Not all foods that come out of a bag, box or can are bad, but many of them actually are. From peaches drenched in syrup, to dinners that you shove in the microwave all too often, here are the worst pre-packaged foods you can buy, and why you should avoid them:
1. Kraft Mac and Cheese Dinner Original
A single box of Kraft Mac and Cheese Dinner Original has more than two days’ worth of trans fats per serving, together with more than a days’ worth of sodium. What’s more is that it contains almost no fiber and is made with additives and chemicals that are banned in many countries around the world.
2. Ramen Noodles
One the most disgusting facts about ramen noodles is that Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone gets added to them. This preservative is a byproduct of the petroleum industry, and that’s without mentioning the sodium, calorie and saturated fat content that ramen noodles tend to contain.
Marketed to children and busy moms and shoved in millions of lunchboxes each day, Lunchables are terribly unhealthy thanks to being packed with sodium and saturated fat. They provide little to no fiber, and some versions contain as much as 30% of the recommended daily allowance for sodium. If you want to look after your children’s health, give them something else for lunch!
4. Del Monte Sliced Peaches in Heavy Syrup
Nothing beats eating real fruit, but these canned horrors should best be avoided. This is because of the heavy syrup that they’re covered in, which is thick with sugar. Even the lite and no sugar added versions are harmful, and that’s due to the fact that they replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. Fresh or frozen fruits are always a better option.
5. Activia Blueberry
Although these yogurts are marketed as probiotic, don’t be fooled into thinking they’re healthy – a single one contains no less than 19 grams of sugar. That’s as much as a Twinkie! Opt for a high-protein, high-calcium, low sugar and low-fat option to maintain strong muscles and healthy bones.
6. Quaker Peaches and Cream Instant Oatmeal
Oatmeal in itself is a really healthy food, but then food conglomerates manage to ruin it by adding a deluge of sugary flavors to the mix. This particular version of Quaker oatmeal contains multiple sources of sugar, artificial colors and flavors, and even contains partially hydrogenated oil. If you really want to eat a healthy breakfast, purchase plain instant oatmeal and add your own toppings such as fruit, sliced almonds or perhaps a touch of honey.
7. Kellogg's Fruit Loops
Want to know how “fruity” Kellogg’s Fruit Loops really are? They contain degerminated yellow corn flour, modified food starch, hydrogenated vegetable oil, red #40, blue 1 and yellow 6 colors, and BHT for freshness. Blue 1 is an artificial food dye that is sourced from petroleum. This dye is linked to hyperactivity and an increased risk of kidney tumors.
8. Sara Lee Delightful Bread
This whole-wheat bread looks perfectly healthy at first glance, and its packaging claims that it contains a mere 45 calories per slice. The label also says that it’s made with real honey, doesn’t contain corn syrup, is an excellent source of fiber and contains no artificial colors or flavors. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll find that it contains modified wheat starch, cornstarch, soy lecithin, and potassium iodate. The latter ingredient may even be a carcinogen.
It’s claimed that they’re made from “real chocolate”, but M&M’s contain such lovely things as artificial flavors, corn syrup, red 40, blue 2, yellow 5 and yellow 6 artificial colors. What’s even more shocking is that these dyes have been found to be contaminated with carcinogens such as benzidine, which has been linked to allergies and hyperactivity in children.
10. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
How does six grams of saturated fat in just a single serving sound? Not very appetizing is it? That’s what you get in a single serving of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. There are also a number of unsavory ingredients that go into the making of this product.
11. Haribo Original Gold Bears
Although they don’t contain any fat, these sweets are full of added sugar and food coloring. Eating them will lead to increased hunger due to their high carbohydrate content and complete lack of fiber, as well as your blood sugar crashing and spiking.
12. Kellogg's Pop Tarts
Despite containing a mere 200 calories, Pop Tarts are completely devoid of protein, and consist mainly of sugar and fat. More delightful things you’ll put into your system when eating them include plenty of food coloring, palm oil, and high fructose corn syrup. Pop Tarts contain no real fruits to speak of, and all the carbohydrate you get is from the added sugars and refined flour.
13. Häagen-Dazs Butter Pecan Ice Cream
You’ll think twice about opening that tub of Haagen-Dazs after reading this. This particular variety contains 290 calories, 50% saturated fat and 17 grams of sugar per serving, and come on – be realistic – no-one ever just eats one. Maybe it’s time to start looking for a new favorite ice cream brand…
14. Cool Whip Whipped Topping
Whipped toppings such as this one contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors galore. The alternative to ingesting all of these nasties is just to eat real whipped cream! You could even try making some of your own at home.
15. Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer
This coffee creamer consists of various trans fats, added sugars, artificial flavors, colorings and more. You’re much better off adding unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk to your coffee than this stuff.
Images by Deposit Photos.