sugars, top with whipped cream, and drizzle on caramel or chocolate sauce. This can raise the calories to over 300 for one drink. Instead, take your coffee black or with milk.
5. Delivery Pizza
Pizza is a weekend favorite for many families. Not only is this tradition expensive, it could be expanding your waist lines. Adding on extra cheese and fatty meats like pepperoni is a delicious, but unhealthy choice. One slice of pizza could be an entire meal worth of calories. Deep dish pizza is a particularly bad choice. You get extra carbohydrates and calories but eat less of the delicious toppings! Your best bet is to make your own thin crust pizza and top it sparingly with cheese and meats. Add on all the roasted vegetables your heart desires.
6. Fully Loaded Baked Potatoes
This popular side dish is packed with extra calories and fat. Potatoes themselves are high in calories, as they are a starchy carbohydrate. Topping them with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, and more can be heart attack inducing. The good thing is that it is easy to turn this unhealthy food into a smart choice. Skip the butter and use low fat sour cream. If you want to add cheese, use a low fat variety. Add on salsa, green onions, and other low calorie toppings.
While delicious, poutine is one of the most unhealthy foods you could eat. Fried potatoes are topped with artery clogging cheese curds and coated in thick fatty gravy. This Canadian favorite is packed with fat. If you love topping your fries with layers of delicious foods, then try this healthier combination. Baked your potato wedges instead of frying them to cut back on the saturated fats. Top them with chili or a thick ragu. Sprinkle on low fat cheese and enjoy this treat.
8. Beer Nuts
Beer nuts, honey nuts, and chip nuts are all unhealthy snacks. These peanuts are coated in breading, spices, and sugar. They are then fried, amping up the calories even more. Nuts are a great snack if they are dry roasted or left raw. Beer nuts are a popular snack for watching sports, but it could be hurting your health by eating a lot of this treat. Instead, enjoy the baseball favorite of peanuts in their shell. This will keep your hands busy, making you eat less of these high calorie nuts.
9. Mixed Drinks
A mixed cocktail is delicious, but it may contain hidden calories. A gin and tonic could contain close to 200 calories per glass. Tonic water is surprisingly high in sugar. Opt for soda water instead. Many mixed drinks contain simple syrup, which is just sugar and water. Also look for extra calories in added soda and juices. Blended drinks can be particularly bad. A pina colada could be an entire meals worth of fat and sugar in one drink. Instead, look for drinks mixed with diet soda.
Milkshakes are a popular diner beverage, but they are a massively unhealthy drink. A large milkshake could contain 5 cups of ice cream, plus added syrups and cream. Ice cream parlor milkshakes are just as bad. Certain brands can contain over 3000 calories in one drink! If you enjoy a creamy cold drink, then try an ice cream float. Scoop low fat ice cream into a tall glass and pour diet soda over top. You’ll get your delicious milkshake flavors but save a ton of calories.
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