The science of chemistry has taken food production to another level but is this development for good or bad? So many foods may look, smell and taste genuinely authentic. A whole different truth is revealed when you do a close examination of the label. The “genuine” food proves to be enhanced, flavored and colored with a plethora of chemical substances.
Do you know what kind of fake foods you are consuming and what kind of damage these are doing to your body? The following list will acquaint you with some of the most common and unhealthiest foods available in every grocery store. If you are concerned about your health, you should stop eating these foods immediately and replace them with homemade alternatives.
1 Crab Sticks
Crab sticks are supposed to contain crab meat, right? You are once again mislead into believing that a product is actually genuine and healthy. Most often, crab sticks contain all kinds of processed and low quality seafood.
The majority of manufacturers use surimi (white fish flesh) to make crab sticks. A wide range of flavors are added to make these sticks palatable. Surimi is used very often to imitate the more expensive lobster and crab because of the similar meat texture.
Though fish is beneficial, crab sticks are highly processed and full of chemicals needed to give surimi some flavor. You should consider spending a bit more and investing in the real thing, if you want to eat authentic and beneficial seafood.
Processed cheese products seem to be incredibly popular among American households and Easy Cheese is yet another example.
In its essence, this is cheese in a can! It is supposed to deliver the same taste as the original cheese – the one you have to slice in order to consume. Anything that comes highly processed and in the form of canned food should be avoided. This is especially true for Easy Cheese.
The fact that this product is stored in a container that does not require refrigeration should be indicative enough of its contents. Easy Cheese contains whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, sodium alginate and calcium phosphate among many other chemicals.
3 “Cheez Whiz” Cheese Dip
Cheese dip varieties like Cheez Whiz are thick, creamy and delicious according to many people. The thick substance is used as topping and seasoning for many kinds of foods. It melts great and it is very easy to spread, unlike real cheese. The convenience that Cheez Whiz provides makes many people opt for the jar.
Did you know that a single serving of Cheez Whiz contains one third of the daily recommended intake of saturated fats and sodium? Because it happens to be quite tasty, most people will exceed a single serving when sitting in front of the TV and dipping chips in the Cheez Whiz. Additionally, Cheez Whiz is full of additives like corn syrup, milk protein concentrate (a cheaper version of powdered milk) and whey.
4 Vegan Meat and Sausages
Are you a vegan? If so, you are probably familiar with replacement meat products that are manufactured from tofu. Such processed meat substitutes, however, are far from the healthiest red meat replacement.
Look at the label and the longer it is, the more concerned you should be. Many artificial additives are used to make the vegan meat options delicious. Watch for ingredients like soy protein isolate, sugar, stabilizing agents and colorants. Many of these are needed to give the products meat-like shape and texture.
5 Chicken nuggets
Video sharing websites like YouTube are full of clips about the origin and composition of chicken nuggets. Chicken nuggets will usually contain about 30 percent meat and very often, the percentage is much smaller. Everything else is the result of chemical improvements.
Many chicken nugget manufacturers use a paste that is made of different leftover chicken parts rather than high quality chicken meat. Many flavors and food enhancers are added to make the mix more delicious. Chicken nuggets will often contain sugar and they will have a high fat content because of the deep frying preparation procedure.
6 Tang Fruit Drink
Ok, this one is obvious – anything that comes in the form of a colorful powder is far from a genuine nutritional product. The fruit-flavored drinks were developed back in the 1950s and they were originally used by NASA astronauts.
Take a close look at the label. Less than two percent of the package’s content comes from actual fruit solids. Artificial colorants, sweeteners and many other additives deliver the fruity taste of the Tang drinks. This rule applies to many other powder fruit drink varieties, as well. Instead of buying those, you can save some money and invest in a reasonably-priced fruit juicer.
7 White bread
Refined grains are stripped of everything beneficial in the production of white flour. This is why white bread contains nothing more than empty calories, a fact that most people are already familiar with.
Wholegrains – the ones that undergo minimal processing – are actually full of beneficial nutrients and fiber. This is why a simple switch from white to wholegrain bread can make your diet so much healthier.
White flour loses many of its qualities and it can put the digestive system under significant strain. Before processing, grains contain complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly and have a low glycemic index. All of this changes with the procedure that transforms the original product into a refined grain.
Some white bread varieties are fortified to compensate for the loss of nutrients. The quality of vitamins and minerals is often questionable, however.
8 Uncrustables – Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Uncrustables is one example of a processed “peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” I have no idea why someone would buy these instead of making a sandwich in less than two minutes. The product, however, seems to be relatively popular on the market.
What is the main problem connected to Uncrustables? Just take a look at the very long list of ingredients on the back of the box. The label looks more like a chemical formula than like something you would want to eat or give your children. This highly processed “sandwich” is made of products like enriched flour, thiamin mononitrate, salt, dough conditioners, high-fructose corn syrup, calcium peroxide and potassium sorbate.
9 “Gushers” Fruit Snack
People looking for large quantities of sugar in their snacks should opt for Fruit Gushers. This “fruit” snack contains a wide range of artificial colors and flavors that have nothing to do with real fruits.
In addition, the product contains partially hydrogenated oil, corn syrup, carrageenan (a controversial thickening agent), potassium citrate and a medley of colorants. There are many easy and healthy fruit snack options that you can make at home without spending hours in the kitchen.
10. Maple Flavored Syrup
If you want a delicious syrup for your pancakes and for making sweet temptations, go for the original thing rather than for something that is scented and flavored to resemble maple syrup.
Genuine maple syrup, especially the organic varieties made from the sap of the maple tree, can be a very beneficial sugar substitute. The market, however, has some cheap versions to offer. Most often, these are made of high-fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring.
Maple-flavored syrups contain a very small amount of genuine maple syrup. These are commonly found in grocery stores under labels like Waffle Syrup and Pancake Syrup. All of these are inexpensive substitutes that will do a lot of harm.
Get in the habit of reading all labels before buying. Even if a product appears to be natural and harmless, there is some risk of artificial substances and flavor-enhancements to be present. The best tip is to make all of your food at home and from scratch. This may be difficult to achieve so it is mandatory to start paying special attention to the labels of the packaged goods that you buy.
You should also familiarize yourself with the common chemicals used in the food industry. Escaping from all of these is going to be impossible but some chemicals are much more detrimental than others. Many websites list the ingredients contained in common foods and provide a detailed explanation about the health dangers connected to each chemical and additive. Reading a little bit more and familiarizing yourself with this publicly-available information will help you make much smarter nutrition choices for yourself and your family.