The 12 Most Dangerous Foods You're Buying
True fact: Some of the most popular foods are simply unhealthy and pose higher risks of illness. Also true? Many of those unhealthy foods are in your kitchen right now. (See also: 11 Food Additives You're Probably Eating Everyday)
Steer clear of these 12 dangerous foods you're buying.
1. 5-Hour Energy and Other Energy Drinks
Many studies have concluded that massive amounts of caffeine paired with other synthetic substances such as aspartame are to blame for the huge health risks associate with this afternoon booster, including high blood pressure, heart attack, seizure, and death.
2. Soda Pop
This big part of everyday consumption for many, especially children, is dangerous on many fronts. Soda not only erodes tooth enamel, but common soda pop ingredients can increase risk for diabetes, fatty liver, high blood pressure, cancer, nerve disorders, hormonal imbalances, and more.
3. Microwave Popcorn
That faux-buttery flavor of microwave popcorn is definitely fake, but that is not where all the health risks originate. It's the chemicals lining the microwaveable bag, such as POOA, that are cause for concern. Not only can these chemicals cause cancer in adults, but they can also make children's vaccines less effective.
4. Caffeine Pills
As with 5-Hour Energy, too much caffeine is not as unhealthy in the short term as it is in the long term. For example, consumption of too much caffeine in adolescents can lead to drug use later in life.
The truth emerged only recently after years of buying margarine that it does not lower your cholesterol, nor is it healthier than natural butter. In fact, margarine dramatically increases LDL levels. Time to go back to using real butter, olive oil, or grapeseed oil.
The negative buzz on artificial sweeteners only seems to persist, especially in the case of aspartame. In addition to low-level side effects like headaches, long-term consumption of aspartame can possibly cause cancer in both adults and prenatal children.
7. Food Dyes
While laws now require most manufacturers to categorize dyed foods as "adulterated," and places like Trader Joe's have promised to only use natural coloring (i.e. beets and greens), dye is still a problem. Three regularly used dyes can cause cancer, and four others can cause serious allergic reactions.
8. Alfalfa Sprouts
Alfalfa and other types of sprouts can be very difficult to clean and are generally eaten raw. This can lead to contracting really bad bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. Children, elderly, and those with weak immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts.
The cassava root, also known as tapioca, is in a lot more foods than you may think. It can be dangerous if prepared incorrectly, activating its traces of deadly cyanide. Also? If you are allergic to latex, you may be allergic to cassava.
10. Hot Dogs
This is a tough one to hear, because America loves frankfurters. While processed meats are already risky, the additive sodium nitrate pushes hot dogs into cancer danger. In addition, hot dogs cause 17% of food-related asphyxiations among children under 10 years.
11. Raw Honey
Despite the benefits many raw food and homeopathic fans may tout, raw honey contains the legitimately harmful toxin grayanotoxin I, which can cause nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, and fainting.
12. Ground Turkey
Ground turkey, while a sound alternative to beef and pork, has its downside too. Turkey tends to be the poultry with the most bacteria –– including listeria, salmonella, and E. coli. The only way to combat gross bugs is to buy organic (to avoid antibiotic-resistant salmonella) and always cook turkey to 180°F (to kill off all bacteria).
Any other dangerous foods to watch for? Please warn us in comments!