Three Foods To Always Avoid (and Smart Alternatives)

Foods to AvoidMost of us know that not all food is created equal. There are foods that are healthy and help our bodies in many ways.

Then there are foods which wreak havoc on our bodies and our digestive systems. At the top of the “bad food” list are three foods which we should all try to steer clear of.


The old favorite standby, microwave popcorn,  is filled with chemicals that are dangerous. The lining of the microwave popcorn bags have  been found to contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which breaks down when the bag is heated. The Environmental Protection Agency says that PFOA is a “likely carcinogen” and is likely to cause cancer in humans.

There’s another chemical in microwave popcorn called diacetyl, which is found in the fake butter flavoring. The fumes released from a bag of microwave popcorn contain this chemical and has caused microwave popcorn factory workers to have a respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung”.


Make your popcorn the old fashioned way-in a pot with some salt and oil. Another solution is to invest in an air popper for a low-calorie, healthy snack.


We’ve been hearing about the dangers of bisphenol-A (BPA) for quite a while. The resin linings of most tin cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA). Some manufacturers are working hard and have been successful in finding an alternative to BPA in tin can liners, but tomatoes are acidic so the packaging options are limited. Almost all canned tomatoes have BPA in the lining.

According to the Breast Cancer Fund

Exposure to BPA, used to make the epoxy-resin linings of metal food cans, has been linked in lab studies to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, type-2 diabetes, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Childhood exposure is of concern because this endocrine-disrupting chemical can affect children’s hormonal systems during development and set the stage for later‐life diseases.


Don’t buy tomatoes in a can. Look for brands that sell diced or whole tomatoes in glass containers. Buying fresh produce is always the safest bet.


This is a tough one for those of us with kids. Hot Dogs are considered an all-American staple for many of us, yet they are a very processed form of meat. They generally contain additives called nitrites, which fend off botulism and lengthen the food's freshness and shelf life. Even those “all natural” hot dogs have nitrites, sometimes more than the conventional hot dogs. Studies have found that the consumption of hot dogs can be a risk factor for childhood cancer. Nitrates have also been linked to diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer.


Start by not eating hot dogs at all, or eating them in moderation.  Find healthier alternatives for a quick dinner. Turkey burgers made with antibiotic free turkey meat, veggie burgers and tacos are all good substitutes.

[Photo used under Creative Commons from Karl Baron/Flickr]