Healthy and unhealthy food – One of the reasons people turn to raw food is because they are looking to eat more healthy food. That’s definitely one of my main reasons for giving raw food a try. (Remember that when I say raw food, I don’t necessarily mean 100% raw.)
Lately, I found myself giving out this little piece of advice: eating raw food doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthier than other ways of eating.
Hear me out…Healthy and unhealthy food
There are a lot of other things that go into your health, other than just the “label” you apply to your food. Maintaining healthy diets, for most of us can be tricky. So for instance, you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of it. Or you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of one category and not enough of another.
Neither of these scenarios is very healthy.
Or, you might be eating raw food but not drinking enough water, sleeping enough, or exercising enough. And then there’s your emotional and mental well being, all of which play into your overall health.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what healthy foods are.
The Healthy Foods List
Here is a basic list of healthy foods that most people can agree on:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fresh leafy greens
- Cold pressed extra virgin oils
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Seaweeds and sea vegetables
Now we can split hairs and argue that we should include other foods, depending on what lifestyle you follow. For instance some may want to add superfoods, others may want to add in raw dairy or meat, you get the idea.
But I think we can all agree that these are basically healthy foods. Especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Unhealthy Foods List
- Processed “white” foods like white breads, white pastas, etc.
- Refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame
- Addictive substances like MSG, and other “taste enhancing” chemicals
- Processed, denatured fats and oils that the body cannot deal with
Alright, so the unhealthy foods list is incomplete. That’s partly because it would take too long to include everything that might potentially be unhealthy. But it’s also because we don’t all agree on what’s unhealthy.
Some people go around telling themselves that they’ll be healthy if they eat “Everything in Moderation“. And while the adage that eating everything in moderation probably held true 100 years ago, it certainly doesn’t hold today.
There are more chemicals and ingredients that I can’t pronounce on a label for dried raisins than ever before. Dried raisins!
Imagine what’s in super processed junk foods for a minute. It’s not pretty.
How to Include More Healthy Foods and Less Unhealthy Foods
I honestly believe that in order to eat more healthy foods we need to leave some of the unhealthy foods behind. If you’re too full from eating an entire bag of chips and a 1L bottle of Coke, then you’re not going to be inspired to eat an apple. Let alone a salad.
Letting go of foods that aren’t good for you is a lot more complex than it might seem at first. Why? Cravings. That’s why.
I’ve been eating healthy foods for over 3 years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two about cravings. Get on The Cue list, and you’ll be the first know about my cravings busting techniques.
Everybody knows that healthy food is good, but the problem is that many people are confused about what is unhealthy and what is healthy. With so many questions about ingredients, labels, and what is actually healthy for you, it can be tough to get the right answer.
To really understand the differences between foods may help you make the right choices. Once you realize the difference between unhealthy and healthy food, you might wonder how you can eat more good foods in your diet. So these are the main differences between healthy and unhealthy food:
1. Calories are not the same
When it comes to calorie intake, it’s important to find a balance. Not all calories are the same. There is a big difference between’ junk food’ calories and calories from a healthy meal.
Not only that unhealthy food calories are bad but, you’ll also probably be a lot hungrier if you choose to only eat 1200 calories of unhealthy food per day because unhealthy food is usually calorie dense and not very filling.
For example, 300 calories of salad are going to be a lot more than 300 calories of a burger. A lot of people take on a flexible macros approach which means they fit both healthy and unhealthy food into their diet, so long as they hit their macros for the day. This is really not a healthy approach. You should take as many calories from healthy food and avoid calories from junk food.
Some people say that eating healthy food may be unhealthy for your wallet. But how much more expensive are healthy foods than unhealthy ones?
Researchers compared the average prices of unhealthy diets with more processed food, refined grains, and meat, with healthy diets containing fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The findings show eating healthy costs an average of $1.50 daily more than a cost of eating unhealthy food.
That translates to an annual cost of about $550 more per person, so is it worth 1, 50 $ daily to boost your diet? The extra cost would represent a real burden for some families, but on the other hand, this price difference is quite small if compared to the economic costs of diseases created by consuming unhealthy foods.
3. Health benefits
Studies have shown that eating unhealthy foods will increase your risks of getting Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and many other health problems. Heart disease is also a consideration.
