It’s important to know what you’re eating nowadays and people tend to take care of this a lot, they count calories on food items, avoid too many carbs and fattening foods and generally stay away from too many preservatives. Keeping the general list of unhealthy foods that most people have in their minds aside, here are some seemingly harmless and healthy foods that are actually better left on the shelf.
1. Gummy bears: It’s a tough one to swallow but gummy bears these days have ingredients that are very different from the classic gummy bears. Instead of using natural Pectin Gelatin is used and it is usually extracted from the stomach of pigs. Apart from this the colors used to dye the gummies are synthetic and Sulfur dioxide is used as a preservative, which can cause allergies.
2. Crab sticks: We usually associate this seemingly healthy seafood snack with salads, but in reality there is not even an ounce of crab in these sticks. Crab sticks are usually filled with mashed white fish fillets or even Gluten, starch and egg whites. What all crab sticks have in common though is huge amounts of sugar, flavoring, coloring and flavor intensifiers like MSG which causes addiction!
3. Cornflakes: Shockingly cornflakes have made their way to this list, what we consider a healthy breakfast is actually far from being healthy. When the cornflakes are fried in sugar and oil the corn flour in them loses its vitamins. The preservatives in cornflakes are not healthy. Regular intake of this breakfast item can also lead to weight gain.
4. Smoked foods: There is nothing wrong with smoked foods that have been smoked by natural methods; hook marks, thread marks and bar marks on the packaging indicate natural smoking methods. However there are more controversial smoking methods like liquid smoke, they use harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and phenols for preservation and for flavor enhancing. Sometimes stale meat is smoked with dangerous methods to hide the stale smell.
5. Grapes: Grapes have a very short shelf life. They’re basically fruits that have to be consumed fresh otherwise they go bad, in order to avoid this supermarkets usually keep grapes that have been treated chemically to keep them from going bad. Therefore one should avoid buying such grapes because they come with the added chemicals.
6. Black Olives: No need to get worked up about this one, just try buying green olives more often. Ripe olives usually have a dark violet or brown color, therefore Black is not a natural color for olives. Black olives sold in cans are usually green olives dyed with nutrients, mostly ferrous gluconate. This is not dangerous in small amounts but it’s not useful either.
It’s important to check what you’re buying and know the actual ingredients of foods before you stock your kitchen with what you think is healthy!