Last week, I was a guest on a famous women’s talkshow in Bulgaria, where I'm from. The host, Martha Vachkova, asked me to list the three foods you should never eat.
On the spot, I said trans fats, refined foods and soda.
But ever since, I’ve been thinking about that question because there are so many unhealthy foods, and to pick only three... well, that’s a challenge.
I think I've finally nailed down what I consider to be the worst categories of foods, the ones I wish would disappear from the stores and never return.
1. Chemicals in foods.
We’ve heard so much about different kinds of additives, preservatives and food chemicals in general that it already sounds like a question for a first grader: “Do you know which are the worst?” And if you ask me, they all are! There are over 80,000 different chemicals used in the industry nowadays. A stunning number!
It’s almost impossible to buy anything without something artificial added to it. The problem is, we still don’t know what most of them will do to our health, yet we continue to use them on a daily basis.
Do you eat packaged food? Use creams, soaps, lotions? Do you know what’s in them? Did you check the ingredients list? Do you know what you are giving to your child, your family? Are you OK with it? Ask yourself those questions and if you are not OK, change it.
Start buying only clean products, and eating natural foods. We live in an economy driven society, if people like you and me stop buying food substitutes made with artificial ingredients, they will stop making them. The future of your children and grandchildren depends on you. Give them one.
2. Trans fats.
Hydrogenated oils are basically vegetable oils, which are too delicate to be shipped, shelved and stored for a long time, so manufacturers hydrogenated them to solve the problem. During this process, a canister of hydrogen gas is positioned below a vat of oil, and the gas is allowed to bubble up into the oil.
The transformation produces a new kind of fat, called trans fat, which increases blood cholesterol, the risk of arteriosclerosis, clogs the arteries and can even delay the infant development because of the mother’s excess intake of trans fats. Again, read the ingredients list. Hydrogenated oils are marked as ones.
3. Refined foods, like white flour and white sugar.
Empty calories is the term I use for them, not because they have zero calories, but because they are stripped of all their nutritional content. There is not a single vitamin, mineral, enzyme or anything nutritional in all refined foods. They give nothing to your body, they just fill your stomach and make you fat.
The problem is that some people eat too much of them and their bodies are slowly heading to a state called malnutrition, meaning they are missing some very important nutrients and their bodies are starving, although their stomachs might be constantly full.
Now imagine your most favorite products as a combination of everything listed above, like a cake, a muffin, a pop drink, a cookie... It's a high road to hell, disease and everything in between... again, if you ask me.
What about you? What are the three foods on the market you wish would disappear?