Eating unhealthy foods can make you obese over time, and obesity will certainly lead to many serious health issues. When you choose to eat only healthy foods, you will have a boost in immunity, better weight management, and better emotional balance and increased energy levels.
All of these things combined together will create a much longer and happier life. Many foods have a huge impact on health. Many studies have shown that foods low in saturated fats, especially the whole-grain foods, can help protect our organism from heart disease and many other health issues.
Good nutrition keeps muscles, bones, organs, and other body parts strong for the longer period of time. By consuming vitamin-rich food your immunity system will boost and your organism can fight against many diseases.
Eating healthy means that you get all needed vitamins and minerals, something that far too many people are lacking in the nation today. Fruits and vegetables provide potassium, lean meats can provide protein and the whole grains provide fiber.
This is just the small amount needed daily when it comes to nutrients and minerals essential to proper work of your body. Unhealthy food can only increase the number of bad fats, sugar, etc. Fruits and vegetables are examples of healthy foods that are rich in micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins, and because of that, it is recommended that we consume 5 or more fruits and vegetables every day.
5. Different sugar levels
Nothing good comes from eating sugar that is very much present in unhealthy food. It creates fatigue and bloating, stores as fat, sets the stage for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes wrecks, your immune becomes weak and crashes your blood sugar.
The important thing when eating food is how quickly that sugar raises your blood sugar levels. Rather than eating no sugar at all, there is an alternative in a low-glycemic diet. The foods you should eat are the ones that create a steady and slow rise in blood sugar.
With eating these foods your blood sugar will not crash and create fatigue, inflammation or gain pounds.You would have to eat so many vegetables to raise your blood sugar even just a little bit. Besides having minimal sugar amounts, to begin with, fiber in these foods further buffers out that sugar load.
6. Unhealthy food contains too much sodium
Unhealthy foods such as hot dogs and burgers, are considered unhealthy because contain high amounts of salt (sodium), saturated and trans fats and contain many calories.
Unhealthy food is designed to be addicting and very tasty, but this food is also in a lack of all of the essential nutrients. Unhealthy foods contain a lot of preservatives, sugar, and sodium in order to guarantee long shelf life. The added fat and calories are harmful to our health.
In order to avoid eating unhealthy food, avoid shopping in the aisles of your grocery store, and instead go around to the outer store edges where are all good nutritious foods like lean meat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. The consumption of food items that have high sodium amounts and fat content leads to obesity, diabetes, and chronic heart disease.
7. Difference between fats
“Unhealthy” food is an umbrella term used to describe foods that are rich in sodium, calories, saturated and bad fats (trans fats). Not all fats are the same. Scientists tell us that the type of fat we are consuming is putting us at greater risk for these illnesses.
In fact, numerous studies have shown that the total amount of fat that you eat affects weight or disease, but what is even more important is how much healthy versus unhealthy fats you consume. This is because trans fats and saturated fats (bad fats) increase the risk for many diseases and good fats monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (good fats) decrease that risk. Too much fat or cholesterol can cause a heart disease, but at appropriate levels, both can contribute to good health.
8. Proteins can be good or bad
When it comes to protein, certain sources contain components that in large amounts can be really dangerous to your health. This does not mean you should avoid these foods, but to know which foods to choose could help you make smart dietary choices.
The protein that comes from consuming animal related foods like eggs, meat, and poultry contains saturated fat. Eating products with high saturated fat content can raise LDL cholesterol in the blood. When this cholesterol accumulates it forms plaque in the arteries that creates limit blood flow, which results in heart disease.
Protein foods high in saturated fat are fatty meats and whole-milk products. In addition to being rich in saturated fat, red meat has also been linked to some diseases like cancers and diabetes. Processed unhealthy meat foods include foods like hot dogs bacon and sausage, so limiting your intake of these foods is recommended.
9. Bad carbohydrates in unhealthy food
Choosing foods containing good carbs over bad ones is also crucial for your good health.
Good carbs can help lower blood cholesterol and heart disease risks and make feel full for long periods of time, which helps in maintaining a healthy body weight.
So, knowing the difference between bad and good carbs is a must. Foods containing good carbs are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, healthy fats and essential nutrients. Examples of healthy carb-containing foods are fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Nuts and seeds also contain small amounts of carbs.
Bad carbs are found in foods that contain almost no nutrients and it is packed mostly with sugar. These foods do not keep you feeling full very long like good carbs do. Examples of bad carbs are pastries, cookies, sugary drinks, soda, lemonade, doughnuts, and candies.
