If foods were high school students, the most popular would be Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, French Fries, Oreo Cookies, Pizza and Chicken Tenders. The foods classified as nerds? Broccoli, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts and Nectarines (pretty much all produce).
Unfortunately the most popular are not in the least bit healthy. It’s sad that Broccoli and Cabbage get bullied by them, but you can help these out cast “geeks” by standing up to the bullies.
Here is a list of the top ten most popular foods Americans eat, and what’s wrong with them.
- Hamburgers: These “jocks” of the high school world are as processed as a football player is over worked on the football field. They’re usually packed with salt, to keep the meat moist, and pack more fat than a defensive lineman. Also, hamburger meat generally comes from a grain-fed cow. Grain is used to fatten up cows quickly so the cattle companies can make a quick buck. The funny thing is that cows don’t know how to digest grains, which is why numerous hormones are injected in to the meat and these are NOT hormones you want in your body (but you will ingest them if you consume this type of meat).
- Hot Dogs: While these dogs may look long and lean like the star track and field runner at high school, they do nothing to increase anyone’s speed on the racetrack. Also incredibly processed, hot dogs tend to have a flavor enhancer called MSG thrown in their little bundles (wrapped in intestines, FYI). MSG is a chemical used to fatten up laboratory animals and will ultimately make you fat if you consume it (although some recent studies debunk this, it’s generally a good idea to avoid such ingredient). Oh and by the way, hot dogs have tons of fat, and NOT the heart healthy kind.
- French Fries: Hamburgers and Hot Dogs are typically accompanied by these Fries. We can deem them their “girlfriends,” and they very well may be just as toxic to our bodies as girlfriends are when they go see their boyfriends playing in a sporting event (distractions!). French fries must be cooked at high temperatures, which cause the chemical, acrylimide to be released. Acrylimides are a known cancer-causing agent that also causes nerve damage. Fries are also cooked in oxidized oil (trans fat) that is re-used for weeks at a time!
- Oreo Cookies: These “cheerleaders” cause you to become peppy after consuming them, thanks to their sugar content, but will shortly there after cause you to crash (much like cheerleaders falling during their pyramid stunt). And eating a lot of sugar causes our immune systems to inflame and release free radicals in the body (free radicals are what cause cancer).
- Pizza: Usually the people with “pizza faces” in high school are picked on, but not this “guy”. Everyone loves the gooey cheese, moist crust and touch of tomato sauce. While the latter ingredient is very healthy, the cheese usually cancels out any health properties and the crust is typically processed white flour that does nothing for one’s health or waistline. Oh and the pepperoni and sausage toppings are “high risk” processed meats, which add a lot of nitrites, chemicals, preservatives, and saturated fats.
- Soda: We can call soda the “B-Squad cheerleaders.” First of all, drinking calories does not satiate our appetites as much as eating (which is why these “girls” are second string) and these drinks are full of empty calories. You’re essentially drinking sugar water with absolutely no nutritional benefit whatsoever.
- Chicken Tenders: Again with the fried food. Chicken Tenders are the “wannabes” in high school. They would love to be just as good as French Fries, and sometimes they are… but they are also JUST AS BAD! These tenders are made from unusable chicken parts (which rarely include white meat) and usually pack 340 calories in a serving. When fried, the carcinogenic acrylimides is released, which can cause nerve damage and cancer. This food too contains the flavor enhancer, MSG, which tends to cause headaches and allergic reactions.
- Ice Cream: Voted the most beautiful person at school, ice cream is loved by all, but hated by everyone as well (and if you have a dairy allergy, then you really hate it). Hello calories, fat and sugar! This by-product of beef carries the same problems as hamburgers, in that the milk contains a hefty amount of chemicals that you really don’t need to also be digesting. While everyone may adore this beautiful person,” there is no need to be envious.
- Donuts: The class clown that everyone loves. It is hysterical that donuts (as small as they are) can pack up to 500 calories! Processed, fried dough, sugar glazed topping and sometimes packed with a cream filling, these trans fat bombs are better off leaving the jokes to the comedians.
- Potato Chips: And finally, the school “rock star.” Everyone loves crunching on this popular guy’s music but really people should jam out to a different tune. Fried, potatoes, salt, saturated fat, trans fat. These ingredients can lead to multiple types of cancer, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Oh and… acrylimides come into play again since this crispy “treat” is fried. You should really try to tune out this “music.”
STAY TUNED for tomorrow’s post about healthy replacements to these foods that win the popularity contest at school.