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Top 10 unhealthy foods |

Health And Family

Top 10 unhealthy foods

MIND YOUR BODY - Dr. Willie T. Ong - The Philippine Star
Top 10 unhealthy foods
Medium-rare meats can lead to various parasitic diseases. If you don’t cook your pork well, you can get infected with icky pork tapeworms.
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For this article, I have listed down 10 “unhealthy” or fatty foods we can’t resist eating. Let’s start our list with number 10, going down to number 1.

10. Soft drinks. A scientific study links the amount of soft drinks one takes in to the development of diabetes and heart disease. Each bottle of regular soft drink contains seven teaspoonfuls of sugar. It’s like eating pure sugar and taking in water. Even diet soft drinks (dark-colored colas) should be avoided. Kidney specialists will tell you that diet soft drinks contain phosphorous, a substance that is harmful to your kidneys. Phosphorous will make you lose calcium in the urine and make your bones brittle.

9. French fries. French fries are too oily, too salty, and packed with calories, too. Limit your intake to a few sticks only.

8. Fatty sauces. These include gravy, mayonnaise, and lemon tartar sauce. For fast-food chicken, it’s the gravy that makes the chicken taste good. But it’s high on calories and fat, too. What about mayonnaise and Thousand Island dressing? Again, so many calories for so little amount. Spread it thinly and it’s bland. Eat them regularly and you’re bound to get fat. Scientists have shown us that fat is an acquired taste. We are not born to like fatty foods. If you abstain from fat for two weeks, you will lose your taste (and craving) for fatty meals. Try it.

7. Alcoholic drinks. A little red wine may be good for the heart. However, doctors still do not advise non-drinkers to start drinking for the health benefit. This is because of the real danger of alcohol abuse which can lead to a score of health problems like liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, stomach ulcers, oral cancer, brain damage, dementia, nerve damage, depression, abusive behavior, vehicular accidents, etc. If you’re not a drinker, better not start.

6. Junk foods. Potato chips and most assorted snacks are unhealthy because of their high salt content. They can also be irritating to the stomach in some people. Junk foods are also spiced with MSG (monosodium glutamate), which makes them addicting and cause headaches and life-threatening heart palpitation. Instead of chips, let’s teach our kids to eat healthy snacks like an apple, a banana, and vegetable sticks.

5. Half-cooked meat. Medium-rare meats can lead to various parasitic diseases. If you don’t cook your pork well, you can get infected with icky pork tapeworms (called taenia solium). Steaks should be prepared well done to kill the beef tapeworms (called taenia saginata). There are also tapeworms for those fond of eating raw fish (kilawin). Make sure your chicken is without blood, too. Remember that’s how you get bird flu. The common sense approach is that if your meat is still bloody, have it cooked again. Better say, “Well done.”

4. Street food. Eating street food is a very dangerous habit. Did you know that a study shows that 50% of Filipinos harbor parasites and bacteria in their bodies? If food handlers don’t wash their hands, don’t wear gloves, or don’t use distilled water, these parasites can so quickly be passed on to you from the delectable and tasty fishball sauce, kwek-kwek, betamax innards, and what have you. Tempting yes, but no thanks!

Regarding small eateries, you have to be careful because some of them have no government certification for their food handlers, which means we are not sure if the food they’re preparing is clean or not. Be forewarned!

3. Organ innards. Liver, kidneys, lungs, stomach, intestines, heart, and brain tissue as food? These are the possible contents of the best-selling sisig. If you think about it, it’s easy to suspect that this is unhealthy. High in cholesterol, high in fat, high in uric acid. In addition, some doctors suspect that they may cause bowel cancer. Pork intestines are the organs where the animal’s waste and toxic products are stored. So why should we eat it?

2. Pork chicharon, including chicharon bulaklak. So tasty and so fatty! All these unhealthy oils can accumulate and block your arteries, and put you on the road to a heart attack. I used to like chicharon bulaklak with vinegar. But when I found out that they are made up of small intestines, the omentum and blood vessels, plus the lymph nodes (the bean-sized thingy in between), I changed my mind. You don’t have to be a doctor to realize that you are better off not eating these.

1. Lechon, crispy pata and pata tim. At number one as the most unhealthy food is the favorite of Filipinos — roast pig (lechon). Why? It’s full of fat and may cause cancer. It’s also high in calories. Need any more evidence?

There are other foods of questionable value, like preserved meats, hot dogs, bacon, smoked foods, and cold cuts. Be careful with these, too. Try to limit or avoid these foods.

On the positive side, I have previously written about the top 20 healthy foods, which include nuts, coconut, tea, soy products, wheat, sweet potato, oats, ginger, beans, ampalaya, water, apple, garlic, milk, banana, carrot, citrus fruits, tomato, oily fish, and green leafy vegetables.

Just by looking at the healthy list, you can see and taste the difference. Eat well!

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