1. Butter flavored microwave popcorn
The chemical diacetyl, used for adding the fake butter flavor to microwave popcorn has been found to cause a life-threatening and irreversible lung disease known as “popcorn lung” in workers who inhaled the substance.
In response to the “popcorn lung” studies, manufacturers have started replacing diacetyl with another toxic chemical called 2,3-pentanedione (PD). A laboratory study has shown that PD damages the airway epithelium much the same as diacetyl. This damage is believed to be the underlying cause of “popcorn lung”.
There has also been a suggested link between diacetyl and Alzheimer’s disease. Diacetyl also easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier, a layer of cells which keeps harmful substances from entering the brain but allows helpful substances to cross.
Studies have shown that sugar sweetened drinks can increase the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and gout. A typical 20-ounce soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar and 240 calories or more. Not only is the sugar content of sodas harmful, but the caramel coloring used in many sodas has been associated with a 58% increased risk of cancer.
3. Diet soda
Diet soda has been proven to increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that increases the risk of heart disease and other health issues. Drinking diet soda has been associated with a 67% greater risk of type 2 diabetes and a 34% increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
Artificially sweetened drinks have also been associated with a 30% higher risk of depression.
Aspartame, a commonly used sugar substitute in diet sodas, has been associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia in men.
Contrary to the intended objective of diet sodas, artificially sweetened beverages consumption has actually been associated with long-term weight gain.
4. Commercially produced hamburgers
Lab tests conducted by Consumer Reports have found that almost all ground beef consumed in the US contains fecal bacteria at levels high enough to cause illness. Ground beef can come from the meat of multiple animals so bacteria can be easily spread from a single contaminated cow.
A study has also shown that the meat content in some fast food hamburgers is as little as 2%. The content of meat in found in hamburgers was between 2.1% and 14.8%, an average of 12.1%. About 50% of the weight consists of water. Cartilage, bone and plant material were found in some hamburgers.
5. Processed meats
Processed meats such as salami, ham, bacon and hot dogs are full of unhealthy fats and also contain chemical compounds that are harmful to health. A processed meat is any kind of white or red meat that has been smoked, salted, fermented, cured, or processed in any way to improve preservation or enhance flavor. Most processed meats contain nitrites and nitrates, chemical additives used for preserving that have been associated with various cancers. Processed meat has been classified as a carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Margarine is high in trans fat, which has been associated with greater risk of death and coronary heart disease. Industrial trans fat consumption is associated with a 34% increase in mortality, a 28% increased risk of mortality from coronary heart disease mortality, and a 21% increase in the risk of coronary heart disease.
7. Canned tomatoes
Many tin cans used for food are lined with the industrial chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen that has been associated with a variety of health issues, such as infertility, early puberty, breast cancer, obesity and diabetes. Small amounts of BPA leech into most canned foods, but higher levels of this chemical are released into acidic canned foods like tomatoes.
8. Conventionally grown strawberries
Strawberries are at the top of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen 2016 list, conventionally grown vegetables and fruits found having the highest amounts of pesticide residue. Pesticide residue was detected in 98% of strawberry samples; 10 or more pesticide residues were found in 40% of them. As many as 17 different pesticide residues were found in some samples.
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