Sugary drinks, salty foods, and “Xtreme”-calorie restaurant meals are among the things you should eat less of.
Supermarkets and restaurants are minefields. While there are plenty of healthy choices, many packaged foods and restaurant meals are too high in calories, saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and questionable additives. Some foods are best minimizing; others are best avoiding altogether.
10 Worst Foods
Are these the absolute worst foods in the world? Not quite. But CSPI’s nutritionists survey restaurants and supermarkets annually. And these ten foods are emblematic of the kinds of packaged and restaurant foods that are contributing to America’s obesity, diabetes, and heart disease rates. Read more.
Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are nutritionally worthless and promote diabetes, obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, and other health problems. Though soda sales are in decline, sugary drinks are still the single leading source of calories and added sugars in the American Diet. Read more.
Some trans fat occurs naturally in milk and meat, but the artificial kind comes from partially hydrogenated oils. Though rapidly disappearing from the food supply, artificial trans fat is still used in some commercially prepared biscuits, pies, pastries, frosting, microwave popcorn, and margarines. Trans fat raises one’s bad cholesterol and lowers one’s good cholesterol, making it a powerful promoter of heart disease. Read more.
Xtreme Eating: America's Worst Restaurant Meals
CSPI’s nutritionists are always scanning the nation’s chain restaurants, identifying restaurant meals especially high in calories, saturated fat, or sodium. The Xtreme Eating Awards are conferred annually in CSPI’s Nutrition Action Healthletter. If you’re headed to a big national chain like The Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, or Romano’s Macaroni Grill chances are you’ll find some “winners” of this award here. See 2016. See 2015. See 2014.
It’s a good idea to eat less meat, but be careful when it comes to the chicken or beef substitute that goes by the brand name Quorn. Made from a single-celled fungus—a mold, actually—that’s grown in giant fats, Quorn’s “mycoprotein” causes adverse reactions in some consumers. Those reactions range from vomiting and diarrhea to hives, difficulty breathy, and anaphylactic shock. Read more.
Advice for Pregnant Women
Eating nutritious foods is especially important during pregnancy. But certain foods are especially susceptible to contamination with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which poses particular risks to you and the fetus. Read more.
Big Fat Myths
You may have read the sensational headlines lately proclaiming that “butter is back” and other foods high in saturated fat (like beef, pork, and cheese) are not so bad for us after all. Find out why these claims are false. Read more.