List of Unhealthy Food

Unhealthy Food

This isn't exactly a list of unhealthy food, but it is a true story that I will share with you about unhealthy food and how it invades our lives.

Summer is so much fun with picnics, parties, fairs and the beach. However, good health is missing. What I see happening to our youth at such activities is disturbing. In fact, so many of these activities are for our younger people. Yesterday, my family and I had the opportunity to go to a small festival hosted by the police department in a neighboring city.

My impression of the Cops and Kids festival was to have fun with the police officers and to share with the children how to practice safety. The kids did have fun with everything from the dunk tank to the tug-of-war, and we appreciate the work of everyone involved to put it on. However, one major thing was ignored: they were not teaching children how to eat safely for good health.

The children were offered foods and drinks laced with chemicals, additives and preservatives, and the list of unhealthy food goes on. Here is a sample of some of the “goodies” from vendors that were shared with the children:

  • Strawberry Lemonade – artificial color and high fructose corn syrup which contributes to the fattening of our society.
  • Slurpees – see strawberry lemonade – more of the same.
  • Decorate a Cookie – the cookie has trans fats, as do the frosting and sprinkles. Add to that the artificial color and more high fructose corn syrup and you have a recipe for a health disaster.
  • Cotton Candy – what can I say? The sugar hurts my teeth and it has even more artificial coloring.

Yes, I guess I could keep my kids away from all of it (not an easy task, by the way), but what about the other children and adults who aren't aware of this health challenge? The chemicals, sugars and preservatives in these foods contribute to learning disorders, ADD, obesity, high cholesterol and even cancer.

The lack of good health foods is not unusual at festivals; I even see it happening in my children’s classrooms at school. They are served a snack that is harmful to their capacity to learn.

Some items on the list of unhealthy foods are fruit roll-ups, fruit drinks, apple sauce with added sugar and fruit gummies. They have fruit in them so society thinks they are healthy, but they are not always. Many contain mostly sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring and flavoring, and trans fats (aka hydrogenated oils).

Start Reading Labels

It's time we wake up and take notice. Let’s start reading labels. I know you can’t read a label at a fair or festival but start doing it while you are shopping and you will soon get the idea and find what is on the list of unhealthy foods. You can keep your home filled with good, healthy food. When you find any of the following ingredients, it is time to put that food item on the list of unhealthy foods:

  • Artificial flavor - the ingredient list will say “artificial flavors.” Sometimes it is even on the front of the package.
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils - these are oils that have been processed to a point where our bodies do not recognize them as food. This includes shortening. Warning: the front of the box may actually say “not trans fats.” However, you still have to read the ingredient label and you may find an unexpected surprise.
  • Flavored “drinks” – if it says “drink,” then it is not juice.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup - highly processed sugar that adds weight, increases your insulin levels and doesn't satisfy your appetite.
  • Aspartame - Very detrimental to our health. It might not have calories but it does create an insulin response in your body.

Start taking control of your family’s health. Be an informed consumer. Eat good healthy whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Let’s get away from feeding ourselves the processed food that is detrimental to our health.

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