Healthy diet: These foods are more harmful than sugar

It is well known that large amounts of sugar can be bad for your health. There are foods that are at least as dangerous – and they are often underestimated.

A balanced diet includes a diet that is as varied as possible and contains sufficient nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. However, particularly heavily processed foods in our modern society often contain many harmful additives.

Sugar is probably the most well-known “poison of the people”, against which – at least in large quantities – there are repeated warnings. Rightly so: After all, it can cause inflammation in the body and promote diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. But there are some substances in food that are potentially even more harmful to health than sugar. We present the most important ones.

Stay away from these foods: they are even unhealthier than sugar

1. Nitrite curing salt

Nitrite curing salt is a mixture of table salt and potassium or sodium nitrite (E 249 or E 250). It is mainly used for heavily processed meat such as salami, bacon, ham or sausage to make it last longer and to intensify the color and aroma.

When these products are heated, harmful nitrosamines are formed, which can promote the development of cancer. The risk of cardiovascular disease also increases by around 40 percent when consuming meat products treated with nitrite curing salt. So it’s best to stay away from sausages and the like and prefer unprocessed organic meat.

2. Trans fats

The so-called trans fats are unsaturated fatty acids that are produced when originally healthy vegetable oil is industrially hardened. Trans fats can also form during prolonged and very intense heating – for example in a deep fryer. They increase the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood. They can also cause atherosclerosis.

Trans fats are mainly found in ready meals and fast food such as frozen pizza or burgers. Fried foods such as fries and chips, but also baked goods such as croissants or biscuits are also rich in unhealthy fats. The menu should therefore contain as many little or even completely unprocessed foods as possible.

3. Synthetic dyes

Not all foods are naturally bright in color that we are used to. Synthetic dyes, the so-called azo dyes, are often added to sweets, drinks and, for example, cornflakes. These substances are suspected of triggering intolerances – the symptoms include asthma, hives and skin edema. In children, they are also said to promote hyperactivity and attention disorders. So when you buy food, make sure that it only contains natural colorings.

Sources used: oekotest.de, ndr.de, foodwatch.org

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