10. Maintaining a healthy weight problem
Foods that are high in sugar and fat can cause a sudden sugar rush and create us energetic feeling. But this effect fastly wears off and we end up with low sugar, craving more food to maintain that sugar high.
Another consequence of eating unhealthy food is the “empty calorie” effect that fills us up only for a short period of time and then we again feeling hungry. So you will crave more food in order to get the vital nutrients.
Keeping your healthy weight will help lower your risk of cancer and other serious diseases. Many people gain pounds during their lives, often without knowing it. To help keep a healthy weight, it is very important to create long-term healthy habits, including eating healthy foods and being regularly physically active.
Difference between Healthy and Unhealthy Foods
Everyone wants to eat delicious food and enjoy the taste of life. Apart of enjoying the food, individual forgot to focus on the quality of meal. There are multiple differences between healthy and unhealthy foods through which you can easily decide what to choose for eating.
Healthy Foods. It is referred as the food which is beneficial for health in terms of nutrition and it also fits your body. Healthy food may be considered as organic food (pure from chemicals), whole foods and natural food etc.
Unhealthy Foods. The best way to describe the unhealthy food is the less nutritional food containing high amount of calories, fat and sugar. This type of food is high in protein although body needs protein but in a particular amount.
Healthy Food vs. Unhealthy Food
Examples of Foods: Healthy food is rich of energy such as fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, raw nuts, sprout, yogurt and honey etc. While unhealthy food are white bread, pastas, hot-dogs, chicken roast,chips, chocolate etc
Health Effects: By consuming healthy foods fatigue, depression, headache, joint pains, lungs problem could be resolved while unhealthy food welcomes the cardio vascular diseases (CVD), obesity, diabetes and also other chronic diseases.
Taste Bud: Most of the people do not eat nutritional foods just because of not feeling its scrummy taste while unhealthy foods have so many varieties in taste such as cheese burger, pizza etc.
Users: In one research it is observed that 92% of participants choose unhealthy food and merely 8% of participants go for healthy food which is very low.
By aforementioned differences it is concluded that people knows the pros and cons of these two categories of foods but they never try to avoid junk foods. People became addictive of junk food items although it is hazardous to health. But no doubt, healthy food is much better than junk food because it provides calories and nutrition which makes your immune system strong.
20 Foods That Are Bad For Your Health (Avoid Them!)
There is a lot of confusion out there about which foods are healthy, and which are not.
Here is a list of 20 foods that are generally very unhealthy.
If you want to lose weight and avoid chronic disease, then you shouldn’t eat much of these foods.
In many cases, the best choice is to avoid them completely.
In this article, healthy alternatives are mentioned whenever possible.
1. Sugary Drinks
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.
However, some sources of sugar are worse than others, and sugary drinks are the absolute worst.
When people drink sugar calories, the brain doesn’t “register” them as food.
For this reason, people don’t automatically compensate by eating less of other foods instead, and end up drastically increasing their total calorie intake (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Sugar, when consumed in large amounts, can drive insulin resistance in the body and is strongly linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also associated with various serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Sugary drinks are also THE most fattening aspect of the modern diet, and drinking them in large amounts can drive fat gain and obesity (7Trusted Source, 8, 9Trusted Source).
Alternatives: Drink water, soda water, coffee or tea instead. Adding a slice of lemon to water or soda water can add some taste if you don’t like it plain.
2. Most Pizzas
Pizza is one of the world’s most popular junk foods.
This is not surprising, given that it tastes awesome and is incredibly convenient to eat.
The problem is that most commercially prepared pizzas are made with seriously unhealthy ingredients.
The dough is made from highly refined wheat flour, and the meats on them are usually processed. Pizza is also extremely high in calories.
Alternatives: Some pizza places use healthier ingredients. Homemade pizzas can also be very healthy, as long as you choose wholesome ingredients.
3. White Bread
Bread is generally made from wheat, which contains the protein gluten.
For this reason, all wheat-based breads are a bad idea for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
However, most commercial breads are unhealthy, even for people who do tolerate gluten.
This is because the great majority of them are made from refined wheat, which is low in essential nutrients (empty calories) and leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar (10).
Alternatives: For people who can tolerate gluten, ezekiel bread is an excellent choice. Whole grain bread is also definitely better (or “less bad”) than white bread.
