Reduce your consumption of these 11 foods and your health will thank you

The more we learn about nutrition, the more researchers discover that the processes we use to make foods delicious and shelf-stable strip foods of what makes them nutritious.

While occasional consumption of highly processed foods can be offset by a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein, certain food preparations simply don’t bring much nutrition to the table. When the following foods make up the main part of your diet (or you don’t benefit from low-oil, high-fiber foods), they have been associated with negative health outcomes.

11 foods that can negatively affect your health

While the following foods are particularly lacking in nutritional value, the point of paying attention to this list is not so much to eliminate each item completely but rather to realize how little they contribute to your diet. We do not recommend that you avoid these foods completely, as food restriction can potentially trigger disordered eating. The main takeaway here is that it’s okay to eat the foods on this list, as long as you also eat nutrient-dense foods that give you the vitamins and minerals you need.

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Many of the following foods contain highly refined grains, high amounts of trans fats, or other processed fats that are difficult for the body to use effectively. Food sources simply lack many of the key nutrients, such as dietary fiber, that promote gut health. Over time, depriving the body of the many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can create deficiencies that present medical symptoms.

White bread

White bread is made from a type of bread flour processed from wheat. Processing removes the bran and germ – parts of the wheat grain. Whole wheat will generally be darker and denser because it contains more nutrients and more fiber. These two aspects are great for your digestion and give your body the nutrition it needs. White bread has a light, pleasant flavor, but it is made only from the endosperm layer of a wheat grain and contains less nutritional value. Instead, opt for whole wheat bread, which is packed with essential nutrients.

For more information on how complex carbohydrates help keep you healthy, see Why you should eat more carbs and not less?.


Many of the reasons why eating too many French fries can be harmful is because they do not provide a balanced source of calories. The amount of oil and simple carbohydrates they contain makes them high in calories, but they are not as full of useful nutrients as vitamins. Preservative-free potato chips are a good option for an occasionally delicious treat, but eating nothing but chips at a meal will make your body crave more vitamins, protein, and fiber.

French fries

French fries include many of the same nutrients as French fries, although there is more potato in French fries. However, the crispiness of a French fry doesn’t have to be due to high-fat frying, which has a lot of oils if you eat them frequently. In a deep fryer, a thin layer of oil (or even zero oil) can still give you a batch of low-salt, homemade French fries made from basically just potatoes. If your diet already contains enough oil, this could be a good way to get a crunchy snack without exceeding your daily value.

fried chicken

Chicken is a delicious lean protein, but fried chicken breading tends to include a ton of white flour, oil, and salt. These three ingredients are fine in moderation, but opting for grilled chicken or air-fried chicken could help you cut back on unhealthy ingredients if you’re already consuming more than the recommended amount.

Processed meats

Processed meats generally contain few nutrients that, when consumed in excess, have been linked to negative medical outcomes. Processing meats sometimes involves adding nitrates and nitrites, which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer when consumed in moderation. Additionally, processed meat contains sodium at quite substantial levels. Whenever possible, cook and eat fresh meat.

sugary cereals

Like eating sweets, sugary cereals tend to be high in simple carbohydrates and sugars compared to lower protein, fiber, and vitamin content. As a breakfast option, sugary cereals can also cause a drop in blood sugar that makes you feel hungry shortly after eating the cereal. Opting for a low-sugar cereal that has more protein and fiber included, as well as a plant-based or dairy milk, can help you feel full and energized for longer.


Margarine was turned to when the saturated fats in butter were considered negative for our health. However, margarine varies: in some countries, it has harmful trans fats that are not easily processed by the body, and in many cases, it has a similar amount of processed saturated fat. Read the label or opt for a less processed oil, such as olive oil, as a bread topping if you really want to eliminate butter from your diet.

frozen entrees

Not all frozen entrees are created equal: Quick frozen vegetables and cooked chicken, for example, are sometimes low in preservatives and are a great way to eat if you need prepared food. However, for prepared meals, check what types of foods and other items are in your food, especially if you are concerned about preservatives or colorings in your diet.

Boxed Macaroni and Cheese

While some of the prominent brands of macaroni and cheese have been found to be high in harmful chemicals, a big reason they are considered unhealthy is the high amount of simple carbohydrates and fats and the low nutritional value. However, if you love cheesy pasta, don’t despair: there are now a variety of versions that incorporate whole grains, vegetables like cauliflower, and lower levels of preservatives and fats.

Baked goods

Cakes, donuts, and other baked goods can be delicious. But they can also be loaded with simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. Additionally, they have very little fiber, protein or vitamins. However, if you make your own baked goods, it’s easy to make a treat that will provide more nutrition, whether by substituting some whole wheat flour, replacing butter with unsaturated fat, or adding grated fruit or zucchini to increase the fat content. vitamins.

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