I’m a nutritionist – here are the 14 worst foods for your health – how many are you eating?

DIET, as we all know, is a key part of good health. After all, as the saying goes; you are what you eat.

If you eat unhealthy foods consistently, then over time, your body will likely pay the price.

How many of these foods do you eat regularly?


How many of these foods do you eat regularly?

In fact, the root cause of a number of illnesses is a poor diet – a lack of decent nutrition can increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and at least 13 different types of cancer.

A nutritious diet is vital for a healthy body and mind, so what are the foods that we should be cutting out or at least cutting down on, in order to maintain good health?

1. Jam donuts

Although this sweet treat might taste delicious, Registered sports nutritionist Rob Hobson notes that it contains white flour and sugar, plus it’s deep fried.

“Just one jam donut contains around 330 calories and five teaspoons of sugar in a single serving, as well as being high in saturated fat.”

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2. Sausages

“This processed meat product is high in saturated fat and contains large amounts of salt as well as additives such as nitrates and nitrites.

“The World Cancer Research Find has highlighted the fact that a diet high in processed meats such as sausages is a risk factor for colorectal cancer,” warns Rob.

If you are going to tuck into sausages for dinner, choose quality and check the ingredients on the back.

Make sure that the meat content is high and the salt content is as low as possible.

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The traffic light labeling is a good way to work this out – aim for green.

3.Coconut oil

Although coconut oil does seem to have acquired a health halo, it is often being taught as a healthier alternative over ingredients such as olive or other vegetable/seed oils, Rhiannon Lambert, registered nutritionist and author of The Science of Nutrition, says it actually contains a lots of saturated fats.

“We know that a high consumption of this kind of fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, so it’s important we keep our intakes within the recommended amounts of 20g of saturated fat for women and 30g for men.

“Of course, coconut oil is something we can and should enjoy as part of a balanced, healthy and varied diet, but just be mindful of how much we are consuming and try to opt for healthier unsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, seeds , and avocados instead.”

4. Cola

“This one is pretty obvious but liquid sugar is not good for your health,” says Rob, who adds that he advises his clients to avoid coke as much as they can.

“A single can of coke contains seven teaspoons of sugar. The calories contained in this and other sweetened drinks are empty as they contain no other nutrition and excess can lead to weight gain and poor dental health.”

Save fizzy drinks for special occasions, and if you must choose fizzy, go for the diet versions, which contain less sugar and fewer calories.

5. Fried chicken

A popular takeaway meal that might give your taste buds a treat, but it definitely won’t do your health any favours.

“Fried chicken is loaded with saturated fat which can increase your risk of heart disease.

“It also contains heaps of salt which can increase blood pressure when eaten in excess.

“Just two fried chicken drumsticks contain nearly 500 calories, 2.5g of salt and high amounts of saturated fat,” says Rob.

6. Fruit juice with added sugars

Although a glass of fruit juice offers one of your five-a-day and is a good source of vitamin C and folate, both essential for good health, some fruit juices actually contain extra sugar, on top of the natural sugars already provided by the fruit.

Rob suggests checking the label; if you see added sugar in the ingredients list, opt for a different brand.

7. Sugary breakfast cereals

“Breakfast cereals are fortified with nutrients and some are not that high in sugar which makes them an OK choice for breakfast as part of a balanced diet,” says Rob.

“However, some are more like puddings as they contain high amounts of sugar and even chocolate pieces. It’s best to steer clear of these ones.”

If you really can’t live without your favorite cereal, why not sprinkle a small handful over a bowl of porridge instead, so you still get a hit of the food you love?

8. Granola

“Often referred to as a healthy breakfast option, the reality is that granola can contain a lot of sugar, oil and in some cases, added salt,” explains Rhiannon.

“In fact, some granolas can have as much sugar as a standard dessert.

“Always check out the traffic light label on the front of the packet and the sugar on the back.

“To give you an idea, low sugar is considered to be less than 5g per 100g. Why not make your own?”

9. Microwavable burger in a bun

“There is nothing healthy about this choice of meal; processed meat, white bun, salty sauce and processed cheese.

“It’s high in salt, saturated fat and it contains an ingredient list as long as your arm,” explains Rob.

Try making your own burgers instead; this requires far fewer ingredients, plus you can experiment with your own flavourings and seasonings.

10.White sugar

“Another obvious choice but in the UK we eat way too much white sugar,” says Rob.

“Too much white sugar in the diet has been linked to weight gain and an increased risk of many diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.”

Can’t drink tea or coffee without adding teaspoons of sugar? Try swapping to sweetener, and over time, gradually reducing the amount little by little.

11. Deep fried breaded cheese

Mozzarella sticks, deep fried halloumi and deep fried cheese balls, are just some examples of cheesy treats that you might want to moderate.

Rob says this popular buffet and restaurant option is loaded with saturated fat and salt.

12. Flapjacks

“Some flapjacks are healthy but you need to check the label,” says Rob.

“Other flapjacks however, especially the overly processed ones, have a very long list of ingredients which goes beyond the simple recipe of oats, nuts and honey.

“Ingredients include palm oil, glucose syrup, butter and artificial flavourings.”

Plus, the flapjack portion sizes of some brands are also huge, and can pack in excess calories.

13. High protein chocolate bars

“Just because something is high in protein doesn’t mean it is healthy,” warns Rob.

“Many chocolate bar brands are now producing high protein versions but while they may contain up to 20g of protein, they are high in sugar (about three teaspoons) and contain high amounts of saturated fat.”

If you want protein, tuck into lean sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs and tofu.

Still hungry? Treat yourself to a snack sized chocolate bar to satisfy your sweet tooth.

14. White chocolate

Rhainnon warns that chocolate, particularly milk and white varieties, can be high in sugars. “This gives them a sweet taste and helps remove the bitterness that dark chocolate has.

“A higher intake of added sugar can cause oral health problems with our teeth, and, as I discussed in The Science of Nutrition, if too much sugar is consumed as part of a diet that is too high in calories this can have negative implications on our overall health.”

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