If you have problems with gluten or carbs, then here are 15 recipes for breads that are both gluten-free and low in carbs.
4. Most Fruit Juices
Fruit juice is often assumed to be healthy, but this is a mistake.
Many fruit juices are actually little more than fruit-flavored sugar water.
It is true that the juice contains some antioxidants and vitamin C, but this must be weighed against the large amount of liquid sugar.
In fact, fruit juice contains just as much sugar as a sugary drink like Coke or Pepsi, and sometimes even more (11Trusted Source).
Alternatives: There are some fruit juices that have been shown to have health benefits despite the sugar content, such as pomegrenate juice and blueberry juice.
However, these should be considered as supplements, not something you drink every day to quench thirst. Drink water instead.
5. Industrial Vegetable Oils
In the last 100 years or so, people have increased their consumption of added fats.
However, this is entirely explained by a drastic increase in the consumption of refined vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil.
These oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids, which humans never consumed in such large amounts before.
There are many serious concerns with these oils. They are highly sensitive to oxidation and cause increased oxidative stress in the body. They have also been linked to increased risk of cancer (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
Alternatives: Use healthier fats like coconut oil, butter, extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil instead.
Margarine used to be considered a healthy alternative to butter.
Fortunately, most people have now realized that this is far from being true.
Margarine is a highly processed pseudo-food that has been engineered to look and taste like butter.
It is loaded with artificial ingredients, and is usually made with industrial vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to make them more solid. This increases their trans fat content significantly.
Keep in mind that manufacturers are allowed to label their products with “no trans fat” as long as it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving, which is still a significant amount.
Alternatives: Use real butter instead, preferably from grass-fed cows.
7. Pastries, Cookies and Cakes
Most pastries, cookies and cakes are extremely unhealthy.
They are generally made with refined sugar, refined wheat flour and added fats, which are often disturbingly unhealthy fats like shortening (high in trans fats).
These tasty treats are literally some of the worst things that you can put into your body. Almost no essential nutrients, but tons of calories and unhealthy ingredients.
8. French Fries and Potato Chips
Whole, white potatoes are very healthy.
However, the same can NOT be said of the products that are made from them, such as french fries and potato chips.
These foods are very high in calories, and it is easy to eat excessive amounts. Several studies link consumption of french fries and potato chips with weight gain (20Trusted Source, 21).
These foods may also contain large amounts of acrylamides, carcinogenic substances that form when potatoes are fried, baked or roasted (22, 23Trusted Source).
Alternatives: Potatoes are best consumed boiled, not fried. If you need something crunchy to replace potato chips, try baby carrots or nuts.
9. Gluten-Free Junk Foods
Gluten-free is all the rage these days.
About a third of people in the US are actively trying to avoid gluten, according to a 2013 survey (24).
The problem with many gluten-free diets, is that people replace the gluten-containing foods with processed junk foods that happen to be gluten-free.
These gluten-free replacement products are often high in sugar, unhealthy oils and refined grains like corn starch or tapioca starch. These refined starches lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar, and are extremely low in essential nutrients.
Alternatives: Choose foods that are naturally gluten-free, like unprocessed plants and animal foods. Gluten-free junk food is still junk food.
10. Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is a sweetener that is often marketed as healthy.
However, agave nectar is not as healthy as some people think. It is a highly refined sweetener that is extremely high in fructose.
High amounts of fructose from added sweeteners (not whole fruit) can be absolutely disastrousfor health (25Trusted Source).
The truth is, agave is even higher in fructose than other sugars.
Whereas table sugar contains 50% fructose, and high fructose corn syrup around 55%, agave nectar is 85% fructose (26).
Alternatives: Stevia and erythritol are healthy, natural and calorie free. There is a list of several several healthy and natural sweeteners in this article.
11. Low-Fat Yogurt
Yogurt can be incredibly healthy.
Unfortunately, most yogurts found in the grocery store are extremely bad for you.
They are frequently low in fat, but loaded with sugar to make up for the lack of taste that the fats provided.
Put simply, the yogurt has had the healthy, natural dairy fats removed, only to be replaced with something much, much worse.
Additionally, many yogurts don’t actually contain probiotic bacteria, as generally believed. They have often been pasteurized after fermentation, which kills all the bacteria.
