The 6 most dangerous foods for your health, according to science

Taking care of the consumption of the most dangerous foods for health is the central focus of experts in medicine and nutrition. In this way, recommend reducing or excluding these types of products from the diet to prevent diseases.

On the other hand, international organizations promote good eating habits as the healthy food industry grows.

According to the Herediana Medical Journal, there are many foods that can produce a dietary risk, as is the case of ultra-processed and natural ones that contain certain triggering components of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

How does diet influence our health?

Since the time of Hippocrates we have been reminded of the importance of a proper diet for a healthy lifestyle. The famous phrase "Let food be your medicine" it is more current than ever.

A study published by the journal JAMA, with more than 44,000 French adults, concludes that the high consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increased risk of mortality in the population.

The World Health Organization (WHO), for its part, reminds us that the consumption of inadequate food is a risk factor for developing certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, overweight and obesity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The most dangerous foods for health, according to science

A job in the magazine Lancet discloses that it is necessary to establish optimal recommendations for the search for healthy diets that impact on global health and avoid foods that put it at risk. Here we present, then, the 6 most dangerous foods for health.

1. Soda and other sugary drinks

The Chilean Nutrition Magazine highlights that, of ultra-processed foods, sodas and other sugary ones are associated with global increases in overweight and obesity. In addition, as a domino effect, they can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Science also showed that sugary drinks, taken with some frequency, increase blood sugar levels and this can become a clear risk of dementia. In addition to increasing the possibility of suffering from Alzheimer's.

Another group of experts commented that, in some countries, sugary drinks are the main source of calories in the diet, since up to 50 grams of sugar are ingested for each drink. This increases the risk of chronic diseases.

The American Heart Association states that you should limit the consumption of sugary drinks to 36 ounces or 450 calories a week.

Sodas contain added sugar and increase the risk of being overweight because of their calorie intake.

Also read: How and why to reduce the consumption of soft drinks

2. Trans fats

The anti-rancidity qualities of trans fats allow them to be first-choice ingredients for making ultra-processed products. However, science has pointed them out as a risk factor to trigger cardiovascular events and inflammation processes.

Magazine Neurology published that high trans fat intake can impair the nervous system, associated with cognitive impairment, poorer memory and a higher risk of Alzheimer's.

Another study revealed that for every gram of trans fat ingested in the diet, we will forget about 0.76 words.

The Spanish Federation of Food, Nutrition and Dietetic Scientific Societies describes that these fats They are formed during the hydrogenation process of vegetable oils. Therefore, by-products such as margarines, pastries, hamburgers, potato chips, and snacks, among others, provide them.

However, in recent years technological processes have been improved to reduce the presence of trans fat in food, following the WHO recommendations.

3. Refined and added sugar

A scientific review states that high sugar intake is related to overweight, obesity, diabetes, increased lipids in the blood, cardiovascular disease, behavioral disorders, fatty liver, some types of cancer and tooth decay.

They also maintain that the intake of refined or added sugar to different food products contributes to hyperactivity, premestrual syndrome, and mental illness. This is why the regulation of sugar content in processed foods is encouraged, similar to what happens in legislative terms with tobacco and alcohol.

The National Academies Press Mention some sources of sugar, in addition to soda. White sugar, corn syrup, malt, maple, fructose, honey, and molasses are among the natural ones. Added sugars are found in cakes, cookies, sugary fruit juices, chocolates, candy, and dairy desserts.

The WHO establishes as a new recommendation that the contribution of added sugars in the diet must be 5% of the total caloric value.

4. Saturated fat

Science has confirmed that saturated fats increase cholesterol bad and the total, causing a change in circulating lipids in the blood that increase the risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease.

Another study concluded that consuming saturated fat increases body mass index, fatty liver, insulin resistance, and the development of obesity. For their part, Parrot and Greenwood found that cognitive development is affected by the consumption of this type of fat, as well as the possibility of developing Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

5. Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a flavor enhancer called umami or fifth flavor. It has a salty taste. You can find it as an additive in certain processed foods.

According to him Codex Alimentarius, the amount added to the products remains under the authority of the manufacturer, despite its toxicological effects established by the WHO.

In a 25-year meta-analysis of study, conducted by Kazmi in animals and humans, it was found that MSG is associated with obesity, liver toxicity, diabetes and neurotoxicity.

Regarding obesity, Carbonero maintains that the addictive effect of umami leads to obese people ingesting more of the foods that contain it. On the other hand, laboratory animals fed MSG throughout their lives became obese when they reached adulthood.

Science also shows that MSG is associated with severe nervous depression, suicidal tendencies and schizophrenia. Apparently, it also destroys neurons, so patients with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's can make it worse when consuming it.

MSG is found in a wide variety of processed and ultra-processed foods. For example, spice mixes, sachet and can soups, salad dressings, canned food, fish or meat products, bakery, sugary drinks and even as a table condiment.

Also read: What is monosodium glutamate? Health risks

6. Fish with high levels of mercury

The consumption of small fish is always recommended, since they contain less toxic metals than large ones.

In general, fish are recommended in healthy diets for their high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients. But there are fish with high mercury values ​​that are toxic for the body. This is the case with shark, tuna and swordfish.

The mercury that accumulates in the muscle of fish is methylmercury, which is 90% absorbed and has high toxicity. Health effects depend on age, frequency, and amount ingested. Women accumulate more of this metal, due to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle.

Karri and other experts claim that methylmercury is a powerful neurotoxic agent able to cross the barrier that separates blood flow from the central nervous system, disrupting neurotransmitters and stimulating brain-damaging neurotoxins.

In addition, its high toxicity in the neurological development of fetuses and children is also recognized, since is able to cross the placenta during pregnancy and pass into breast milk. A review of the scientific literature reiterates that excess mercury can cause cerebral palsy.

The Spanish Association of Pediatrics recommends avoiding the consumption of fish with high levels of mercury in pregnant women, those who are breastfeeding and in children under 10 years of age. For infants between 10 and 14 years of age, an intake of these fish is indicated at 120 grams per month.

The most dangerous foods for health are on the market

To maintain a healthy diet we must avoid or reduce the consumption of the most dangerous foods for health. Especially if we suffer from any disease associated with them.

These products are at hand, in the market, so maintaining good eating habits and selecting those natural or minimally processed is the key to protecting ourselves.