5 Foods That Could Be Messing With Your Health

When you're a health-conscious foodie like myself, being mindful of what you eat is super important. Keeping tabs on foods that could be messing with your health is one of the best places to start. After all, many foods in the average American diet aren't exactly the healthiest.

Yet, many of these things are staples in our culture. They are inexpensive and popular. And because they are so accessible, it's not unusual to never think twice about them. This can be especially difficult when you just want to try a little bit of everything. Fellow foodies, I know you know what I mean.

That's where this list comes in. It features common foods that are associated with undesirable impacts on overall health and wellness. However, that's not to say you should totally avoid these foods. It's all about moderation and listening to your body. Everyone reacts to different foods in different ways, stressing how crucial it is to pay attention.

Remember, everything you consume influences the ebb and flow of your body’s processes. If certain aspects of your health have been sub-par, take note of this list. Cutting out one or more of these foods might end up being a total game changer.

1. White bread and jam

This classic food combo doubles as an easy breakfast or snack. However, white bread lacks the fiber and nutrients to get you going. And when it's paired with jam or jelly, you've got the ultimate sugary combination.

While these foods are fine in moderation, eating them together isn't enough to fill you up. The high sugar content also causes an energy spike followed by a crash.

Instead, go for whole-grain bread and peanut butter or mashed avocado. Both options provide healthy fats and proteins to keep you full and happy. Take it up a notch by adding fruit to the peanut butter and veggies to do the avocado.

2. Coffee

I know, I know... coffee is one of those must-haves that many of us can't live without. Trust me, I'm one of them.

However, this isn't about the coffee itself. It comes down to how much you drink. Sure, it's useful for getting your day started. But when you consume too much, things can go a bit awry.

According to Mayo Clinic, heavy caffeine consumption is defined as drinking four cups of coffee or more each day. Over consumption can lead to tummy troubles, irregular heartbeats, and feeling downright crazy. It can also mess with your sleep, making you prone to irritability, decreased focus, and skin breakouts.

Instead of reaching for another cup of joe, drink some water. The more you stay hydrated, the more you'll feel energized. Try infusing the water with fruit for a dose of natural sweetness.

3. Red meat

If you're a meat eater, you know all about red meat's role in the world of comfort foods. There's nothing quite like a burger or steak to fill your stomach up in the best way.

Unfortunately, both pork and beef can do a number on your health. Sure, it's packed with protein. But since red meat tends to have a higher fat content than other meats, your body needs more time to digest it. Even lean red meat takes time. As a result, the long digestion time can mess with your sleep. It can also lead to high cholesterol over time.

For a healthier alternative, try white meat such as turkey, chicken, or fish. Consider trying some vegetarian options to switch it up. Your body will thank you.

4. Spicy foods

It goes without saying that spicy foods aren't for everyone. Some people just love taking in a little more heat. And while there aren't any real safety concerns for spicy foods, they can aggravate existing conditions.

Unsurprisingly, heartburn is one of them. If you're already prone to heartburn, it might be a good idea to go easy on the Sriracha and chili peppers. Eat slowly and listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

Spicy grub can also worsen gastrointestinal conditions such as stomach ulcers. And because the intestinal tract is already in a sensitive state, spicy foods will simply irritate it. Again, eat mindfully and don't force it.

5. Dairy

Did you know that humans are the only mammals that drink milk after infancy? We're also the only animals that drink another animal's milk. Basically, our bodies aren't made for dairy.

Unsurprisingly, many people have a dairy intolerance. This is characterized by constipation, bloating, and abdominal cramps. It's not uncommon to experience these symptoms after chowing down on a cheesy meal or bowl of yogurt.

Fortunately, this doesn't mean you need to totally cut dairy out. Listen to your body, and consider eating it in moderation. By avoiding overconsumption, you'll decrease the chances of experiencing an upset stomach.

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