Alternatives: Choose regular, full-fat yogurt that contains live or active cultures (probiotics). If you can get your hands on it, choose yogurt from grass-fed cows.
12. Low-Carb Junk Foods
Low-carb diets are very popular these days, and have been for several decades.
There are plenty of real foods that you can eat on a low-carb diet, most of which are very healthy.
However, this is not true of processed low-carb replacement products, such as low-carb candy bars and meal replacements.
These are generally highly processed foods that contain very little actual nutrition, just a bunch of artificial ingredients mixed together and then sold as food.
Alternatives: If you’re on a low-carb diet, eat foods that are naturally low in carbs. Low-carb junk food is still junk food.
13. Ice Cream
Ice cream is one of the most delicious foods on the planet.
Unfortunately, it is also one of the unhealthiest. Most commercial ice cream is loaded with sugar.
Ice cream is also high in calories, and it is very easy to eat excessive amounts. Eating it for dessert is even worse, because then you’re adding it all on top of your total calorie intake.
Alternatives: It is possible to make your own ice cream using healthier ingredients and significantly less (or no) sugar.
14. Candy Bars
Candy bars are incredibly unhealthy.
They are high in sugar, refined wheat flour and processed fats. They are also very low in essential nutrients.
Processed foods like candy bars are generally engineered to be super tasty (so you eat more), and have been designed so that it’s very easy to eat them quickly.
A candy bar may taste good and cause some short-term satiety, but you’ll be hungry again very quickly because of the way these high-sugar treats are metabolized.
Alternatives: Eat a piece of fruit instead, or a piece of real high-cocoa dark chocolate.
15. Processed Meat
Even though unprocessed meat can be healthy and nutritious, the same is NOT true for processed meats.
Studies show that people who eat processed meats have a higher risk of many serious diseases, including colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease (27, 28Trusted Source).
Most of these studies are observational in nature, so they can not prove that the processed meat caused the diseases.
However, the statistical link is strong and consistent among studies, so I do believe there is something to it.
Alternatives: If you want to eat bacon, sausages, pepperoni and other “processed” meats, then choose wisely and try to buy them locally from sellers who don’t add a lot of unhealthy ingredients. Quality counts.
16. Processed Cheese
Regular cheese is healthy.
It is loaded with nutrients, and a single slice of cheese contains all the same nutrients as an entire glass of milk.
However, processed cheese products are nothing like regular cheese. They are mostly made with filler ingredients that are combined and engineered to have a similar look and texture as cheese.
Cheese is healthy, but processed cheese is not. Read labels, and make sure that the cheese you’re eating is actually cheese.
Alternatives: Eat real cheese instead.
17. Most Fast Food Meals
Generally speaking, “fast food” chains serve only junk foods.
The majority of the food they offer is mass-produced, highly engineered junk food with very little nutritional value.
These places are often very cheap, but keep in mind that junk food costs you twice.
For every penny you save there, chances are that it’s going to cost you many times more in the future. Poor health is expensive.
Alternatives: Fortunately, all sorts of healthy fast food places have started to appear. Chipotle is one great example.
18. High-Calorie “Coffee” Drinks
Coffee has been unfairly demonized.
It is actually very healthy, and loaded with antioxidants.
Studies also show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of serious diseases, like type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s (29, 30).
Unfortunately, stuff is sometimes added to coffee that turns this wonderful beverage into harmful sludge.
If your “coffee” has a ton of artificial creamer and sugar, then it is NOT good for you.
It is loaded with liquid, empty calories, and will be just as unhealthy as any other sugar-sweetened beverage.
Alternatives: Drink plain coffee instead. Black is best, but small amounts of heavy cream or full-fat milk are fine as well.
19. Anything That is High in Sugar, Refined Grains and Vegetable Oils
One of the most important things you can do to eat healthier, is to read labels.
It is important to avoid (or at least minimize) foods that contain:
- Added sugar (and high fructose corn syrup).
- Refined grains like white flour.
- Industrial vegetable oils.
- Artificial trans fats.
These are some of the unhealthiest (and most common) ingredients in the modern diet.
The importance of reading labels can not be overstated, and this applies to all foods, even so-called health foods.
20. Most Highly Processed Foods
By far the simplest way to eat healthy and lose weight, is to avoid processed foods as much as possible.
Put simply, if it looks like it was made in a factory, then it’s probably bad for you.
A good rule to remember, is that real food doesn’t need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient.