11 Foods That Can Be Dangerous If Eaten In Excess, According To Experts
Eating too much can definitely feel uncomfortable (the term food baby exists for a reason), but sometimes eating too much of certain foods can actually be harmful. Knowing which foods to eat in moderation, as they can negatively affect your heart, digestion, and mood, is incredibly beneficial. With greater insight, you'll be better able to make informed decisions, watch your intake, and cut back on certain foods when necessary.
As a certified health coach, I work with people on finding different foods that work for their lifestyle and that uplift their moods and energy levels. Often times, eating some foods in excess can deplete energy stores and interfere with a balanced mood and positive outlook. If this habit becomes chronic, it's possible to endanger your health and happiness longterm. While there are some foods that are deemed "unhealthy" my modern society and should be eaten in moderation, even some healthier foods should be warranted, as too much of even a good thing can be harmful. Here are 11 foods that can be dangerous if eaten in excess. By being more mindful of serving size, you'll have an easier time monitoring intake and keeping your mind and body safe for the long haul.
1. Nut Butter
"Nut butters, specifically peanut butter can be dangerous in excess. Often, people add nut butters to a smoothie to get protein and flavor. Overdoing peanut butter is incredibly easy to do though and most nut butters, particularly peanut butter, are incredibly high in inflammatory omega 6 fats, so overdoing it can be dangerous," explains Connor Young, Founder & CEO, Ample Foods, over email with Bustle. "The danger lies in cytokines being released as response to inflammation, sapping energy and resulting in brain fog," explains Young.
While the mercury count of fish can vary, some fish are very high in mercury can should be limited in order to keep the body safe, advises running coach and personal trainer, Susie Lemmer, over email with Bustle. For instance, salmon and tuna are packed with tons of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, but they can be relatively high in mercury and hazardous if eaten in too large of quantities and too frequently in the week, says Lemmer.
3. GMO Products
While Lemmer says that there's mixed feelings and controversy over GMO products, limiting intake of GMO ingredients is always a safe bet, as there's a possibility that high intake of GMO foods can be harmful for health down the road. Knowing where your food comes from is always reassuring, anyway, explains Lemmer.
Lemmer says that eating sugar in excess can raise risk of several diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, as sugar can interfere with the body's hormonal response and ability to function efficiently. Sugar can be tasty, but Lemmer advises sticking with natural sweeteners, like those found in fresh fruit, and not overdoing the serving sizes in the day.
Though more of a drink than food, alcohol can be dangerous for brain health and mental health, if consumed in excess, advises Lemmer. Drinking too much alcohol is inflammatory, and this can increase risk of disease, as well as put you at risk for an addiction or alcohol dependency, explains Lemmer. Stick to one or two glasses to stay safe.
There are certain mushrooms that can be hazardous if eaten in excess, advises Lemmer. Plus, mushrooms are high in fiber, phosphorus, zinc, and iron, and if eaten in too large of quantities, it can lead to health scares, such as calcium deposits and gastrointestinal problems, as explained. Be mindful of portions to avoid toxic consequences. These mushrooms can also be found in kombucha, so be wary of mushrooms in drinking form, too.
Lemmer says that nutmeg can be toxic if consumed in high quantities. Lemmer says it can be hallucinogenic, and this can be incredibly dangerous, as it can lead to psychiatric episodes and disillusions. While a sprinkle on your latte won't kill you, being wary of intake is always beneficial.
According to a study published in The Journal of Dermatology in 2006, you can turn orange from overdosing on carrots. Due to the high antioxidant, beta carotene, and vitamin A content, eating too many carrot sticks in one sitting can lead to a discoloration of your skin (sounds pretty scary, right?).
9. Cruciferous Vegetables
According to Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, over interview with the health website, Authority Nutrition, eating too many servings of cruciferous vegetables can lead to thyroid imbalance, specifically hypothyroidism. Such veggies include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy.
Oranges, as well as tomatoes, are incredibly acidic, and if consumed in excess, they can lead to Barrett's Esophagus and harm your esophagus lining, as explained by Gina Sam, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, over interview with Women's Health. Keep eating them, as they're healthy, but don't eat too much at a time.
According to Alan R. Gaby, M.D., author of the textbook Nutritional Medicine over interview with Women's Health, eating soy in excess can be dangerous due to high estrogen levels. Hormonal imbalances can harm health over time, Gaby explained. Gaby also cautions against spinach, which is high in oxalates, and can interfere with calcium absorption, which can lead to weakened bones.
While most of these foods are in fact healthy, there's a boundary for how much you should eat a time and when to cut back. Reaping these health benefits can be easy, but only if you're smart about how much you're eating to keep yourself safe.
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