Lists and Curiosities

Don’t Grab These Unhealthy American Groceries on Your Next Trip to The Store

It's hard to resist. Nevertheless, we need to think about the harm accumulated in our bodies over years of consuming so much 'junk food'.


You certainly know someone who does not eat healthily. In fact, most people can’t maintain a healthy diet on a constant basis. They settle for the excuse that nowadays we live in such a rush that it is impossible to take the time to prepare a meal at home. But let’s face it, those ready-to-eat treats on the supermarket shelves are much more attractive. Besides the time-saving issue, the flavor is artificially enhanced by numerous chemicals added to these foods in order to increase their shelf life and get you addicted to them.

It’s hard to resist. Nevertheless, we need to think about the harm accumulated in our bodies over years of consuming so much ‘junk food’. As much as the package may say that the food is “rich in vitamins”, be suspicious. There is a phrase that says: “peel more, unpack less”. Most of the industrialized products that promise “health”, “vitamins” and other good things for your health do not put in big letters the high content of sodium, trans fat, sugars, and calories.

In a nation where close to a tenth of the population has diabetes and heart disease is the number-one killer, our food system is a national disgrace and a public health disaster. But choosing to eat well isn’t an easily available option for many Americans, in large part because of structures implemented by big food companies.

On your next trip to the supermarket, don’t be lured by the delicious, but unhealthy foods that are always on the shelves, and in places that catch your eye. The shopkeepers are not thinking about your health, only about the advantages and profits that these products offer. We have made a list of the most unhealthy foods for you to stay away from and not to include in your cart on your next trip to the supermarket.

Diet soda

Everyone knows that soda is full of sugar. So you think that the solution is to consume diet soda. But no. Diet sodas are filled with aspartame, a type of artificial sugar that is equally unhealthy.

Veggie sticks/straws

These foods may even have been made with natural ingredients. However, to get to the end result of what you get on the package, a lot of sodium has been added.

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Gummy bears

The packaging says that they are a source of protein. It turns out that the protein percentage is very low compared to the amount of sugar, who would say, the main component of this candy.

Haribo’s Goldbears, for example, hold 6.9 grams of protein and 46 grams of sugar for every 100 grams of gummies you consume.

Sugary cereals

They are very common at breakfast: Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs.

One cup of cereal contains on average 18 grams of sugar. And sugar right at breakfast increases blood sugar and insulin levels, a risk scenario for developing diabetes.

Potato chips

Delicious French fries are full of salt and fat, bad ingredients for your health. For example, Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion flavor packs 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 160 milligrams of sodium for every 28 grams of chips.


Many complain that butter contains a high amount of fat. But believe me, margarine is much worse for your health.

Margarine is obtained from vegetable oils that go through a hydrogenation process to reach the solid state. This process, however, produces fat of the trans type.

While butter is made from animal fat, margarine comes from vegetable oils — which could be solidified through hydrogenation, which in turn produces trans fats. Some margarine brands may also contain emulsifiers, colorants, and other additives.

Cup Noodles

Nissin’s Cup Noodles contain 1,160 milligrams of sodium and 11 grams of fat (with 5 grams of saturated fat) in each container. That’s over half your recommended daily salt intake, according to the American Heart Association. Can you make up for this excess fat in your other meals? Think about it. Better to balance the right amount of fat for each period of the day.


Just take a look at the ingredients label — the first components listed are sugar and palm oil, even before hazelnuts. Nutella is 58% sugar and 32% fat. Why don’t You make your own hazelnut chocolate spread at home? You can find healthier recipes online, including some vegan and oil-free options.

Soy milk

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, most soy grown in the U.S. is GMO — in 2018, 94% of all soybeans planted in the country were genetically modified.

By definition, something that is GMO can’t be organic, and conventional or non-organic soy has been proven to be disruptive to our endocrine and hormonal systems, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About the author  /  Marcelo Lopes


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