healthier eaters blog

What are the 5 worst foods for your health and how can you curb your craving?

Admit your weakness when it comes to food. Is it one of the 5 worst foods for your health? Even healthy eaters have weaknesses.

My weakness is chips. I can’t seem to get enough crunch, and salt I suppose. A large bag of carrots won’t cut it, I know.

The 5 worst foods for your health

Are you ready to be surprised? Here are the 5 worst foods for your health:

  1. goldfish shaped crackers
  2. pretzels, chips and popcorn
  3. fruit snacks
  4. fruit juice
  5. pizza

I love when I see these items on a list of suggested “healthy” snacks for school kids. Really? Sure, less healthy snacks exist. Don’t get me started on marshmallows. But I would not call them healthy.

Why are these the 5 worst foods?

I hear you. You can certainly find worse foods out there. You can even find healthier versions of these 5 worst foods in some grocery stores.

But I’m deeming these foods the 5 worst foods for your health for 2 reasons. First, they have become go-tos among the masses – at home, schools, churches parties, date nights, you name it. And second, the go-to versions are typically not the healthier versions.

The first reason – the mental stronghold or general popularity these products seem to have – might be the biggest problem.

Think about how often you or your kid might be eating the 5 worst foods and what might be in them. Goldfish crackers, pretzels, chips and popcorn, fruit snacks, juice and pizza.

Look at the labels for popular brands of these foods below, scoping for:

  • genetically modified organisms (GMOs) such as modified food starch, bleached or enriched flour and other ingredients you don’t recognize or are difficult to pronounce
  • BHT
  • MSG
  • corn syrup (regular or high fructose)
  • food dyes (Yellow 5, Red 1, FD&C Lakes, etc.)
  • soy
  • corn
  • wheat

5 worst foods

According to the Big Four crops are corn, soy, cottonseed oil and canola oil. These are commonly grown using pesticides and genetically modified products to stimulate growth. This article on cites that more than 90% of canola oil is genetically modified. Manufacturers use canola oil to produce lots of packaged products including chips and popcorn.

I put wheat in this category, too. So whenever buying products made from these crops, I buy organic versions.

How can you avoid the 5 worst foods?

Avoiding or limiting your consumption of the 5 worst foods doesn’t have to be difficult.

  1. Pack healthy snacks instead of relying on the typical snacks provided.
  2. Encourage your schools and daycares to consider healthier versions of these foods, even if you have to help cover the cost. Better yet, ask them to replace them with raw veggies.
  3. Refuse to buy these 5 worst foods. Then even if you do eat them somewhere else, it’s in moderation and not on a regular basis.
  4. Replace juice with water. See #3. Bodies need water, not juice! (You can also insert coffee or alcohol for juice here.)

Instead, eat fresh foods like carrots, peppers, snap peas, clementines and apples. Choose popcorn or pretzels with only organic ingredients. Snyder’s has non-GMO versions in stores now. Or try new products like coconut crisps and kale chips. But still beware of the ingredients.

Avoiding, or at least limiting our intake of these 5 worst foods can help in so many ways. You can better nurture your bodies. You can break the convenience or comfort mindset that binds you to these foods. You can set better examples for your families. And you can even help steer other entities down a healthier path, too.


*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. 

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