We often hear about what foods are healthy and what foods aren't, but all this information doesn't quite help us determine our daily meal plans. Our lunches and dinners are often made up of foods we find healthy and accessible, but you may be surprised to know there are foods you shouldn't eat every day. Not only are some foods are harmful in excess, but keeping your diet too similar can have some detrimental effects on your body's balance of nutrients.
"You really don’t want to eat the same diet every day," says Stacy Roberts-Davis, RD, LDN over email. "Eating the same thing may cause inadequate nutrition intake and can increase food sensitivity. Eating a variety of food can decrease your risk of nutrient deficiencies."
In general, if you're avoiding junk food and sticking to foods high in vitamins and minerals, you're probably fine having those foods most days. However, certain, unsuspecting foods can have negative health effects if they're consumed too much. It can be hard to cut down on your favorite foods, but limiting them to a few times a week can help you incorporate other foods into your diet.
Next time you're coming up with a grocery list for the week, consider buying less of these seven foods that you shouldn't eat every day.
1. Canned Foods
Your can of beans and tomatoes may seem innocent, but they actually contain harmful chemicals that can have long-term damage. "The tin contains BPA, which has been linked to heart disease , obesity, and diabetes," says Roberts-Davis.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Although vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower should be included in your diet, as they're filled with antioxidants and other nutrients, eating them too often can lead to hypothyroidism. If you can't go a day without your kale, try cooking it first, which can minimize its goitrogenic properties.
"Tuna is high in mercury which can damage developing children and trigger heart attacks in adults," says Roberts-Davis. Stick to light tuna, which has lower mercury levels, and try to only have it once a week.
4. Processed Meats
Many people like to make sandwiches for lunch every day, but you may not realize the dangers of your lunch meat. Processed meats such as ham are carcinogenic, according to the World Health Organization, so try to limit the amount of meats you consume that are cured, smoked, or salted.
5. Fruit Smoothies
Although it's better to stick to fruit over a piece of cake, fruit smoothies are loaded with sugar, and they should a special treat rather than a meal replacement. If you're a fan of the drink and don't want to give it up, consider using less fruit and more vegetables, which can lower your sugar intake.
6. White Flour
No one can resist a good cookie here and there, but eating too much refined flour can lead to health problems down the line. "Almost all of the nutrients are stripped away during processing, leaving you with empty calories, increased hunger, lethargy, and irritability," says David E. Kern, MD over email.
Condiments such as mayonnaise and ketchup may seem harmless because they're so small, but if you eat them daily, the effect of their many unhealthy ingredients begin to add up. "These foods are loaded with problematic ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup and MSG, and omega-6 fatty acids which, in excess, lead to inflammation, brain dysfunction, lethargy, cardiovascular problems and mood imbalance amongst other complications," says Kern.
When in doubt, make sure you are eating foods from every food group, as keeping a balanced diet can prevent you from eating too much of one food.
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