6. Fruit juice
As a child, you probably had a juice box tossed into your lunch each day and called it fruit. But even as an adult you may fall into the trap of thinking that juice is as healthy as fruit. It’s not. When juice is extracted from fruit, all the beneficial fiber is left behind. Fiber helps moderate the rate at which sugar is dumped into your bloodstream, so pure juice is going to hit you all at once.
Most commercial juices have added sugar, way beyond what is present in the fruit itself. They are also often pasteurized, which means that any heat-sensitive nutrients are destroyed before the product even hits store shelves.
7. Store bought baked goods
Do you have any special memories of baked goods that were lovingly prepared at home by your parents or grandparents? Home baked goodies are so much better than store bought because you can enjoy them fresh from the oven, without that slight chemical aftertaste of preservatives.
It’s not that homemade goodies are super healthy, but commercially produced baked goods rely on hydrogenated oils to keep their products looking fresh for weeks. They don’t even have to list these harmful trans fats on the label unless they comprise more than 0.5% of the product. At least at home, you can control the ingredients and are likely to use way less sugar and butter. Plus, the memories.
8. Microwave popcorn with butter
As we age, we naturally start to think more about how to protect ourselves from cognitive decline. Keeping your brain active by continuing to learn new things and challenging yourself with games and puzzles is a great start. But diet also plays a part. One particularly damaging food for your brain is microwave popcorn.
The fake butter that coats those kernels is full of trans fats, which negatively affect memory. They literally destroy cells and increase inflammation in the brain. In turn, the body’s production of brain-supporting omega-3 fatty acids is compromised. One particular ingredient in this “butter”, diacetyl, is a known carcinogen. The plastic-like coating inside the bag, used to keep the fake butter from seeping through, has also been linked to cancer.
This list represents a mere fraction of the poor food choices available on the market today. Major food manufacturers cut huge corners to produce food cheaply, and they add a ton of sugar, salt, and fat to keep you coming back. Though it takes a bit longer to buy only whole foods and make everything from scratch, think of it as adding more time to the end of your life. After detoxing from child-friendly convenience foods, we bet you’ll even start to enjoy the taste of home cooking more.